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<  Raise Your Fist  ~  [translation] DVD - April 2009, Part 2

Jens
Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:01 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 12 May 2008 Posts: 8071 Location: Bucharest - RO
Sabina:
now we are out here and really on the harbor, yes, Under Jolly Roger, because that has somehow started at Running Wild, what has actually pulled up today, everyone who hears Running Wild is thinking of pirates.

Rolf:
yeah, right

Sabina:
hmm, how did it come to this transformation, you've just mentioned in the Headbangers Ballroom, it is, was suddenly a complete change in relation to the image?

Rolf:
yes, that's correct, yes. The idea was actually a coincidence, I've written on this song, Under Jolly Roger, I had this song-idea and the riff sounded kind of like pirates, it was actually this song idea, I've introduced this song to the people in the practice room, the other guys from the band and everyone was very excited, it was the strongest song we had up to that album and also the title sounded actually cool, so let us call the record like this song. yes, we called that record like we said and then we said, we must do the coverpainting this way and then I came up with the idea of the ship on the frontcover, that somehow goes with the flow and the next thing was that we said, I do not remember who it was, but someone came up with the idea, let us be painted in pirate-clothing on the rearcover. that's what we made and which has carried away until then so we said, We also make the show this way. so easy this has developed. It was therefore a spontaneous thing, now nothing planned in this sense but it has step by step developed, as I said, and then became the band image.

Sabina:
Where did get that to you? So also of the music here, I mean, there must have been indeed what.

Rolf:
yes that has something to do with this adventurous thing and somehow everyone has seen in his childhood somewhere a pirate movie, there was almost always a TV on board and this is certainly one of the points.
but the other point was, of course, the danger, what the pirates have aired, of course, even with this flag, it's now even this skull flag and insofar this offered to combine it with the metal, because no one has done so.
but, actually this fits very well, but, yet noone had the balls to do such a thing or noone came onto this idea. We have made it then and that has always developed step by step and then finally, you can say, it flowed into Port Royal, so the next album. Because, we now started to get interested in this thing, began to read books and then got more into the matter about the backgrounds of these people, what has actually moved them, how they have actually lived regardless of what we have known from the movies, these Erol Flynn movies, what do I know. but really, how have those people lived, what was important to them and what ideas they had and there were just a lot of things coming out, the fact that they were far ahead of their time. because, they having practically, of course have not called it that way, they haved lived it so simply, something like an health insurance and an annuity insurance...they have already practically lived it. they have practically secured themselfes mutually. which is in itself an interesting thing because you knew this, of course, only rough guys from the movies and so on. So there's more romance than this behind it, but this we could determine first later as we had more grappled with this matter. that could not be seen until now, but then began, as we started to grapple with the fact.

Sabina:
Port Royal, there was also an great tour. I think it was 1990?

Rolf:
1988 already, so 88 it was already happening.

Sabina:
88 already. Hmm, the tours you did all were...you made it to the charts too, so the whole business, so really Fat tours, up into the charts. hmm, what's happening with/to you? so, I mean, the image, the image change added the chart successes, everything together. it has everything worked out on the point, right?

Rolf:
yes, because it was natural for us, that there were better possibilities. because there was now more money in the pot, so that we could do now completely other shows like we did later on the Death or Glory tour with this huge sailing ship on the stage and other stuff.

Sabina:
exactly, the Death or Glory had ship on stage.

Rolf:
yes exactly, that has given us the possibility to do that. The venues were all sold out so that you could do other bigger things as if you were only playing in clubs in front of only 300 or 400 people or so. that has continuously been developed and the Death Or Glory was also an very important step because in this case, it was practically the first record within this joint venture between Modern Music and the EMI, EMI Electrola and this then gave us even better possibilities, because there now was an different budget, of course,
so that an other (bigger) advertising campaign could be pushed for the band and for the album too. and, of course it was, we could sell twice or three times more as already before. I think the Death or Glory sold up to 90.000 pieces in Germany and so that was an extreme step for us from the Port Royal, which had sold about 50 to 60.000 pieces, that was already an good development for us all.

Sabina:
so with that came the international breakthrough?

Rolf:
yes, right.

Sabina:
and then of course somehow Hamburg fit together with the piracy. this means, international the people now were able to remind the band, they now knew always that it hangs together.

