"APOGEE means the point at which a body moving round the Earth in an elliptical orbit is at it´s greatest distance from the Earth." (The International Encyclopedia of Astronomy)
Arne Schaefer: All instruments, compositions and vocals (except accoustic drums on various Apogee albums by Uwe Völlmar, Thomas Reiner and Eberhard Gräf).
I was born June 17, 1962 and began playing guitar at the age of 14. Before that I used to play Beatles tunes together with a friend who played guitar. His name is Thorsten de Winkel and he is now a well known jazz guitarist. Back then I played some sort of drums (washing powder casks and a tambourine) and both of us were singing.
I am a self taught musician and the first thing I became interested in, after having learned to play some beatles songs on the guitar, was to compose my own music.
In the early days we used to improvise on chord progressions, trying to create some kind of "jazz-rock", in which we succeded to a certain extent.
At this time I discovered Yes, ELP, Gentle Giant and Genesis, having listened to Jethro Tull and Frank Zappa from an early age through the musical taste of my father. My mother practices ballet dancing and introduced me to some modern composers like Stravinsky and Prokofiev who also wrote a lot of ballet music.
My father bought Jethro Tulls "Thick as a Brick" when I was about 11 which made a large impact on my musical development. Still today it is to my taste one of the best rock albums from the compositorical as well as from the lyrical point of view.
In 1985 I joined a band called Vague Venture which played a New Wave/New Romantic style and was founded in 1985 as a trio with drum computer. This was the first band wich featured myself on lead vocals, although I had practiced singing with my home taping experience before.
One year later Stefan Maywald joined on drums and by the time my own influence pushed the band concept more in the progressive direction. In 1989 this finally led to a split up because of musical differences. Stefan and I convinced keyboard player Lukas Ernst to join the group, but he was never really satisfied with our musical direction and left again after one year to work professionally in the film music field.
Back then the group was named versus X after an expression I found in a book about physical chemistry (I am a professional chemist). I just thought it sounded good and it my be interpreted as "against the mainstream".
At that time I gave some solo concerts using accoustic guitar, keyboards and vocals, playing mainly song stuff. At one of these concerts Ekkehard Nahm saw my performance and his interest was captured. He called me up and soon afterwards joined the band. We discovered that we had almost the same vision of musical conception.
While paying in various bands I always produced my solo music simultaneously on an two track tape machine, in the beginning by means of a primitive ping-pong recording technique. Over the years technical and compositorical abilities progressed up to what you can hear on the first APOGEE CD "The Border of Awareness".
After having played our first self produced versus X CD to members of the french record company Musea they asked for more material and I presented to them a selection of songs I had recorded over a period of five years. They liked it and decided to give me a chance. For presenting the music to a larger audience we decided to use the "band" name APOGEE.
While on the first two Apogee Albums and my older Material I mainly used sample drums, the following Albums beginning with "The Garden of Delights" feature ex-versus X drummer Uwe Voellmar, current versus X drummer Thomas Reiner and on the latest two albums also Eberhard Gräf on accoustic drums.