Axel Rudi Pell

June 13, 2002

The last time we spoke, we talked about The Wizards Chosen Few.

That’s right, yeah. A long time ago.

So now you’ve released Shadow Zone and this is your 13th solo album.

That’s right, yeah.

How does it feel to have put out so many successful albums?

It’s great. It’s unbelievable.

Shadow Zone debuted at number 22 on the German album charts. That must have been really exciting. Is it still fairly high on the charts?

That’s right, yeah. No, it just went down. It was on the first week it went into number 22 and it fell down to I think it was 78. Then it went to 91 and then it was off. It’s very fast here in Germany.

Are all the bands like that? They’re on there for a little while and then someone else comes along?

As long as it’s metal or hard rock music it’s just very quick. I remember the band Primal Fear had a new album. They released it the same day. They were just only in for one week. It went in at 55 and then they were off. It’s very quick at the moment. I don’t know. The album sold much better than the last one. The last one went in at number 37 and then it was in one week longer and then it was off. It’s good.

This worked out better. In an era of following the latest trends, how do you manage to remain in your own groove?

I’m not following any trends. Probably that’s a key to my success because I’m always true to that kind of music. Music which comes from my heart and my soul. The buyers always can believe in my music and they can buy the records blind. They know exactly what to expect when they buy a Pell record. My following always grows from year to year and that’s great.

Do you basically have the same band lineup on this record as you did on The Wizards Chosen Few?

Yes, I think we’re now together since four years.

Tell me a little about Shadow Zone.

“Edge Of The World” is the fastest song on the album. It’s the opening track. The lyrics are about surviving in the street. It’s hard living on the street. The next one I think is called “Coming Home”. That’s a song about the return of the pharaoh. The return of the mummy. It’s a mid-tempo rocker. “Live For The King” is Dio type lyrics. I think it’s one epic song of mine. I think it’s a bit longer. It’s just a traditional epic Pell song. “All The Rest Of My Life” and “Heartbreaker” are the two ballads on the album which are really emotional. I wrote both songs about the split with my ex-girlfriend. They’re kind of love songs. “Under The Gun”, the last song, is an anti-war song. “Follow The Sign” is a mid-tempo rocker. “Saint Of Fools” is nonsense kind of bullshit lyrics.

That breakup must have been pretty bad. You’ve done some touring this year.

We just finished the German and Switzerland tour a few weeks ago and was really successful. We played in clubs around between 1000 and 1800 seaters and it was really great. Every venue was sold out and we recorded the show in my hometown here in Bochum for an upcoming live double CD and a live DVD.

The DVD is supposed to come out in October.

That’s right. There will not only be the complete live show on it. There also will be some kind of the making of the last record because always when I’m doing a record I have my private digital camera in the studio and filming all the stuff that’s going on there. Just like every musician playing their instrument and joking around and making fun. There’s some of a bit of the photo shoot and that will be on there too around approximately 39 or 40 minutes. There’s some bonus stuff as well. We did a clip a few years ago when Jeff Scott Soto was still in the band from the 1994 album Between The Walls. The song “Cry Of The Gypsy” will be on there. I’ll be having too a clip of my former band Steeler, a clip from the song “The Deep Of The Night”. I think it’s from 1987. That will feature on there too. I hope to have some stuff from the festivals we played last year. Probably each one song or so. I don’t know.

You’re still working on that.

That’s right. Exactly, yeah.

You are using a new amp called the Peavey Triple XXX. Why the switch?

When we started recording the album and I was in the studio, I was not so satisfied with my guitar sound. I said it could be a little bit different this time and I went to a local music store here around the corner. I just went in there and talked to the sales guy and said “hey man just looking for another Marshall amp. Can you help me out?” He said “yeah, just try a few.” I tried a few and I said “nah, this is not good. This is not working very good. Do you have anything else?” He said “did you ever try the Peavey Triple XXX?” I said no. I just plugged in the guitar, I take one chord and said that’s the amp for my record. That’s great. I just called the guy from Peavey then directly and they gave me an endorsement deal. I said "great. You’re great guys. Thank you very much." I took the amplifier and it was really amazing.

This is a vast improvement.

Yes.

Are there any upcoming tours or festivals that you’re playing?

No, because I have to concentrate this summer on the making of the DVD. There’s so much work to do and I have to mix the record and unfortunately there is no time for any festival this year.

Any other comments or thoughts?

I hope that the sales of my new record will be more than the last record. I hope that sometime I will be able to play in the States too because I would love to play there.

We’d love to have you.

Yeah, Angie baby we can meet up and have a nice beer somewhere.

That’s right. I’m a Heineken woman.

Axel Rudi Pell