It all happened on a sunny 23rd of August in Spain, when Roland Grapow (ex- Helloween, Masterplan) and Mario Lochert (Emergency Gate, ex - Visions of Atlantis) had a conversation backstage over a cool beverage, talking music business – you know, what musicians usually do.
For quite a while, Mario had had the idea of bringing together 6 musical masterminds to form a band floating around his head.
After a few initial concerns about igniting various conflicts when getting together in that configuration, eventually Mario was able to convince Roland of his intentions.
Back in Munich, Mario immediately contacted his friend of many years, Thomen Stauch (ex- Blind Guardian, Savage Circus), telling him about his idea. Thomen was sold and joined the bunch right away.
After that, Jan Vacik (ex- Dreamscape) and Dominik Sebastian (Edenbridge) were quick to agree to a collaboration, too. With that, a new band was born, consisting of five highly motivated musicians!
Initially, it turned out to be quite a task to bring these full-time musical workaholics together in one studio at the same time. However, against all odds, they got together on short notice in January 2014.
Needless to say, when they arrived at the "Dreamsound Studios" Munich, none of the blokes had any idea yet where exactly their musical venture would take them.
After a long night, accompanied with numerous anecdotes from the world of music and a solid amount of beers (which, of course, were just "meant to keep the vocal cords smooth"), the band started the songwriting phase!
Everyone was on the same wavelength, as if they had been working together in this configuration for decades.
The fact that they were able to collectively write songs, without any pressures and in an awesome environment, gave wings to these 5 maniacal musicians and got their juices flowing to create something outstanding.
Everyone was literally bubbling with ideas and as soon as 7 days later, they had written eight roughly structured songs, building a foundation for a powerful and melodic Power Metal record!
Yet what good can awesome songs do without a voice to carry them? After a few considerations as to a fitting singer for the band, the newly formed group contacted the US-based Swedish expat "Urban breed" (ex-Tad Morose, ex- Bloodbound, Trail of Murder). After exchanging just a few emails and samples, the answer was loud and clear: "Ok, I’m in, if you really want it!"
After a short wait, he submitted his first song ideas which fit in with the existing songs seamlessly.
After the first album 'As Daylight Breaks' was released in January 2015, Serious Black played two big tours with Hammerfall and Gamma Ray and many other shows and festivals and earned a lot of success. Unfortunatelly Thomen Stauch (Drums) and Roland Grapow (Guitar) left the band for personal and health reasons. These two great guys were replaced also by two great guys: Bob Katsionis / Firewind, Outloud (Guitar) and Alex Holzwarth / Rhapsody of Fire (Drums). So the new powerful and stable lineup is complete.
In September 2016 the second album 'MIRRORWOLRD' was released, which is again full packed with great songs and hits. At the end of September the band will start their first headliner-tour through Europe!
On February 25th, 2022 the international power metal formation returns with their fastest and most imaginative work so far.
One of the new songs on Serious Black’s upcoming studio album Vengeance Is Mine is called Album Of Our Life and hits the nail on the head in several aspects. On the one hand, the international power metal band surrounding bassist and founder Mario Lochert has succeeded in creating what is probably the most powerful and imaginative work of its career so far, with loads of great guitar riffs, grooving rhythms and anthemic melodies. On the other hand, the album’s lyrics venture into territories previously uncharted by the band. Lochert:
“This time, I have allowed more insights into my emotions and private life than ever before, i.e. into how I think, how I feel, how I am, and how difficult it can be to keep a band going when you aren’t well yourself. The lyrics on ‘Vengeance Is Mine’ reflect the past four or five years. This, of course, had an impact on the songwriting, which has become even more intense and emotional.”
In addition to the private insight of the band’s soul, another new aspect came into play: Nikola Mijić, a powerful vocalist from Serbia, has recently become the front man of the band. Mijić is the successor to Urban Breed, who separated from the band in spring 2021. "Nikola is a very talented and experienced singer," Lochert reports proudly.
And so has at last come together what belongs together - in Serious Black: Nikola Mijić’s expressive timbre, the rapid riffs and hooks of the guitarists Dominik Sebastian and Bob Katsionis, the driving grooves of drummer Ramy Ali with bassist and producer Mario Lochert. Due to these elements and on top the collective diverse songwriting, Vengeance Is Mine has turned into a prime example of a deeply melodic and at the same time powerfully dynamic power metal album.