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Articles Home » Interviews » Meisel, Hubi - 2003 EmOcean Interview
Meisel, Hubi - 2003 EmOcean Interview

INTERVIEW: Meisel, Hubi (Jul 2003)
GLORY-DAZE goes underwater with German prog metal artist Hubi Meisel..

WRITTEN BY: Gdazegod

An artist with a brand new album out very soon is Hubi Meisel. From Germany, Hubi is better known in progressive metal circles, and more recently, decided to go solo after a stint with the band Dreamscape. Hubi has actually sung with many other bands and projects, but it's his latest project, called 'EmOcean' (a play on words, but I'm sure you can work it out) that has the GLORY-DAZE team rather interested. Particularly the concept. 'In the past I was the singer of several groups and whenever I thought that I had found the perfect team, I ended up being wrong' jokes Hubi. 'So I decided to go my own way and I started my solo career with the album 'Cut', which was a CD full of rearranged 80's pop-hits played in a metal style during 2001.'

Yes, the 'EmOcean' concept is one that remains true to some of the mystical elements contained in progressive metal music. In fact, Hubi draws his inspiration from the sea, from the stars, from ancient cosmology, and from (excuse the pun), his very own dreamscape! For me personally, it's a concept I can totally relate to. However, we'll let Hubi carry on the story. . 'Yes, it's a progressive concept album and I really think it is quite an unusual CD. I'm glad you like the concept. It all came about due to some dreams, for which I often get good inspiration. It gave me the basic information for the overall concept. Then I went to many archives, investigated a lot on the Internet, read lots of books in order to give the story its historical background, and I also combined some elements of ancient Greek mythology.'

According to Hubi, the basic idea developed in two nights of pleasant dreams, but then it took him about three weeks to work out and write down the concept story.

Hubi sets the scene for 'EmOcean', which dwells toward the side of science fiction more than most, but the album does carry a message, interwoven as part of a story. 'EmOcean is a wheel to transport the 'message' from the Ocean to us all. Atlantis is said to have been the nearest thing to paradise that the world ever has seen. In the course of time, they (being the Atlanteans) began to lose the love of wisdom and virtue, which they had inherited from Poseidon. As the memory of their divine nature was slowly fading, human nature got the upper hand: they became greedy, corrupt, and domineering. No longer satisfied with ruling their own great land of plenty, they set about waging war on others.'

The album does have a central character and hero. Hubi says that trying to summarise the overall story within the confines of this interview is no easy question. However, he gives us a precis, but suggests also that it's probably best that the readers read the whole concept on his website, which will be online soon. 'There's a man (i.e. the main character) that sails on the Atlantic Ocean. Very soon he becomes a slave to the tide, and his boat is torn inside the centre of a huge tornado. When the waves are calming down he becomes aware of the fact that he is inside the Bermuda Triangle. After some enchanting adventures, he notices the star constellation Delphinus in the night sky, which suddenly turns into a real dolphin. They are diving into the depths of the Ocean. First, the man fears he may drown but then he feels that he can breathe and starts to enjoy the trip through the fantastic underwater world, and they finally reach the sunken continent of Atlantis. There, his Third Eye opens and he can understand the message of the Souls of Atlantis before he falls into a deep sleep. When he awakens, a sea monster ('Aqua Phoenix') carries him to the surface of the Ocean and he flies back to dry land together with the legendary Argonauts. There he informs all the mass media in the world, so that every citizen of the world can hear the message. In the last song 'EmOcean' he returns to the Ocean once again to say thank you to the sea and his friend, the dolphin.'

If we look at mystical concept albums released in the last few years, we can see that many artists have been able to integrate art, music, fantasy, and science fiction all into one. Most of these have been in the progressive rock and/or progressive metal genres. Everon's 'Flood' is one nautically themed album we can think of, plus a conceptual extravaganza like Ayreon's 'The Final Experiment' is another that springs to mind. The liner notes for 'EmOcean' mention that the concept came about due to Hubi's dreams and imagination. Hubi explains how he was able to comprehend abstract ideas from his sub-conscious mind, into music and lyrics. 'To be honest I totally trust my sub-consciousness whenever it comes to music. I am an autodidact and I've always focused on the emotional side of music and singing. We are surrounded by cosmic information all the time and it is important that we get more sensitive to these things. That's just my personal opinion of course!'

