Fireworks Magazine Online 66 - Interview with Kissin' Dynamite

KISSIN' DYNAMITE


Having already proved it’s heavy metal they have in their genes with their recent single ‘DNA’, the young German rockers Kissin’ Dynamite are back with another album. Titled ‘Megalomania’, their fourth full length release is what Jim Muller (guitar) and Hannes Braun (vocals) mainly discussed with Alexandra Mrozowska.

What do you think are the strong points of your new album?

JM: Strong points? Definitely that we got more unique than ever before; the album is a cool mixture of the 80s based music we did so far, with a new modern sound that just sounds as though it comes from 2014. It’s definitely Kissin Dynamite for 2014….., not a copy of a copy, or a copy of Kissin Dynamite either. We’ve grown up with this band, so our music has grown up as well!

Would you say you’ve taken risks with this record?

HB: Yes, I think that’s a valid point. We’ve taken electro sounds and mixed them with a genre (that of hard rock and metal), and you can argue that this is taking a risk; but the thing is that we have listened to our own voice on this record and everyone we’ve played this to so far has seen that it’s worked out. We kept the same production team from before, but all the ideas have come from us. All the creative input has come from the band; our concept, our creative outlook, our look even; all of it has come from these five guys, so for me this is the most authentic Kissin’ Dynamite album so far. The production team is still Elephant Music, the guys who have been with us throughout; we’ve added one guy Sascha Paeth, who worked with Avantasia and Edguy cause we wanted him to keep the traditional metal element whilst mixing in those different elements, but the rest has stayed the same. No big change at all.

Why ‘Megalomania’? What is the album’s title all about?

HB: “Well, I think in this industry you have to have a lot of insanity to survive… You need to be strong enough to survive and be a bit of a maniac. We also wanted to do something really ultimate, really big; this came from feelings we had whilst in Japan last year. You can imagine; you travel more than 10,000 miles to play another continent, where you’ve never been before, and people are calling your name on the street. That’s insane – it’s just started something in our minds which we couldn’t explain. It was a really positive feeling and as soon as we got home, we just put that feeling into the songs; it created something which was just huge!

The dictionary meaning of ‘Megalomania’ is trying to be something grandiose after all….?

HB: We are grandiose but then we’ve always kept our feet on the floor. Our personalities are ‘grandiose’ I would say, but we’re certainly not arrogant. If you would compare us to say Lady Gaga, we’d be the small fart in the corner. We’re just proud to be where we are; we’re 22 and can tour internationally, and we’ve certainly worked hard to get here, so we’re just glad this this is now bearing fruit. We always liked the idea of an image. You can hear this in ‘I Will Be King’ from the last record ‘Money, Sex & Power’….

Is the modern edge to some of the new songs due to any outward influence (of a producer, perhaps) or is it the band’s decision to tread some new paths with the new album?

HB: As we said before, not really. All the song ideas came direct from us; more than before actually. Elephant Music (our production team) had helped with the song writing in the early days, on the debut certainly and on ‘Addicted To Metal’, but on this album everyone in the band had plenty of ideas and inspirations. All music is good when it’s made well and we listen to loads of new areas that are not just from the genres of hard rock and metal. Most really hardcore metal guys have stuff they listen to that is different, and we’re no different to this.”

JM: I’d take this back to our trip to Japan actually again. Whilst we were there, we were in this dance club and totally loved the feeling the music brought to the people and how the people reacted to it. The two types of music, dance and metal, have this ability to move people in similar ways, and for that reason we decided to really explore this with ‘Megalomania’ and to move people in the same way using the best of both genres. I think it’s pretty unique!

Who handles the task of being a producer and what do you think about the production on the album?

JM: I would say we all handle this but I call Hannes the ‘Mastermind’! He doesn’t like the title too much, but he is the key to how the music comes together and for me, the results this time around are just perfect.

What’s the storyline of the music video to ‘DNA’ all about?

JM: “The idea came from our guitar player Andy and from the rest of the band really. I have to say this; I can safely say that no one from the record company or somebody else really got involved with it. Even the artwork was our idea. We had plenty of feedback, but it all came from us. Andy’s idea was to show that the relationship between people has stayed the same from stone-age times, right until now…. The video starts with the guy with the big dinosaur egg, and he gets the girl, not the guy with the small chicken egg, right? It illustrates that you have to be the strongest, the biggest, whatever and you’re always the more successful… It’s been the same since the stone-age, or the age of King Arthur, where the knights try to pull the sword out of the stone, but only Arthur can do it? You get the idea?

What prompted you to choose ‘DNA’ as the first single and do you plan to release more?

