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Kissin' Dynamite

Kissin' Dynamite
Good Things Don’t Come Within One Week


Архив интервью | Русская версия

Hardn’n’heavy/glam rockers Kissin’ Dynamite are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, even though the bandmembers are not old at all – their average age is 25. The Germans recorded their first album when they were just about 16, and last year’s “Generation Goodbye” is already No. 5 in their album discography. This year the band delighted their fans with a live DVD called “Generation Goodbye – Dynamite Nights”, and we caught up with Kissin’ Dynamite singer Hannes Braun shortly before a festival fig to discuss this release and celebrations of their first major anniversary. I also asked Hannes a few questions about the life of a present-day rock star and how it feels when your band ceases to be up and coming and becomes mature and established on the European scene.

Could you tell me a little bit how do you feel about “Generation Goodbye” and its touring cycle? What are the biggest highlights over this year, etc?

Well, this tour now is officially over. We really had a phenomenal tour. Of course, we expected some good shows like it was in Stuttgart that’s why we filmed there a DVD, the whole production. And also Ukraine, it was phenomenal as we expected nothing honestly, and a week before our trip to Ukraine we actually wondered, how many tickets we actually sold. Nobody could tell us. I expected maybe 30-40 tickets, but I don’t remember exactly but one show was more than 200, and another show was almost 200. It was incredible for me because I couldn’t think that we had fans in Ukraine. That was definitely a highlight… What else? This tour was the longest, I think, if a time period counts. This is a highlight itself because if you work on a new album you can’t go on tour for a long time…
And this DVD is the next step for the band. We don’t play a lot this summer, we reduced our live shows to minimum to focus on songwriting. The other point is I believe in some plus and minus, Ying and Yang and however you call it; you have to do right the opposite after you had a tour and stuff.  You have to calm down, you have to relax, make yourself comfortable, and so this is what we do for the next time.

But I must say that as to the  number of countries you visited, this tour was not so big comparing with previous ones…

Yes, that’s true! It’s because such countries like Spain for example are difficult. We had some good shows in Spain on previous tours but most of them weren’t so good when you count ticket sales. We said, ok, if there’s not a big market it’s not worth to go there again. Because otherwise we would lose money. We wait for something new there and then we are willing to come back to play for Spanish fans.  And for example, Belguim that we play today should have happened on the last tour. I’ve heard that it was almost 300 tickets sold in pre-sales and it’s quite cool for a Belgian show.

On this tour you had a very demanding show with almost with hours of playing, with an acoustic part in the middle, with lots of fast killer songs... Is it difficult to perform this way? And even without a drum solo!

It is… yes, it is! Without a drum solo and without drugs, you know! But we always do this. We always ask ourselves if our fans come to the show and see a full Kissin’ Dynamite show go home and are flashed and say, “It was the best I’ve ever seen!” And if we go on the next tour we want to make them watch even a better show than they saw last time which is very difficult if they saw the best. (laughs) What we try to do is to think of new things that never happened at Kissin’ Dynamite shows. There was a plan to bring a piano on stage, to make a whole medley of old songs to give people an entirely other side of Kissin’ Dynamite which was very well. A lot of people came to me after the show saying, “What a wonderful show and the best part was the piano medley”!

Will it be possible to see all this on the new DVD?

You will see everything! The whole two hours without cutting anything out. I was a producer of the soundtrack and I had my fingers on the video production as well. I’m not a fan of cut-outs of a live concert because IT IS the live concert that makes it magical. And if you cut out things it’s not a live show anymore. So, it’s the full two hours of our set.

I guess there’s also another surprise: a documentary from Ukraine as a bonus…

Yeah! We have quite cool bonus material and one of this is “Kissin’ Dynamite going to Ukraine” which is a very small documentary that we filmed ourselves but which is funny to watch.

As I see, on the DVD artwork you keep developing your idea about smartphones.

