Swiss progressive jewels come back to light!
The story of Stonefield began in 1984 in Winterthur, Switzerland. There three friends Juan Carlos Aneiros (Hammond & Keys), Manuel Rodriguez (guitars) and Alberto Chenevard (bass) had foundeda band to set their own accents in the tradition of big progressive hard rock bands like Rainbow, Black Sabbath or Uriah Heep. With ex-Black-Angels drummer Brain Reber and the singer Guido Gander theline-up quickly was completed and the new formation started to play concerts all over Switzerland. Forstylistic reasons, he tended more towards the AOR of American coinage, Gander's participation in Stonefield remained a short episode. After numerous unsuccessful auditions with various singers, Manuel Rodriguez met Munich basedsinger Ebby Paduch, whose vocals reminded him of Ronnie James Dio, more or less accidentallyduring a session with the band Paranoid, and convinced him to join Stonefield. Now complemented by an ideal frontman, Stonefield quickly became a sought-after live band in Switzerland, Germany and Spain. In 1987 the five went into the studio to record their first album THE EYES OF THE DAWN. The imaginative songwriting, artful arrangements and Rodriguez‘ virtuoso guitar playing, already a live trademark of the band, earned the album good reviews and established Stonefield as an insider tipthroughout Europe. After another year of touring Switzerland, Germany and Spain, the band went back to the studio torecord their second album LIGHT OF LIES, released in 1990. This album also received strongreviews, but the winds of ‚zeitgeist‘ blew in the band's face: the scene had changed, progressive rockdidn't seem so popular anymore. Uneasiness spread through the band and their entourage. They split ways with Ebby Paduch, a decision which was later regretted. With old friend Matthias Strübi former singer with the band China, Stonefield worked out a completelynew repertoire, planning to record a new album. But after a series of concerts all over Switzerland thegroup felt that the old magic was gone. Manuel Rodriguez decided to leave the band in 1992, soonStonefield were history.
STONEFIELD – 30 years later
In 2010 Manuel Rodriguez left Switzerland for his home country Spain. In the 18 years since thedissolution of Stonefield, he had consistently pursued his path as a musician, working as a sidemanfor various national and international artists, releasing various solo albums and gaining experience asa producer. But the Stonefield story was still very present for Manuel and felt like it was not finished, especially ashe had never been satisfied with the sound of the second album LIGHT OF LIES. He was still in possession of the original 2-inch tapes from the studio, and noticed that the ravages oftime were making themselves felt on them. Tapes only last a limited period of time. Due to aging and poor storage, the magnetic layer may come off the tapes, making them unusable. However, the tapescan be restored in a special oven. By "baking" the detached magnetic layer is again welded to thecarrier material. These tapes can then be played back once or twice in original quality and can bedigitized and restored. Out of pure curiosity Manuel decided to newly mix one of the old songs in his home studio. Inspired bythe desire to complete this unfinished work and thus make peace with the Stonefield saga, he experimented with the tracks again and again over a period of two years and now acted as a producerwith the necessary mental distance to the source material. Still being in touch with BSC Music, the label that had once released the Stonefield albums and otherof his productions, he sent some of the new mixes to Christoph Bühring-Uhle. The BSC label bosswas fascinated by the result. And so, 30 years after the original sessions for LIGHT OF LIES, the bestsongs from both albums can now be heard here for the first time in an optimal mix - at a time whenprogressive rock in various forms is finally attracting the attention it deserves...a rediscovery of very special Swiss music jewels!