Biography

Solar Fake is the synthpop / industrial / indie-electro act of Sven Friedrich (also Zeraphine, formerly Dreadful Shadows).
Founded in 2007, their debut album “Broken Grid” was released in 2008 by “Synthetic Symphony / SPV”.

In the years that followed there were support tours for example with VNV Nation, Project Pitchfork, Peter Heppner, Covenant, and Camouflage, in addition to their own concerts and festival gigs, as well as further releases, such as the “Resigned EP” (2009) and the album “Frontiers” (2011).

With their third studio album, “Reasons To Kill” (2013), Solar Fake had their first entry in the official German album charts ever, with all the following albums hitting these charts as well. During their first own headliner tour for this album, there was a line-up change for the live act. Since then, Sven’s former band mate, André Feller (keys, bass; formerly Dreadful Shadows), has been joining Solar Fake onstage.

With their 4th album, “Another Manic Episode” (2015, album charts #31), Solar Fake joined the Berlin-based cult label “Out Of Line Music”. For the first time, a fan box and vinyl versions were released, starting a tradition that has been kept up until today: an acoustic album as part of the fan box including piano and acoustic versions of the songs of each new album.

Subsequently, there were headliner tours and global gigs, crowned by their participation in “Gothic Meets Klassik” at Gewandhaus, Leipzig, and a US tour together with Aesthetic Perfection in 2017.
Also in 2017, Solar Fake’s first acoustic tour took place in Germany, as a result of which the acoustic live album “Sedated Live Acoustic”, recorded during their concert in Hamburg, was released in the same year.
At the end of 2017, Jens Halbauer (drums; Die Art, Fliehende Stürme) made the live setup, that had been unchanged since then, complete.

In 2018, the 5th studio album, “You Win. Who cares?” (album charts #20), was released, followed by a tour that was sold-out almost everywhere, many festival gigs, and lots of concerts all over the world.
Resulting from this, the live double album “Who cares, it’s live!” (2020, album charts #25) was released.
In 2019, their former record label, SPV, released the first 3 albums as a 3CD digipak called “One2Three”, which included not only the original albums, but also live recordings.

The highest chart entry ever for the band has been with their current album “Enjoy Dystopia” (2021, album charts #4). Due to the ongoing pandemic, the tour for the new album had to be postponed to 2022. However, a few open-air concerts compliant to corona regulations are planned for the summer.

Sven Friedrich has always been Solar Fake’s only songwriter and has produced all albums at his “Rosa Falke” sound studio. On the albums, the multi-instrumentalist plays all instruments by himself, with the exception of the live albums.

During the corona crisis lockdown, the 3 musicians Sven, André & Jens started a humoristic podcast that has been broadcasted (nearly) every week and has become very popular.

Detailed biography
SOLAR FAKE is the electro act of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Sven Friedrich, also known for his other projects Zeraphine and Dreadful Shadows. The first songs were written in 2006, and in 2007 Sven formed SOLAR FAKE, asking Frank to join as live keyboardist. In 2008, they released their debut album, “Broken Grid”, on the label “Synthetic Symphony / SPV”. Several concerts and festival performances followed (e.g. Blackfield Festival) and in 2009, the band supported VNV Nation on their “Of Faith, Power and Glory“ tour through Germany and Europe.

In December 2009, along with their performance at Neuwerk Festival the band released the strictly limited “Resigned” EP which includes besides the title track several cover versions and a :Wumpscut: remix. This EP was only available at SOLAR FAKE live shows and therefore it was sold out very soon.

In 2011, the release of SOLAR FAKE’s second album, “Frontiers”, took place and the band started to hit the dancefloors. This album was placed for the maximum number of eight weeks in the German Alternative Charts (DAC). The band performed on several festivals (e.g. Amphi Festival, E-tropolis), most of their headlining shows were sold out and several support tours followed, e.g. with VNV Nation in the UK, Project Pitchfork, Covenant, and Peter Heppner.

