1. This is an honor Lenny Wolf thank you so much, I have to ask first off, what was the first record or song that made you want to pursuit music?
â€œShe loves youâ€ by the Beatles. I was 14 years old. Ever since I knew I wanna become a musician. They actually made me quit playing my accordion when I was still exercising traditional Bavarian music. I donâ€™t know what pill I was on?!? Especially since I was born in Hamburg which is in the north of Germany by the sea. We usually donâ€™t play Bavarian stuff;-) Kind of like LA verses New York in smaller.
2. A lot of people think you got your start with Stone Fury, but I think you did some stuff previous to that with Ayreon. How did you get discovered?
â€œAyreonâ€ was just a small guest appearance of me and happened years after I already moved back from LA to Germany. Actually long after Stone Fury.
The (older) guitar player from my last band in Germany called â€œFunhouseâ€ had a business partner in LA . That guy knew Marty Wolff who back then was the lighting tech for the Doobie Brothers. Marty heard our tape and asked me to come to LA. To make a long story short (you can check the bio on my website) I moved into his Garage and lived with his very lovely family for about 3 years. He was my friend, diplomatic buffer zone, living translator and psychiatrist;-) A great guy!! I ended up moving to LA in 1984 and lived there until 1991 + a few years of going forth and back. â€œStone Furyâ€ was my first US band which was formed in 1984 by Bruce Gowdy and myself, which soon got signed to MCA records. Marty brought in Andy Jones (known for his work with Jimmy Page) who produced the first Stone Fury record. A â€œfunâ€ guy as long as we had enough beer around with lots of stories to tell. Stone Fury turned out to be a well paid learning experience made of 2 records with zero success. But a great time to remember, except having worked on the second record with the worst possible producer Richard Landis.
3. The deal with MCA Records and Stone Fury. Was this your goal to be the frontman of a band, or did it just happen that way? Also do you think Stone Fury was misunderstood by the label?
I was always singing and playing the guitar ever since I started banging around chords. In the beginning I actually re tuned the strings so when I hit all strings at once they would make a harmonically accord. Later after having bought the â€œBeatles completeâ€ book, I started learning â€œrealâ€ chords. But I basically taught everything myself over the years. I never wanted to be the main cheese, it just happened due to circumstances, which made me become the pusher. MCA back in the days meant well, but did not really know how to kick start a â€œrock bandâ€. Back then they were more a pop and country oriented label. I was young, impassioned, hot headed, and spoke bad English. That did not help;-)
I always knew what I â€œdonâ€™t wantâ€ but couldnâ€™t really get my point across. Unfortunately I never met my perfect match like a Lennon/Mc Cartney, Young/Scott or Page/Plant were. So I ended up carrying the load mostly myself.
4. Do you ever go on Amazon and see how much the Stone Fury records are selling for these days? Also, would you ever do another Stone Fury record, or reunion?
I saw it on ebay a long time ago but I donâ€™t really follow up on that. The word â€œreunionâ€ is soooo worn out, that just by thinking about it I get a stiff neck. But I prefer not using the word â€œneverâ€, because we never know. When Iâ€™m in LA I often call my buddy Bruce. We hang and start counting the wrinkles on our faces. He is a great writer but comes from a more poppy style, which in the end made us go different ways. But I will never forget how he and I were jumping up and down the mattress in a New York Hotel after having gotten our first record deal offer.
5. Kingdom Come, letâ€™s be fair most people found out about the band and cd thru the MTV heavily rotated video for Get it on. On one hand you had the critics loving you guys but always referring to you as a Zeppelin this or that. Do you think those comparisons were fair? Also looking back, do you regret that video taking off so fast and also being played so much?
I donâ€™t really regret anything. Life is a roller coaster full of surprises. Itâ€™s part of being human to make mistakes. Some learn out of them others donâ€™t. And regarding the comparisons, I rather be compared to the almighty Zep than most other bands. But as much as it was cool in the beginning, it did hurt us later a lot. Especially after having been misquoted by a writer who supposedly overheard Danny Stag saying he never heard of Jimmy Page. That of course is totally bullshit. We were just soooo tired talking about it, that Danny made a quote to shut that guy up. It back fired and took the attention from our potential and stirred it to negative energy. Thatâ€™s a shame. Regarding my vocal there is not much I can do. I got my tone by nature whether one likes it or not.
