INTERVIEWS

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01/2004     Albert Magnus   Bernd Aufermann


How did you learn to play guitar?

In fact I started with a classical guitar back in '81. I had a female teacher in my neighbourhood, and she taught me all the BEATLES songs ...

What was your first one?

My very first one was a classical Hofner guitar, the first electric guitar was a Hofner as well, my dad bought it in a very vintage looking music store ... it looked like a Fender Jazzmaster. It was build around 1969 but the shop never sold it, so it was brand-new. I still have this guitar ...

Who was your idol among guitarists when you were a teenager? Who influenced you on your playing style?

It started out with STATUS QUO - Francis Rossi & Rick Parfitt blew my mind when I first saw them on TV ... That was so great, that was back in '77 and I knew I gotta do it ... (I was 7 years old and it took me 4 more years). Then I saw Ritchie Blackmore playing with DEEP PURPLE, Live In Paris in '84 and I just knew his name before but I'd never seen a guy playing like this ... I was floored ... I drove my local record shop crazy with guitarists like Blackmore, and in the beginning "shredding era" of the 80's, there were some more that caught my attention , Yngwie, of course, Paul Gilbert & George Lynch ... One MAJOR IMPACT had a guy from Toronto, Canada, his name is Rik Emmet. He played in a band called TRIUMPH - IMO he is very close to Steve Morse. When I lived in Canada, back in 1990 / 91 Rik turned me into Country Picking / Folk Guitar influences.

And nowadays?

Hmmm. The time is gone for guitar heroes, but there are a lot of great players, Eric Johnson for example ... Andy Timmons. I'm more into great Studio players nowadays - I'm paying attention how they get the sound on tape, how they use different amps, fx, different guitars so I'll name Dann Huff (known from Giant) and Michael Thompson.

Can you play any other instruments?

Drums, Piano, Bass.

Name the five of your favourite bands and what CD did you buy lately?

RAINBOIW, DEEP PURPLE ... too many favourite bands, sorry ... I got Wicked Underground by LYNCH / PILSON

Name the line-up of an all-stars-band for all times and nowadays!

Pheww ... HARD TO SAY ... I think the Rainbow Live on stage is close to be legendary:

DIO - Vocals
Blackmore - Guitars
Bain - Bass
Cozy Powell - Drums

Today ... hmmm ...

Billy Sheehan - bass
??? - guitar (Petrucci, Vai, ... )
Mike Portnoy - drums
Kevin Moore - keys
Zak Stevens - vocals


What do you think about modern Metal stage, bootlegs and MP3?

It's ok! I hate being bootlegged but not for financial reasons, more that the overall sound is not satisfying ... and you tend to say ... "uh ... they sound shitty!" The whole MP3 download was all ok with me ... The record companies did everything wrong and I can fully understand people don't want to pay 20 Euros for a CD - that's bullshit, CD's are cheaper to produce than ever ... so why lift the prices so high??? The problem is homemade ...

When did you listen to RUNNING WILD for the first time?

Must be back in the mid 80's, I saw the "Conquistadores" video. I was really caught by the song and the performance, Jens Becker and the intro played on a 6 string bass ... wow, that was great ... I bought the Port Royal & Death Or Glory and liked it a lot ...


Did you visit any of their gigs before you became the professional musician, and after that?

No, I have never seen a RUNNING WILD show before ...

What is the best RUNNING WILD album in your opinion? What songs do you like most of all?

I can't name one particular album, but "Treasure Island" & "Riding The Storm" are my top faves ...

How did you meet Rolf personally? What was your first impression of him as a person? Has it changed? How did you join RW?

AC recommended me to Rolf. One day in January 2002 I got a phonecall from Rolf asking me if I'd be interested in playing with him ... I said: "Gimme a minute" ... ran over to my Record Player, put on "Riding The Storm" ... banged through my house, called him back and said: "HELL, YEAH, count me in ... " So we met 2 weeks later in Hannover in the house of his personal manager, he told me his opinion about my playing - I sent him CDs & pics to make up his mind. He showed my videos of RUNNING WILD shows and asked me if I'd be prepared to get out on the road, 'cause the RUNNING WILD fans would be something special and it would be a great experience ... he was so damn right!

