Interview Kissin’ Dynamite – ”Spread more love and don’t think too much”.

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Kissin Dynamite is going to release their new album ‘Not the End of the Road’ on the 21st of January, 2022. I got the chance to listen to the album early and talk about it with lead guitarist Jim Müller. It was nice to hear that artists live as much for the live experience as the audience, but then on the other end of the stage. Alcatraz festival, the only festival that got to continue in Belgium last Summer, maybe even have saved Kissin’ Dynamite‘s new record, because we all got to feel that energy again. The energy you get form live music. Check out the stories behind the songs and the album that Jim has told us. One thing is for sure: ‘spread positivity’ is the key word.

GRIMM: Hey Jim! How are you?

Hi! I’m good, and you?

GRIMM: I’m good too, thanks.

The first question is about the song ‘All For a Hallelujah’, it is a blast of a track. I expected maybe a ballad from reading the title, but it’s a powerful rock song. 

Nice! 

GRIMM: How did how did this one come together?

The main idea was from Hannes (lead singer) and me, where we had this ‘All For a Hallelujah’ lyric part already stuck in our head. And we were like: we should do something. And I think it’s kind of a Money Sex and Power (their third album released in 2012) song, because the lyrics form the riff already. Like, you know, our Da da da, da, da, da, da da, (hums melody of the song). The guitar is playing the same as the singer sings. And I think that’s a real special thing when it comes to rock songs that kick you in your face. It’s always when the singer and the guitar do the same thing.

GRIMM: Yeah, that’s really cool. I definitely love it. No One Dies a Virgin has a killer guitar solo, by the way.

Yeah! It’s my favorite song of the record, because I measure song quality in guitar solos.

GRIMM: Yeah, it’s definitely the one that I thought had the best solo.

Thanks a lot!

GRIMM: The lyric goes: No one dies a virgin, in the very end life fucks its own. What moment has led you guys to writing this lyric?

It’s actually a quote of Kurt Cobain. So it wasn’t our idea. But we made a song out of it. So fair enough.
I think it was a quote in an interview with Kurt Cobain. But I mean, it’s it’s true, right? And that’s the whole idea behind the whole album: To get more positivity out there. And just like, spread more love and don’t think too much. And don’t worry too much just like, fuck it. Just do it.

GRIMM: I love that about the album. What inspired you to write a song about Yoko Ono?

I think when it comes to Yoko Ono, I don’t think about the person itself, because I don’t know her. Nobody in the band does. But I think it’s just a good description of a personality of a toxic partner, no matter male or female or everything in between. And that’s why I think Yoko Ono is the perfect description of this personality.

GRIMM: The last single that came out before the album was released, was ‘Coming Home’. What does coming home mean to you?

For me, to totally put everything in a nutshell, it’s when I think about touring. I really get so sad on one hand, because it’s probably not gonna happen the next couple of months to go on tour. And on the other hand, it makes me so happy what I already went through. You know, when we first started this band, when we were 10 years old, we started playing live shows already on the school yard and everything. And this became such a big part of my life and of myself, that at the beginning of the pandemic, I was really scared about what will happen with my psychological health and everything. And just always make myself clear that it’s gonna happen again, and everything’s gonna be good. When I’m coming home where I used to be on tour with my best friends, you know, in Kissin Dynamite, which is something really special about us, is that we’re not just the musicians and the crew. But we’re all really close friends who know each other for such a long time already. And nobody’s here for the job. But everybody’s here for having a good time and spread positivity. Yeah, and I can’t wait to feel that again. You know, For sure. releasing energy to the audience and receiving energy back is the best part about it.

GRIMM: That’s why I always say it’s better to have a job that you love, but maybe earn less money, than to have like the best payed job in the world, but not enjoy it.

Yeah, absolutely. And if I would go for the money, I definitely wouldn’t be an artist anyway.

GRIMM: Yeah. I work with people who have brain damage, you know, maybe it was caused by an accident or by a bleeding in their brain. Also, not a job where you earn the most money but I love going to work every day. And I think that’s the most important thing.

Yeah, awesome. And helping people too. No matter how, it gives you more than you give yourself. 

GRIMM: For the song ‘Good Life’, you chose a good cause for children with cancer to raise money for them. Why did you choose that good cause and have you already been able to raise some money for them?  

Yeah, for sure. So all the money we got from that song, no matter if it’s streaming or buying. Also, all the profit of the special shirt for the song will go to the children hospital near our hometown, where we already did a streaming show for, back in summer last year. I don’t remember if it was 2020 or 2021. I think it was 2020. We did the live show from Summer Breeze on YouTube and also raised some money for that cause. 

When we wrote that song, it had such a gospel vibe. And we immediately had the feeling that we need to combine these things together. And we’re really happy about the outcome and also about the incredible great guests we have on that particular song. Like for example, Alea of Saltatio Mortis is a long year friend of us. I think it was the first festival we ever played. Where Saltatio Mortis were watching us on on a small tent stage and immediately he asked Hannes if he can do a featuring later that day on main stage. So that was so crazy seeing my 15 year old friend on main stage in front of 40,000 people. It wasn’t our song, but a Saltatio Mortis song, and when we asked Alea to do a featuring on this record, he immediately was like Yeah, fuck, yes.

GRIMM: Cool. ‘Not the End of the Road’ really felt like a fresh breath of new air. I wrote that it was a fresh breath after all the lockdowns, but the lockdowns have not really ended yet, a new one is starting again. What did inspire you to write this song?