If that “tone” or phrasing is reminding people on other artist’s, that’s just the way it is. If it comes to art in general, whether it’s music, paintings, writings, architecture or whatever else, we should remember that artist with a true hearted calling are not running for presidents office. They just follow an instinct trying to share what they feel through the channels of creativity.
â€œâ€â€Skip the cover and feelâ€â€â€.
When James and I get together we still wonder WHY we broke up. I think the sudden pressure caused us to freak without any guidance and in the end made us blow the whistle. I look at success different nowadays. Being able to eat what you want, sleep as long as you want and record and write what you want is a luxury Iâ€™m very grateful about. I could be living in Afghanistan riding a donkey. But then again I could have many wifeâ€™s;-) So who knows how to translate happiness??
6. Since I mentioned critics, you have seen your share of great press and also bad press throughout the years. Do you read all the press about you and the band? If so, does the bad stuff get to you?
In the early days we were inhaling each page several times, but that has changed. I donâ€™t read much anymore, unless my brother, friends or like in this case Rebecca, who is our forum watch dog lady, is sending me something worth reading. After having been in this business for a loooong time, I learned not to get excited anymore about ignorance and unknowing â€œwanna beâ€ writers repeating things from 100 years ago, without even having heard any of the last 14 Kingdom Come records. My mission is not to please the mass! I leave that to politicians;-) Something else I learned over the years. Bad press is sometimes better than no press. Many singer especially female out there who make a living by making up â€œscandalsâ€ to be talked about. Not my cup of tea. Itâ€™s about music and not about whom I fucked last night or which drug I got caught with. Maybe I should butt fuck my hamster while sucking on a street sign saying one way only;-) That should get me some press. To the outside I appear just to normal I guess.
7. Do you think the overplaying of Get it On and how fast you guys took off hurt the second record In Your Face? Also looking back, do you think maybe you should have waited longer to release it? Also were you proud with the final product?
Who knows. â€œAfterwordâ€™sâ€ we are all smarter. At that time I lived a dream come true. I was a remote and
Testosterone controlled hot brain, rocking out in LA. Tried not leaving enemyâ€™s behind but was traveling on the left lane. Amen.
Back then I was very happy with the outcome of the cd. Having met Bob Rock, who produced the cd with me, was a heaven sent gift. We got along fantastic. He later broke Metallica with his great sense for sound without changing the bands style. Now after all those years, me and many other peoples â€œhearing habitsâ€ have changed, which is why Kingdom Come sounds different in 2013 than in 1988. Progress to me means a lot. Doing the same expected things over and over and over again just to pay the bills would bore me stiff. Iâ€™m trying to excite myself and than hope for other people to like it also. I donâ€™t work with a master plan or commercial interest in the back of my mind. Fitting in was never my cup of tea. It is what it is. Everybody got itâ€™s on interpretation anyhow. Some may think a band sounds like Sex Pistols were others compare it to Bob Dylan, if you know what I mean. But hearing about people really digging my stuff, still makes me a very happy man!
Oh yes, and I also have to fill up my car once in a while which is costing 3 times the amount than in the USA or Russia. You donâ€™t know how lucky you bastards are;-)
8. Being on a major label and a debut record that takes off overnight, well overnight for the record buying consumer do you get pressured by a non-music fan executive to go and re-create that Get it On success, and that their input overcomes your passion and what you want to do?
Nobody was ever able to push me in any stylistically corner. For the better or worse I must say.
If the â€œright personâ€ is giving you advice, it can be for the better.
On the second Stone Fury record the â€œwrong guyâ€ was trying to push me, which ended up being a nightmare.
9. After In Your Face, Kingdom Come sort of had a lineup change of sorts, and you were the sole member from the original line up on Hands of Time. What happened? Also, we know from the original line up James Kottak and Rick Steier also went on to other major name projects as well, do you keep in touch with them?
I just continued doing what I always did. Writing, playing, living life. I just kept calling it Kingdom Come.
