Who or what is Eli Van Pike?
It started with an idea of Thorsten Eligehausen, owner of the small German record label “DARKSIGN-RECORDS” and founder / producer of the music projects “Cradle of Haze”, “Schandpfahl” & “Narcotic Elements”. He wanted to produce his own cover version of the classic “Simon & Garfunkel” song Sounds of Silence but, in a new and different way….a little more metal you could say.
At first Thorsten wanted to release the song under the name of his project “Cradle of Haze” featuring Marc and Ken but, during production he realized that the three of them were going to create a completly new and awesome sound. They decided that this song should be released under a new project name. It was a little bit difficult to find a name for this project until Marc came upon the idea to use parts of the names of the project members – ELI VAN PIKE was born!
While Ken, Marc and Thorsten waits on the seemingly endless permanent authorization to publish the song of Simon & Garfunkel they decided to reinterpret and publish an old song of Ken.
„Even Heros Fall“
About Ken Pike
Ken Pike, the American in the group and founder of Absolon, began his musical career at the ripe old age of seven when he began plunking out tunes by ear on his grandmothers old upright piano. Sometime in his early teens, his sisters friend gave him a beat up classical guitar and he knew he had found his instrument. Once in highschool, he traded in the classical guitar for an electric guitar and amp. It wasn’t long before Ken was playing in garage bands where he found he loved rock and roll. By default, Ken ended up being the singer in the bands he joined and soon took up the duties of front man. He admits he wasn’t very good at first (in fact, he was terrible) but, he began mimicking the singers in his favorite bands at the time like Styx, Journey and Boston and, in time, actually became a decent singer. He joined his first “professional” band in the early 80′s called “VITAL SIGNS”. Taking the role of singer/frontman and playing guitar, he was able to begin honing his voice and stagecraft. This was also when he discovered he had an ability to write songs as well. After a couple of years with Vital Signs, the band broke up and Ken was left without a band and outlet for his music.
After the break up of Vital Signs, Ken began auditioning for local metal acts. He looks back now and laughs because many times it would come down to him and one other guy. Every time, the band loved his voice but he just didn’t have the “metal look”. You see, Ken had short hair and that was a no no back then. It always seemed to be the deciding factor as to whether he’d get the gig or not. Ken decided to fix this problem so, knowing that he wasn’t going to grow his hair long in short notice, he bought a long haired wig. Not long after, he auditioned for MALACHIA and yep. . . got the gig! Ken remembers rehearsing and doing a few shows with that wig on and no one was the wiser, but he was scared to death he would be found out when, during one early show, the wig almost flew off while he banged his head. That was it and, during a later rehearsal, he told the rest of the guys in the band and took off the wig. After a few moments of awkward silence and jaws on the ground, the guys were ok with Ken’s new look and it worked.
MALACHIA went on to record a six song EP “UNDER the BLADE” and pressed only a few hundred copies (much to Ken’s surprise, this is now a highly sought after rare White Metal album fetching up to $300.00 on EBay). Later they recorded “RED SUNRISE”, which was comprised of the six songs from the EP re-recorded and two new songs. By then, the band had brought in a new drummer, lead guitarist and a keyboard player. The addition of keyboards proved to be the element that would forge the MALACHIA sound, along with Ken’s vocals. Very few bands at the time used keys heavily in their songs and this proved to be the thing that set the band apart from all the other White Metal bands on the scene at the time. Ken sought a more European metal sound and the keyboards gave him the sound he was looking for. When Ken first joined Malachia, he was just getting into another metal band called QUEENSRYCHE.
e was amazed with lead singer, Geoff Tate’s, voice. Ken found the sound he was after vocally. With OPERATION MINDCRIME, he found the style of music he wanted, dark and emotional. That would dramatically effect his writing forever after. MALACHIA did well in its own right and grew a large fan base (mostly overseas in Countries like Japan and Germany). Malachia recorded two video’s during this time. In fact, the video for “Lonely is the Night” was aired in heavy rotation on Matt Crouch’s “Real Video’s” and was voted the number one video of the year. It was also seen on MTV’s Headbanger Ball. The last song recorded by the band “Runaway” appeared on California Metal II, produced by John and Dino Elephonte (it was also featured in their second music video). Runaway received great reviews and was a glimpse into the direction Ken was taking musically. Alas, a third album would not happen. After four years of constant rehearing and gigging, Ken decided to leave MALACHIA. Although best of friends, differences in musical direction began to grow in the band and he knew it was time to leave.
