Hi Mario… It’s great to see the band active & alive again… Gratefully, you’re back with a new work after 5 years…
M: Yes we are also very happy to be back on track with a new album and we are also surprised about those many positive reactions of the album. Great…
So, why were there big gaps between your music albums?
M: Because we have to pay all by ourselves and so it is not necessary to produce an album each two years. We have no major company. That’s the reason.
Weren’t you afraid that being away from the scene for several years would affect the band fan base? Especially nowadays that so many albums are being released every month…
M: No we are not afraid, because we have lots of faithful fans around the world. And also it doesn’t matter how long you have to wait for an album, important is the quality of an album. Remember Def Leppard and their gaps.
OK let’s focus on the new album now. Why did you name it “2012”? Does this year have something special?
M: 20.12 is the birthday of singer Jens, who has his birthday on December 20th. And the month December is stands for the “12”. So we have 20.12. Also there should be a little bit mythology with the Mayan calendar, but I do not expect, that world will going under on December.
What does the lion door-handle imply? If we knock on that door… where will it takes us… if it opens though…?
M: It is just a picture, it has no special sense.
What did you have in mind while you were recording this album? Was it to make it sound fresher and more melodic?
M: I was not so often involved in the production. Jens and Bob did the most of the work. Sometimes I had doubts if the album would be strong enough, but as I heard the final mixing sessions I was very impressed how the music developed. Hard to believe how the album has changed from the first idea to the master mix.
Please give us a hint about each one of the songs…
M: “2012”: Mystic Intro. I love the deep chorus. I can hear my deep voice clearly.
“To the End of the World”: In the vein of “The End of the Road” from our “Thousand Miles Away” album. Good live performance with that song.
“It’s All Over Now”: A Killer, I love it, but it’s hard to play.
“Another Lonely Day Without You”: Good melodic rock stuff.
“Why Don’t You Save Me”: One of my favorite songs, modern and traditional.
“Stay Tough”: That’s pure 80 rock. I love it.
“Favorite”: It’s not my favorite.
“It’s All Up To You”: Lovely song.
“Tonight Tonight Tonight”: Fresh and modern.
“Can’t You Hear Me Calling”: A little bit too much AOR for my opinion. One of the weak songs of the album.
“Long Gone”: It sounds a little bit like Green Day in my opinion.
“Why Are the Good Things Too Hard To Find”: You can find a real good 16/16 beat bass line. Sounds good.
Why did you choose to cover Abba’s “Gimme Gimme Gimme”?
M: Let me tell you we have also a second band called “Wild Night” which is a cover/tribute band and there we perform a few ABBA songs and many, many people suggested us to record one ABBA song as Wild Frontier and so we did it. And we want to show that Pop songs can also be Rock songs. We have also performed songs from the Backstreet Boys, Kim Wilde etc.
Are you satisfied with the album’s sound generally? Did Bob Jensen help you get the sound you wanted in the first place?
M: Yes, I would say that is the sound we would like to have. Bob Jensen is working really hard for a good sound. Sometime it is not so easy to work with him. His has high aims. (p.s.: thankfully, he has done a great work!)
What do you wanna achieve when you are composing music? To please yourself, the fans or the press more?
M: When we are composing, we do this for our own satisfaction. Jens is our composer. He did all the work for the new album. Sometimes I had another idea for a bass line or anything else, than he was very easy to handle.
Did you have a hard time finding a label to release & distribute your album? Did you ever think of going on your won at some point?
M: We had a few offers for major labels, but for my opinion it has been the better way to pull the strings within our own camp. We learned to hard way over all the years. We lost a few thousand euros over all the years with different companies. Then we started to become more careful. That’s why we’re work for ourselves.
You have released 5 very good albums till now… since 1995… but you didn’t quite manage to become as popular as other acts of your time that didn’t have so good music releases on the go. Do you think that the labels’ changes, the tours and the long music gaps played a major role to that eventually?
M: That’s absolutely right. I often considered how this can be happened. The only thing I know is that we want to go our own way. We want to control what we record, where we perform, how often we perform and I’m not in the mood to buy my own albums back from a company. (p.s.: it’s so bad that labels do not support hard working and good bands like Wild Frontier!)
You have also released a video for “It’s All Over Now”… and If I’m right you’re preparing to release another one for “Why Don’t You Save Me”. I think that youtube… is a good promotion tool to have a video online… but you need money to make a good one and youtube don’t give any money back… only views & fans eventually. What do you think?
M: We did those both videos for ourselves and the fans. It was really low cost production, ‘cause a friend of the band wanted to produce those clips. He was so motivated for that job, that he wanted to produce a third video. We had a lot of fun during those shootings. For my opinion the video is as a big part of advertisement.
Are there gonna be live shows anywhere near?
M: On August 10th we will perform a festival close to our hometown. But now we have the same booking agency as Bonfire and we are hopeful that it will helps us a little bit in the future. During the last 22 years we performed more than 400 shows all over Europe. We need to be on tour and get in touch with our fans, that’s why we are playing music.
Which are those bands that have influenced Wild Frontier?
