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Rolf Kasparek – Guitars and Vocals for Running Wild

Date: 8/9/16
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. This is Running Wild’s 16th album. I read for the album’s credits that there is a drummer, bass player, and another guitarist listed. Did these guys play on the new album “Rapid Foray”?

ROLF: They were involved in parts of the album and the production. Like Michael didn’t play on all the songs, they were also involved in the chorus’ as well. I did the guitars and bass like normal, because like normal when it comes to the studio and recording an album Running Wild is pretty much a solo project with hired guns. There were some other guys on the drums.

2. On the previous two albums, “Resilient” and “Shadowmaker”, did you use a drum machine?

ROLF: No, there were two drummers and I did all the guitars and bass. PJ did some guitar parts in his studio.

3. Is there concept to “Rapid Foray”?

ROLF: Not really, because it was very clear from the beginning I had about 25-30 song ideas, I knew the title was going to be “Rapid Foray”, and these songs were going back to more pirate themed songs like older Running Wild. I am really proud of the album, it’s very varied in the music, I had the time to choose ideas and pick the songs, tried to make each song different from the next. And with the production I had more time than on the last two albums, to really work on these arrangements.

4. Shooting any promo videos for the album?

ROLF:, No I don’t think so, we don’t have the time. Like right now I’m in the middle of doing all these interviews, and we did like 150 or so for the last album. I also really have to start with meetings about the live activities for Running Wild.

5. Speaking of live shows, Running Wild have only done one short tour in America in the late 80s. Why has it been so long and do you think it will change for this album?

ROLF: Really we have to see. In the 90s and earlier 2000s it really was expensive for us to come over there, and we had to pay all the cost mostly, and the record companies weren’t really willing to foot the cost in any way. So we had to focus on Germany and the European countries. For the last album we did some festivals, did Wacken last year, this is what we want to do next year. We just have to see how the album does really, and that will determine if its worth it to come back to America.

6. Are you aware of the recent tours that have come through North America with several European bands, specifically from the Power Metal genre like Blind Guardian/Grave Digger, Nightwish and Sonata Arctica, Primal Fear/ Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody. And usually when the bands pair up with another from the same or similar style of heavy metal, it does pretty well. Is this something you have considered?

You know you never say never. First, I am concentrating on festivals, and take it from there.

7. For how many albums did you collaborate with the other members of the band before you started doing all the songwriting, guitars, and bass?

ROLF: There was never a day when I woke up and said Running Wild was going to be a solo project. It was pretty much the process from the last twenty five years because the first part of it came when former bass player Thomas Bodo Smuczynski just wanted to be paid as a hired gun. And I said ok, but this idea seemed good to Jorg Michael and Thilo Hermann too. So that was a sort of starting point for that, and I never wanted it to happen this way, and it was going on and on with every member who joined the band. Today its kind of a thing, where you have the studio album and the guys who played on the album, and then you have the guys who played with me live. Like the three guys who played the last show with me at Wacken, which was great, that is why the photo shoot for the new album “Rapid Foray” includes these three other guys. We all get along so well, and when we did auditions we wanted the four of us to play all together. My assistants were there and they said it didn’t feel like that it was a brand new band was playing together for the first time, and it really felt that way. And I never really felt that in the past.

8. Did you see that BMG will be releasing some Noise Best Of compilations, including one for Running Wild?

ROLF: Yeah, this is the starting point for re-releasing the back catalogue both on CD and vinyl for next year. They want to put all the albums out again. I also think it is a way for them to see which band sells and who doesn’t, Hahaha, its really that easy.

9. Did you have any say in the song selection for the Noise Best Of compilation? Why did only one from “Masquerade” make it? I really would liked to have seen ‘Rebel At Heart’ make it.

ROLF: Yes, I was involved. And that happened with “Masquerade” just because of time. Yeah, that is such a great song, and I can pick one or two more from that album I wish had made it.

10. Immediate plans for Running Wild?

ROLF: Releasing the album and setting up festival shows for now. Because, if you saw the Wacken 2015 performance we do a big show, almost an arena size, comparable to Kiss really in some ways, pyrotechnics and everything. That’s what we want to do, and it costs a lot of money and time.

11. Will the “Death or Glory” VHS video get a release on DVD?

ROLF: That is a great problem, because when Sanctuary was going down the master tapes disappeared. So I’d have to find some better quality footage on VHS or something to transfer it over.

12. Is the Running Wild merchandise available in North America?

ROLF: Yes, it will be all around the world. We have a mail order system online, and just released two very nice shirts with the “Rapid Foray” artwork.

Official website: http://www.running-wild.net


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