Fans of hard rock and melodic metal should have come across Wolfpakk by now, if not read this interview first and then order your copy!
Please tell us about how you, Michael and Mark, came up with the idea for the project of Wolfpakk?
Mark: Well, after my second solo album which I produced with Michael Voss in his Kidroom-Music Studios, some reviewers were disappointed about the roughness or let's say the heaviness of this solo album. They expected 'more' from the duo Sweeney/Voss. To tell the truth, it was my aim to be softer on my solo works, I wanted to show my vocal range means, also to sing ballads or softer stuff.
I realized, that almost nobody is interested in this! It's nice for a musician to be varied, but the fans wanna have AC/DC, Metallica or Iron Maiden when they buy the record, nothing else!
So once when Michael was in my hometown in Switzerland, I asked him to do just this, what the fans wanna hear from us! I mean, they expected hard rock / metal... So we gonna give them hard rock and metal! Fuck the experiments!
Actually we had no band, so we decided to ask as many high class musicians as possible to play on this record. It worked! Over 30 guest 'wolves' joined Wolfpakk and sublimated this masterpiece!
Why did you choose the name Wolfpakk?
Mark: Michael and I are the alpha wolves – the guest musicians are the pack! It's that easy!
When did you start writing songs for the Wolfpakk album?
Mark: I guess it was last summer. I joined Michael in Münster (D) and we wrote songs which we pre-recorded even at the same time. It didn't take more than 2 weeks, because we had still so much ideas from the past – each of us.
Is there a reason for you to include the song Wolfpup? It seems somehow misplaced on this album, and since you have limited the room to 10 songs, it could seem as Wolfpup wastes a little space.
Mark: That's a sassy question because [first] with the song Wolfony we have 3 songs in one (10 minutes – so we don't need a space filler) and [2nd] primary Wolfpup was the intro of Let Me Die. But this outstanding performance from Nadja tempt us to give this act an own number. Furthermore we wrote 11 songs, but our record company gave the Japanese one song as bonus song for Japan. They deserved it after all the shit they had with Fukushima, haven't they!?
What bands / artists made your start playing music? And which bands / artists are you listening to these days?
Mark: I wasn't in hard rock or metal at all. But a friend of mine gave me a tape when I was about 12 years old with a lot of hard rock and metal bands to check out this kind of music. I heard the song Guardians from Helloween and suddenly I was infected by metal. I still like music in the style of the 80's, but also music like Daughtry is good stuff nowadays. Last album I bought was Victory – what a killer album!!!!
How long did the recording of Wolfpakk take?
Mark: On balance 3 or 4 months. We had to wait of some musicians because they were on tour and couldn't sing or play their part directly. With 30 guest musicians it's not easy to juggle all.
Where did you record it? And did you have any help with the producing of the album, Michael?
Michael: We recorded the basic tracks like drums, bass, guitars over here in Münster at Kidrooms Studios. Most of the bits and bobs have been produced by Mark and me. Only when we decided to send away the tunes to the vocalists they've been left on their own and had to decide which way to go.
Was it a difficult process to get all these guest stars to ensign for the Wolfpakk album? Please tell a bit about this work!
Mark: Nowadays you can easily use the internet! I haven't seen every musician which is on this record. So every song was already finished (sung by Michael or me and all instruments played by Michael) and the guest stars just had to sing or play their part after. We replaced then all again in the studio when we got the songs back via email.
Which songs do you think represent Wolfpakk best? And why?
Mark: Well... I would say it's a good mix of hard rock and metal. Some songs are more hard rock, some more metal. But to show the people the power and character of Wolfpakk, I would say Lost, because it's a wonderful song which represents Wolfpakk most.
You did a video for Reptile's Kiss, please tell us a bit about the shooting?
Mark: Reptile's Kiss was the only song, where Michael and I were the only singers without any guest singers. It would be too complicated (and too expensive) to fly in all the big stars from all over the world. Maybe one day we can do that – but not yet!
But the shooting was great, have look on our hp: www.wolfpakk.net Martin Müller from rcntv.de made a great job, he's a professional and worked already with bands like Gotthard, Gamma Ray, Unheilig, Helloween, Masterplan, U.D.O., Blackmore's Night or PC69!
And which other song(s) would you like to visualize?
I guess you have already got some feedback. Are you satisfied so far?
Mark: Yes, absolutely! I really hope, that all the fans out there buy this masterpiece. Everyone who heard this album was impressed!
Do you consider playing some shows? And who of your guests would be part of it?
Mark: First we have to wait and see, if the hard rock and metal fans like Wolfpakk or not. If yes, we can think about it and make plans to play live shows.
Michael, talking about touring... You just been on tour with Mr. Michael Schenker as part of his band and played shows with Black Country Communion, how was it? Any stories to tell from the road?
Michael: Haha... Yeah I joined the Schenker camp, the new Michael Schenker album will come out late September and features a huge line-up. I am singing on 11 tracks of the album. The other two are sung by Robin Macauley and Doogie White. We played High Voltage festival, that was huge in front of 35.000 people where Rudi Schenker stood suddenly in front of us joining the stage. He flew in from Finland. Incredible!!
How was it to be back on stage with Mad Max? More shows on the way?
Michael: Always great to play with Mad Max. Will do some show next year, but first I will focus to play live with Herr Schenker in autumn, we go to the States!
If the project Wolfpakk is becoming a success, have you thought about making a new album somewhere in time?
Mark: Yes, of course! We still have ideas and we would like to invite other guest wolves to join Wolfpakk!
What's next on your schedule? Anything you want to add?
Mark: Interviews, interviews, interviews... LOL! But I would like to thank you for your kind support and also the fans out there! I suggest to buy the album because there's a nice booklet where's written down, which star is playing in which song and so on!
Thanx again and keep on rockin'
Mark Sweeney & Michael Voss