James and I have seen each other quite often lately. We toured with Alice Cooper and the Scorpions in Russia which was a blast. He sat in playing â€œDo you like itâ€ which was a great moment for us. Rick, Danny ,Johnny and I have just recently contacted each other. Also my former A&R record chief Derek Shulman from former Polygram Records New York (he signed me) and I just made contact to talk about possibilities doing something together. Nothing set in stone but who knows. If it sounds like a fun and creative plan, I may just hop on it.
Besides after years of carrying all the responsibility on my shoulders, I would enjoy just worrying about my singing parts and let somebody else do the rest, if that right person can be found. It will all happen the way it is meant to be. I do miss sitting at Dennis coffee shop having a chicken breast sandwich and some rhubarb strawberry pie a la mode. Late at night right before hitting the road to nowhere land again. Maybe itâ€™s time to come to the US again.
10. What do you think is the biggest misconception of Lenny Wolf? Also, what do you think is the biggest misconception of Kingdom Come?
The biggest misconception of Lenny is probably that Iâ€™m a nice guy.
The biggest misconception of Kingdom Come is probably that we sound like Madonna.
Honestly, I donâ€™t really know and certainly donâ€™t care much. Trying to make it right for everyone, will get you nowhere. Gotta stick to your beliefs and keep holding up the flag. In the end persistency will most likely win or at least will make you live in dignity.
11. Here we are in 2013, and a new Kingdom Come record that I will go on record and say is the best thing you have released to date. Do you feel you still have something to prove? And what do you think you have to prove?
Iâ€™m truly very happy you feel so strong about my new record â€œOutlierâ€.
The best part of having been in this business so long is, that I donâ€™t have to prove nothing anymore.
People either like it or should not buy it. Itâ€™s a free world (at least in most parts of this planet).
Iâ€™m still partly angry and hungry, which is what gave the new cd itâ€™s sound and edge, I guess. Itâ€™s not like some huge bands who are more interested in increasing their â€œbusinessâ€. Iâ€™m just a plane out musician who puts his heart on the table when he is traveling throughout the audio cosmos.
12. I also noticed on this new record, you seem to wear many hats; you sing and play almost all the instruments. When you tour with this record, are you going to be playing a instrument and singing, or are you hiring a backup bunch of musicians? Also, if so any names you can drop?
Iâ€™m wearing â€œhatsâ€ ???? You mean in terms of many instruments? Never owned a hat until this day. And yes, when we tour I will also play guitar. Not always but mostly. I toured with the guys you can see on my website for many years. Eric on the lead guitar is with me for about 8 years. Frank on bass is with me on and off for about the same time. Nader on drums is fairly new. He canâ€™t play but we got him as our â€œrough image makerâ€, (he is tattooed from head to toe 😉 because Eric and I are still plane blank without any tattoos yet. Just kidding.
13.Back on this new record, when fans and critics hear that a band like Kingdom Come are putting out a new cd, the first fear is it is going to sound dated, or a band that is trying to relive their glory days. I have to say, this record is something that if you told me was Kingdom Come, I would never believe you. It sounds so experimental and modern for a band that has been around for 25 years plus. Was it always a goal for you to keep changing up the music? Also, do you think Kingdom Come fans who are expecting some love letter to Zeppelin Get it On are going to be ready for this?
Iâ€™m glad you noticed the new elements in it. That is exactly something I try to combine for years.
Building a bridge between the old and new. Two hearts beating in me. Taking the listener on a new trip.
At least Iâ€™m trying to let progress peak into the door. The endless audio cosmos has so much more to
offer, if you just keep digging. Iâ€™m not saying I re invented the music, but Iâ€™m trying to add â€œmy stampâ€ to it.
I donâ€™t know and I cannot worry about who may be ready for this. Some are stuck in the traditional sounds
while others enjoy the new route or both. Imagine the Beatles would have only written yeah yeah yeahâ€¦
As I said before, I donâ€™t have any master plan nor do I think in traditional ways when I write. It just has to
grab my heart and soul.
14. Now it is time for Lenny to dish some dirt, you have toured with a whoâ€™s who of musicians. Who has been the best to you on tour, and who has been the worst? Our readers, your fans are begging for some juice, some dirt.
