INTERVIEWS

back to list / overview - Related Interviews: 01/2004
02/2010     Jens Pohl   Thomas Smuszynski     (German Version)


Hey Bodo! Since last year's edition of Wacken Open Air Festival RUNNING WILD is history. Did you think about the past - like many of us did in the meantime -, about this situation and the part you played within this band? Do you think that Rolf achieved everything he wished for with RUNNING WILD, and do you think this band could have been much more known?

Many questions at once... At first I have to admit, that I did not think too much about the end of RUNNING WILD yet. But what did RUNNING WILD achieve? RUNNING WILD was one of the oldest german Heavy Metal bands and they did influence many other bands, no question about that. I can proudly affirm that I was belonging to the band for the longest period of all other members - I was part of the band for about nine years or something. Did anyone else played on more albums than me? I played on five albums, didn't I? Thus I was a major constant within the band's history and in my opinion this speaks for me as a person as well as being a musician. However as a bassist I believe that Jens Becker has a more known status within RUNNING WILD than me, but that's great. I know Jens, he's a great personality, and I like his bass-play a lot. Jens did a lot of cool stuff with RUNNING WILD. What about the other members? I think that Majk Moti was favored by many fans. I played together with Stefan Schwarzmann four years already in U.D.O. before he joined RUNNING WILD, and if you ask me, the strongest line-up and the best albums were those together with Jörg Michael, Thilo Herrmann and me. I hope nobody takes this unhumble answer - people who know me, know that I'm usually not swanking like this - amiss, but you asked for my honest replies... (laughs). I don't know if Rolf achieved everything he wanted to. This is something better to ask Rolf himself, but I truly believe that he achieved a lot, because he could have done more if he would have liked to, for example to play more shows in more countries. And I am truly convinced that the band could have reached a larger status if Rolf would have done something more in general...


What was your first thought when you heard that Rolf and RUNNING WILD calls it quits? And what do you think about that in retrospect, after the final show took place?

Because I ruled off already being a member of RUNNING WILD a longer time ago it was not the end of the world for me. I felt pity for the fans a little, because some of them felt affronted, but this was more the case because of the spontaneously planned or late announcement of the last show in Wacken. If you ask me it would have been more fair to play a few cool shows and thank all the fans like this for their long-time support, but at least it would have been great to invite all or at least a few of the ex-members for the show in Wacken. After all the line-up in Wacken was no real RUNNING WILD line-up, which is a pity in my opinion.

What did you feel when Rolf especially mentioned you, Jörg Michael and Thilo at the end of the show?

To be honest I did not see or hear this statement so far, but I was told about that already by several people. Of course I am pleased to hear that my long-time work with the band, the stability and my loyalty was honored. On the other hand I would have preferred a personal thank-you by Rolf, especially after I was thrown out of the band disrespectfully. But that's the past. Like I mentioned already, I was happy that Rolf especially mentioned Jörg, Thilo and me, and everything is OK.

Are you comfortable with what you achieved with the band?

Yes, absolutely! I can look back on nine fantastic years with RUNNING WILD. All the productions back then were complex and the shows were always sold out. And my comrades-in-arms were simply great. We had a lot of fun, especially together with Jörg and Thilo, and I was always getting along with Rolf. I liked his subtile humor and I always had the impression that he felt about me the same, which he approved in a later interview somewhere by himself.

Did that decision back then, that you had to leave the band, embittered you in any way?

Do I feel bitter about anything? Definitely not! Naturally I was personally disappointed at first, because I felt it was totally wrong to sack me like that. But I never felt bitter. I played with BOURBON STREET (www.bourbon-street-online.de) already back then, and those guys are all good friends and great musicians. We play only what we like to play and every show of ours is like a party. Playing as a professional musician was not always as relaxed as playing with BOURBON STREET.

Did you ever listen to any album which was release after "Victory"? What's your opinion about "The Brotherhood" and "Rogues En Vogue"?

This might sound strange in a way, but to be honest: No, I did not listen to any of those other albums and therefore I can't say anything about them. Sorry.

Do you think that a comeback of RUNNING WILD is possible? Or do you think that Rolf's decisions are definite and final?

Never say never. I fancy a comeback of RUNNING WILD quite well. Sometimes life gets boring without any Metal at all... (laughs)

OK, let's imagine a comeback. How could RUNNING WILD sound like then? Unchanged at all? Or maybe more into the direction of Hard- and Heavy-Rock and Metal, or again a little more heavy, like on the older albums?

A comeback would make sense only if RUNNING WILD sounds like RUNNING WILD. There has to be those fast and hard songs with pirate-melodies and style as well as those typical stompers and Hard- and Heavy-songs.

As you mentioned earlier you are still playing with BOURBON STREET next to your regular job and you have a lot of fun doing this. But did you ever think about playing professionally again and getting "more famous"? After all Majk Moti plays with WILD KNIGHT today, PREACHER started to play with his own band THE GATE, and even Thilo played with GRAVE DIGGER for some time...

Ha Ha, now I have to smile... Everybody wants to be famous in the music business... But it's not necessary to be in the spot-light of a few music magazine. BOURBON STREET plays about 15 - 20 shows every year - these are more shows than I played with RUNNING WILD on a regular basis, and even compared to any other band, which wants to become famous, these are more shows... (laughs) We organize our shows mostly by ourselves and there are always more than 350 people on average. In addition we play every year a few shows at festivals as well, each of them with more than 2000 people. There is nothing missing at all! OK, I don't read my name in any Metal Hammer or Rock Hard magazine, but be sure that I live quite well with this fact. (smiles) After all I don't need to prove anything anymore. I recorded about 10 or 11 albums with DARXON, U.D.O., AXEL RUDI PELL and RUNNING WILD and all of them were quite successful. I was on tour for so many years already, for example as a support for OZZY OSBOURNE, and I have seen every club and all the large concert halls and not only once. It can't get any better than this! And like I mentioned already, with BOURBON STREET I play the music I really like and the guys are my friends. But of course all my best wishes to Majk and Preacher!

Thanks a lot, Bodo, for the interview!

Thanks a lot as well, because I am not doing interviews that often any more and these questions helped me to reflect about the past. That was fun. I hope the fans realize that I feel good even without RUNNING WILD and that I never felt bitter about anything. After all I can look back to many fantastic years with RUNNING WILD and I am very proud of that! Thanks a lot as well to all RUNNING WILD fans for their everlasting loyal support! Keep on rockin´ for a free world!
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