In October 2013, the band’s third album, “Reasons to Kill”, was released and entered the official German album charts. This album was placed again all possible eight weeks in the top ten’s upper half of German Alternative Charts (DAC).

In November 2013, SOLAR FAKE played in Tel Aviv for the first time, in December performances in Madrid and Barcelona followed, as well as the Dark Storm Festival. In January 2014, their headliner tour named after the album “Reasons to Kill” started and led through Germany, Russia and Switzerland.

In the first half of the year 2014, the live line-up changed. First, André Feller (former guitarist of Dreadful Shadows) joined SOLAR FAKE to stay in for Frank who had fallen ill. Soon, Sven asked him to stay as second keyboardist and for a short period, the band performed live as a trio. Only a few weeks later, Frank announced his exit.

In summer 2014, SOLAR FAKE performed at several festivals, e.g. Amphi Festival, M´era Luna Festival or Orus Fest in Mexico City.

As part of the Amphi Festival’s exclusive final party “CALL THE SHIP 2 NIGHT” on board of “MS RheinFantasie”, SOLAR FAKE performed their first acoustic show “One Step Closer” with a set especially arranged for vocals, piano, synths and acoustic guitar. Dirk Riegner played the piano and SOLAR FAKE could welcome in Peter Heppner a very special guest performing with Sven a special version of “Die Flut”.

In March 2015, SOLAR FAKE appeared as special guest during Camouflage’s “Greyscale” tour in Germany and played at several festivals like E-Only Festival, E-tropolis Festival, Blackfield Festival and Nocturnal Culture Night. During the whole year, Sven worked hard on the material for the upcoming album.

In 2015, the band signed a new contract with the Berlin-based record label “OUT OF LINE”. On 25 September, the single “All the things you say” (limited to 777 copies) as well as the associated videoclip were released. The single was sold out a few days after the release, only a small number of remainders can be found in some shops. On 30 October, the fourth album, “Another Manic Episode”, was released. For the first time, a SOLAR FAKE album is available in several versions, e.g. as a box set, a 2CD deluxe version, and even on vinyl. The deluxe version’s second CD offers two cover versions and many remixes, for example by Project Pitchfork, Aesthetic Perfection, Desireless and Operation of the sun and many more. On the same day, the band played a sold-out release show in Berlin at Frannz Club with Peter Spilles (Project Pitchfork) having a guest appearance, performing with Sven the Project Pitchfork hit “The Dividing Line”. The album “Another Manic Episode” hit rank 31 of the official German album charts (billboard).

The by now most successful headliner tour, “Manic Episodes Tour”, took place in February 2016 in Germany. Most shows were sold out. After that the band played at several festivals, such as Wave-Gotik-Treffen and Amphi Festival. More shows were still to come in 2016, e.g. in Helsinki, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Bremen and Vienna. And in November 2016, SOLAR FAKE participated in “Gothic Meets Klassik”, where their songs were performed by the orchestra of Zielna Gora at Gewandhaus Leipzig.

In January and February 2017, SOLAR FAKE went on an extended US tour over 6 weeks together with Aesthetic Perfection and Nyxx, and immediately after their return home the “Sedated Live Acoustic” tour at selected locations in Germany started, during which Sven and André were supported by Dirk Riegner (piano), Rico Schwibs (violin), Benni Cellini (cello) and Norman Selbig (acoustic guitar). After its completion several concerts followed, including E-tropolis Festival, Kasematten Festival, 2x Festung Koenigstein, together with Project Pitchfork, M’era Luna Festival, “Eine Nacht im Bergwerk” (One Night in the Mine) in Switzerland, and together with VNV Nation in Madrid and Barcelona.
On 8 December, the live double album, “Sedated Live Acoustic“, was released, a concert recording of the Hamburg show, including an additional bonus DVD.
On 25 December, at Dark Storm Festival in Chemnitz, SOLAR FAKE, for the first time performed together with a live drummer: Jeans. As both band and fans were enthusiastic about the outcome, it was decided to have Jeans as an integral part during live performances. However, for the time being Sven and André will continue to perform alone at some gigs abroad due to financial reasons.

