German guitarist Rolf Munkes is involved in some interesting projects you should know: solo albums, a new super-group featuring very good musicians such as Lance King or Anders Johansson, he´s also the guitar player for Vanize... As you can see there´s a bunch of stories around this guy and now you can know them all by reading this interview!

- Can you make a brief story of your musical career for those that still haven´t heard you?
Rolf Munkes I started ten years ago playing in a cover band and giving lessons. Two and a half years ago, I quit the band and decided to do what I want to. Rock Music. I started to compose some instrumentals and involved my old friend Gerald Kloos (drummer) in the project. We did a demo together and after a little success we thought it's time for some singers. We found them and started to write songs. It took us one year to make a whole CD. There were so many things that were new. We finally found a label in Finland - Lion Music, which released the first CD and also will release the second project EMPIRE.

- In your first Cd, "No More Obscurity", you have worked together with great and well known musicians such as Anders Johansson (ex-Malmsteen/Hammerfall) & Lance King (Balance of Power), Why these guys & how did you contacted them?
Both are great musicians and I'm very happy to have them on my CD. Anders did together with Gerald a great drum solo, which is interesting to hear on a CD in our days. When have I heard the last drum solo on a non-live CD? And these guys rock! Lance did a great vocal interpretation of "Message In A Bottle". I'm very happy with that tune, because we managed it to make not just a copy of the original.

- Have you already planned a tour?
I hope, I can go on tour with my new project EMPIRE!

- Now you´re working on a new CD with Lance King, Mark Boals, Anders Johansson and Neil Murray, How is it going?
Wonderful, all the recordings are finished and we go into the studio in the end of June to mix the album. And there is one more guest - Don Airey. He played keys on the ballad of the album. Amazing!

- You also play the guitar in Vanize, How came this all about? How are things going for the band?
We found us through the internet. They were looking for a new guitarist, because Marcus had left the band. They heard some demo stuff from my website and invited me for rehearsal. I learned some of the tunes and we played them together. It was really fun, because it's a lot of energy in their music. We are currently starting to work on some new material for a new CD. But it's too early to say what, when and so on.

- How would you describe the sound of RMB? Which are the main differences between all your projects?
I think, it's a fresh and powerful sound with a lot of different musicians and all their experience. That makes it a wonderful and varied album. About the different projects I can say, that this is great for me. I like to be involved in two, three things. From each you can put power, experience and freshness into the other. It never gets boring. And everything has something, that the other project does not have. That's amazing!! It inspires me.

- What do you think about the changing style of some Metal guitarists, you know...with those extremely "personal" and strange albums...


I don't know, if I got your question right, but everybody is free to play what he wants. The guilty people are the big labels and producers. They try to sell everything, no matter how good or bad it is. If you tell to a 16 year old teenie he/she is an amazing guitarist. He/she will believe it. Who is responsible?

- Now the unavoidable question... What are the main influences for you, and your favorite bands/musicians...
I was influenced by guitarists like Gary Moore, Malmsteen, Blackmore, Morse, Holdsworth. From composers I like Sting, Peter Gabriel, Beatles, Collins.

- Did you come to Spain with Vanize in the UDO tour? If yes, What is your opinion about our country?
I wish I was, but that was before my time with Vanize. But if we have the chance to go on tour in Spain, I would love to come!

- Let´s talk about instrumental albums, Don´t you think they can be quite boring for the general audience? I mean, there´s no voice, so no choruses to sing along...
Even for me it's mostly too boring to listen to an all-instrumental album. That was the reason to bring some singers on my first Lion Music release. And Lance was the one, who was the most interesting singer for the new album. He has so much warmness in his voice. Cool! That is what I needed for the Empire songs. And he did a wonderful job there. You'll see.

- OK, We have got to the end, Is there a final statement you want to say?
EMPIRE - Bringing Rock Back Into The Fast Lane! Thanks for the interview.

- Interview by Gema Pérez.