Kissin\' Dynamite

Interview date

20 Juin 2013




Interview Johannes Braun (face to face)

Hello guys, can you present the band to those of us who are not familiar with it?

Well Kissin’ Dynamite was started in 2002, when the core of the band was formed. It was me and my brother Ande, and the current bass player Steffen. Back then we did mostly rock covers before we started writing our own songs. You could say this is the pre-history of the band. It actually got serious when the actual lineup got together, late 2006, with Jim and Andy, the drummer joined the band. After that it went very, very quickly. We played a lot of shows. We were checking out where there was an event where a label was present to watch our show, and we had our own songs already. We found this show in Berlin, where we knew that EMI Records was going to be there. We played that show, and they were absolutely flashed. The next morning in the hotel room, they were standing there and said: “Ok, we want to sign you guys”. We didn’t sign immediately because we are not that stupid, and we had some other labels also interested, but we did sign a few months later and we had a producer team to do the first record with us. It came out in 2008, it was our first album but was only release, I believe, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Our second album Addicted to Metal was released worldwide in 2010. We became really international with the last album Money, Sex and Power in 2013. With this album we did our first huge tour in 17 countries, in Europe and in Japan.

The name of the band seems to say that AC/DC is a major influence for you? Anyone else?

Absolutely right AC/DC is a big one. There are some more, like Mötley Crüe for sure, Skid Row, Guns And Roses, also Def Leppard, which is playing tonight. You could name a lot of other bands because we like a lot of those 80s bands.

What do you say to folks who claim you play hair metal the 80s?

First I wouldn’t say it’s hair metal, I wouldn’t even say it’s glam rock, it’s nothing of that. We try to find our own style. Of course we’ve got the hair and the glam attitude, but this is not the point, the music is the other thing. Of course you have to fit somewhere so they tried to put us in hard rock or heavy metal, but to me it doesn’t matter what we are. We know we have those 80s influences and we try to translate it into the modern times.

I personaly like it a lot, and can see a certain revival of that rock 'n' roll style from all over the place, you guys in Germany, in France we have Blackrain, Crashdiet in sweden, and Steel Panther in the US, just to name a few. Do you also feel this?

I know Blackrain!
Yes you are right, but I’m pretty sure none of those bands like us, Blackrain, Crashdiet can get as successful  as the bands that existed in the 80s. I’m pretty sure because the times are different. As simple as that. But for sure there is a revival happening right now, and those bands get a fair amount of success and play in front of larger audiences. I don’t know where this will end but most likely not in stadiums like they did in the 80s.

Is it your first visit to a Hellfest, to France?

Yes first time at Hellfest but 6th times in France. We were 2 times in Paris, in Strasbourg, in Lille, in Toulouse and in Marseille.
But yes first time in Hellfest and we had no expectation. Honestly. We knew the French audience is awesome because  we experienced that on the French tour, but playing at 11 o’clock in the morning in such a big festival… you would think that are going to be all drunk in their tents, and won’t get their asses up. But no there were something like 5 or 6 000 people in front of the stage watching our show and partying. It was such a great feeling!

So how was your set?

Our set was short, we had not much time, only 30 minutes, 6 songs. But it was enough time to put this audience on fire, so it was cool.

How was the organisation of the festival?

What can I say except: awesome!

We played several of such big festival but I have to say that this is the best organized festival. It’s our first visit and everything was taken care of. It’s like a family.

So do you prefer to perform at large events, such as the Hellfest, or for a longer time at smaller shows, when you are the headline act?

It’s very difficult to choose. Both are interesting. Headlining a full set in a small and packed club makes you feel really good, because you know that all those people came for you. It’s also good to hit like a blitz on stage. You appear like a lightning and suddenly you are gone. With 30 minutes you have no time, so you go on stage, you kick ass and you go. It’s also a good experience, especially if you see on the faces of people that you made a difference, and they like what they see

The Hellfest is a very eclectic audience, old, young, does it make things more attractive for you?

Yes true, it reminds me a lot of the Sweden Rock Festival. The program is just a dream for me. What could be better for us than playing on the same stage and the same day as Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Europe, Saxon, oh my god, and Hardcore Superstar too. This is incredible! 3 years ago I would have said this is only possible at the Sweden Rock, but now it’s in France. It’s a dream coming true for me. I will go and see Def Leppard, I have never seen them, we are living tomorrow so I cannot see Kiss unfortunately. I will also watch my friend Toby Sammet’s show tonight, I have met him already.