Rolf:
in any case. It was, of course, that many bands were there long before that, as we know, that means we were always the original, that means we were the first and that was also a matter with which one could play well because you have such an image, which no one else uses. what next to any freedom also could create a separate identity and that is it, were i think that we have succeeded fine…just to say pirates in the metal sector, this means Running Wild or vice versa. This is a very clear tale. but, here to say, I have not only written titles on this topic, but I think most of them were entitled to this subject at the Port Royal, so 5 or 6 tracks…usually there are 2 to 3 titles on one album. the other tracks then have other themes, because I am musically never wanted to keep up to only one single theme. that would been much to easy for me and it only would limiting myself.

Sabina:
I've read in the internet as well as in preparation for the interview with you today, it's also about esoteric lyrics and conspiracy theories. hmm, I thought that was so very exciting, what is true about that and what's wrong about that it?

Rolf :
hmm, of course it is a fact, that I've always been interested in history. it shows even in the old Running Wild albums and on the other side I more often, since nearly 25 years, tried to inform myself about the backgrounds…not conspiracy theories but rather simple but very hipper and valuable, political backgrounds. and, hmm, if you are doing this for an longer time, then some truths come to the light then, let's say how it is and insofar I've always tried to pack some parts of that into my lyrics. When I've written these three records as for triology, without having planned it in advance, then it was certainly the Rivalry, the Masquerade and the Victory. this was some kind of an combination of 3, whichhave built up on each other and which have dealt with these themes. as I said, if you are dealing with this for an longer period, then you realize, that of course there are many, many conspiracy theories, but in sight of these conspiracy theories, many of them are very true. and this I wanted to bring closer to the people, not to preach right now, but to give food for thought...to say, research for yourself. I think, everyone can use his head himself, this was the most important thing to me.

Sabina:
would you tell us one of these stories? maybe just for people, who have not become aware of them by the lyrics. maybe you can uncover such an conspiracy theory.

Rolf:
This is certainly difficult because they are almost all connected together. that's the problem. This means, let’s say so…each one may have noticed, that all of our western democracies are by far not as democratically as they seem to be. So, if you demand rights, these democracies guarantee to you actually...then you will quickly notice how many rights you really have. to say the least. And, that our politicians are surely obliged to people, let’say so…who are rather standing in the background, who are really pulling the strings...as for example the Bilderberger’s, to name only one. this is such an organization that meets once a year. I think that goes back to 1950, when they met at the hotel Bilderberg for the first time…where rather all high-ranking politicians of the earth, be it the president of the United States or the chancellor or woman chancellor of Germany meet together with people from the banking system and so on...let's say all the rich, who really have to control something, who can really make a difference. among other things it is said, that these meetings take place under absolutely hermetic preparations. even the people who work in the hotel do not understand an word of english. this means, the whole crew get’s replaced. here you naturally and seriously question yourself, whether or not they have to hide something. I mean, here we learn many things, especially following those meeting’s, which were implemented suddenly politically, which were rather previously not possible. unfortunately in the negative too. and, this of course gives a lot to think about. and this is certainly one thing, that was one point. Or, even the church…what really happens all in the background of the church or what regards religion. how the religion has started, where did it came from, what purpose it serves and so on and this are certainly these things, that, if someone researched 25 years for this purpose, you accidentally will stumble over many things. there's a very famous saying, I think it is Winston Churchill who said “Almost all people stumble at some point in their lives over the truth. most of them quickly jump up again, knock off the dust and hurry about their business, as if nothing had happened.” So, I do not belong to these people. I've looked at the dust very well.

Sabina:
Now I question myself, you intensely and deeply deal with these things for almost 25 years. fans, even very young fans, who now recently take notice of Running Wild…hmm, how can someone find the approach, that they realize that you are thinking so deeply about things. because on one hand the metal means enjoyment, having fun together or concerts and festivals...on the other hand there is a very strong political background, which also requires an certain intelligence and even an certain…yes…force, to deal with it?

Rolf:
hmm, I just think like that…I've always tried to keep it in the balance it in the first level but in first line, when we now play an show it is of course entertainment. so, it's all about fun, it's about to get entertained, to have an good time and so on. if someone wants to deal with the lyrics, then he can do that. at home I had therefore always reprinted the lyrics while in Running Wild. that was very important to me...so that people can really very well empathize, what is actually written there, what does this man say to me there really, what is he telling. What stories is he telling. This counts not only for these things, which deal with the backgrounds but actually with things, which now are historically conditioned, as now for example, something like the song Ballad Of William Kidd or so, of the Rivalry record. About an clear alleged pirate and his life story, now to roll up again, to see what really happened. And, this is of course more interesting to the people, to at one point experience the backgrounds.

Sabina:
what are the most important records for you personally, that you made in your career so far?