That just relies on “Generation Goodbye” which was the basic idea of the tour and the DVD logically.  We played a lot of songs from the latest album on this tour and even one more when we produced the DVD. The artwork connects to it as well. I think the idea is very cool because it’s something that really sucks during live shows if somebody holds up his smartphone. Your perspective of watching the artwork is seeing the band just through a smartphone. Which is actually quite cool as it’s designed but the idea of it sucks because you wanna see the band live and performing! And the funny thing is you open the CD or DVD and put it in your player and then you can REALLY see the band without smartphones and stuff because the camera goes over it.

If I’m not mistaken, this year Kissin’ Dynamite celebrates its 10 anniversary, right? How could you evaluate those ten years of your career? What about your creative, musical and personal evolution?

Yes, this year! Wow… that’s a tough one! Well, personal evolution… of course, you become more responsive, I think. You are not childish anymore. It’s not just about heading to every stage you can see, it’s about the plan to make steps forward really. And of course, you grow older and you get more responsible of yourself. You try to do nothing without a reason. Not in a negative sense but more in a positive sense, like you figure out what is really bringing you forward, what pushes the band. And musically I think it sticks to the other thing. It’s really about getting more skills, getting better because you have more experience in the whole music industry and also in songwriting that it logically gets better… hopefully… And in our case I would say yes! That’s what we did.

I’m sure that when you started you had some certain expectations. So, which expectations, which dreams came true which ones didn’t come and did you have any surprises on your way?

Well, good things don’t come within one week, this is something I’ve learnt. And another thing I’ve learnt it’s pain and lots of hard work that is worth in the end because it’s what you really like to do… I mean I know so many people that go to work every day and everybody is pissed off about it because they hate their work. I love my work. And it’s not easier than another work, it’s also very difficult sometimes and you have to dedicate yourself to the whole thing but in the end I must say it’s really the best thing that I could do in my life and the best thing that I wanna do in my life. Every second of it is worth it.

You’re still quite young and there are many young bands on stage that enjoy playing old school styles like heavy, glam, so do you think that people that say “heavy metal is dead” are not so right?

(confused) They are totally wrong. In Germany we are almost like… rock stars, or something like that. So, if we can manage to have the same level everywhere else then we’ll really do great. No, I wouldn’t agree. Of course, we are not living in the 80s when any rock band played at a stadium but we are talking about death, we are talking something like “rock is dead”, so it’s like there are no rock musicians to play in front of the crowd, and it’s not true.

Have you ever regretted not playing a different style? Pop or folk so to say…

Nooooo… We are not hunting for money, we want to fulfill our dream. And if our dream brings us money to manage our lives with it till the end of our days we’ll be happy, of course. But it’s not the first reason. The first reason is that we are convinced that this kind of music has to live on, and this kind of music suits us. This is the main reason. And pop music, in my opinion, can be great. It can be really nice to listen to, but not everything – this is point number one. And point number two is… I don’t say always but often it’s without a soul. You know, this is something just made for money.  

Have you ever downloaded anything illegally…?

(interrupts) No! I could predict your question! No, I haven’t! And I’m totally honest about it. Never ever.

In Russia the common position is like: it convenient for us to download from an illegal source just to check out if it’s good, and if I like it I will buy a legal physical CD.

It’s a lie, they won’t… I mean, come on… Are you going to this bar telling the entrance guy, “Ok, I will go to this bar now, I will try it out and if I like it I will come back and pay”. That’s not fuckin’ logical! No. You pay at the entrance. That’s what you do because otherwise the entrance guy doesn’t let you in. And in the music industry we don’t have an entrance guy. I think it’s a lie. If somebody is really willing to pay then he does it at the beginning not after he listens to it illegally.

Could you recommend any digital source to listen to the music legally without buying physical CDs?

I don’t pay a lot of attention to digital services.

So, how do you listen to the music?

Physical copies! I have a CD player in my car, I have a CD player at home, I listen to CDs still. A lot of people that I know, they even listen to vinyl which can be very cool too.

How many CDs do you have?