In 1995, Ken moved to sunny Florida and joined a blues cover band and in 1997 Ken formed his own band “THE TURNPIKE BAND”. Far from being metal, The Turnpike Band was an all orginal modern pop rock outfit hailing some of the best musicians in Florida. (Because most of the audience was made up of females, Ken now jokes about his years playing “chick rock”) The Turnpike Band had great success, recording two well received CD’s, radio airplay, drawing huge crowds and playing venues like The House of Blues and Hard Rock Live. After six years of constant playing and recording, and as always seems to happen, differences in mucical taste, direction and attitudes grew within the band and they broke up before recording their third CD.
After taking a break from music for a couple of years, Ken came roaring back . . . literally . . . with Darkness Rising: The Tale of Derek Blackheart. He moved back to his first love, heavy metal and began putting together, what would be one of the most involved projects he had ever worked on. With over an hour of material telling the story of Derek Blackheart, Absolon’s debut CD will be epic and will delight old school metal heads, European metal heads and Symphonic/Goth power metal heads. There’s a little something for everyone!
About Marc Vanderberg
Marc Vanderberg is a German guitarist/songwriter. His style is influenced by guitarists Kee Marcello, Yngwie J. Malmsteen and John Norum but, Marc has his own unique style of playing. Vanderberg released his first EP „The four Elements“ in 2015. He has worked with international musicians like Göran Edman (ex Malmsteen), Paulo Cuevas, Chris Divine (Luna Rise), Tave Wanning (Adrenaline Rush) and Lia Hide. Marc plays VGS guitars and uses Iconix Pickups (Marc Vanderberg Deth Punch Signature Set) and Pyramid strings and picks.
Marc brings a true German sensibility to his playing, full of the power and classical prowess that defines the European sound which, itself, is set apart from most all other guitar players around the world. His style is pure virtuosity at its best, with a tone and feel that has that rare „wow“ factor so sought after in the world of music.
You can expect great things from Marc in the future.
About Thorsten Eligehausen
Thorsten Eligehausen is a singer, songwriter, producer and founder of Eli Van Pike or EVP.
Since his childhood Thorsten was interested in music. Compelled by his parents Thorsten attended several music schools for organ, piano and guitar lessons. He also participated in the school choir. What he considered in those days as uncool and unnecessary has helped him to become what he is today.
In 1994 he started his own computer-generated production. In 2001 the Cradle of Haze was established. It first began only as a computer-based project and later real guitars and vocals were introduced. Step-by-step today’s concept of Cradle of Haze emerged from these initiatives. Until 2010 Thorsten collaborated with different guest singers in addition to his own vocals. With the addition of singer Anni Meier the band was solidified in 2010.
In 2002 Thorsten founded the project “The Meridian” together with a fellow guitarist. During those days numerous English acoustical rock songs were produced which have not been published so far.
In 2012 Thorsten started the Darktrance Project “Narcotic Elements”. Through “Narcotic Elements”, diverse remixes of Cradle of Haze songs were released. According to Thorsten “Narcotic Elements” was a means not to implement too many electronic elements into the songs of Cradle of Haze.
In 2014 Thorsten started the Darkwave / Gothic Rock / Synth Pop Project “Schandpfahl” because he has already again composed songs which not could be released under the other projects.
In 2015 Thorsten founded his own small indepentend record label “darkSIGN-RECORDS”. Thorsten stopped collaboratiing with the labels which had his songs under contract and released his music under his own flag.
In 2016, Thorsten brought together Marc Vanderberg (guitar) and Ken Pike (vocals) to form Eli Van Pike or EVP.