Jazz-Metal par excellence - no holds barred!!!
Since their founding in 2001, CWE have been raising the bar in the progressive music world.
The band brings Meshuggah-Style grooves together with Pat Metheny-like textures, mixes them with electronic sound fragments to create a delicacy of sound, for all of those, feel bored by mainstream prog.
The musicians Benjamin Schwenen (guitars, guitar-synth), Sebastian Hoffmann (bass) and Thorsten Harnitz (drums) presented their calling card with their demo-Album „Always Home“ and quickly began garnering recognition in the progressive scene for their sound and creative expressionism.
With their debut album „Fraktal“ (2005) and the following output „Leaving Lotus“ (2007),
the international press began to take notice, and CWE became regarded as one of the driving points in the Jazz-Metal movement.
After many concerts at such prestigious locations as for example the Burg Herzberg Festival or the Frankfurt Music Fair, CWE compiled a self-conscious to be able to share the stage with some of the greatest musicians worldwide.
By supporting acts like the Aristocrats, Marty Friedman, Gus G. or Mathias IA Eklund, they now have the backing of a solid and ever-expanding fan base.
In early 2009 CWE returned with their third studio album „Metronomicon“. With this release, the band demonstrated once again how challenging progressive Metal can be, and setted a new standard for the genre. „Metronomicon“ outstripped the bands previous level of complexity and instrumental skills.
2012 was affected by almighty sovereign. By recording „Music for Kings“, CWE released their first concept album. Every single song is dedicated to a monarch, his culture and age and presents an almost infinite sound-diversity.
2016 carries the approach of conception by utilizing the band members shared interest in science fiction. „Pulsar“ consists of 11 futuristic sounding compositions, which are named after stars, and offer a listenable world full of adventures, challenges and absence of gravity.
The band is proud of featuring some highly acclaimed guest-musicians and friends on ´Pulsar´. Beside fretless bass legend Steve Di Giorgio (Testament, Sadus, Death) on the song "Alpha Serpentis“, there is an appearance of drum magician Hannes Grossmann (Blotted Science, Ex-Obscura, Ex-Necrophagist) on "Cygnus". Trumpet player Chrisitian Meyers and fretless guitar virtuoso Fountainhead (Ex-Obscura) add even more colors to the record.
With strong institutional partners like MIG and a lot of endorsement partners CWE is looking forward expecting the time coming…
Instrument: guitar, guitar-synth
day of birth: 24.08.1979
1988-2000: studies with Konrad Lagies, Ulrich Müller and Helga Felkl, e-guitar lessons with Caspar Heinemann and Wolfram Geißler, musical theory with Bernhard Brümmer at the „Musikschule des Landkreises Diepholz“
since 2000: guitar studies at „Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover“ with Prof. Hans Michael Koch and jazz-guitar with Thomas Brendgens-Mönkemeyer. Second instrument drums and percussion with Peter Thomas.
Masterclasses with Aniello Desiderio, Hubert Käppel and Thomas Müller-Pering, e-guitar with Werner Neumann and Alex Conti
engagements: since september 2003: principle guitarist (e- and a-guitar) in the Stage Entertainment production „Les Miserables“ at
„Theater des Westens“, Berlin, "Mamma Mia", "Dirty Dancing", "Hinterm Horizont" at Theater am Potsdamer Platz.
E-guitar for „Jesus Christ Superstar“ in Essen, Hamburg und Berlin
September 2001: Concert with „NjO“ playing the „Porgy and Bess” orchestral suite conducted by Kurt Masur.
Many radio and television appearances as a sideman of various artists (RTL-Radio, The Dome)
equipment: Soultool “B. S. Custom” guitar, Jackson professional Randy Rhodes, Cort Steelstring, Roland GR-09 guitar synth, Marshall Jmp-1 preamp, Rocktron Intellifex-LTD, Dynacord Reference 1000 Digital tube amplifier, Marshall 1960 box, Behringer V-Amp 2, Ide-Yha fuzz effector, Jim Dunlop Cry Baby Wah, Boss Oktaver, ART X-11 midi mastercontrol
inspiration: Frank Martin, Allan Holdsworth, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Johannes Brahms, Arnold Schönberg, Anton Webern, Krzysztof Penderecki, John Adams, Fredrik Thordendahl + Meshuggah, Markus and Simon Stockhausen, Dave Weckl, Frank Zappa, Mats and Morgan, Björk, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Dream Theater, Cynic, Death, Mr. Bungle, Extreme, Chick Corea, Matthew Garrison, Tribal Tech, Yellow Jackets, Steve Lukather, Morbid Angel, Ernst Bloch, Hermann Hesse, Georg Büchner, Albert Camus, Erich Fromm, Wilhelm Reich, Dorothee Sölle, Slavoj Zizek, Theodor W. Adorno...
Thorsten Harnitz started drumming at the age of 4.
From 1996 to 2002 he studied classical percussion at the university of music and drama hanover.
Until then he was a member of several youth-orchestras like the „Bundesjugendorchester“, Landesjugendorchester of Hamburg, Bremen and Niedersachen and played drums in various Big-Bands, Funk- and Fusiongroups.
