INTERVIEWS

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01/2004     Jens Pohl   Thomas Smuszynski     (German Version)


Thomas, what are you engaged with at the moment and what are your plans for the next months?

As you know, I am playing cover-songs with BOURBON STREET. We have just started our rehearsals again, to get up some new songs. We are usually playing for biker-clubs and biker-shops, so our "season" starts in March. As soon as I know the dates for our public events, I am going to publish them in the BOURBON STREET forum! Furthermore we taped 5 songs for a live-video at the end of last year. At the moment we are cutting this material to compile a DVD.


Is there anything in your life that you regret having done or having missed (yet)?

Well up to now, everything went fine, so no complaints. There's nothing to regret so far, beside the last beer on the evening before sometimes ...

Please tell us of three "highs" and "lows" in your life.

Playing in Rock 'n' Roll bands for more than 20 years now is a permanent high for sure. There were certainly some lows, too. What always struck me down was when the bands, that I played in, broke up. That was the case with KATHY HAWK (my school-band), DARXON and with U.D.O., too. The end at RUNNING WILD wasn't a nice experience as well ... another "high" in my life is my wife (married for one year, but we are together for more than 10 years). We get along with each other very well and made a lot of backpack-tours together (in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia etc.). Each single tour was a highlight, too.

What was the last thing you read?

"Herr Lehmann" from Sven Regener.

What was the last movie you watched?

Lammbock.

What was the last album you listened to?

KISS DVD "Live In Las Vegas".

Imagine you had the possibility to act in a movie. Which movie / part would you choose?

Well, I'm not a big fan of movies, but I think to dance with wolves and to live like an indian would certainly be a nice experience.

What or whom of the following do you prefer?

Alice Cooper or Ozzy Osbourne - Ozzy rules!

Beer or milk - Beer.

LINKIN PARK or LIMP BIZKIT - Thinking about it, just now I noticed, that these are two different bands ...

THE WHO or LED ZEPPELIN - LED ZEPPELIN.

Rock or Pop - Rock.

Car or motorbike - If I need to decide, I choose the car, because transporting a bass with a bike is too difficult.

Meditation or Martial Arts - Meditation.

The Simpsons or Futurama - The Simpsons - a tour-director that was on the road with me quite often, reminds me of Bart Simpson.

Liv Tyler or Demi Moore - Liv.

Sun or moon - Sun.

Who is / was your idol?

My bass-idol in former times was Peter Baltes from ACCEPT. I was really proud, when we were touring with U.D.O. and I could play the old ACCEPT-classics. Besides I have no big idols. I try to live my life, as I deem right. Thomas "Bodo" Smuszynski is himself.

Are you interested in history and politics?

Definitely yes! You have to watch what's happening in the world, and past history may help us to understand recent tendencies.

Which historic person yould you like to meet, what would you like to talk about?

I assume that a man named Jesus has really lived some time ago (if he really was the son of a God is a different question). I would like to interview him about his imagination of the perfect world and his opinion on the earth today. Maybe he could explain what went wrong.

What is your opinion on file exchange programs, that allow everyone with an internet connection to simply download music / movies? Should the restrictions concerning this matter be eased or tightened? Do you think that the bands, whose music is offered on these exchanges, are harmed financially or can you imagine that they, because of a higher public attention, sell more CD's?

I think the entire discussion isn't really about the musicians, that may earn a few cents, when a CD is sold. Certainly the fans would like to pay that. For me, it's about the profits of the record companies. With reasonable prices for CD's the problems with P2P-software certainly would play a minor role.

How often are you online?

2-3 times a week, although there are also weeks when I'm not online.

Which person, in your opinion, should receive a big boot into his backside and why?

George W. Bush. He's a willing henchman of Evil in this world (although Saddam Hussein deserves just punishment as well imho).

Which Hard Rock / Heavy Metal band should retire from business and why?

It would be very impudent, if I would advise someone to retire.

What would you say about the following musicians:

Rick Allen - Must really have balls. Hardly anyone could imagine a drummer with only one arm up to then! Of course, he had some cool guys alongside.

Ludwig van Beethoven - Respect!!!

Lars Ullrich - Works good with Metallica.

Ozzy Osbourne - As said before, Ozzy rules. With U.D.O. we had supported Ozzy on his extended Europe-tour. He already was as nice and confused at that time as shown on MTV now. Personally I'm very proud that I have met him.

