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Rolf Munkes (Dead End Heroes) Interview

posted 14 Oct 2014, 13:13 by Paul Woodward   [ updated 14 Oct 2014, 13:14 ]

Originally starting life as a solo project for drummer Daniel Voegeli to showcase his song writing, but after hooking up with long time friend Rolf Munkes to produce the album the Dead End Heroes band was quickly born. They have recently released their warmly received debut album ‘Road Kill’, so Woody caught up with guitarist Rolf Munkes to discuss this new ‘super group’ which also features popular vocalist Carsten ‘Lizard’ Schultz, Eden’s Curse bass man Paul Logue and Keyboardist Holger Seegar.

Hi Rolf, I hope you are well! Dead End Heroes began life as a solo project for drummer Daniel Voegeli – How did you become involved in the project?

“Hi Woody; I am very well thank you. Basically, I had produced the band Daniel was playing in before, so we knew each other from that time. It was a great chance to record with him again. That band was called Me And The Rest, from Switzerland if you know them?”

Dead End Heroes are sort of a super group, given the back grounds of all the musicians involved. How was the band assembled and why was each member specifically chosen to join?

“Well, Daniel had asked me to produce the album so we needed to find a singer first. I recommended Carsten as I always had wanted to work with him but never had. Daniel bought one of his records and was blown away. We sent him a song initially to see what would happen - it was the song “Cry For The Moon” - and as soon he sang on it, we loved it. They both chatted a bit and agreed to work together right there and then. Carsten recommended bass player Paul Logue right after that, who later sent us his own version of the same song, and we all knew that this was the line-up we wanted. The last ingredient was the keyboards. At that time we had another keyboard player but we weren’t too happy with the style he added to the song, so we asked Holger Seeger who is a brilliant keyboard player, and he brought the right sound into the band; that was that.”

The name of the band is quite interesting, what were the reasons and meanings behind choosing the Dead End Heroes moniker?

“To be honest there is no deep meaning behind the name. We just came up with a couple of ideas and that was the one which got the most votes. Simple, eh?

The album has a strong powerful guitar presence, which song riffs are you particularly proud of, enjoy performing and why?

“Well, all the riffs were composed initially by Daniel as he wrote all the original music for the album back before he came to see me. But I then added the rhythm guitars and my solos, so it grew from there. Daniel is mainly a drummer, so he is writing guitar riffs with a really natural feel. Guitar players often tend to stick with lots of ideas that come out of their guitar exercises which sometimes sounds a bit too technical. Daniel just played without thinking. That makes it sound very fresh to me.”

Which songs do you personally feel showcase the Dead End Heroes sound at its best?

“I’m a big fan of “Roadkill”, “Cry For The Moon” and “Stormfront”. “Roadkill” has this great energy and the other two have just that great musical balance. Hammond and guitar simply glue together on those and that lets the vocals shine.”

Do you guys intend to or have plans to perform live? I know it’s not easy with the multi-national aspect of the band, but you guys have a sound which would be perfect for the live arena!

“I agree; we are looking for some possibilities to play live certainly, but it isn’t easy as we are all very busy and the fact that we live far away from each other doesn’t make it easy either.”

“But flights are cheap these days and our will is definitely there.”

Is the plan for Dead End Heroes to continue writing and recording after this or was ‘Road Kill’ always intended to be a one-off project?

“We still have a lot to say and right now, we are now planning a new record as we are all really happy with the songs. The teamwork is great and we all had simply too much fun doing it this time to just let it die after one record. There will be more.”

What is the song writing process like in Dead End Heroes? You say Voegeli writes everything but do you see the rest of the band getting involved now?

“Definitely. For this album, as I said before, Daniel wrote the main riffs and we all added our stuff as we got involved. I added some small ideas in the rhythm guitar sections and on my solo guitar….. And everyone else is doing the same. We are all free to choose our parts and how to expand them.”

Schultz has written some great lyrics; as a guitarist do you view lyric’s as important or is the music and melodies more important to you?

“Tough question. I guess it’s easier if you have a good melody and that initial melody is stronger than the first lyric say, rather than the other way round, but that doesn’t mean lyrics are not as important to me. I would say, work until both are great!

You have recorded a music video to accompany the album, what was that experience like and do you view music video’s as important?

“That was a great experience and yes, it’s important I think. We had two days for the filming. One day in a bigger club doing all the musicianship. Single shoots, all the band and extras. And then, on the other day we filmed the old fantastic cars and the young fantastic girls, which we think fits very well with the title track “Roadkill”; it just looks great together!”

Thanks for your time Rolf, is there anything else you would like to add or say to Fireworks readers?

“I just want to thank you very much for the interview and thank everyone who bought and will buy the album after this. Hope you’ll like it.”