Did you prepare a special set list for this event?

We created a setlist just for this event because we rarely play 30mn gigs so you have to choose. We tried to play at least one song from each album. So we had Welcome To The Jungle from the very beginning and our album Steel of Swabia. Of course we had more songs from the latest album Money, Sex and Power, but we didn’t want really to promote the album but more to show our best songs.

Is it more a way to promote the band or you latest album, Money, Sex and Power?

Absolutely. This is the point. When you go to big festival, this is your chance. There are lots of people and you can be pretty sure that they don’t know you, well except for the first 2 or 3 rows, where we can see our fans with the shirts. But the rest are just people that are interested and you have to convince them.

We liked very much this album and gave it a great review, did it work commercially?

Thank you! Yes it was. Also in France by the way. We did the best in Germany, then Japan then France, that’s cool. But yes it fulfilled the expectations, even did a bit more than expected. It was not a completely wild success, but a big enough success that we can look forward and be proud of us and say the next album will sell twice as much.

We hear a lot about how Germany resist to the crisis, is it also true for the music business?

[laughs] Crisis certainly happens everywhere. And also in Germany. You know things are changing. Streaming is a good example and a good sign for the music industry. They claims they get 30% of their income from streaming now. The problem is that they get that, but the bands get nothing. Hey, but we are happy if we can continue and push forward. The crisis is not that big that we have to stop making music and that’s the most important thing.

Did you get a chance to test the Muscadet local white wine?

I have some here. I don’t know what kind of wine it is but I guess that’s it. I have not tried it yet, but let’s try... and it taste good I can tell you.

What would you like to say to the folks who want to stop this festival because it's satanical?

Really? Who said that? You know Wacken in Germany right? There was one stupid woman who moved to Wacken, this small village, with may be 500 people living there, she didn’t know about the festival, and  when she learnt about it she was going to the church and trying to get the festival forbidden. She didn’t realized that it was the biggest festival in the world! She couldn’t stop it even if she was the pope.

The title Money, Sex and Power might seem very rock 'n' roll but it could also apply to lots of politic affairs around the world these days, was this your original intent?

We actually got it written from the political thing. Mostly for Berlusconi, the Italian prime fucker, or ex-prime fucker. Because we were in our studio and we used to go to the gas station in the morning to get some Red Bull  and stuff and we saw this magazine with the cover “Money, Sex and Power”. And we thought, oh my god this is a great song title. We knew that Berlusconi is a big fuck head, he fucks every good looking young lady, sniff some cocaine like crazy, and of course he’s got the money. So he’s got the money, sex and power, so we decided to do this track. But as you said it’s not only representative for Berlusconi, it’s also true for any country where the government mistreats the people. In France, you have Holland, he is ok, but the previous one, what was his name, Sarkozy, he was a bit like Berlusconi, don’t you think? If you watch the news you see also the same in Turkey, in Greece. It fits well there too.

What do you want to say to folks who download illegaly your music?

Well it’s better if they download it legally for sure, but even that is not great. My advice would be to all the young people and I say for the young people because the older folks know the value of a CD compared to a download. So I would tell them, try once to buy a real CD, because it’s a great feeling to have a CD in hand and read the booklet, compared to some data on your mp3 player. So fuck those who download illegally, we are respectful of the ones downloading legally, but the best thing for a musician is if the fans actually buys the real record. Every bands leave with and by selling records and playing a lot of live shows, if people stop buying CD and going to shows, then those bands die, pretty obviously.

Do you have any other dates in France, in Europe?

We play another smaller festival, the RisingFest [Dijon – 28-SEP-2013], I forgot where it is, but I know it’s called the RisingFest. Check it out on our web site.

What are the plan in the coming month for you guys?

We think that we have found our style now with the latest album, so we won’t change too much. But of course it’s always good to advance and develop and try something new. I have no idea yet, too early to say, but for sure if we change something it’s going to be for the best. We already recorded some new songs, but you know for the previous album we recorded almost 50 songs and kept only 10 or 12 for the album so, it’s a lot of work.

Thank you Johannes, it was great meeting you

Thanks a lot for your support

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