I really hate having to disappoint you and some of your readers, but dirty laundry has never been my cup of tea. If you got nothing good to say, rather keep your mouth shut. Sending out bad energy will make it come right back at ya. Besides I was never treated badly because I would not let them;-) When bands are touring together, it is mostly a competitive vibe backstage. Anybody denying that is lying. You wanna sound better and louder. One or the other Blitzkrieg backstage often clarified issues before it got worse, if you know what I mean;-)
15. This is what I call name association, you are a world famous musician, and I wanted to just name some bands and cds, and get your opinion. Lenny, none of these people read the site, you are safe to talk smack. You are expecting me to name the Warrant cds and Scorpion cds more than likely your ex mates were on.
a. Led Zeppelin-Zoso One of the greatest and influential sound shaping Rock bands around. Love them!
b. Kingdom Come-Bad Image â€“ The first obvious steps using â€œnew elementsâ€. Lenny growing slowly.
c. Metallica-Black Album â€“ Balls hit the walls in rock history. Having called Bob Rock was the smartest thing Metallica could have done.
d. Badlands-Badlands â€“ Donâ€™t know them.
16. Do you think downloading was the death of the music industry? Also, do you think music could ever make a comeback?
The www. certainly had a huge impact on how people (hopefully) buy their music nowadays. But it also lead to re structuring the record companies who donâ€™t have the budgets anymore to â€œslowly built upâ€ a young band over years like they used to. I like huge record covers with big art work on it, but also like the easy and fast option to buy something on the fly and carrying all songs with me anytime. I donâ€™t think the business as it was in the 70â€™s and 80â€™s will come back. Things are constantly changing. Thatâ€™s called LIFE.
But â€œmusicâ€ will always have itâ€™s impact. Itâ€™s an unexplainable universal language. And thatâ€™s good so!
I donâ€™t want anybody explaining to me, why I got Goosebumps when I hear certain songs. It is the invisible energy of frequencies drilling through our ears right into our soul.
17. In addition to the above mentioned earlier, you worked with Blues Saraceno as well for a brief while. Do you roll your eyes at the crap he puts his name on to make a buck? Also, would you ever work with him again? If you say no, you are going to be begged to explainâ€¦
Have not kept up with what heâ€™s been doing. Itâ€™s been 100 years ago. Many musicians are trying to make a living nowadays. I rather drive a truck than playing something I donâ€™t feel good about. But thatâ€™s me. I only remember him being a fantastic guitar player at a very young age. But we only met briefly when he came by the studio and played his solo. So I donâ€™t really â€œknowâ€ him. Playing wise I would certainly give it another go, but I have no idea what heâ€™s been up to lately or where his head is at today.
18. If a kid came up to you tomorrow, and said â€œI want to be in a bandâ€. What advice would you give him?
Stop talking and start doing. In the meantime find a girl who can support or at least cook for you.
Everything else lies in the hand of the almighty. There are no guaranties for anything we are working for.
Doesnâ€™t matter how hard you try. Destiny or luck, I donâ€™t know.
19. When the label released the greatest hits of Kingdom Come, was this a deal you had input in? Or was it their way of making a fast buck?
Didnâ€™t even know about it. But the rights of the first 3 records now belong to Universal forever. I got no say what so ever. They believed in me in the early days, so why shouldnâ€™t they make some extra cash later on.
20. Are you a fan of the institution called The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? If so or not, do you think Kingdom Come should be inducted? If so, would all the band members past and present be allowed to come?
I personally donâ€™t give a flying fuck about â€œaward showsâ€. I donâ€™t need a trophy or some air head telling me how great I was. Itâ€™s a gathering of over dressed egos played down and searching for the next cam. Bores me stiff. On the other hand, to find a place where you can see some of the Rock Gods like the hall of fame, is something worthwhile. I never went. I donâ€™t think that Kingdom Come had enough impact to deserve a place in the hall of fame. But maybe at the hall of blame;-) If they would present any of Kingdom Comeâ€™s history, of course they should show all members and guests who have been part of our
21. What was the last cd Lenny Wolf went out on the first day of release and had to buy?
Rammstein – Reise Reise. Itâ€™s been a while. I often discover things late. Guess Iâ€™m just not connected enough.
