Band - Dirk Schlächter
Dirk got in touch with music for the first time joining a music school at the age of 8. At the age of 11 he got his first acoustic guitar followed by an electric guitar at the age of 15. At the age of 19 he turned to bass guitar. During this time he played in bands called Blue Life, Sold Out, Louis Glover House Band and Drivin' Force.
Then, at the age of 25, he went back to guitar only because he wanted to be in GammaRay as the band was looking for a second guitar player at that time. Dirk was only a guest musician in the beginning, playing bass guitar on Heading for Tomorrow, but in 1991 he finally joined Gamma Ray as a guitarist.
Finally, Dirk returned to bass again in 1996 and he describes this change as follows:
"I have already played bass for a long time even though that's been a few years ago. When I first met Kai I was just a basser. So I also was supposed to play bass on the first tour we did, as the idea had been that Uwe Wessel and Matthias Burchardt were to be hired only as studio-musicians for the Heading For Tomorrow-album. Both of them were playing in a bandwhich split up during the recordings of Heading for tommorrow then. Matthias gave up playing drums completely, and so of course, Uwe was really eager on playing the tour then. As I also do a bit of guitarplaying and as Kai now needed a second guitarist for the tour, I said to myself okay, it's for the sake of it and I play guitar in GammaRay although actually I'm a bassplayer. On the first tour I was still sort of holding back and paying all my attention to playing accurately. Once the second tour was done, I started to feel being a real guitarist again and I became much more confident with my instrument. In terms of guitarplaying, the Insanity and Genius-album was the absolute highlight for me then. The production in the studio with all the soloparts, guitar-gimmicks and all these funny sounds was a lot of fun. After all these tours however, some sort of strange feeling came up and I started wondering if I wasn't better at playing bass rather than playing guitar. I mean, in a band everybody should play what he's best at anyway. So I was already thinking about changing quite a while ago, but somehow things just went on the same way. After the Land Of The Free-tour I finally said then: I'm just not the sort of guitarist and ... it was just stirring me up. I just want to play bass again and also get a few steps further with my development as a musician. I think I've got quite an unique style of playing bass, same as Kai has his very unique style of playing guitar. After the japanese tour of Land Of The Free I first talked to Jan about it and he absolutely understood what I meant. He also prefered playing guitar to playing bass. Consequently, all four of us talked about it then. Jan considered that even if he played guitar from now on the change would have a bit of a strange feel and so he didn't really liked the idea of doing it. Nevertheless we agreed to stay together and use the spanish tour as a first test to see how it works. When we met again then for the first rehearsal it surprisingly came to the split. Jan was considering that he couldn't see any perspective in being in Gamma Ray any longer and so he was leaving. It really came as a surprise to all of us as we all had been looking forward to the change. We also would've given him the oppurtunity to do whatever he wanted, but in return he would've had to do a bit more again, perhaps more than playing bass involved."
Photo © 2012: Arne Kowalewski
Birthdate & -place:
February 15th, 1965 in Bad Nauheim
In Gamma Ray since 1991