Running Wild Biography
Last updated: 01/22/2013 12:13:16 PM
Running Wild never followed any musical trends. Their music impresses by raw untamed and natural born strength combined with inexorable, uncompromising and merciless power. Dominating rhythms, refrains like hymns, electrifying guitarriffs and a salient singing are more signs of that power quartett coming from Hamburg, Germany. You won't find any squiggle or at least a ballad on any Running Wild record being produced till now. Running Wild can be proud of many fans being melted together by the band's honest music and their suitable attitude. Becoming authentic was a result of the straight use of real instruments instead of experimentating with synthesizers or playbacks. Within their lyrics Running Wild comment on war, suppression and the struggle for money. Furthermore they engage in the purposes of the so called outsiders in our society.
In 1976 a new school band called Granite Heart is established in Hamburg, Germany under the command of Rolf Kasparek alias Rock'n'Rolf. Granite Heart consists of: Rock'n'Rolf (leadvocals, guitar), Uwe Bendig (guitar), Michael Hoffmann (drums) and Jörg Schwarz (bass), who was replaced by Carsten David (bass) shortly after.
Around 1979 the band is renamed into Running Wild and in 1981 they releases their first demo-tape with the following line-up: Rock'n'Rolf (leadvocals, guitar), Uwe Bendig (guitar), Matthias Kaufmann (bass) and Hasche (drums).
Running Wild astonishes their hometown Hamburg, Germany with heavy speed metal and a flashy leather image, so that finally the songs »Iron Heads« and »Bones to Ashes« are published on the »Death Metal« compilation by NOISE RECORDS in 1984. Under the same label their debut album »Gates to Purgatory« is published the same year, which is sold not less than 20.000 units in the first three months. The record climbs the german metal-charts and with the 12" maxi »Victim of States Power« there is a nice little metal goodie thrown onto the market. The legendary - although it is the second line-up - is read as the following: Rock'n'Rolf (leadvocals, guitar), Preacher (guitar, vocals), Stephan (bass) and Hasche (drums).
Since their second release »Branded and Exiled« in 1985 Running Wild is one of the most popular metal acts in Germany. In this year the band is named in one breath with Scorpions and Accept. After their second release the band is giving gigs with Sinner in german halls. Guitarman Preacher is replaced by Majk Moti. Meanwhile the typical Running Wild style is found. One year later the sensational news are spread fast: for at least the first time as an independent band Running Wild is up to tour with the american "superstars" Mötley Crüe on their »Theatre of Pain« - tour.
In 1987 »Under Jolly Roger« is published when Running Wild launches their individual bizarre pirate image and hoist the Jolly Roger for the first time. In this year another change in the line-up is made. Drummer Hasche and bassman Stephan are leaving the ship. They are replaced by Stefan Schwarzmann and Jens Becker. In the wake of their first european-tour they sail up to Budapest (H) where they are playing a famous gig in front of 5.000 fans. The material taken from that tour is released as the live album »Ready for Boarding« a year after. International critics are throughout the line positive. Furthermore this record is used to draw the final line under their management so far.
At the end of 1988 their fourth studio album is released. »Port Royal« is sold over 50.000 times. In the meantime the band can look upon a wide basis of fans and they represent a steady mark in Heavy Metal. Nevertheless Stefan Schwarzmann leaves the band in direction of U.D.O. and gives the sticks into the hands of Iain Finlay.
In 1989 the new studio album »Death or Glory« is published which holds itself several weeks in the european selling charts. A short time after the maxi-single »Bad to the Bone« is placed into the shops.
The »Death or Glory« - tour 1990 is an outstanding success nearby all concerts are sold out. Parallel to the tour the mini-LP »Wild Animal« shows up. The steady carussell in Running Wild's line-up turns again. Iain Finlay leaves the pirates and Jörg Michael appears as a temporary drummer. As new members of the band drum-roadie AC and axeman Axel Morgan, replacing Majk Moti, are confirmed.
In 1991 Rock'n'Rolf and his crewmen strike once again and releases first the maxi-single »Little Big Horn« (No. 34 in the single charts) then the album »Blazon Stone« and shortly after the "Best Of"-compilation »The first Years of Piracy«. A successful tour with Raven and Crossroads underlines the momentary status of Running Wild.
The next studio album »Pile of Skulls« is released 1992 and deals lyrically with corruption and disguise and spots the new bassman Thomas Smuszynski for the first time. Also on board is the returner Stefan Schwarzmann. As a single from that album »Lead or Gold« is released. The next year the »Pile of Skulls« - tour is rolling in which the band shines with a monumental stage and devastating pyro-technics.
1994 first the single »The Privateer« and then the album »Black Hand Inn« are released. On that record the new wizard on the guitar Thilo Hermann (Ex-Risk) is presented. Jörg Michael instead is now a steady member in that crew.
The »Summer Metal Meetings« 1995 are becoming a brilliant success under the flag of Running Wild and bands like Rage and Grave Digger. In the end of October another cannon-blow is fired with the new album »Masquerade«. That new album once again shows the german Metal where the gold is lying.
On the relating tour 1996 the band celebrates its 20th year of sailing the wild seas of Metal and takes a deserving rest after.
After a creative rest with the same line-up and with a fresh blow in the sails »The Rivalry«, for the first time released under the custody of GUN RECORDS, is released in early 1998. This record is more compact and more melodic than ever. It lives by the rough voice of Rolf Kasparek and the nearly unbelievable guitar power being played by Kasparek and Hermann. With »The Rivalry« Running Wild once again rises the flag of true Heavy Metal and stands for that untouched Heavy Rock. Unfortunately Jörg Michael leaves the band in spring even before the »The Rivalry« - tour to concentrate on his work with Stratovarius. As a replacement Chris Efthimiadis (Ex-Rage) has to fill up that hole for the tour, on which he really shows his knowledge throughout that pirate material.
In 1999 NOISE RECORDS releases remastered versions of »Death or Glory«, »Blazon Stone«, »Pile of Skulls«, »Black Hand Inn« and »Masquerade«. Each album contains bonustracks.
At the beginning of 2000 »Victory«, the eleventh studio album of the institution from Hamburg, Germany, is published. Running Wild head Rolf Kasparek aka Rock'n'Rolf would like to see the last two albums »Masquerade«, »The Rivalry« and the new longplayer »Victory« as a trilogy made out of three loose concept albums. The reason why they are loose concept albums is that there is a leitmotif running through each of them, but the songs of all three longplayers can definitely stand on their own feet. It is about the battle between light and darkness. »Masquerade« marked the beginning of this trilogy, the subject matter of »The Rivalry« was the argument, and »Victory« marks the end: the decisive battle. With the title song, the trilogy finds its climax and its end.
At the end of February 2002 Running Wild returns with their twelfth studio-album »The Brotherhood« and a new line-up: Rock'n'Rolf (vocals, guitar), Peter Pichel (bass), Bernd Aufermann (guitar), Matthias Liebetruth (drums).