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Interview with Running Wild (Rolf Kasparek) | ''Blood on Blood''





hello Rolf how you doing my name is Tasos from black velvet radio first of all it's an honour talking with you about the new album. New studio instalment for Running Wild “Blood on Blood” how you and the band feel?

yeah, we're proud of what we achieved with the album you know so the best I could think of, so everything turned out the way it was.





New album due to be released on October 29th by Steamhammer so, share some thoughts about the new Running Wild album.

it was a long run in the production of the album with a lot of breaks in between you know, somewhere because of the festivals we played, so I couldn't work on the album because I have to do the rehearsals and stuff like that, some illnesses in between you know and that knocked me off for a few months. So it was a long run then, and when the album was finished, the guy from the record company called me up and said “okay we want to push the album two months far you know to come out two months later” you know because of several reasons and I said “Well great so I have a lot of time for doing this last five percent you know to make the album perfect in a way and so that was a good point and so that's why I’m really satisfied with the outcome, especially with the production in the first place, because it's the best production money whatever had, and the songs are really great they are completely different this was my plan, from the first get-go, to create an album with a lot of more facets that we all originally normally have on an album. Σo I’m very proud of that.




So strange days we are living in how difficult was for you and the band making this album any difficulties recording the album due to technical reasons or due to corona virus.

it was not that of a problem for us because luckily, we finished the drum recordings before the first lockdown in Germany so that was a good thing so everything was done, the songs have been chosen, the ten songs were on the album and then so I could start out with working on the reproduction on my studio and PJ had an old studio he recorded his guitars and the part of his on the vocals of the choruses in his studio and we sent it over by drop box and something like that. So, that was a great thing you know to do that you know and I was just working with that, we couldn't play the songs you know that's why I couldn't go on with the album and that was the case and if you you're in a reproduction, you don't go away at the night a lot of often you know so yeah, nothing really changed for me. And then you know the band are hired guns so they have done their work you know, PJ has done his work Mike has done his work, I played the base myself, so it was for me the normal situation to be to be honest for concerning Running Wild you know because I could go on with the record, so, the only thing that was too sad is that we couldn't play for the fans you know.




okay if we exclude the Covid period the last album was way back on 2016 “Rapid Foray” if I remember right. Any difference that you had on this album in comparison with “Blood and blood”?

you know it's in the first place when I did “Rapid Foray” we built up my studio as a project studio and when I did the record, I had to learn how the studio works exactly at the same time when I was working on the album, writing the songs, and recording everything so, there was a bit of a problem then, and now “Blood on Blood” is the third record that I make in the studio. We updated the studio a lot of more possibilities, a little more plug-ins and stuff like that so, second desk and everything so, there's a lot of things that changed throughout, but it's the same system, it's the same story itself and so, for this time, I just could you know start out with the reproduction concentrating on what I’m doing not how to do it, and in the first place a really good point is to see that the music could turn out different. I’ve got more possibilities and I had more time to try it out, and until I had the final result.





Looking “Blood on Blood” artwork I realized that since hardly 1987 legendary “Under Jolly Roger” Adrian or captain Adrian to some. Adrian accompanies you throughout the Years. What this figure means for you guys, for you especially, to the fans, and what Adrian symbolize on “Blood on Blood”.

It's our trademark in a way. It's a mascot from time to time we it's not on all of our covers but we use him. In the 1987 he turned into a pirate (laughs). From the son of Satan, he turned into a pirate and so, it was always our trademark and we used that for it stands, for what the band stands, for the aggressiveness and the power, and you know to be determined, to do things you want to do and this is what the figure stands for. And even you know it's a good symbol for the pirates with crossbones, we always use that, and cross sabres that stand for the same so, this cover is a kind of hybrid between the musketeers and the pirate thing, because one for all, all for one not only stands for the musketeers it also stands for the pirates because they lived that way otherwise, they wouldn't survive. And so, um this is a good thing to have as a symbol and really looks great. I did this cross by myself it's really done I have it in my room here, 90 to 90 centimetres, and I did a picture of that and then try to reworked it for the cover to make it look like an oil painting or to make sure that it fits to the style of the time.