Rolf Kasparek - Unique, there can only be one.

Rob Halford - The father of Heavy Metal.

Jim Morrison - Light my fire.

Dave Mustaine - Made some cool stuff with Megadeth.

Timo Tolkki - He definitely can decide who's the singer in his band. Time will tell if he will be able to tie up on old achievements with the new cast. He definitely lost a great drummer! Cheers Jörg!

Peter Breitenbach - ?

Andi Deris - Developed a really unique style with PC69 in the 80's.

Doro Pesch - Düsseldorf rules!

Jon Crosby - ? (Jon Crosby, by the way, is the singer, producer and composer from VAST, plays all intruments and delivered his first album single-handed at the age of 18.)

Marylin Manson - Unique piece of art.

Chris Boltendahl - I know him since the time of my school-band KATHY HAWK, we played some concerts with the early GRAVE DIGGER back then. "Bolle" and me had been together with the same woman for a while (not at the same time, so there were no problems!). He dedicated the number "Shoot Her Down" to her (as a Maxi-single, I think). Oh, and we already were capable of drinking beer back then ...

What do you think of teen-acts like BRITNEY SPEARS and the many young people that participate in shows like "Pop Idol" and "Star Search"?

Eat more shit, millions of flies cannot be wrong, can they? For the participants this is a really good chance to enter the music-business. Why shouldn't they try? Some of them can even sing ...

Which band / musicians would you like to make a world-tour with and who should be supporting you?

Would be cool with BOURBON STREET today and together with some guest musicians (Jörg Michael, Thilo Hermann, Wolla Boehm, Uncle Reaper, Stefan Schwarzmann, Peavy and Manni Schmidt for example), because we wouldn't need any support then.

What was the funniest event on a tour that you witnessed?

There were quite some ... a nice little slip in front of 15.000 people at the beginning of a show, for example. Once I was on stage - quite drunk - and wanted to crouch down while playing, but I ended up sitting on my ass. I couldn't stand up again without the help of a roadie. But that taught me a lesson and so it didn't happen again. And there was this guy that stormed my hotel-room screaming all along, because he thought I was having fun with his wife. Well, he was right ...

Please rank the following RUNNING WILD albums on a range from 1 to 10 (1 = miserable, 10 = perfect).

Gates To Purgatory - 9

Branded And Exiled - 9

Under Jolly Roger - 10

Port Royal - 10

Death Or Glory - 10

Blazon Stone - 10

Pile Of Skulls - My first RUNNING WILD album, something really special for me, so out of personal reasons 10.

Black Hand Inn - The technically perfect album by RUNNING WILD imho, so again out of personal reasons 10.

Masquerade - 9

The Rivalry - 9

Victory - 9

The Brotherhood - Don't have it, so I can't say anything about it ...

LIVE DVD - Don't have it either, so I can't say anything about it ...

What's your favorite RUNNING WILD song and why?

"Soulless", cool 1/8th downstroke groove and "Rebel At Heart" because of the hookline.

Which song of RUNNING WILD do you not like at all?

I always hated to play "Masquerade" at the beginning of a set. It's so fast, I always thought my arm would drop off!

Can you still identify yourself with the lyrics and the image of RUNNING WILD nowadays?

RUNNING WILD were always 100% Heavy Metal for me. The shows were and are great!

I have an association-test here at the end. Please tell us what comes into your mind when you see these terms:

RUNNING WILD - Really good times.

Soccer - VFL BOCHUM, after the first half of the current season we will be no.1! Sorry Jörg. I've been a fan of Bochum for many years, and I lived through many ups and downs so far. But that's what it's all about. Of course being a fan is easier, if your favorite club has enough money to buy stars from all over the world.

Money - Without any money, life is not that funny.

Religion - Everyone's free to decide what he wants.

Politics - Rotten to the core.

Aliens - If I ever meet one, I'll invite him to drink a beer with me and I'll get him to listen to some of my CD's.

Sex - Yes.

Family / Friendship - It's really important to have people that you can rely upon.

Europe - Shouldn't take the USA for an example.

Black Metal - Not my cup of tea.

Death Penalty - Definitely NO!

Japan - I would really have liked to give some concerts there with RUNNING WILD.

Drugs - Your own decision, drugs can really mess up your life.

Tattoos - I don't have a single one!!!

Music - Nothing was a bigger influence in my life.

Cheers, Bodo!!!
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