Rolf:
that's always hard to say. Certainly an very important record for me was the Black Hand Inn because it is,
I think the record, on which I've worked for the longest time. also in the studio, I think we were 3 months in the studio. and, hmm, but unfortunately it was the worst sold record. however, this is ultimately for me as an musician not decisive for this, how I look at an record, but more, what it means to me personally and hmm, I think, finally at the last instance each record means something to you. so in one way or another because you connect, for yourself, even memories with that, to the production, on that what you were doing back than, the promotion phase, how you dealed with that, how you wrote the songs. as musicians we have that all in the head, which in the last instance the fans can not see, they only see the finished picture. Insofar it is always hard to say, what is your favorite record…this is something I rather generally can not at all. and that is somehow, there are always titles where I say, that I find them very well done, or I am proud of them and that I had this idea and was able to implement it.

(there is a loud cannon shot, Sabina is scared)

Rolf:
whoops! But, to see it all together, it is for now really hard to say. however, it has always been that I actually was the driving force, now independent from that, that in the beginning I almost was alone in the band. i was always the one who has just written the songs, that has just invented the stuff. how is the stage supposed to look. all these things came with the ideas and most ideas came just from me. it firstly became an really solo project since Jörg Michael and Bodo joined but it was actually their own wish that they were paid for that as employee’s by me and for the rest I should do things alone…which has then developed step by step. That was an development, which I did not really wanted, that just happened and in the last instance it has then left me over…me that, yes…to come to terms with it and to make the best for me out of it and to get just some benefits out of it and so on. I mean, it was never my intention to make it an solo project from the beginning, with safety it was not. But it was just to come, also by the history of the band, how many musicians came and went, by different reasons, it has somehow developed this way.

Sabina:
I have previously spoken with a few fans before I have prepared myself for this interview and for many of them was just exactly the point, that on one side there was Running Wild seen outwards as an complete band but have seen very much lineup changes… and 30 years, not everybody endures that long as you have kept up.

Rolf:
ha. no, as I said before, there were just diverse problems in the band and hmm, sometimes it is always silly for the fans, if they then get the message, so… now somebody get’s fired or someone went out or whatever. Of course, the fans can not understand that because they do not know the circumstances, they have not noticed the matters, that have ultimately led to it. And insofar I certainly have to live with such matters. That people say, yes I kick them always out of the band. I just have to live with that.

Sabina:
did the latest cd's actually came out even on vinyl?

Rolf:
according to my knowledge, the last one which was released on vinyl is the Rivalry, that was in 1997. that was, I think the last one. Afterwards, the Brotherhood...I do’t believe this anymore.

Sabina:
and since then has again something…has something somehow happened with that pirate image for you…but then again it became a bit differently, it was not only about pirates again...where has been again an changing with you?

Rolf:
as I said before, this were simple these, even about this background informations that have accumulated there for me, so to speak. Then came this thing about this conflict between light and darkness, you can see this very well on the cover of the Rivalry on which our Adrian is shown, in front with the two flags of light and and the flag of darkness. So, this contestaion, which actually runs like a thread through the story. Never mind, if you now would consider this religious or simply quite profane. how, or who has beaten each other with whom or what energies stand against each other…and this was actually an very important point, just to constitue it this way or even how I did this with the chessboard pattern on the Victory, where in front is shown this chessboard, even these pawns, which are drawn by certain people in the background concerning war or even economic wars too…can be expressed that way too. and, hmm, I think that was an very important point, for that too, like said before for the image too and therefore also these uniforms, which I have used for a while...just this symbol of confrontation, this symbol for…yes these martial ado’s on this planet. I mean, certainly everyone knows that it is this way. you only have to open your eyes. That here some things are running, which are not in proper…I think everyone will agree with me here.

Sabina:
but the world is currently playing very well at Running Wild because you are in preparations for something really big?

Rolf:
Yes. Probably, because in last instance it is the final concert, that we will play and that is because 30 years of Running Wild…hm…that is obviously an very big deal. because, I mean , to be successful in business for 30 years, this is already an good cause. But, on the other side, if you have the feeling…now it is time to leave this thing behind. Running Wild was 30 years good but then at some point it is enough. So, the best thing has had its time and is sometime really over. And, I simply feel, that now the time has come to finish this thing. Even with such an worthy show and where would be an better place than at 20 years of Wacken. this is certainly clear, because Wacken stands for Metal, Running Wild stands for Metal…where does it fit better?


[translation by Uli Bauer + Seewolf]

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