JM: We chose ‘DNA’ as the single as it’s the perfect song to introduce ‘Megalomania’ to the fans. It illustrates the mixture between the electronic stuff and the style we’re known for, which is hard rock / metal, perfectly and it is a smooth start for ‘Megalomania’. Next, we’ve got plans to release the song “Fireflies” as a single. It’s the most touching song on the record for us; the story behind it is, “off to new shores, trying something new”. And it explains the current motivation in the band. Also, it’s a fuckin great ballad!! A modern balled, not one you’ve heard 20 years ago on the radio. The idea is to do a video for this too, right after the European headline tour. We’ll take some really cool black and white footage from the tour shows and put that together with a video idea… It’s my idea in my own head at the moment, so let’s see how it pans out.

Kissin’ Dynamite is often praised for its freshness and uncompromising nature. Is it your age that influences the band’s sound? How do you think?

HB: It’s difficult to say. I would say that it’s an advantage to start early, and it has been for us. But what is early really? I started at the age of 6, to play the piano, and obviously I was able to move on writing songs and stuff like that, but it has no guarantee of success. You can be as young as anything, but if you don’t have the talent, the ideas and a bit of luck, there’s no guarantees. Age is no longer important to us. At the beginning, people were talking about our age a lot; “Oh, the music these young guys are doing, it’s so good”. But, I’m really glad this has gone now. Our age is no longer important. I’m glad this is mainly over. We’ve proved ourselves, and we’ve proved our talent is there. We’re on our fourth album and no one can say Kissin Dynamite is a fake band, or something like that!

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How does it feel to achieve so much at such an early stage of your life? How do you imagine the band in ten or twenty years from now?

JM: As Hannes was saying, age isn’t important. We are where we are, and we’re just so happy that we have the chance to do this through our own actions. Our aim eventually is to live from the band, which obviously is not possible at the moment, but when I think of the very first memory I had of this music, which was to see Angus Young on stage and want to be up there too, then why not? We want to tour the world and take our music to the world. In 10-20 years, I would just like to have achieved a position where we could be called a great band through our own work…

The 1960s and 1970s generations created rock music. As you’re my peers, I have to ask - what about those born in the early 1990s, like you and me?

JM: I just hope that there will be opportunities for this generation; and I think it’s really interesting to see what happens when the big bands from the 80s stop making music. I hope then that there will be opportunities for the young bands to get that big, because you definitely don’t have that now. Some can do it like Rammstein, but hopefully, there will be those spaces. The festivals won’t get smaller just because the big bands have gone…

HB: We have to be realistic at the moment. If it’s a choice between the next Iron Maiden album and the Kissin’ Dynamite album, we both know which one many people will get.

JM: Sure, but you just have to be honest to yourself and try to be unique as we said at the beginning, so that when the time comes you are honest and hopefully you have that chance. In twenty years, with a writing style that is true to us and songs that are true to us, then if we have the chance to be called a classic then, in the same breath as the bands that are classic now, then that would the ultimate wish.

You played over 500 shows in Europe and Asia. What are your dream destinations for the worldwide tour?

JM: The next step after the European headlining tour, which starts this next month and runs right through November, is definitely the US absolutely. Our first major tour was as support to Dragonforce in Europe last year, then we went to Japan; now this, and next the US and South America for sure…. We want to go back definitely to Japan as well, but next the US, and I’d love to play Rock In Rio…

Speaking of your concerts, there are already plenty of European tour dates announced for late 2014. Can we expect some UK dates to be added to this schedule?

HB: You know, this is very important, yes. We have had several ideas but we don’t want to come to the UK to just play a one-off live show. We want to leave a ‘boom!!’. We are called Kissin’ Dynamite so we have to leave a ‘boom’, a real explosion, something that will leave a mark…. We have to be sure that any chance we have to play the UK has to be right. I hope it will be in the life of this record and that we can really deliver on this. It is a matter of a promoter taking a risk, but I think it will be the same as it was in Japan. They also had no idea what would happen there, but it was a huge success for everyone, so I believe this is possible with the UK!

What are the band’s current plans?

JM: The tour with support band UMC (Ultimate Music Covers), Youtube stars that cover No.1 chart hits with a real metal philosophy… starts in a few weeks, early October, then we’ll be on the road right through to December. We’re doing another TV show in Paris next week…. We really enjoy those because it gives you a chance to get over to a whole load of very different people, not just the underground… We have songs that have real commercial potential, so it’s really important to do those; and then let’s see where we go from there! We’re always looking for new fans.

Anything you’d like to add?

JM: Yes. We really just want to extend a very big thank you to the people of the UK for their support so far. When we’re playing in Europe, say France (Paris – 14th November), for example, we hope some of you will come over and see us…. Take all your friends, get a big bus….!

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