In your point of view what is your favourite tracks from the album, and share a story about making of it, something worth remembering, making this album.

Oh, it's very hard to say. I love all the ten songs but, I knew when I wrote “Blood on Blood” (The song) it would be a classic. I written the song in five minutes… something like that you know (laughs), and I recorded the demo for that and it was a very special song. It was the starting point for the album, and everything came around, the cover, concept and everything. Then the funny thing is I recorded the vocals and I used the vocals for the production because they have sung with that kind of, you know, that balls and the energy and everything, because I was so excited about how a great song, I’ve written so I just let it stay there even with some little hints with bits and pieces which are not really correct in any way but, I didn't care. The feeling was right so that's why I kept it, and I think this song is very special, I think it will become a classic and it's the same with “the iron times” (the song) which is a very long song very complicated and everything, but it has this sad and tragic mood in in the riff and the melody and I think it's one of the best songs I’ve ever written.




okay the consequences of Covid-19 from the start of 2020 to the music industry and not only, affected many bands, labels and releases. What are your plans for supporting “Blood and Blood”?

well, we offer from two-four festivals we should play in 2020 and they have to be pushed over to 2021 and now they have been pushed over to 2022. We still don't know if we can play them because they're really big festivals. we offered contracts for you know “Hellfest” and “Metal Fest” and “Pilgrim” and um a festival Bulgaria and another one a fourth one which was “Rockhard Festival” in Germany. And I really hope so that we can play the shows but I don't know. I can't foresee you know because of the COVID situation. But if we can't play the shows I would go on with an extra album, starting out with that because the funny thing is when I did the final weeks for “Blood on Blood” I wrote the title track to the next album.




Do you believe that the pandemic unintentionally made a new way of creativity for the artists? We saw many collaborations and “quarantine songs” throughout those two years?

Yeah, I wrote a lot of more songs than on the album for sure. like I said before I just you know choose these 10 songs, should be on the album, both two tracks that have been on the single “Crossing the Blades” as the bonus they were also in the pool of the oven. There were a lot of creativity and until I finished the idea “okay these 10 songs should be on the album”, I was just busy with doing the real album, just working on the ten tracks. there were a lot of other ideas I just recorded not to forget them and so and so for the next album.




Okay my favourite song from the album is “Iron Times” the last song, on the 29th (of October) the fans will hear that beautiful song, as I searching what this means the “iron times”, and I found about the 30-year-old war. what means to you that song why you wrote that song what it means to you.

In the first place I had the idea to do a song about that scene you know for a long time but I really never had the right melody to carry the song on the shoulder and to tell a story musically. When I came around with this melody it had this sadness and tragedy and drama in it so I knew I could rely on that one for the song and really figured out okay. would be great to tell the story and if you want to do an anti-war song it's pretty much the right topic to do about it, because it started (30-year-old war) out as a religious war between the Catholics and the Protestants and after two or three years over there were these armies built up by rich people and landed over to the kings and to the fighting parties. And pretty much in three years, catholic soldiers were fighting on the protestant side and the other way around, it made no sense at all and at the end of the war everything was wrong and everything was laid wasted and nothing has changed. The only thing that changed everything was devastation. Germany was 12 million people before the war and after the war there were four million so 60% of the people were dead. Many people born in that war and died as young men in the war without seeing anything than this war and it's devastating. That's why I wanted to do a song about that you know and to tell it emotionally through the melodies and everything. When it comes to all these kind of parts in the song, all these parts tell a story in the story and because I don't want to write a song about the dates, what has happened, when and who was involved, I was pretty much more interested in seeing it from the view of the people that had been affected by the war, had to suffer from the war, what their feeling was, how they felt there, and how the soldiers felt. They'd had to fight each day for their lives you know, always starving, freezing and all this kind of things. You couldn't find any food because everything was empty so to speak because all the armies were going back and forth all over the place, all over Europe, so there was no more food for the people, no more food for the soldiers, in a way so there was a hard time that's why it's called “The Iron Times”.




