INTERVIEW: Cornerstone

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Michael: Hello! We are fine, thanks. Because there are not so many concerts at the moment, we’re really enjoy our spare time and care about our private lives, friends, etc. Next year will be a stressful one again, I’m afraid, but that’s basically a positive thing for a musician.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Northern Light”?

Michael: “Northern Light” is the second Single from our longplayer “Reflections” and was produced – like the whole album – in Canada in collaboration with Harry Hess. Harry is quite well-known for his work with Harem Scarem, but he was also involved in productions of Billy Talent, Muse and Simple Plan, so he worked with some quite well-known names. “Northern Light” is a pretty straight forward AOR-tune, I’ve read, that is has been compared to the soundtrack of Miami Vice. Not particular a bad thing for a AOR-band, I guess *laughing*

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Michael: I wrote most of the songs of the album, when I was in an emotional crisis. Oddly enough, the same thing happened to Alina pretty much the same time, so there was immediately a connection between her and I. I was in England and drove to Scarborough for a holiday trip. It’s a very beautiful city and has an old Harbor. When I drove there, I looked into the sunset, and there was a BBC-show at the car radio about Northern Lights. So this pretty much inspired me to wrote that song, and I guess, “Northern Light” has pretty much a “Driving feeling” in it.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Alina: Hey, I’m also here! *laughing* We already released a video on 03/31 this year. You can find it on YouTube and on our website.

The single comes off your new album Reflections – what’s the story behind the title?

Alina: The album tells the story of our last experiences. We wrote about the things that happened to us, that inspired us. That`s what the title is all about.

Michael: Alina and my relationship with our partners ended up in an unfair and very hurtful way pretty much the same time, and we also had more or less the same experiences. So it was kinda natural, that we wrote about those things. And this is what “Reflections” is about: looking back, express your feelings and experiences, “reflect”, in one word.

How was the recording and writing process?

Alina: The writing process was mainly done by Michael and Steve. Michael is very good at writing lyrics and melodies and Steve always finds the right guitar riffs and solos. Working with Harry Hess was an honor. He is pretty good at his job, he knows exactly what a song needs, and he gave the album the last touch.

Michael:  Basically we started with the songwriting back in 2013, I wrote “Last Night”, parts of “Brother”, “Heart On Fire”, and an unreleased track named “Closer” that year. Because of the changes within the band, we forwarded the songwriting in 2015. At “Whatever” it was the very first time, I didn’t write with Steve: Alina and I created the song, we both had half of a song finished and couldn’t get it to everywhere, and we combined it – perfect fit! I wanted to create something different, something with a classical orchestra and big piano. We’ve tried to get the song into the Eurovision Songcontest, and although we were #4 in the Pre-Voting for the Wildcard, the organizer ORF chose another artist – it’s very political. Musically I don’t think the song has something to do with the rest of the album, but this is also Cornerstone.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Alina: Out of our emotions, our experiences. We only write about things, that we experienced, that concern us.

Michael: For me it’s always important, to give the lyrics a “universal” message, so in case someone hear it, he (or she) could say: yes – that’s me, this song is about me.  Of course I wrote everything out of my personal point of view, but on “Reflections” the lyrics were more important than on the previous releases. The whole album is a story: “Nothing To Lose” is a pretty sarcastic introduction, and then the whole story started: Party, fun and dancing at “Last Night”, the emotional crisis at “Heart On Fire”, “Whatever” and “True Confessions” are pretty much two sides of the same medal, one time out of Alina’s, one time out of my sight. “Northern Light” is about leaving the past behind, “Brother”, “Sooner Or Later” and “Believe in Me” are pretty much positive efforts to concentrate on the people in life, who are standing behind you – always and without any questions. “Once” is the perfect last song for the album: “You once were a friend of mine”. No more word to say. I wanted to create something like “Dust in the Wind” from Kansas, a masterpiece, that has the most profound and emotional meaning with as less lyrics as possible.

Any plans to hit the road?

Alina: This year, we do not have a lot of concerts because we have worked so hard the last year. We were in the studio for 5 months, and afterwards we had concerts till December. We wanted to take things a little easier this year. But next year, we will be back in England or maybe even USA. Let`s see!

What else is happening next in Cornerstone’s world?

Michael: We will definitely continue writing songs, going on stage, touring through Europe and we will try our best to improve ourselves and to live up to the expectations of our fans! If you want to find out more about us, Check out our new album “Reflections” on iTunes and Amazon and in case you want to find out more about the band: visit our website: and find us on facebook:

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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