Actually was directly after the split up with Andy our long years drummer, which was like the second hit in the face for us. Like the pandemic was the one thing and then splitting up with Andy was the second. It was the first change in line up ever in Kissin Dynamite. And we had no idea how to get along with that and how to continue. But it was clear for the rest of us that we won’t stop. We can’t. Because this is such a hard project for us. There’s such a deep part of our personality, that we definitely have to find someone. And when Andy left the band, it was one or two days later that Hannes got up and was fucked up. Just in a really bad mood and said to himself, I’m definitely not writing any song today. And he sat down and wrote ‘Not the End of the Road’. 
Just right out of that feeling, like no, I’m not giving up right now. Fuck that. Fuck the bad thoughts and factors. Let’s get back to positivity because this is not the end of the road. We need to go on.

GRIMM: Yeah, I love to hear the song because I was sad there were no shows and then ‘Not the End of the Road’ came out. And it was like, well, it gives me hope that someday we can have shows again soon. 

Yeah.

GRIMM: I saw you guys live at Alcatraz festival in Belgium. 

Yeah! 

GRIMM: That must have been like one of your, your first shows, again to play, I think. 

Jim: Absolutely. I just want to say that, like, I felt the same. Like, it was so tough this summer. Not only the summer, but in the whole period of recording this album to get motivated. Because you know, before you play lots of live shows, and you get a lot of energy, and you just like, open your mind and energy comes out. But this time, you had to remember how it is to have that energy and that was really a tough part of it. And for me, my personal motivation was actually the Alcatraz festival

Because it felt really like back in the days, you know. And I remember myself getting out of the bus and going into the crowd with two beers in my hand right into the audience, when Thundermother was playing, and we were bumping into each other. Then I looked at a stranger, and I said: Oh, can you do that again? He was like, yes. So that gave me so much energy and motivation, and inspired me to really dig deep into that album. So more or less that festival saved this record.

GRIMM: Yeah. It was the only major festival that happened in Belgium I think.

Jim: Yeah, we had, I think three non restricted festivals where people could be there without mask and without, you know, just like, a normal concert, so to speak. But the Alcatraz festival was definitely the biggest of them. And it was the first time we played ‘Not the End of the Road’ together.

GRIMM: It was, I remember.

Not just live, but it was really a premiere for us playing the song together. Because we didn’t have time for rehearsals. So the band rehearsed the song individually. But right on the festival played it together the first time.

GRIMM: That is so cool. Alcatraz is not the biggest festival in Belgium, but it’s getting bigger. But then a lot of people would usually go to Graspop or like other big festivals in Belgium. They came to Alcatraz now. So I think a lot of new people discovered new bands and discovered a new festival. So that’s also nice.

Yeah, that’s really nice. I mean, it was always a problem of the non over the top, huge festivals to reach out. So maybe that gave them a chance to get a new audience.

GRIMM: Yeah, I hope so. I definitely enjoyed it. But now you were going to play al your release shows, but I heard that got cancelled too. 

Yeah, absolutely. All the release shows are canceled because, I don’t know how it’s in Belgium, but in Germany, clubs and everything is totally closed. So not even like with sitting audience or anything like that. Really no shows allowed at all. And that’s why we do a streaming show. Right at 22nd of January.  With our new stage setup, and everything like in the video for ‘Coming Home’, you can also see the new stage setup we built with our crew. So we weren’t lazy, laying in bed and telling everyone how shitty life is. We thought about okay, how is Kissin Dynamite after the pandemic. And we wanted to build ourselves a playing course so to speak. We wanted to have a real stadium rock stage production. And so now we have like stairs and bridges and all filled up with LEDs and a big Kissin Dynamite logo on the back full of LEDs and all completely programmable and it really looks like Guns and Roses wished to look like back in the 80s. 

GRIMM: That sounds amazing!

No really, we’re super proud of that one and we can’t wait to show the world how it will feel and for sure when this whole shit is over to reach out to all the people, all the fans in real life, but for this time, it will be the streaming show only, but you can get tickets for it. And I promise it will be a good time.

GRIMM: Cool. I can’t wait to see it. Where can we get tickets?

It’s actually on our homepage. I think probably the most easiest way to get it. But the site is called https://live4you.net/kissindynamite

GRIMM: Cool, I will definitely check that out. 

Perfect. 

GRIMM: What would be your dream venue to play at?

First thing which comes to my mind is Madison Square Garden, or Rock in Rio. I think Rock in Rio is were I want to play at least once. Because I remember seeing the life VHS of Iron Maiden in 2001, playing the Brave New World Tour there. And it had such a deep impact and it’s always such a great impact when you hear Hannes after the first song. Screaming to the audience, for example, like: Good evening Tokyo! I still get goosebumps of that. And I can’t wait to hear him one day scream: Good evening Rock in Rio! 

GRIMM: Yeah, that sounds awesome. What are your plans for the future? Do you have any tours planed in Belgium when they are, of course, allowed again?

Yeah, definitely. So after the streaming show, we will do in summer some festivals. So we won’t go on tour before summer, definitely. Because you just can’t plan anything, right? But fingers crossed, that we will do a European tour after the festival season. I hope it will be possible and then we will definitely be back in Belgium again.

GRIMM: Yes. Cool. I’ll definitely check it out. Thank you for talking to us.

Annet, thanks for having me. Was really nice chatting with you. 

GRIMM: Yeah, see you later at a show!

Yeah, perfect!

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