About Me

Interview with Bonded

Bonded, the new group by former Sodom members Bernd “Bernemann” Kost (Guitars) and Markus “Makka” Freiwald (Drums), are pleased to announce the release of their debut album “Rest In Violence” for January 17th, 2020 via Century Media Records. The band, who also features second guitarist Chris Tsitsis (ex-Suicidal Angels), bassist Marc Hauschild and vocalist Ingo Bajonczak (Assassin) in their line-up ranks, have created nothing short of a highly versatile and hard-hitting Thrash Metal debut together with producer Cornelius Rambadt (Sodom, Disbelief, Onkel Tom) at the Rambado Recording Studio in Essen, Germany. “Rest In Violence” also showcases Overkill’s Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth as guest vocalist as well as former Kreator bass-player Christian “Speesy” Giesler on the album’s title track and the release comes with artwork by Björn Gooßes / Killustrations (Aborted, The Crown, Carnal Forge). Well, this one promises to be one hell of a release, therefore Metal Imperium decided to ask Makka, Bernemann and Ingo a few questions regarding “Rest In Violence”… here’s what they had to say…

M.I. - Your debut album will be released in January but you have loads of attention already because of the notoriety of the members involved in the project… does this upset you somehow? To know people are going to listen to Bonded and compare its sound to your other bands?

Makka - This doesn’t upset us… the opposite is the case. We are pleased that magazines, labels and fans are aware of us and take notice. In the beginning, people will compare our music to our previous bands of course, but that’s fine. We don’t have to hide ourselves with “Rest In Violence” and we are proud of the product. People should listen to the album and try to build their own opinion about it. 

M.I. - Do you think the listeners will always have the tendency to compare Bonded to your previous bands? Does this put any pressure on you?

Makka - Nope, as I said before, we don’t feel any pressure on us…

M.I. - The band is already a success… how difficult is it being this “big”? Do you ever wish you could go back to being anonymous and walk around freely and just be a normal person?

Makka - For us it is a big success so far, that’s right, but I don’t think that we are big in the metal scene already. So far, we got many positive reactions for the stuff which has been released already. But, to be big in the scene means a lot more. Kreator for instance are successful, if we could go in this direction one day, it would be the greatest thing on Earth for us… 

M.I. - The 1st single from the debut “Rest In Violence” is “Je Suis Charlie”… is this a reference to terrorist attacks? How much do this kind of attacks affect you? Just last week London was the stage of yet another terrorist attack… how concerned do you feel with this?

Bernemann - Unfortunately, terrorist attacks have been common in recent years. I will never understand how people are capable of such reactions. Seen in this way, I see myself, in my role as a musician, as an intermediary. The metalheads I've met worldwide are all the same. If you’re playing in Turkey, Japan or South America it makes no difference. Different temperaments yes but, in the end, everybody wants to party and to have a good and peaceful time together. It doesn’t matter what religion you belong to. Metal is connecting people much stronger than politics or religion.

M.I. - The band was formed on the 1st January 2018… was this a sober decision or were you all happy (and maybe a bit drunk) about the New Year and made this wild decision?

Makka - (laughts), oooooh yes. It was a more than a sober decision. Bernemann’s and my slogans are: “Never give up” and “No excuses”... For us it has never been an option to give up making music after leaving Sodom. So, we decided to form a new band with great musicians and, ideally, good friends...

M.I. - Bernd “Bernemann” Kost and drummer Markus “Makka” Freiwald have been consistent and authentic for more than 30 years and both are deeply rooted in what could be considered the origin of German Thrash Metal. How much impact has German Thrash Metal had in your life? Did you ever expect to be active for so long?

Makka - Thrash Metal was and still is a big part of our lives. I met Bernemann the first time when I was sixteen years old and since then we have been good friends. We never thought about how long we were going to survive in the thrash metal scene. Life can be an asshole sometimes and you never know what will happen. We can only be thankful that we are still here and still healthy. I personally want to be active as long as my mind and body are willing to be… I think, in this case, I speak for all the band members...

M.I. – The band members have a huge and intense history and experience as musicians in bands such as Despair, Angel Dust, Voodoo Cult, Kreator and Sodom. How much of your arsenal of experience in terms of songwriting, production and performance helped you in Bonded?

Makka - During 3 decades of experience we have learned every day how to compose, to produce and how to perform on stage. It is just a normal process in life when you love what you do… Of course, it helped us a lot to form a band like Bonded now. We were so creative during the time we were forming the band and so we wrote more than 40 Songs. Out of these songs, we were able to choose the 12 strongest for our first Album. With the experience and ideas of Marc, Chris and Ingo we created an Album which let us smile every time we listen to it.

M.I. - Why did you feel the need to create Bonded, considering that it isn’t that far off when compared to the previous bands you’ve been in? Are you hoping to add something extra to the genre?

Makka - As I said before, we love to make music and it doesn’t make sense for us to compare ourselves with any previous success. We do what we have ever done and we will add something extra to the genre, believe me… At least we hope we can add something special…

M.I. - Does the name Bonded come from the fact that you are bonded to your origin without being stale?