22. Kingdom Come have a record signing, (Lenny these never go well) one of your most diehard fan runs up to you and is so excited to meet you, you know those people right. Well, he is begging you to sign his cd and then he pulls out an illegal burn, what do you do?
I signed those MANY TIMES 😉 Hope he will pay for the show.
23. Over the years I have heard some rumors about you, and I would like to put closure on these, can you help me out?
a. That you auditioned to be the singer of Queen before Paul Rodgers? God, does Paul Rodgers suck at Queen songs, blasphemy. Lenny doing Queen music, I am in. Hell, at this point Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit doing Queen is better than Paul.
Nobody has asked me. My voice could not carry Freddy Mercuryâ€™s style in any way. But if it would pay for my bigger yacht, maybe for a couple shows;-) Paul Rogers was very cool when he was still singing with â€œFreeâ€. After that I kinda lost him.
b. That you had a fist fight with Billy Squier on a tour. Now, Hit Parader in the 80â€™s can be credited for this one.
It is amazing how much ridiculous bullshit has been hitting the newsïŠ ïŠ Never met him, never hit him.
c. That Robert Plant had issues with you over that debut record.
I think it was Jimmy who seemed to have a little stick up his â€¦.. Besides: How lame can it be for a â€œliving legendâ€ to wine about young players being influenced by what youâ€™ve done. Made me lose some of my glorified memories I had of Page.
Robert on the other hand was joking from the stage when we saw him playing with his wife in London. I think he is a very charming, cool, smart and nice man. One of my idols besides John Lennon who I miss very much!
24. Kingdom Come has survived the Nirvana age, the fake punk age, the nu metal age, and now the darker days of music. What at this point of your career Lenny is your goal with the band?
I like the way you summed it upïŠ
It took me a loooong time to figure out what is really important to me. Even by running the risk of boring your readers, but just being able to continue what Iâ€™ve been doing would be a gift from the almighty to me. Watching our frantic and neurotic behavior trying to look smarter and better while weâ€™re chasing money makes me wonder. The way is my goal. Meaning the awareness of the moment RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW is what matters to me. Not what I may achieve next year. Who cares, I may be dead by then and can take all my fucking plans into the grave with me. The unbelievable meaningless of men kind is what made me realize that a good steak and a chilled coke can be a fantastic and holy experience. So I just wanna continue holding up my flag and surround myself with good people as long a possible and watch the frenzy go by. Simple life makes a happy man! We all can only eat 3 times a day. Iâ€™ve seen a lot of wealth around me, and believe me, without being a holy dude, it is nice but not the key to happiness. I also donâ€™t belong to the type of people who feel being on withdrawal when nobody is asking me for an autograph in supermarkets anymore. I rather donâ€™t be stressed by forcing myself to be nice, when Iâ€™m possibly in a grouchy mood. I enjoy being a regular dude minding my own bizz.
25. If you could sum up your whole career so far with one sentence, what would it be?
No harm meant. Thanks for letting me slide.
26. Lenny Wolf, I am so fucking honored..thank you so much..this is your chance to talk, share with people what is going onâ€¦dude you rule thanks so much
One more thanks and Iâ€™m gonna get naked. For sensitive creator like my modest self, reading positive words about our work is reason enough to get out of bed and continue. Crank it up to 11 and jump on the highway. Thatâ€™s what KC is made for. Iâ€™m the â€œTWILIGHT CRUISERâ€ !
Donâ€™t believe what they are saying about me. Iâ€™m worse.
The very best to you James!
Letâ€™s sum this one up, Andy Secher of Hit Parader printing false new stories, fans having the balls to hand a band an illegal download of a cd to sign and the man really being honest and humorous. I will say right now I was the biggest non-believers when I heard there was a new Kingdom Come record, and once I heard the record I feel Lenny put out a cd that is a major contender for record of 2013. So you music buying people who still support great cds, wait till you hear what Kingdom Come and most importantly Lenny Wolf is up to in 2013â€¦