Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: May 2009
Brian Rademacher: Let’s start this off by saying congratulations on your latest release "Here We Are" and your twenty fifth year tour that will make its debut in the United States at Rocklahoma 2009.
Juergen Breforth : Brian thanks so much for all your support and for making this interview possible! To play our very first USA show ever at Rocklahoma is like a dream come true!
Brian Rademacher: Can you believe this all started back in 1982, what are your thoughts of being in the music business that long?
Juergen Breforth : You’re absolutely right – it’s been a long time, but for us as a band everything feels totally fresh, new and exciting. The whole music industry has changed a lot, but a good song is still a good song and a good show is still a good show! This is what keeps our motor running – we are still hungry to write the best songs we can and to put on the best show we can!
Brian Rademacher: During the bands break in the late eighties what did you do during that time?
Juergen Breforth : We tried out several projects and especially Michael Voss started a great career as a producer. But it never felt like rockin’ with my soul mates from MAD MAX. So I was the happiest guy in the world when Michael Voss and I started to breathe new life into MAD MAX.
Brian Rademacher: When you came back in 1999 with "Never Say Never" what was the feeling getting back in the studio with the other members?
Juergen Breforth : "Never Say Never" actually was more or less a solo album from Michael and myself with a couple of songs we had written together. Recorded with two new guys on drums and bass it didn’t really feel like a MAD MAX reunion. The real "comeback" album in 2006 was "Night Of White Rock" –We had the right chemistry back with all the original members on board!
Brian Rademacher: Back at the height of MAD MAX what was some of the things you would have on your rider?
Juergen Breforth : MAD MAX was always a live band that loved to play and had the basics – sharing the stage with so many bands and musicians that we always admired like the guys from DEEP PURPLE, ALICE COOPER, KIP WINGER, THE SWEET, URIAH HEEP or AXEL RUDI PELL just to name a few, was absolutely awesome!
Brian Rademacher: With you finally coming to The States that has to be exciting for the band, how did this all come about?
Juergen Breforth : All this is like a dream come true for us and we are really thankful for getting this chance! With your help Brian I got in touch with Sam McCaslin, CEO of RETROSPECT RECORDS, and the rest is history! Sam, who is also a keyboard genius, will rock with us live on stage at Rocklahoma! Awesome!
Brian Rademacher: Can you give us some insight on what your set list will be like?
Juergen Breforth : The set list for Rocklahoma will be a mixture between some old MAD MAX classics like "Night Of Passion" and of course "Fox On The Run" and some new stuff from our latest release "Here We Are", especially "Caravan" that we co – wrote with JOE LYNN TURNER and "Where The Winds Blow", co – written with DON AIREY from DEEP PURPLE!
Brian Rademacher: What would you say is highlight of your music career?
Juergen Breforth : Rocklahoma will definitely be a highlight and hopefully the beginning of a lot more US shows to come, but also the sold-out tour with DEEP PURPLE and ALICE COOPER in 2007 was unbelievable!
Brian Rademacher: Tell me what the other members of the band mean to you?
Juergen Breforth : MAD MAX is and was always a family band – I know Michael Voss since he was 17 years old and he’s like my brother. We’re not only playing music together – we’re doing sports, travel together all around the world, write songs for other bands and musicians and many more things.
Brian Rademacher: In the early days of MAD MAX many considered MAD MAX a Christian metal band. Would you consider that true?
Juergen Breforth : Absolutely – most of our lyrics deal with Christian topics. But it is fine for us if somebody is not that much interested in the lyrics and only likes the music. We don’t want to force people to believe what we believe. We also have a lot of songs that deal with social problems like for example "Mad Gone Blind" from the new album that deals with the topic of school shootings or one of our greatest hits "Little Princess" which is a song about child abuse.
Brian Rademacher: On your "White Sands" CD 2007 you used Michael von Knorring on Vocals, yet Michael Voss produced the release. What happened there?
Juergen Breforth : No! Michael Voss is singing on this one!
Brian Rademacher: The new song and title track "Here We Are" is such a great track would you say that song is special to the band?
Juergen Breforth : We wrote this song with one of Germany’s top songwriters, a guy named JAN LOECHEL. He is writing for a lot of very famous German acts and is a good friend of ours and also lives in our hometown. It was actually the last song written for the new album and everybody fell in love with this song right away. The song is rockin’, catchy, soulful – this is how we want MAD MAX to sound in 2009!
Brian Rademacher: With "Here we Are" you had so many special people and many are our friends like Mr. Joe Lynn Turner and Mr. Jeff Scott Soto. Was there anyone else that you wanted but just didn’t have time or had other commitments?
Juergen Breforth : To be honest at least we had to remove some songs from the list for the new album that Michael Voss and I wrote together. It was such an honor to have all these fantastic and gifted musicians writing songs with us that we wanted to have all their contributions on the album.
JOE LYNN TURNER (ex-RAINBOW, ex-DEEP PURPLE), DON AIREY (DEEP PURPLE), MICHAEL SCHENKER (MSG), JEFF SCOTT SOTO (ex-JOURNEY, TALISMAN), OZ FOX (STRYPER), KEN TAMPLIN (ex-JOSHUA, TAMPLIN), BERNIE TORME (ex-GILLAN, ex-OZZY OSBOURNE), AXEL RUDI PELL (ARP), WOLF HOFFMANN (ACCEPT), DAVID READMAN (PINK CREAM 69), SASCHA GERSTNER (HELLOWEEN) and MARC STORACE (KROKUS).
Brian Rademacher: Do you feel there will be another MAD MAX release?
Juergen Breforth : Definitely YES YES YES! Hopefully in the very near future our fans will have the chance to get official re-releases of our classic albums "Rolling Thunder", "Stormchild" and "Night Of Passion" and in 2010 another MAD MAX album with brand new songs.
Brian Rademacher: Now getting back to coming to the States and playing Rocklahoma will the band be staying for the entire event?
Juergen Breforth : Thanks to our friend Sam McCaslin we will be there for the entire event. It will be absolutely awesome to meet all the other bands from all over the world and so many fans that have waited for us so long!
Brian Rademacher: Is there anyone on the bill that you hope to catch there set?
Juergen Breforth : There are so many bands playing this year’s Rocklahoma that we absolutely love, but especially STRYPER will be our first choice! We toured with the guys in Germany in 1987 and have been in touch with them since then – like you know OZ FOX also co-wrote a song with us for "Here We Are".
Brian Rademacher: Will the band be out in the crowd signing autographs and taking pictures?
Juergen Breforth : Definitely! We will sign absolutely everything…Ha-Ha! We are so much looking forward to that!
Brian Rademacher: What are your feelings about playing this show?
Juergen Breforth : Well, to be honest, it’s one of those things you dream about when you’re a kid! Now we’re a little bit older (***smile***), but still feeling like a kid in the candy store to be part of this spectacular festival!
Brian Rademacher: Well Juergen this has been special for me to talk with you a little and I am sure you will get a great response from the fans at Rocklahoma. Congratulations once again and The Staff at RockEyez.com will at the show supporting MAD MAX. Would you like to say anything in ending?
Juergen Breforth : It’s an honor for me my friend! Thanks and let’s have a great time together at Rocklahoma 2009!