– First off, thank you so much for your time. Tell us a bit how has been the recording for your new album?
Thank you Paco…it’ s an honour for me to talk to you.
Well it was a lot of fun doing the whole thing. Maybe because it was a pretty long time since the last official studio album. We have been pretty busy in the meantime doing this theater project „The Räuber“, where we also recorded the music fort he play , did a DVD and performed about 50 sold out shows, but finally…here we are with the new album Branded.
– I have had the chance of listening to it and I think it’s a good album, in the same melodic pattern as always but also pretty well updated to nowadays with a quite heavy basis. Was this really what you wanted?
Yes…you are right…but we tried not to overdo the whole thing. As we started to write the songs for Branded we just said that we want to go in a direction, which brings out the strong parts of Bonfire and that meant to go a littlebit in the direction of Fireworks and Point Blank.
– I think is an album full of midtempos, but still aggressive though not bothering; how do you think this could work on stage with some other more «standard» tracks from your discography?
Oh…I think it will work really good. We have never been a band that was doing a lot of uptempo stuff, so it just turned out the way it is.
– If I’m not mistaken, this is the 25th anniversary of the band. You are one of the most active bands from Germany. How could you sum up in a few words these 25 years?
We are very proudof the fact, that we are still part oft he rock’n’roll circus, because many of the other bands who started at the same time we did don’t exist anymore. We are very thankful fort that. Surely…there were also many rocks and stones and very hard times on this way, but in the end we have made it through…together with our fans.
– During the time when your debut album came out, it seemed Germany was more prone to Heavy or Thrash bands, they also came up some more melodic bands as LETTER X, MAD MAX, V2 or SINNER among others. How was the German scene back in that period?
I think the rock scene in Germany was very hungry at that time. At the beginning oft he 80-ies, we had a thing going on over here called „Neue Deutsche Welle“, with bands like Nena, Trio…etc. and that was really very shitty. But it was something new, but only fort he german market. The rock fans were thinking alot more international. So it happened that many bands came from the underground to go a different way.
– And, before BONFIRE you also released some pieces as CACUMEN. How were those first days like and what prompted the change to BONFIRE?
We always did melodic hard rock and our first band was called Cacumen, which is a latin name and means the top of a mountain. The name was somekind of a relict from our schooldays, where weh ad to learn this ancient language. But many people could not pronounce Cacumen and so we thought that we should change the name into something more international, while Cacumen already had a pretty big fan base.
– There’s a question I always do ask to classic bands from Germany anytime I get the chance, I recently asked it to Matt Sinner. And the questions is: why the Heavy Metal movement from the 80’s never settled fully in Germany? I mean, there are many great bands such as VETO, GRAVESTONE, HIGH TENSION, TYRAN PACE, STORMWITCH, CARRIE… Do you think NWOBHM got much more attention and G80HM (Germany 80’s Heavy Metal) rested in its shadow? I have always thought so.
I do agree that not too many bands out of Germany from the 80-ies really made it big worldwide. Maybe because the American market with their billions of bands and the power of their record companies made it so hard for german bands to be successful and accepted in the way they were.
– Something I’m also curious about is your similarity, sometimes, with your compatriots SCORPIONS. Is this band your maximus influence? I also think that, as they did, you have nowadays also evolutioned into a more current sound.
I really agree, that the Scorpions had a big influence on us. Not only because we did a similar kind of music and Klaus Meine and myself have got similar voices or that we both are from Germany …no the Scorpions are just a fantastic band with an attitude we liked. That made us to become fans of them and you know, the things you like have a strong influence on you…not only in music. You can find that in fashion too for example.
– First time I saw you was supporting JUDAS in the 88 tour, in Barcelona. What are your memories from that tour?
It was an awesome tour with Judas Priest and we’ve had a lot of fun and it also was a very successful tour. Just imagine that you have the honour to support a band you’re a fan of on a whole European tour….it was such a blast and somekind of dream coming true.
– And coming back to the present, what are the near-future plans for BONFIRE? I know you will be in a festival in Madrid next October, won’t you?
Yes we will come to Spain again and we are very happy about that, because we have so many good memories of your beautiful country. In the meantime we will play a lot of festivals…also the Masters of Rock in the Czech Republic, with about 20.000 rock fans. And we will also try to finish the work on our live recordings concerning the songs of Fireworks, so I think we will bring it with us to Madrid in October.
– And the long-term plans? What do you think is left for you to do and what can we expect from BONFIRE in the upcoming years?
…just one thing left to say…we will rock on and keep the Bonfire burning