The name Bonded is just a reflection of what we are. We are 5 good friends who love to make music together, have some beers at parties or just hang out together. We are in contact almost every day and have the most fun together when we meet.

M.I. - Once the band was formed, Bernemann and Makka teamed up with Chris Tsitsis (ex-Suicidal Angels, Destroy Them) as second guitarist, Marc Hauschild on Bass and Ingo Bajonczak of Assassin (ex-New Damage, ex-Supersoma, ex-Lord of Giant). This is quite a luxury line-up… are you only dedicating yourselves solely to this project now?

Bonded is not only a project for us. This is a serious band for all of us. Of course, Ingo and Chris are still active in their bands Assassin and Destroy Them, but this is fine for us. I am still active with Despair but all these activities won’t affect Bonded in any case. We are all fine with that.

M.I. - Why did you choose the title “Rest in Violence”? Is this a message to the world and society these days?

INGO - First of all it appears to be a cool sounding title for a Thrash Metal album for sure! To be honest it came to my mind when I was dealing with the topic of the songs’ lyrical content (Chinese triads/their codes and their concept of the omertà) - it's a play on words and resembles the aggressive attitude of the album & title track! And, of course, we wish all the world and society only live in peace and good times - the bad comes on its own anyway.

M.I. - Lyrically “Rest In Violence” offers a wide variety of themes and topics. Can you enlighten us a bit more?

INGO - Sure. The title track Rest In Violence is a song about Chinese triads and their codes of honour. Bobby Blitz Ellsworth did a great job here, recreating several lines of the verses and he totally nailed it with his vocal-performance!!! The lyrics of Suit Murderer, our 2nd video-single, deal with the oppression of the common people and the power of the big business men in charge - they are ruthless and accept killing people for money - they are Suit Murderers!!! Je suis Charlie, our first video-single, is a clear and straight statement to the freedom of speech and against the menace of fear! it recalls the Charlie Hebdo-Assassinations and is a sign of solidarity to the dead, because the real victim remains here… it’s our freedom!!! The Rattle & The Snake is an ironic fun lyrical excurse about the killing & dying in the wild, wild west. No Cure fo Life has a very personal theme & remains to be self-interpreted. We also have a conceptional science-fiction-horror-story-line structured in a trilogy within the songs Galaxy M87, Arrival and The Beginning Of The End which is based on influences through movies like Alien & Prometheus as well as the writings of H.P.Lovecraft and his concepts of the great old ones! Finally, it can be said that Bonded's lyrical approach is out to be as various as their musical one! 

M.I. - In this album you’ve counted with help from some friends, especially on the title track “Rest In Violence”, which features Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth of Overkill on guest vocals as well as former Kreator bass-player Christian “Speesy” Giesler. How did these collaborations come up?

Bernemann - I have known Bobby for many years. We often met at concerts all over the world, always had a beer together and talked some shit, so we became friends. He invited me to an OVERKILL show in Germany last March. There he asked me about my new band, I told him that we got a deal with Century Media and that our friend Speesy (ex Kreator) would record a song with us. Bobby spontaneously offered himself to sing this song, if I wanted… FUCK!! Of course, I wanted! It is a great honour and joy for me. In my eyes, Bobby is one of the last big characters in the scene.

M.I. - The cover artwork of your debut album "Rest In Violence" was made by your good friend Björn Gooßes of Killustrations. What’s the message behind it? Is it that violence is killing our society and soon humankind will vanish for good?

Makka - In my opinion, it is an allusion to the character of our time - we do live in violent times and it can be found in so many aspects of our daily life! Even silence can be full of violence - that closes the circle even in its cover-artwork with bones and spines as a symbol for death.

M.I. - You are all adults now… is there a message you’d like to give to the younger bands? Did anyone ever give you advice that helped you, musically speaking?

Makka - I would say that they have to make mistakes in their band life, otherwise they won't learn to avoid making them. A band is not able to grow and get Bonded without making mistakes. Music is an art and there can't be a winner in the game. There is always someone who is more successful than you are. So, carry on and try to get as far as you can. My Slogan is: Never give up... Anyways, I don't think that new bands would like to get any advice from some old guys like us, (laughts)!

INGO - That's why we have a youngster inside Bonded that guides us, (laughts)!

M.I. - The band has been playing some concerts here and there but will there be a tour in order to promote “Rest in Violence”? Hope you come and play in Portugal soon!

Makka - Invite us and we will be there. We hope that we can play a nice Festival or a small tour in Portugal. I’ve been there a lot of times with my friends from Moonspell and Lacuna Coil. I love Portugal. My wife is Portuguese and we also have a house there near Coimbra, in a village called Mortágua… I am also thinking about living in Portugal when I am retired…

M.I. - Having been active for 30 years, is there anything else left for you to achieve as a musician? And as an individual? Still many goals to achieve?

Makka - All goals we have achieved with our previous bands in the past we also want to achieve with Bonded. Next step is to promote the upcoming album as well as possible and to play live concerts as much as we can.

M.I. - Please share a message with the Portuguese fans and readers of Metal Imperium Webzine.

Makka - Thanks for all your support over all the decades we have been in the business. Stay tuned and be Bonded with us. We hope to meet you guys on some shows in lovely Portugal…

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Sónia Fonseca