Ally The Fiddle

Hi Ally - firstly, please introduce yourselves and tell us about the band, how and when you all met, who plays what etc.
We are quite an unusual band from North Germany. Originally I studied classical violin to work in an orchestra, but when I was working at an opera house I discovered that the reality did not fit with my dreams. At around that time I joined an Irish Folk Band… and that opened up a completely new world for me! I was able to explore my violin in totally new way, and after a few years I was longing for a solo project. So I founded "Ally the Fiddle" in 2008.

ALLY THE FIDDLEIn the folk band I worked with a drummer, Stefan "Huky" Hukriede, who was also looking for a new challenge, and he supported me in the solo project. When I was looking for a guitarist, Robert Klawonn was recommended to me - and this incredible guitar player is the perfect match to inspire me and to work with. He brought Diemo Heuer (guitar) to our band; one of the funniest guys on stage!! And what would a band be without a bass player.....?! We started with a guy named Andreas, but he only had time for band photo shoots, haha, so after a while Huky called his old bandmate Thorsten Hartung - and here we are!

How would you describe your style of music to Get Ready To Roll readers?
We started with a harder version of Irish Folk. But always our hearts beat for Metal and Progressive Rock. And I am a huge fan of fusion violinists like Jerry Goodman and Jean-Luc Ponty. So you will find our style in the middle of all that stuff.

What does a normal Ally The Fiddle show consist of? Is it true that you have a painted dancer and... a fire-eater?
Truly, there is a painted dancer! She calls her style "Antiburlesque" - and she enchants you with incredible costumes and a cool fire-eating show, while the band rocks out.

How do full-on heavy-metal rock audiences react to your set? On your recent tour with UFO, you played Joe Satriani and Manowar tunes. Did you include those as a gesture to appeal to a rock audience, or... just because you enjoy playing them? Please suggest some other rock tunes which you'd like to incorporate into your set.

ALLY THE FIDDLEWe really love that stuff, so we play it. Some people might think, hmmm, the violin is a nice instrument, but it’s only made for classical or for pop music. But no, a violin is also for Heavy Metal! I enjoy creating "frozen" sounds and I love to show people the violin's power. One tune which it would have been a huge honour for us to play in front of Vinnie Moore was his own compostion "Race with Destiny". We’d rehearsed it because Diemo, Rob and I had played this song in our very first session on stage before we even started "Ally the Fiddle" together. But when it came to it we didn’t dare play it in the support show, out of respect for Vinnie. In the future we'd love to go on with lots of new own Metal songs and lots of own Progressive stuff.

When and how did you start playing the violin? Which musicians inspired you?
I started to play in the age of six like many other children. And I was a lazy student - until I woke up in the 10th class of school and decided to become a violinist. When I was younger, I was fascinated by lots of classical violinsts. Especially by the Jewish ones: Yehudi Menuhin, Itzakh Perman, Gil Shaham... And now I’ve found new heroes - without losing any respect for my old ones - in Jerry Goodman(!), Jean-Luc Ponty, Stéphane Grappelli and Didier Lockwood. And these are only the violinists. Of course there are many other inspiring musicians and bands!

ALLY THE FIDDLEWhat albums have you released, and in what ways has your music evolved since your first album came out?
Unfortunately we don’t have lots of albums yet. There is our first EP from 2008, called "Red Unicorn" and our new single from 2011, "The Crumbling Autumn". In the EP I was thinking of mystical stuff and how to tell these stories just with a violin and not with a voice (except for "Red Unicorn" itself).
Meanwhile I learned a lot about e-guitars and my taste and work changed. So in the new single I left the leading riffs to Diemo, who created some really cool stuff. And I am proud to present a breathtaking solo part by Rob, who developed some really stunning sounds at the end of the song. Also we came up with a different version of "When Summer Falls" - so I’d say we’ve became more progressive - and I really enjoy that development.

What is the meaning behind your logo?
Our logo is a seahorse with one horn on its forehead. I wanted to base the logo on a unicorn. And because we live on the coast of the Baltic Sea, I combined a horse from the sea with the unicorn. So this is our "Nauticorn".

Apart from Ally The Fiddle, do you have any other projects on the go?
Since I left the path of a classical music, I’ve worked as a freelancer in the rock music scene, so play in other bands. Haggard is a band from South Germany, combining Heavy Metal (Death Metal) with Classical Medieval Music. Formerly the leader Asis Nasseri composed works about people from history. On the last album we were singing and playing about the Fantasy World "Ithiria". This band is really famous in Latin America. A completely different style of band is ASP. This is a Gothic band from the middle of Germany, telling gothic novels. The leader of ASP creates marvellous lyrics and is a huge fan of Folk. So I do the studio work for this band and play at some of their shows as a guest. But there is also a side project, called "Zaubererbruder" (Wizard Brother). This project is an acoustic show, telling the story of "Krabat" (a German saga about a guy called "Krabat", who turns into a raven at night). Here I am the violin and work with incredible musicians from the Folk and Gothis scene.

ALLY THE FIDDLENow I have to ask... about your hair! How does it look so wonderful all the time? Do you have nightmares about giant shiny silver scissors? Does your hair ever get caught in the strings?
The most asked question about my hair is: "Is it real?" Haha - yes, it is! While I was playing Classical music, I always had an up-do for my hair, because everything (including all the rings I wear) got in the way and put me off. Sometimes it would catch in the bow and I'd feel like a puppet being pulled on a wire! Or it would get between the bow and the strings and deaden the sound. It would even get tangled up in other instruments or the music stand! So, now I know the traps and just leave it natural. Of course headbanging can be quite a "hair-raising" experience - Nigel Tufnel was right about the advice he gave to Joe Satriani - and I never use a hairdryer, never use colour or chemicals such as hairspray, and just trim the ends occasionally.

What have been your proudest moments, the highlights of your music career?
My proudest moment was to stand in front of this incredible massive audience when I was the guest of "Die Apokalyptischen Reiter" at Wacken Open Air. It's hard to mention a highlight of my career - my highlights are every time, when somebody is satisfied with my work, when someone tells me how much my music touches or inspires them.

ALLY THE FIDDLEWhat's the most rocknroll thing that's ever happened to you?
Rock'n Roll in a good or in a heavy way? In Germany we say: "That's Rock'n Roll", when there is an evening where you have to fight against the circumstances all the time... like a weird audience or bad technical stuff. But here's a story that is rock'n roll in a cool way… I have a friend and one time I told him that I was dreaming of a violin with five strings. And now this instrument is close to being finished! It gets a red varnish and will have a beautiful Nauticorn as the snail. This friend, Ralph Müller ("Devilishbuttrue"), said: "I will build that violin for you". Now that was a GOOD rock'n roll moment!

What's coming up next?
This year is going to be "our year"! We had the honour to be on tour with "UFO" in June - now we are looking forward to a tour with Bobby Kimball from TOTO in October. The next festival we will play, is the "Festival Mediaval" in Selb, Germany - it’s the biggest medieval festival in Europe. We also have a few club gigs in Germany. And of course we urgently need to record a new album. So we are writing and planning and hoping to fulfil that plan in the near future.

ALLY THE FIDDLE
Click above to go to Ally the Fiddle's website


Get Ready To Roll - 19th August 2011
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