Although the work on the new album had already started, SOLAR FAKE performed a lot of concerts in 2018, including gigs in Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Athens, and Mexico City, and took part in amazing festivals such as Plage Noire, Out Of Line Weekender, Amphi Festival, and Autumn Moon Festival.

On 31 August 2018, the fifth and by then most successful studio album has been released, “You win. Who cares?”, which represents a musical continuation of “Another Manic Episode” showing that Sven is by no means content to make pleasant bar music but is still able to put an enormous amount of rage and emotion into his music and lyrics without ever losing sight of the sound of the times. “YWWC” is contemporary, sometimes extremely aggressive, sometimes inconceivably sad and gloomy, and gives an insight into the deepest abysses of Sven’s universe of emotions.

The album entered #20 of the German album top 100 and remained for all 8 possible weeks in the German Alternative Charts where it even climbed up to the No 1 position. So did the first single, “Sick of you”, which has been released as a lyric video as well. Another lyric video has been released for the song “The pain that kills you too”. And for the song “Anything you want”, Sven produced a video with participation of the fans who sent in several short clips they shot by themselves.
The following “You Win. Who Cares? Tour” meant many sold-out venues in Germany – it’s been by far the most successful tour of the band by now. Many gigs abroad took place as well, e.g. in the UK, Ukraine, Finland, Sweden, Poland, Peru, Belgium, Switzerland, Russia, Spain, and SOLAR FAKE appeared on huge festivals, like Wave-Gotik-Treffen, Castle Party, Call the ship to port, Subkult Festivalen, Free & Easy, W-Fest and Dark Storm Festival. The 2nd part of the tour took SOLAR FAKE among other places to Täubchenthal, Leipzig, where a complete audio recording of the show could be realised.

The result of this recording was released on 26 June 2020 as a limited edition double album plus bonus DVD (containing excerpts of the show at Reithalle, Dresden) with the title “Who cares, it’s live”. It made it to #25 of the official German album charts. In cooperation with Black Movie, a live video clip to the song “Invisible” was produced as a teaser.

Since autumn 2019, Sven had been working on the material for a new studio album. On 13 November 2020, the single “This pretty life” was released together with a video clip as a first appetiser. Limited to 777 CDs, the single was sold out in no time. The second single, “It’s who you are”, was published as a video clip shortly after the turn of the year, on 28 January.

On 12 February 2021, the latest album, “Enjoy Dystopia”, was released as a CD, 2CD deluxe version, 2LP vinyl version, and as a limited fan box including the bonus acoustic album, “Masked”, once again featuring Dirk Riegner as well as Norman Selbig, André Feller and Jens Halbauer.

With “Enjoy Dystopia” entering the official German album charts on #4, Solar Fake had their highest entry ever. “Enjoy Dystopia” climbed to #2 of the DAC (German Alternative Charts), and the album held the pole position of the GEWC (German Electronic Webcharts) for many weeks.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the tour for the new album that had been planned for spring 2021 had to be postponed to 2022. However, a few open-air concerts compliant to corona regulations are planned for summer 2021.

Production, Artwork

Sven Friedrich is responsible for the music production as well as for all compositions, lyrics, arrangements and recordings, what makes SOLAR FAKE his “no-compromise-act”. The artwork of “Frontiers” was made in close cooperation with the Berlin artist Christian Ruhm. Since “Reasons to Kill”, Sven has been working closely with the artist JK, not only on the album artworks, but also on the videoclips.
From “Frontiers” on, the last booklet pages provide a listing of things and people that were necessary to finish the album or other thoughts that concern the musician in some way. All this is not meant seriously, but funny to read.

Podcast

During the covid-19 crisis lockdown SOLAR FAKE started a weekly podcast which quickly became very popular not only among SOLAR FAKE fans. Even though it’s no music podcast, fans can ask their questions and the band replies in the upcoming episodes, but always in a funny way. The band speaks about their everyday life and about their past as musicians. From time to time, guests are being invited to the show.