M: We are influenced by Gary Moore, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Treat, Simple Plan, Sunrise Avenue and many many more.
Can the Internet be “used” as a promotion tool for every band out there or it causes problems that cannot be fixed ultimately? Is it a curse or a blessing?
M: The internet helps on the one hand and on the other hand it is a curse. All those illegal download servers, where you can get all the music for free, this is a big problem for a band like Wild Frontier. The amount new human generation wants to have all for free, but it does not work. No cash for the bands means - no more new music. (p.s.: that’s so true!)
It’s time for the Weird Questions now!!! You’ve obviously named the band Wild Frontier after Gary Moore’s album… whose idea was it back in the day?
M: Jens and I are huge Gary Moore fans. Our first contact with melodic rock was in 1985 with Gary Moore’s video “Out in the Fields”. As soon as we saw it, we realized we wanted to become musicians. In 1987 we visited him on the “Wild Frontier Tour” and this was an experience we will never forget. We perform the song “Out in the Fields “still in our live set.
How do you imagine the music world could be, one thousand years from now? Why?
M: I can’t imagine. I often asking myself, what kind of new music will come next. I cannot give you an answer.
Is the European Union condemned to fail in the end? That would probably cause a worldwide domino of destruction at any level…
M: It might be possible that it will occur. It would be like an earthquake for the economy world… I like the idea of a common European country but it is very difficult to handle ‘cause the cultures are very difficult from country to country and from the North to the South.
Which music kind can’t you bear to hear at all?
M: Hip Hop, Black Music and R’N’B…
Which are the top 5 A.O.R./melodic rock albums of all time according to you and why?
M: Treat – “Coup de Grace”
Wig Wam – “Wigwamania”
Wild Frontier – “Stick your Neck Out”
Gotthard – “Lippservice”
Fair Warning – “Fair Warning”
I love those albums because they are so catchy and every song is a killer.
If you could put together the best AOR/melodic rock band in the world who would participate and why?
M: Tommy Heart (Fair Warning) on vocals, Anders Wikström (Treat) & Jens Walkenhorst (Wild Frontier) on guitars, Mario Erdmann (Wild Frontier) on bass, Rob Hyman (The Hooters) on keyboards & Jaime Borger (Treat) on drums. It would have been awesome to perform with those guys. I would love it.
Who is your favorite fantasy author and why?
M: I’m not interested in fantasy.
If you were the opposite sex for one day, what would you look like and what would you do?
M: I would look like Heather Locklear and would drive the boys crazy.
You have the opportunity to sleep with the movie-celebrity of your choice. Who would it be?
M: No one, because I have my wife at home and we were happy since 17 years.
If you could go back in time and see any band live in their prime & open for them who would it be and why?
M: Danger Danger, Firehouse, Heart (1988), Fair Warning, Wig Wam. I missed to see those bands live on stage.
All the other rest I saw live on stage. My favorite shows had been Treat (Dreamhunter Tour), Accept (Blood of the Nations Tour), Gary Moore (Wild Frontier Tour) and all the hundred others I can’t name here, because you haven’t enough web space.
What are the biggest life lessons you’ve learned over the course of your career?
M: Never trust a businessman. The business is very complicated and I do not like all the structures and rules. For example, it means that you can have an interview in a print magazine only if you put an advertisement. That’s crazy. One editor from a German magazine won’t write an album review because we send him only mp3 promotion. He wanted to have a physical album. Impossible to believe in case that all bands send mp3 promotion. A fan of us wrote me this occurrence. (p.s.: you’re right Mario… I used to work for some printed magazines and I’ve seen things like that… that’s crazy… when someone pays then he gets exposure and great reviews… the same goes for the digital press as well... the more banners a label puts on an ezine the better the ratings...)
If Wild Frontier’s career was a movie… which movie would it be and why?
M: I would call the movie: “22 wild years”; cause we explored really a lot. Thank God for all the memories.
You’re standing between God and Lucifer… the situation is weird and you must say something in order to save humanity… What would you say?
M: Come on guys – Let’s get rocked. (p.s.: that’s a good idea hehe!)
Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
M: Treat – “Coup de Grace” because every song is a killer.
If you were dating a very beautiful woman- who hated metal music and you knew it- on a loft with a beautiful view in the evening… which song would you choose to play to make her feel comfortable, to break the ice… and why?
M: Winger – “Miles Away”, this song would break the ice, that’s for sure. If not, she is not the right one for me. (p.s.: amazing song indeed!)
Imagine that your wife is selling your whole album-collection just to buy an expensive ring for herself. How would you react? J
M: I know that she never would do this, but when if it would ever happen then I would have been very angry. But just in case I have a backup copy on my computer. (p.s.: I hope she won’t get any “weird” ideas if she reads that answer!)
Ok Mario! I wish you the best for that album. If there is anything else that you would like to tell Grande Rock readers, just do it!
M: I thank you very much for your support. It was a great honor for me to do this interview. I am so glad for everyone who is helping us, because we are doing music from fans to fans… that’s it! Kind regards to all fans of Grande Rock!