Oh, I cannot tell you spontaneously, but maybe there are more than 150 maybe… Quite a big amount. There are lots of people that have more but I’m sill young!

Do you like vinyl?

The funny thing is that when I was a kid I had a vinyl player. And I was always like (in a weird voice), “Man that sucks, I don’t have a CD player like all the cool kids”. And now… in 2017 I think, “How cool was it actually, I had a vinyl player when no one had it”. And I’m so sorry that I kicked all those things off to the trash because I thought that CDs were much cooler. I listened only to vinyls and my favorite vinyl was AC/DC’s “Money Talks” I loooved that one. I had to listen to it when I went to sleep because otherwise I wouldn’t find my peace of mind.

Looking at your pictures on Facebook, one can notice that your life sometimes really looks like a rock star lifestyle. You have a sport car, a boat…

Yes, it is! It is a fuckin’ rock star life. It’s not on purpose. Really. Honestly. I bought a boat and I didn’t buy it because I’m a rock star or something. I bought it because I live by the sea. And I want to fucking go to the sea by my fuckin’ boat and cruising along the islands and stuff because I think it’s a new way of freedom that I’ve never experienced before. It just gives me personal growth. And the sport car, ok… This is something that I really dreamt of since I was a kid. But I remember when I was a kid I dreamt of Ferraries and I don’t drive a Ferrari but I wanted to have flat, fast, sporty car…

It seems that before you had an Audi and now you have got a BMW.

Yes, it’s a sport car! Z8.

What could you say about your work as a producer, songwriter for other artists? I guess the secret of your financial success is there, I don’t believe that a rock band like KD can allow to follow this kind of luxury life style. (laughs)

Ok… it’s not such a big boat! (everyone laughs) Now I have a good life. I cannot doubt it but I work hard also. You deserve what you are willing to bring in the game. And I’m bringing a lot! Somehow it’s like you just pick up a fruit of the tree that you raised up for a lot of years. It’s a lot of dedicated work. In bands it’s just the same, I mean the producer’s work. It’s years and years and years of work, of raising, paying a lot of attention to work, paying a lot of attention and love to the whole thing and it makes sense in the end. What I always say if friends come and say about my boat, “Wow, did you crack the jack pot”. I say, “No, why everybody thinks that having a boat is so expensive?” It’s NOT! It’s just like to have a second car actually. Really! It’s just a little DREAM that I fulfilled for myself. That’s all.

It’s great to make your dreams come true but there in Flensburg you live so far from the rest of the band…

Which sometimes is good… (everyone laughs) If we spent two months touring… Well, no I love if they come to visit me!

What’s the secret of keeping a good relationship in a band for years?

It gets easy, in fact, because… well do you know the difference between brothers and friends? With a brother, in my opinion, it can be easily if you have 2-3 years of no contacts with each other and after that you call your brother or whatever and say, “Hey, it’s me again!” And there’s nothing between you guys. And it’s not always the same with friends. Friends can be pissed off after such a long period. What I’m trying to tell you is that my band, all these five guys have such a big understanding of each other, such a great relationship to each other that we feel honestly like brothers, not just like close friends. We have had big fights also in our career but everyone is coming back to each other like, “Hey, I didn’t mean like I said it, I love you. And that’s the truth. Let’s just forget about it”. And it has always worked because we really love each other, I know that it sounds cheesy.

And now the final question, let’s finalize the interview with future plans. Do you already have any ideas concerning a new album and stuff?

There will be, of course, a next album, not in the very near future, we don’t bring a new album every two years, we’re not sure that we can hold this. What it’s all about I cannot tell you honestly, we are just about to start it and we try to let it happen.

Will you do it with the same approach as to “Generation Goodbye”?

More or less, because it’s just a comfortable state to write and produce it. When you’re talking about subjects I wouldn’t say yes or no, we will see in the end where it gets because now we just try to make it happen.  

Kissin’ Dynamite on the Internet: http://www.kissin-dynamite.de/en/

Interview by Irina Ivanova
Photos courtesy of AFM Records
May 13 2017
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