Okay when all this nightmare subsides with the pandemic, any thoughts coming to Greece for a show we almost had you once on a festival but in the last minute it was cancelled so, we miss you guys.

yeah, like I said before it had been pushed over (the festivals) from 2020 to 2021 and then from 2021 to 2022. We knew nothing will change because we are all in all these shows with the festival headlining act so we play the same slots like Guns and Roses kiss and Iron Maiden so sometimes they play sometimes we play so; it’s the same slots and we knew that we will they will push it over because they couldn't afford to lose their battle on us so that's why it's sad for the fans because we couldn't play. The situation now is I don't know if we can play the next year even if there's a festival like the “Hell Fest” with a hundred thousand people which they're coming from all over the world the band's coming from all over the world. I really can't see now how they should handle that, how we should do that.




What other bands Rolf is listening this time around?

yeah, there's a lot of smaller bands that really have big problems you know because they couldn't bring out the records because they couldn't go on tour to promote it and they couldn't go on tour so, they couldn't bring out the albums so, they're in a big trouble are we on a lucky city it doesn't matter if we play live or not when we play when we bring out the album it sells like hell, you know so it's um because we have all these legends behind us, we'll be around for more than 35 years so pretty much 40 years so, for sure this is different but you know it has a big effect on all the smaller bands they had to play the club tours and everything so they couldn't work at all so, this is hard for the record companies it's hard for touring agencies for all the guys working for the band or the technicians and everything, so, all these guys have to look for new jobs there's a lot of technicians that would be around when COVID is over and you know you can do the shows again they have a different job. So will l be a challenge to solve this problem.




Any memories from the first time you went on stage?

Ah the first time I ever played a show was with my band Granite Heart that later became Running Wild. there was when we finished school it was at 78’ we played the show with five songs or something like that what we real equipment they landed as martial amps and everything so, we were pretty loud,(laughs) but you know also all the guys in the school they really appreciated that there was a real band playing real, not a dude playing playback something like to AC/DC or something like that, we played our own stuff and now that was a great thing to do that you know.




Any memories from the worst or best show that you had any funny moments?

Funny moments were a lot you know we once had a big fire line in front of the of the drum riser and then the last song we want to play was “Prisoner of Our Time” and Hasche was the drummer back in the days and he had this leather jacket all kinds of sorts and he had this kind of big blitzing things, onto his arms and it was also connected with the maroon with a big bang and in the beginning of the song should be letting on the fire rim around the drum riser and at the end of the show he would stand with his bass drums holding his hands up high so you know it should lift off and the maroon should go off so as an effect. We played the song and the song started out by the fire rim so it went on and it made bang and uh and the rising of the drum was going down coming back and we played the show and the fans were going nuts really totally crazy yeah, and you know last song and I said goodbye and everything, I turned around and now I had to laugh. He was not hurt but I had to laugh. There were two guys, there two security guys carrying Hasche pretty much like in a Buster Keaton (comedian) movie with big holes in his trousers and a black face and from that day on you know it was always this the same thing you know in our spinal tap they always talk about the exploding drummer, we did it in real.




Any memories that you've had visiting Greece? have you ever come to Greece? If I remember right yes.

possibly you know when we get the right offer there's a lot of questions like, that we had some more offers from other countries for festivals but I’m denied them so far until we know that we really get the green light that we really can do the shows because I don't want to disappoint the fans to announce a show which we couldn't play. That make no sense so when it's all getting back to normal, I think we will we can talk about some more options then.



Something that you regret throughout your career is there anything?

Not really because they are all steps in the way that brought me here today you know. It’s all the part of the way running worlds should go, and even the mistakes we did or I made are of the way. So, to speak. So, if you have changed something in the past so, it could change, you change everything in the future.



Any message to your fans?

I really hope that we can play next year some shows for you guys but you know, we all have to wait and see. Everybody's in the same situation so.




thank you very much Rolf I’m deeply honoured talking with you thank you very much have a nice night
yeah, no problem.









Chris Mouskos, Tasos Zervoudakis
Black Velvet Radio

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