I met Rolf as a gentle relaxed person, knowing exactly what he wants! He is very friendly, correct and has a great subtile sense of humour. He gives you the impression that RW is a family - and he makes you feel comfortable. He wants 100% from you as a musician but his treatment makes you want to give 150%. Rolf is VERY open minded, regarding sounds, regarding attitudes and this is how he expects the RUNNING WILD fans to be...this is what his music is all about ... be free, open minded ... this is Heavy Metal!!!! The Rebellion against everything that will force you to have a fixed ignorant attitude!!!


Did you take part in the recording of the DVD & the 2CD "Live"?

Of course, dude!!! I PLAYED the tour!!!

Are you satisfied with the result?

My guitar sound could have been a little better, but that's the way it was that night!!!

Can you tell us a curious story for the period of your membership in RUNNING WILD?

Rolf is a great storyteller, we always hang on his lips when we have dinner together. He talks about amazing things which inspired him to write lyrics, and also it's funny when he talks about some myths around RUNNING WILD which turned out to be just rumours, hahaha. Also, great stories about previous members.

A year ago Rolf said he would plan to release the early video stuff on a DVD+ together with re-recorded classics in 2003. As a result the double history CD was released only. What do you know about this?

Sorry, I can't tell, I know that Rolf has been very busy in viewing Video DVD Material ...

Tell us about the recent artwork in the band. Do you (Peter & Matthias, too) take part in the songwriting of RUNNING WILD? If it's so, are these arrangements your own ideas or your self-made songs?

Rolf asked us if we want to contribute some material for the new album, so Matthias & me sat down and wrote some tunes, also myself had a few ideas. But finally it looks like Rolf is such a huge creative writer that the whole album will be his songs. Of course, he knows best what the fans might want to hear.

Has the band got any plans for 2004, except the new (13th!!) album?

Yeah, but I won't tell until it's confirmed ...

Are you or Rolf superstitious, by the way?

Dunno if Rolf is, I am NOT ... 13th album??? OH MY GOD!!!

What do you think of modern RUNNING WILD's status as a studio-band mainly?

Phewww, difficult to say ... for me RUNNING WILD is a LIVE band, because my only impact is the LIVE SITUATION ...

What was the longest tour of your own?

3 months with ANGEL DUST worldwide ...

What would you like to change or add to RUNNING WILD?

Not really something! The chemistry in the band is great, Rolf is VERY satisfied and we want to keep it that way!

Did you meet any former RUNNING WILD members (except AC)?

Thilo came to our show in Tuttlingen ... he is the hell of a nice guy, wishing me well and a good one for the show ... He put his thumbs up while I was playing ... He is a great guy ... I see Jörg Michael often here, we live in the same city, talking much about RUNNING WILD ... He is a great friend ...

Who's your the best friend among musicians?

My wife.

As a man dealing with Rolf, could you tell us how serious he is interested in Russia and its history?

He is very much into Russian history, he has all the uniforms, helmets from the tzar era...he has great interest and lots of knowledge about the Russian revolution and the backings ...

You said you can speak Russian - tell us more details. Can we hope your knowledges will inspire you & Rolf to continue the Russian theme?

I learned a little bit Russian here in school, thought it would be a good addition to my English. I think that Rolf is very inspired, there is no need to give him some ideas.

Did you meet any musicians from Russia - i.e. Andre Andersen (ROYAL HUNT), Victor Smolski (RAGE)?

Yeah, Victor is a great friend. He lives 30 miles away from my place - remember the pic I sent you????


Can you tell us your complete discography (artists + genres + your part)? Have you got all these releases in your home collection? What's your favourite & the most important?

All would be too long to mention, I even have problems to put them together for my homepage, but here are a few, that I like beside RUNNING WILD:

ANGEL DUST: Border Of Reality, Bleed, Enlighten The Darkness
MERCURY TIDE: Why

I try to collect every single session I played on but I played on over 160 last year, so it's hard to keep them up ...


What do you prefer - studio-work or live activities?

