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Kostas Zafiriou (Pink Cream 69)

Interview with Kostas Zafiriou from Pink Cream 69
by Michael Dalakos at 17 April 2007, 5:56 PM

Pink Cream 69 is one of the longest living hard rock bands coming from Germany. Recently they released the amazing In10sity and I really couldn't resist the offer talking once again with them. Kostas (the drummer) is on the other side of the phone…

 Hey Kostas you called right on time!

Hello, well although I have Greek roots, I do keep a strict German schedule (laughs). Truth is that I just returned from Greece…

 Congratulations on your new album, hope you checked our review…

Indeed thank you very much! We always like getting great reviews from people who appreciate our music. Truth is that so far we got only positive reviews!

 First of all… 20 years of Pink Cream 69! How do you feel about this?

Weird! Seriously when we started this band we were young kids and we never though of making it so far. We are proud that we have managed to succeed so many things but above all I am very happy that we are still like what we are doing and this band has not turn into a job for us. Apart from Andy’s departure, do keep in mind that we have managed to keep the same line up for 20 years! That’s something I guess…

 There are similarities on the front cover of the new album with the one of your first album..

Yes this was done intentionally (laughs). Look it like a circle for us. Ok we never liked the traditional dungeons and dragons front covers. Basically we wanted to make a front cover like the one of the first album but inspired by today. Also a band’s first album is always a special one…

 In my ears the new album sounds more like your works in Electrified and Sonic Dynamite rather than Thunderdome,  it’s closer to heavy metal than to hard rock.

You can say that. Basically the new album is more rhythmical than Thunderdome. Guitars have a lot more work to do? More riffs, yes definitely. Alfred had many song ideas based on his guitar. Yes it does sound more heavy and up tempo…

 And why did it take so long for this album to be released?

Honestly? We did a small break after Thunderdome, only this brake end up being bigger than it supposed to be. Then we had to look out for a new record label. Since we are not a band formed yesterday we took our time with contracts in order to find the appropriate one. Also do keep in mind that all band members are involved with the music industry in other areas so its hard to keep a steady schedule that way.

 The album is once again produced by Dennis (Ward, Bass). Have you ever thought of the idea of brining an outside producer for the whole process?

Yes lots of times! Even Dennis often mentions this possibility. The basic problem is that the producers we like to work with are too expensive for us (laughs). We would love to have a producer like Bob Rock but who can afford them? And the ones we can pay? Well honestly they are not better than Dennis so why bother?

 After 20 years don’t you think it’s time for a DVD release?

Ehhh… we are working on it (laughs)..Yeah lots of people are asking this. There’s a chance to do such a thing in a couple of festivals we have scheduled now. We will do an anniversary show here in a big festival, it’s not a rock festival. It’s the biggest free festival here in Germany. We will play Saturday night in front of 30.000 - 40.000 people so it would be really cool! We will try to do a great rock show…

 Have you scheduled any festival appearances outside Germany for this summer?

We will play a few festivals and then we are planning a tour with FREEDOM CALL that will start early October. We also have schedule lots of single shows, also FIREFEST in UK. Lots of requests…

 After twenty years in the music industry how do you see things business wise?

Things are really hard now. I have a small label doing band’s management and lots of booking and publishing. Oh man, we could talk this for hours (laughs). Yes things are really hard now. You see only the last couple of years big labels are turning once again their attention to hard rock music. Yes there are many good small labels on the field but they cannot push a band the way a huge label can. In the good old days a big label saw an opportunity with a band, then they invested huge amount of money upon them to make them popular. Nowadays not even the big labels doing such a thing. Not only with rock. Don’t believe that they spend millions with hip hop and all that crap. Generally even big labels work with mathematics on their mind!

 Your advise to a young band?

Try to be as original as possible. Try to have your own identity.

 Is this an easy thing to do? I mean after all those years can you play hard rock and be original?

It was never that easy. But you must try hard to achieve this. I mean what’s the point with all these band imitating known bands? Who will buy them? People stick with the original and of course that’s quite reasonable. You need to have some originality in your music.

 Kostas I want to thank you for your time. Close this interview with a message to all of our readers…

I hope that you all like our new album. We are proud of it and we think it will shake everyone’s heads in 2007! See you all on the road!


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