Interview With Kosta Zafiriou, drummer for PC69 by EC 2/13/04

Kosta, thank you for your time. Pink Cream 69 has a brand new album out now called "Thunderdome". Tell us, how is the album doing so far?

We are very lucky to receive exceptional good reviews for this record. In Germany for example, the six biggest print magazines (Hammer, Rockhard, Metal Heart, Heavy oder was?, Breakout & Rock it) all put us in the top five of this months soundchecks. If you consider between 70 and 120 new releases every month, we are very proud of THUNDERDOME!

"Thunderdome" may very well be the best album of the David Readman era with the band. In your opinion, how does this album compare with works like "One Size Fits All" or "Electrified"?

Although it differs from a record like One Size (different time, different sound, different voice and so on), our first two records gave the backbone to the PC 69 style, which we constantly fine tune and develop. It is very obvious the same band is making the noise if you listen to Electrified or Thunderdome, but for my opinion you can tell there is a few years of evolution between both records - without being too far away from what the band stands for and what fans expect from us when they pay money for our records.
"I definitely would count Thunderdome in the top 3 Pink Cream 69 records."

Do you believe this is the best PC69 record to date?

Ask a mother which is her prettiest baby :) ------Let me say it that way: Our previous release Endangered is a very good record: Nice songs, good production, solid performance - nevertheless it has no songs which have the quality to make it to all time classics in our live set. For me the ultimate indicator for the quality of a song. On the new one we have for my opinion between 3 to 5 songs, which have this potential. Of course I am not at all objective at this stage, but I definitely would count Thunderdome in the top 3 Pink Cream 69 records.

This new album still showcases the amazing guitar melody and vocal harmony that the band has mastered for so long now. How do you keep the "juices flowing" so to speak to continue making great records. What is the secret?

Sorry that I have to pass on this: You are talking to a stupid drummer, who is fully occupied by counting to four ;-) Jokes aside: I simply think we have 3 very talented songwriters in the band who care about the piece of music instead of showing how great they can play their instrument!

With this great hard rock album the band decided to throw in a cover tune of "My Sharona" Who came up with this idea and did it shock anyone?

Itīs funny, I never expected that everybody would ask for this song, for us it was not a big deal. The story is very simple: After we were done with the main recording sessions for this record, we figured it would be better to record two more songs for the simple reason that we have to provide a bonus track for Japan, one for South America and one for the limited edition in Europe.

Dave had a few songs recorded as a demo, one of those two was My Sharona. We thought it fits very well to his voice and decided to do it. To keep it interesting for ourselves, we decided not to rehearse the song as a band: We sat together and shortened the solo a bit, that was it. Everybody had to learn the song alone, then we met in the studio and jammed it out.

Thatīs why it sounds in the arrangement very close to the original with a PC 69 vibe going on. Actually it was intended to become the bonus track for Japan, but after friends and management heard the song, they forced us to put it on the regular version;-)

Now, David Readman is on tour with Adagio, will this be a second side project of his?

It is already the second record he did with Adagio, so it is a bit more than a project. For us as PC 69 members this is absolute no problem, we help each other out. Also Dennis is involved in Adagio, he produced both records. I worked out the contracts for both guys - we are all active in the hardrock and metal scene, in different jobs. We look at it professional and try to help each other.


Band Website

With Readman on tour with Adagio for the month of February, do you think this slows the promotional wheels for the new record? Pink Cream isn't hitting the road until March with Axxis and Crystal Ball. Why so late and who made the decision to do the tour this way?

No, I donīt think it slows any promotion down. David did many interviews so far, now Alfred and I will do all of them. Dennis has been in Brazil for the last two months producing the new record of Angra, so he couldnīt do any interviews. Therefore the other 3 guys will have to do the interviews on the tour, where I will do the tourmanagement as well and therefore will be limited in my time. As I said earlier: We help each other out. Both CDīs of Pink Cream 69 and Axxis came out January 26th, we hit the road March 5th - 4-6 weeks after release is the perfect time to go on tour!

Any chance of seeing Pink Cream in the US this year?

Unfortunately there are no concrete plans yet, but we hope we can do it for a few shows. If any promoter wants to book us, we are ready!

I really enjoyed the first three PC69 records with Andi Deris on vocals. Do you still keep in touch with Andi at all?

Actually we had no contact at all for the last 10 years, since he is living in Tenerife, but we are still based in the Karlsruhe area. We all met for the first time a few weeks ago at a jam in a rockclubīs anniversary. It was interesting to see and talk to each other after so many years! Although the split was not really nice back then, this was a long time ago and nobody is keeping any bad feelings or something like that. It was interesting to talk to each other!

Do you feel that Andi belongs in a power metal band like Helloween, or do you think he needs to stick with the hard rock sound?

I think Andy belongs to Helloween, David belongs to Pink Cream 69 - simple as that! It is not my decision which sound he has to stick to. I found that his melodic approach in song writing did work quite well with Helloween.

What is the health status on guitarist Alfred Koffler? Will he be a 100% for the tour or will you rely on a guest guitarist once again?

Unfortunately there is no 100% cure for Focal Dystonia, Alfredīs disease. Uwe Reitenauer, who joined the live line up for the few festivals we played last summer will also go on tour with us. He is an exceptional guitar player and a great person. A second guitar opens up new possibilities for us besides backing up Alfred, and we already offered him the permanent live job. Everything further the future will show.

With the current downloading controversy raging in full swing, we wanted to get your thoughts on the issue. What is your opinion when it comes to file sharing? Actually, this should be is a two part question? What is your opinion of file sharing when the person doing the downloads fully intends on buying the album if he/she finds it enjoyable? Now, what about the mooch out there that just downloads a lot of music and just burns the cd? To hell with buying it, it is free this way.

Myself being a part of a management company in the music business, I am confronted with this problem permanent. These days it is called file sharing, 10 years ago it was tape trading. I
think the base of the problem is the price policy of the industry. The companies were fast with rising the prices when we changed formats from vinyl to CD - but they forgot to take the prices down when producing CDīs cost only 50, 30 or even 20 % it used to. They were fast with cutting down advance payments for the artists - but the prices stayed. I honestly think, with a price range around 10 Dollars/Euros for full price products, well made artworks and thought out booklets, the consumers will download or copy to have a check, but the majority will buy "the real deal" if they like the music. So did most of the tape traders in the past as well....

Well Kosta, once again we thank you very much! Keep in touch and make it Maximum Metal!

Thanks for being interested in Pink Cream 69!

Kosta ZafiriouEric Compton2/13/2004

Eric Compton12/19/2017
Eric Compton2/20/2004

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