The visual and aural experience of 'EmOcean' is one that will appeal to most melodic or prog rockers no doubt. The whole 'myth and mystery' angle a great way to combine two aspects that are intriguing musically and lyrically. 'I really hope so' says Hubi. 'This is a CD full of dreams and mysteries, and my musicians and I invite the listeners onto an exciting journey. You should close your eyes and relax while listening to the CD.'

The music for 'EmOcean' draws upon the progressive rock/metal genre, combining the earlier versions of prog from the eighties a la Eloy and Pink Floyd, alongside the harder edged varieties that we hear now with the likes of artists on labels such as Massacre, Nuclear Blast, Century media etc. 'I love many different styles of music, and almost any style in the wide Rock-Metal-genre has its own attraction. But I must say I particularly admire artists like Dream Theater and Steve Vai. The eighties also has much music that has a lot of very special flair!'

Though 'EmOcean' is a solo album for Hubi, he enlists the talents of many other amazing musicians. Again, in keeping with recent acts we've interviewed whereby the European 'cross-pollination' thing is happening, the same thing occurs with Hubi's project. He introduces his team of players. 'I love cooperating with different and great musicians from all over the world. On keyboards you can hear my dear friend Vivien Lalu. Vivien is best known for his work with the band Shadrane. He is from Paris, and was also responsible for composing the basic instrumental music following my concept. The drums were played by another good friend Daniel Flores, from the band Mind's Eye. He's from Sweden. Marcel Coenen (Sun Caged) from the Netherlands played all guitars and for the bass I asked Jean B. Affonzo to join in. He plays with a group called Bamby (Absolute) from France.'

As per the usual arrangement, everybody contributed their parts separately, while Hubi mixed the entire album in his studio in Munich, where he also recorded all the vocals. 'All the other components of the album were recorded in different studios and my musicians sent it to me by post' says Hubi. 'During the song writing process my keyboardist Vivien and I work via MP3, he sends me his ideas and we often discuss the music until the final version is finally finished. Vivien records a programmed instrumental pre-production for the musicians involved and then everybody can practice at home before the final recordings start.'

From your perspective, are there any specific highlights that the listeners should look out for? 'I think that every song on 'EmOcean' creates its own mystic atmosphere, but I would particularly recommend the listeners to check out the 'The Souls of Atlantis', a twelve minute epic, or the title track and ballad 'EmOcean'. As with an album of this type, the graphics that go with it are outstanding. 'Yes I am also totally convinced of the artwork' agrees Hubi. 'The 16 pages of the booklet are all in the same style and full of fantastic paintings. My friend Chris 'Saiyan' Kallias from Switzerland was responsible for the artwork and I am glad that he will also be available for my future releases!'

Generation Records will release the album very very shortly. It was scheduled for a July release, but will follow on in August. Beyond that though, Hubi, is still very active. 'I will soon start working on the next album. It is another concept CD which will take up much energy and time again. Apart from that, I will participate in a neo-classical Power-Metal project featuring Vitalij Kuprij, Lars Eric Mattson, Andy Engberg, etc. This will appear on the Lion Music label.'

Thanks for the opportunity to catch up Hubi, and all the best with this totally fascinating 'EmOcean'. 'My best wishes to all readers of GLORY DAZE magazine! Thanks for your interest and I would be glad if you visit me on

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#1 | 147 on February 21 2006 02:39:36

This is a wonderful interview of Hubi Meisel's 'EmOcean'..I have the cd and it is my favorite. Hubi Meisel is an EXCELLENT singer!
Btw:. His new cd, 'KAILASH'
will be released on February 27th, 2006.
I look forward to another GREAT interview session regarding
this incredible upcoming cd!
You did a great job with it!

Maria Wink
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