In 1985, German singer Jutta Weinhold founded Zed Yago, a band whose music and concept were intended to break away from run-of-the-mill rock and metal. This was the creation of “dramatic metal,“ complete with lyrics based on literature, poetry, mythology and fantasy, because without those the soul withers and life ends.
Zed Yago recorded two widely-acclaimed albums, ‘From Over Yonder’ and the major label release, ‘Pilgrimage,’ before the band split. After the end of Zed Yago, Jutta founded VELVET VIPER.
1990 saw the release of the first album, ‘Velvet Viper’ featuring Franco Zuccaroli (drums), David Moore from Newcastle, England (guitar), Lars Ratz (bass – later, the founder of Metalium, of course) and guest guitarists Jochen Zeno Roth, Olaf Eimer and Peter Szigeti (Warlock).
For the second Velvet Viper album, 1993’s ‘The Fourth Quest for Fantasy,’ Weinhold one again teamed up with Zed Yago drummer Bubi the Schmied, bassist Ratz and guitarist Roy Last. The album’s lyrics tied back to earlier Zed Yago concepts.
1993 also saw Jutta release the album ‘To Be or Not’ with members of the Czech quintet Citron as her backing band.
The best-of-collection ‘Zed Yago from the Twilight Zone,’ which also featured unreleased material, was released in 2002, and for several years Jutta moved on to other subjects and projects.
But the fever for dramatic metal was still burning in Jutta’s soul. As she says, “I don‘t sing mere notes, every note has a word and that adds up to the overall message. Just like in the beginning it is about music and lyrics based on the strong roots of heavy rock and classic poetic themes.”
Finally in 2016/17 the time had come to bring the band VELVET VIPER back to life. Jutta and her new guitarist Holger Marx wrote eleven songs which were produced by Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, Helloween). The band again celebrates classic heavy metal with unconventional additions and groove metal as well as rousing up-tempo parts which pay tribute to the NWOBHM.
2017 saw Weinhold and VELVET VIPER sign with Swedish label GMR Music,
The album title ‘Respice Finem’ recollects an old Latin saying which can be traced back to an even older Greek fable:
Quidquid Agis Prudenter Agas et Respice Finem (Whatever You Do, Do It Wisely and Consider the End).
Jutta Weinhold (Vocals)
Holger Marx (Guitar)
Fabian Ranft (Bass)
Micha Fromm (Drums)