No preference ... I'm a guitarist. I love to play guitar. This could be in the studio, where I have the ability to play and the access to lots of great instruments, amplifiers and effect devices or it could be the live situation, where the adrenalin is rising. Personally, I'd LOVE TO PLAY MUCH MORE with such great musicians like Rolf, Matthias & Peter ...

What's about your own songs and project (SHINE.INC)? Will your album How To Educate A Fool be released finally?

The album was about to be recorded right before Rolf called me up to join RUNNING WILD. Needless to say that the tour preparation took more time than I had left to record or promote my album. I still have those songs and fortunately I'll have the opportunity to record a few of them with my all time fave singer on March the 1st this year. They won't be released under the SHINE.INC name but I'll keep that one for something different. Check out my homepage for further details, coming soon ...


What music would you like to release as your own? Would you like to sing and record any songs as lead-singer in the future?

No, I'm not a good singer. The stuff I did with ANGEL DUST was exactly what I always wanted to do, well ... the band finally surrendered after I was fired ... but they asked me to come back, we'll see. Nevertheless RUNNING WILD has TOP PRIORITY.

What about an instrumental album?

Does the World really needs an instrumental album???? I don't think so ... I'm not very confident with my songwriting / guitarplaying, sometimes I play clinics for ENGL Amps I play at Music Namm shows like Los Angeles or Frankfurt. I need some instrumental tracks to do the clinics, so I started to write a few tunes. Occasionally people walk up to me and say they would like to get the music on CD - so sometimes I think about just recording it ... I would have 20 songs ... I'm a Metal player, no doubt, but I love almost ANY style of guitar playing. So maybe I'll try it later this year ...

What topics in lyrics do you prefer?

Psychological aspects are very interesting - the dark sides of mind.

How can you explain the negative attitude of Rolf according computers? What does he say about the Internet & websites devoted to RUNNING WILD?

Rolf just don't want to mess around with all those data errors, "file delete" etc. ... that's the main reason to avoid working with computers. Rolf runs a software based audio studio program back home, so I would not say that he has an overall negative attitude about computers, he does not need them to get his daily business done ... As a matter of fact Rolf is very thankful about the impact and the promotion the RUNNING WILD websites have. He has a few guys who check them regularly and is always up to date ... incl. the Russian website.

Some words about yourself - your childhood etc. Could you open slightly your privacy? What's your hobby? What do you do during your free time?

For my bio check my homepage, but a few things:

I'll be turning 34 years tomorrow, I'm married and we'll be expecting our first child within the next 3 weeks. My wife and me are expecting a daughter. I used to be a teacher for mentally handicapped children, which I studied at university but decided to become a professional guitar player after I found out that I could not live without playing and touring.

I love Football, my favourite team is Borussia Dortmund and beside playing the guitar my greatest dedication is RUNNING. Although I don't look like a typical jogger, I run marathons. Ever watched me on stage, huh??? I also workout 3 times a week beside my daily running training, overall I run about 70 kilometers a week. Next marathon I'm preparing to do is on the 25th of April ... here in my hometown Dortmund.

I like to read books, some about history, some about policy ... But finally, most of the time, I'm a guitarist!!! And I love it ... I would not want to be anything or anybody else!!!


What would you say to the Russian fans of RUNNING WILD?

I had a long phonecall with Rolf today and he refers me to tell you "SPASEBA" for the support that RUNNING WILD gets from eastern Europe and Russia especially!!!

My personal point of view leads back to what Rolf and me discussed in endless talks. I'm sure that Russia has some real loyal fans without whom RUNNING WILD would not be the same, and would not continue without. The history of your country, the esprit, the flavor of Russia has become an essential part of the RUNNING WILD songs. So "SPASEBA" for endless inspiration.

I hope that the Russian RUNNING WILD fans will continue to live in the spirit of Heavy Metal, which means to us: BE OPEN MINDED ... Don't take everything for granted, reflect yourself and enjoy your life. Share your dreams and respect the others, no matter which colour, race or music taste.

Thank you all for your support, we really appreciate. Have a great 2004, there is more to come from RUNNING WILD, stay wild .....
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