Dennis Ward

First steps in music

P1000534ffffDennis Ward was born on November 22th 1967 in Dallas, Texas at States. His father is American and his mother German. After the first years he moved to Würzburg, Germany in 1981 because his father was destined there, his father was military. He has one sister.

He entered in an American army school of Würzburg and he graduated at the age of 17. He decided not to return with his family to the United States and stay in Germany because he thought it will have a better chance there than in the U.S.A. He learn to play the bass since 1982 but he can play guitars, keyboards and some vocals.

His first experience as professional musician was in the band Tusk. He created the band with two friends and he was the bassist and the vocalist. They played versions of famous songs and performed in clubs and discos of US military bases in Germany.

In 1988, Dennis Ward started to search a real band so he published an advertisment in the magazine Guitar Player, the announcement was just: “Rock bass player looking for a band”.

P1050363Pink Cream 69 era

In 1987, the guitarist Alfred Koffler, drummer Kosta Zafiriou and vocalist Andreas Deris created a band called Pink Cream 69 in Karlsruhe, Germany. And they were searching for a bassist until they found it the Dennis announcement in the magazine. So they arranged a meeting with him in Bruchsal, Germany, and they offered him to joining in as bassist. Already together they won a newcomers band competition in Ludwigsburg, Germany organized by magazine Metal Hammer and they got a multi-album deal with the giant label Epic (Sony Music BMG).

They released three successful albums Pink Cream 69 (1989), One Size Fits All (1991) and Games People Play (1993). The got to join in the official German and Japanese album charts, and they got the chance to do an intensive touring with White Lion and Europe which helped them a lot of to gain a big fan base all over the world. During the recording of the last album the band started to argued frequently for musical and personal differences which ends with the singer Andreas Deris out of the band and joining in Helloween.

Already without singer, the band thought in Dennis Ward as vocalist but finally after auditioning various singers, the chosen one was the British David Readman. Dennis said: “I was considered being vocalist but I was not disciplined enough and I also felt that Pink Cream 69 needed front man”. With the new singer they released the album Change (1995). At this time, Dennis started to have a very negative attitude to the producers, he didn’t agree with their work so he decided to become a producer.

Producer era

He started as producer in 1994, working with some local bands in the rehearsal room with a 8-track multirecorder. Later a friend permissed him to use his small studio and he had the opportunity to start using professional equipment, he managed to work at the console during the following Pink Cream 69 album; Food For Thought (1996) which was produced and mixed with Gerhard Wolfle at Horus Sound Studios in Hannover, Germany (curiously where Helloween recorded the Keepers). He continued as producer and bassist in the following albums: Electrified (1998), Sonic Dynamite (2000), Endangered (2001), Thunderdome (2004) and In10sity (2007).

P1000497Place Vendôme era

Already as a very known and respected producer after been working with bands like Axxis, Angra, Krokus, Blanc Faces, Bob Catley, Edenbridge, House Of Lords, Primal Fear, Sinner, Allen/Lande and much more… in the summer of 2004, the Frontiers Records owner Serafino Perugino, contacted with Dennis for creating a new AOR project with Michael Kiske as vocalist. He wrote the stuff with some contributions of Pink Cream 69 musicians Alfred Koffler and David Readman. The album was recording with Kosta on the drums, Uwe Reitenauer on the guitar (who had been joined in Pink Cream 69 band in 2003 to support Alfred Koffler who suffered from neuropathy), Gunther Werno of Vanden Plas on keyboards and of course Dennis Ward on the bass, and also doin’ backing vocals. Michael Kiske recorded his vocals in his own studio. The album received very positive reviews around the world.

In 2008, they start workin’ again for a sequel. In this case Dennis Ward was busy doin’ another productions and he had not time of writting new stuff so they used outsider composers: Torsti Spoof (Leverage), Ronny Milianowicz (Saint Deamon), Robert Sall (Work Of Art) and Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear) plus two covers, ‘Set Me Free’ of Casting Crowns and ‘I’d Die For You’ of Soleil Moon. The album was released in February 2009 and was also very well received, in some cases even better than debut album because it has more musical variety. Serafino (Frontiers owner) decided to promote the release shooting a video clip of ‘My Guardian Angel’. It was planned to be with the whole band but they couldn’t put together the whole band so finally it was only Kiske singing in a studio.

P1000594Unisonic era

Dennis Ward biography unisonic eraUnisonic was formed at the end of 2009 by Michael Kiske, Dennis Ward and Kosta Zafiriou. They had a meeting in Hamburg and they decided to create a new band. Kiske commented: “I was stuck with my solo record, I didn’t get anywhere, couldn’t write songs for month. I was kind of really stuck and then Kosta and Dennis wanted to meet me in Hamburg, and we met up. Kosta is part of Bottom Row Promotion, it’s a management company and he said something like, “I don’t think you have ever been really managed” and he is right! I didn’t have management. Mainly, the reason was – I was kind of stuck and it was the right time. It’s like two years earlier I wouldn’t have done it, but you can’t really say why, you just feel it is good. If I don’t do it now, I will never do it.” The guitarist Mandy Meyer (Gotthard, Asia and Krokus) joined in the team after the advice of Dennis Ward.

Unisonic started their first tour in June 2010, first playing some warm-up shows in Germany and then performing at Sweden Rock Festival ’10 and Masters Of Rock Festival ’10. The set-list was done with some Place Vendôme tracks, one brand new song ‘Souls Alive’ which was previously released in demo form via Myspace and two Kiske classic tunes of Helloween-era, also released in Past In Different Ways solo album; ‘A Little Time’ and ‘Kids Of The Century’.

In March 2011, Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, ex-Helloween) joined in the band and they started to work together in the new album.