Tommy: You have made yourself a big name
as a guitarist, Rolf - recieveing very good reviews worldwide and prizes
at different occasions, and are considered one of the biggest guitarvirtouses
in Germany, and have been awarded the German Rock Prize in the category
Best Instrumentalist. And also became the best participant at the Finale
of the European Guitar Festival in Switzerland in November 2000.
What makes you play for such different bands as your own Empire and for
example Vanize? Many projects you are involved in has the touch of the
more softer side of rock with a lot of acoustic and unplugged tunes.
Do you feel you have a need to satisfy every corner of your musical yearn,
and which style do you hold as the most enjoyable to play?
R. Munkes: I was trying with lots of styles
musically as well as on the guitar and it took me a lot lof time to
find my way and my favs. And I'm still not there where I want to be,
but closer. I like to be involved in
two/three things a time.
Each one has special things, which the others don't have. That makes
it interesting and varied. Empire and Vanize are my main projects
and everything has to wait for that.
Tommy: Tell us a litle bit about the idea
behind Empire. What made you start up this band, and also - what are the
longterm plans for the group? Can we consider Empire a steady band, or
is it more on the projectlevel still?
R. Munkes: After my solo CD "No more obscurity"
I wasn't too happy that I put half instrumental and half vocal stuff
on it. So I decided to find singers and do a whole vocal album. Lance
agreed to sing the whole album except two songs. These two were done
by Mark Boals.
I composed several tunes for the album
and worked out the whole stuff with Gerald. We worked one year for
that album and invited some of the greatest musicians to play and
- they did.
It was an honour to have all these guys on my CD! In
the moment I'm working on a follow up of Hypnotica. The line-up isn't
still confirmed, so be patient and stay tuned for that.
Tommy: Attending to a lot of prominent schools
in your adolesence years,mainly being tought playing by jazzmusicians
- there were never really a doubt that you would devote your time and
life to metal?
Or are you planning on releasing some jazz, blues or equal album later
on in life?
R. Munkes: To be honest I play Jazz very, very
bad and I would never have the idea to make a jazz album. I don't
even listen to it. I don't like Jazz! It was important for me to learn
a bit about it, but that was all.
What I like is Blues. I have some ideas for some tunes, but right
now the other things are much more interesting for me. I love Robben
And I'm into some Fusion players as well.
Tommy: A couple of years ago, you also featured
in two Michael Suljic productions for Walt Disney Enterprises, where you
recieved nice accomplishments for your versatility as a guitar player.
Are there any more project planned within this area in the future, and
is this something you want to explore more of and try out in the future?
R. Munkes: I'm always open for all and Michael
is good friend of mine and a great musician. It was very cool to play
on these albums - totally different stuff (one was a musical for kids).
We did a 3 Track CD this year, but I haven't still heard the result.
It's already released, but I don't know any details so far.
Tommy: Could you bring us up to date on
the status on the band ABRA, which you were involved in and co-founded
back in 1992 and that has released two CDs so far?
Are that band put to ice now when you are heavily involved in 2 major
bands, or is there time for that too?
Tommy: And finally - any words of wisdom
or funny facts about the nearest future
you want to share with the readers?
That was all I had for now, Rolf - the staff at metalcovenant.com
wish you all the very best for the future, and we sincerely want to thank
you for keeping the spirit of Metal alive!