Since 2002 he is working as a professional drummer/percussionist also giving lessons, for young drummers and students at the music-university of hanover.
He’s still focused on the full bandwidth of musical genres and feels home both in the classical and the rock-business.
In his career he has played concerts and tours all across Europe.
He joined the band of legendary guitar virtuoso Uli Jon Roth, Thorsten is a member of progressive act „Crystal Breed“ and plays drums for hamburg-based symphonic metalheads „Neopera“. With Neopera, he played the Wacken Festival in 2014.
He worked with orchestras like the state opera hanover and the RSO Frankfurt and also played musicals in Kassel, Bremerhaven and Hildesheim.
Tama Superstar HyperDrive - Birch Shells (sugar white)
10“ x 6,5“ Tom
12“ x 07“ Tom
14“ x 12“ Floor
16“ x 14“ Floor
22“ x 18“ Kick
Yamaha Maple Custom (black maple)
08“ x 07“ Tom
10“ x 08“ Tom
12“ x 09“ Tom
14“ x 12“ Floor
16“ x 14“ Floor
22“ x 18“ Kick
14“ x 5“ Tama Sound Lab Project (Aluminium)
14“ x 6“ Tama Metalworks (Steel)
14“ x 6,5“ Tama Warlord Masai (Bubinga)
10“ x 6,5“ Tama SideSnare (Steel)
Tama Speed and Iron Cobra Pedals
Pearl Rack: Dr 503C
Cymbals: Istanbul Mehmet
22“ Metal Experience Ride
20“ Session Ride
22“ Kiko Freitas Jazz Ride
20“ Samatya Ride
14“ Samatya Hats
14“ Traditional Hats
16“ Samatya Crash
18“ Samatya Crash
17“ Metal Experience Crash
18“ Metal Experience Crash
19“ Traditional Crash
8“ Samatya Splash
10“ Samatya Splash
12“ Radiant Splash
20“ Samatya China
18“ Samatya China
18“ Metal X-Ray China
12“ Traditional China
Sticks: Los Cabos
3A und 5B Intense (Red Hickory), Maple Concert, Slapsticks, different Mallets
Evans - various types depending on musical request.
Cases: Ahead Armor Cases
Beyerdynamic Opus 99
Beyerdynamic Opus 88
Beyerdynamic Opus 87
Shure SM 57
Electronics & Extras:
Logic Pro X
Roland PDX-8 Triggerpad
Shure SE215-CL - In-Ears
Yamaha MG 10 XU - In-Ear-Station
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20
Tama Tension Watch
Zoom Q3 HD
Panasonic HC-V-160 Camcorders
Thorsten proudly endorses:
Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals, Los Cabos Drumsticks, Ahead Armor Cases
Thanks to Curt Doernberg and Frank Fügner of Musik Wein.
Sources of Inspiration:
Gustav Mahler, Anton Bruckner, Igor Sravinsky,
Marco Minnemann, Daniel Erlandsson, Gergo Borlai, Gavin Harrison, Tomas Haake, Virgil Donati,
Iron Maiden, Metallica, Devin Townsend, Meshuggah, Scarve, Death, Morbid Angel, Sanctuary/Nevermore, Dream Theater, Toto,
Hermann Hesse, Haruki Murakami
Instrument: electric bass
Sebastian started playing bass at the age of 13. He played in many bands in the local area from rock and gospel to big band jazz. At the age of 18, he joined lessons with the great Ede Brummund-Rüther at the music school in Oldenburg. During this time, he extensively started to discover jazz music in different styles, specially playing bebop lines and heads of Charlie Parker on the bass guitar. One year later, at age 19, he successfully passed the entry test at the Hannover Music University and began intensively to study and practice with different teachers. In this period (1993-1999), he also met one of his mentors, Fernando Gonzales, a fusion guitar Player from Chile. For the next years they worked in numerous ensembles together interpreting tunes from jazz standards to Chick Corea Electric Band and Tribal Tech. During this time, he visited his first major jazz festival in Bucarest, Romania and tours with the german actress Meret Becker. At the end of his studies, he concentrated on fusion bass player Gary Willis and took lessons with him in Freiburg, Germany, resulting in an in-depth analysis of his style and technique. The next years passed quickly with playing in different bands from latin to jazz and rock and teaching at several music schools and universities. He appeared on the international jazz scene at Festivals in Baku, Azerbaijan and Sillamae, Estonia, touring with the Hannes Clauss Quartett through Kenya and Tanzania and visited Shanghai, China for the German Chamber of Commerce. At workshops from the famous Jazz Club Hannover he worked with Gospel stars Basil Meade, Joakim Arenius and Calvin Bridges. Sebastian is now teacher for electric bass at the Carl von Ossietsky university in Oldenburg, northern germany and is busy playing in numerous ensembles from jazz, latin, flamenco to rock. His latest Jazz Release from Christoph Busse Trio was featured in all major german radio stations and was presented on the website from superstar Sting.
The “Metronomicon” Setup: Sandberg Custom 6-String Bass, Edirol UA-101
Sources of Inspiration: ...nearly every modern bass player. To name a few: Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, John Patitucci, Matthew Garisson, Hadrien Feraud. And so many other great instrumentalists like Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Bill Evans.