German rock n’ roll act SPITFIRE were formed sometime in 2011 and since then they have released two exceptionally crafted albums, ‘Devil’s Dance’ in 2013 and ‘Welcome to Bone City’ in 2015. The trio that consists of Johnny Jailbreak (bass, backing vocals), Nikk Nitro (drums, backing vocals) and Dick Dropkick (vocals & guitars) offer a very energetic amalgam of punk rock n’ roll meets metal garnished with a lil’ bit of southern and rockabilly. If you like ‘ballsy’ rock n’ roll, Motorhead style, then you should definitely check these guys!
Thanks to vocalist and frontman, Dick Dropkick for answering our questions!
CnB: To begin with, my congrats on your second album, ‘Welcome to Bone City’. I had a blast listening to it!
Dick Dropkick: Thanks man! Glad you like it!
CnB: So, what Spitfire are all about? From where they came from and what is their purpose in this world?
Dick Dropkick: SpitFire is a rock’n’roll threepiece formed in 2011 by me Dick Dropkick (Vocals, guitar), Nikk Nitro(drums) and Johnny Jailbreak(bass) . We came to make some music we wanted to hear and are really thankful that now we have the opportunity to do exactly what we always wanted to! In 2012 we signed our first record deal, released two records via SPV and hit the road to play shows all over Europe since then.
CnB: Compared to your first album, your sound has become considerably heavier, blending also other genres such as metal, southern rock and hardcore. Is it the natural evolution of things?
Dick Dropkick: Well the second album combines even more all the influences of us three. We are really into 80’s hard rock like Guns’n’Roses, Aerosmith, Whitesnake as well as modern stuff like Parkway Drive or Five Finger Death Punch. That the second record is heavier than the first one was just a natural evolution and not a planned thing. We are not a radio Top40 band, so why don’t put some heavier stuff on the record. Let’s see what the next one brings.
CnB: As said above, your sound is a blend of different genres. Hearing your music, one can understand that you are not the monolithic kinda guys. What are your influences? Who hears what in the band?
Dick Dropkick: As I said before. It’s a really broad range of influences. From the typical things you would expect like Backyard Babies, Motörhead or Turbonegro we are also into stuff like Parkway Drive and Callejon as well as stuff like Kyuss, Monster Truck and all those great stoner bands. For me personally there’s also a great love for blues music like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Bonamassa, BB King and all those fantastic guitar players.
CnB: ‘Devil’s Dance’ received rave reviews when it came out back in 2013. What’s the feedback so far concerning ‘Welcome to Bone City’?
Dick Dropkick: Well in general we received a lot of great reviews but of course there are some people who don’t like what we are doing. But that shows us that we made a great record which polarizes in some kind of way. We don’t want to be everyone’s darling so we can deal with it 😉
CnB: I read there is a concept behind the lyrics of ‘Welcome to Bone City’?
Dick Dropkick: I don’t want to call it a concept but the idea behind the lyrics was to tell some stories and to create a picture in the listeners head. To give it a frame we created Bone City as a really dark and fucked up place like in the great Sin City movies.
CnB: Who does what (lyrics, synthesis etc.) in the band?
Dick Dropkick: I write most of the music and the lyrics at home in my studio. Then we get together in our rehearsal room and try out some things with the whole band to give it the finishing touch. Nikk and Johnny are responsible for a lot of the work in the background. Doing all the financial things, merchandise and stuff like that. Luckily we have a good team with us which is doing a lot of the promo and booking stuff!
CnB: In 2013 you appeared in Wacken Open Festival in front of thousands. How was it as an experience, was Wacken the biggest festival you have appeared so far? What’s your gig plans for the next year? Are we gonna catch you in any big summer fest?
Dick Dropkick: In 2013 we played a lot of festival like Metal Dayz in Slovenia, Reload Festival in Germany, Alpen Flair in Italy but Wacken was really a great one! Awesome show and a really superb organized festival! Of course it was a great honor for us to play at one of the biggest metal festivals in the world. It was really a dream come true!
CnB: The question I am often interested in asking is whether bands can make a living out for rock n’ roll? Is it possible, or those days are long gone? What is your status, do you have daily jobs?
Dick Dropkick: In my opinion these days are gone. It’s possible but really hard. Nowadays as a band especially a rock or metal band you have to be lucky if you can make enough money to cover your costs for touring, crew, gasoline etc. We are really happy about the fact that we don’t have to spend our private money anymore for keeping that band alive! Of course it’s hard to combine a daily 9 to 5 job with a band that’s constantly growing. So we do have jobs next to the band to buy something to eat but we all do things that are good to combine with all that rock’n’roll stuff 😉
CnB: What is your dream concerning SPITFIRE. How far do you wish to go with it?
Dick Dropkick: Of course you have to dream big 😉 – but the first step is to get a good fanbase and to have some people at our shows. As a musician it’s the greatest compliment you can get if someone sacrifices his money and rare free time to come to your show and just has good time watching your concert. So we are really thankful for everyone coming by at our shows and party with us!
CnB: As a member of band and as an individual, what’s your opinion concerning the unfortunate events that occurred in the Eagles of Death Metal concert in Paris, costing the lives of many innocent people?
Dick Dropkick: Well it’s a shame and really sad for all the people involved in this thing. For me the terrorists are fanatic and idiotic cowards that kill innocent people. But the government should react really carefully now and don’t push things too hard because these attacks as well that whole ISIS thing is just a reaction on the politics our governments did in their countries..
In my opinion we as musicians and people in the entertainment business have to go on now more than ever to not let these cowards win.
CnB: To lighten and close our conversation, name the albums you are currently listening on your mp3 player and suggest a band (‘s) that we don’t know and we need to hear?
– Drone / “Drone” (fantastic german Death/Thrash/RocknRoll whatever-Metal)
– Five Finger Death Punch / “Got Your six”
– Gloomball / “The Quiet Monster” (great german heavyrock band)
– Backyard Babies / “Making Enemies is Good”
– Gaslight Anthem / “Handwritten”
– We are Harlot / “We are Harlot”
CnB: Thank you very much for your time. Hope to catch you guys at some upcoming festival.
Dick Dropkick: Thank you for this interview!
Hope to hear from you guys!