Kaaos TV conducted an interview with vocalist Ronnie Atkins of Danish hard rockers PRETTY MAIDS prior to the band’s March 8 performance in Helsinki. The full conversation can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On how the veteran group chooses its live set list:
Ronnie: “It’s difficult. When you’ve got, like, 16 studio albums, it’s difficult to cover it all. It’s very difficult sometimes, because people have different opinions. You’ve got to play something you really like to do yourself, which is also functional live, and at the same time, you’re going to play some songs you know people expect to hear. The more albums you do, the more difficult it is, and we have serious arguments about it sometimes in the band, because some want to play some [songs], and some want to play something else. There are some songs we always play, like ‘Future World’. People expect us to play that [and] ‘Red, Hot And Heavy’, maybe, back to back.”
On the band’s longevity, and the key to his successful working relationship with PRETTY MAIDS co-founder Ken Hammer:
Ronnie: “I don’t know if there’s a secret recipe. Not a lot of bands are [still] hanging out [after] 37 years. I think we both had the same vision back then. We both wanted to do the same thing, so it’s kind of like your little baby. The last seven, eight years, suddenly there was a huge interest in the band again. These last seven years, we’ve been kind of on a roll, and we’ve toured a lot, done some good music, done some good albums that [were] critically acclaimed, and the fans really liked them. Of course, that gives you a little kick in the ass — you want to do it again. We had the fire back. Also, I think humor — a good sense of humor is very much a part of [why] we’re still together. Of course, we have our ups and downs, and we have our arguments, and we take our fights, but that’s how it is. If you’ve been married for 37 years, you’d have that too.”
On how today’s rock scene compares to the era when the band first started:
Ronnie: “I think there’s still a scene for hard rock and traditional heavy metal. You can go to countries like Germany — there’s still a big market down there. But there’s so many different subgenres, and we’ve been kind of through it all. It’s like a full-circle thing. Now it’s back again, and bands like JUDAS PRIEST, [IRON] MAIDEN, SAXON, all these bands are still around. It’s cool. There was a time in the ’90s where all this new metal — bands like PANTERA, TOOL and whatever it was — it was a little difficult. It was always like we were kitsch back then. It was a little hard, but we still survived. We continued playing. But you see a lot of things through a 37-year career, and see how things come and go.”
On the group’s future plans:
Ronnie: “We’re going to shoot a DVD on the upcoming tour, where we play the ‘Future World’ album. We were supposed to do that last year, but it didn’t materialize. We’re probably going to do that, shoot that and edit that, and [it’s] probably going to be out in the fall. We got a few festivals in the summer and a couple of gigs in December, and that’s it, so we’re not going to do a lot [of touring]. We’re going to start writing for a new album, which will probably be out in 2019. That’s the main thing.”
A few days after the interview took place, PRETTY MAIDS announced that it will film its upcoming DVD and Blu-ray on March 30 in Zlin, Czech Republic. The band says: “On the night, we will perform our classic album ‘Future World’ in its entirety as well as other stuff from our ongoing career.”
PRETTY MAIDS‘ 15th studio album, the Jacob Hansen-produced “Kingmaker”, was released in November of 2016 via Frontiers Music Srl. The album debuted at No. 35 on the German chart, making it the group’s highest-charting release in the country since 1990’s “Jump The Gun”.
The band’s next album will be their first with drummer Allan Sørensen, who joined the group last year.