Interview mit Ross Friedman (Ross The Boss, The Dictators)

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January 2017 starts with a Metal Highlight: On January 18 nine musicians and one band will be inducted to the Hall Of Heavy Metal History in Anaheim / California. Among these will be Lemmy Kilmister, Ronnie James Dio, the SCORPIONS, Randy Rhoads – and guitar player Ross “The Boss” Friedman, whom I met two years ago in Frankfurt, where his band THE DICTATORS played. We have been friends since and I value him for his musical talent, his even-tempered mind, his hard work and his always sincere nature. He took the time for a whole hour of interview via Skype, in which we talked about his lifetime achievements, politics, his Batting Cage and plans for the future. The outcome is a long, but entertaining interview. Enjoy!

Manu: Ross, first of all thank you so much for taking the time for the interview and congratulations on your induction to the Hall Of Heavy Metal History. How do you feel about being honored alongside Lemmy Kilmister and Ronnie James Dio?

Ross Friedman: It’s a tremendous honor. I was not expecting it. I was thinking that maybe I would have to die first, before anyone would say anything, you know, but it’s nice to be recognized by my peers, and the people in the industry. I certainly work very hard, in 40 years I have worked as hard as I can. It’s fantastic, I am deeply honored.

Manu: What exactly will happen in Anaheim, California, on the 18th of January?

Ross Friedman: I don’t know since it’s the first one of its kind. I am sure they have a lot of plans for it. My band is playing, ROSS THE BOSS band will play, the SCORPIONS will going to be there and all these other people, Wendy Dio. I am sure it’s going to be a little unorganized and confusing at the same time, but I am sure it’s going to be very nice, as all these kind of events are. Eddie Trunk is going to be the MC, he is a great guy and very well respected in the industry. I will be on his show soon. So I am very happy, it should be great.

Manu: Will there be a live stream or something?

Ross Friedman: I don’t know, I hope so! We have to honor everyone in this genre. I think we should recognize people in the genre. Of course next year they put Black Sabbath and the usual, you know, but I think this time it’s a little bit different.

Manu: You are a very hard-working musician and over – you can’t really say years – but over decades you have been involved in many projects. Can you actually keep track on everything you ever did? I mean, that’s an amazing work of a lifetime you got there.

Ross Friedman: I can’t keep track on all of the various guest spots I have played on and continue to do so. I can keep track on the music. I know what ‘THE DICTATORS are doing, I know what SHAKIN’ STREET is doing, I know what MANOWAR, I know what my current band does, I know what DEATH DEALER, so… (laughing) there is a lot of stuff I did.

Manu: Absolutely. A long list, without any doubt.

Ross Friedman: I hope to continue to be doing it. Some people say „Guys you’re rich, you are looking to retire“. I don’t. First of all I don’t have a pension. Musicians don’t have pensions. Second of all the idea of not working is just horrible. Why do I get up every morning, you know? And third of all, I can’t afford it, so (laughing) I got to keep working. But it’s an honor to work, it really is, and I love to play for people.

Manu: Of all of those bands, if you had to choose and had to highlight one band you played in, a band which is very, very special to you, which one would that be?

interviews 20170115 rossfriedmann2Ross Friedman: To be honest with you it’s my first band that I started, which was THE DICTATORS. I mean, that was my first band, my first record, “THE DICTATORS Go Girl Crazy”. That was my first time in the studio. It’s amazing what has been happening, what is going on, the recognition the band is getting, the young fans that are coming to see us all the time. You know people are saying great things about all the music, but like last week in New York we played two shows, that were completely sold out, it was unbelievable. We played “Go Girl Crazy” from the start at Berlin, start to finish, and then at Bowery Electric we played “Blood Brothers” start to finish and truly it’s really been fun. I would say THE DICTATORS, but of course the heavy metal side is there, too.
But it’s my first band. And I said to myself, I am not giving up, I will never give up. I will not put this band down, I will never do it. I won’t have a chip on my shoulder about it, that the band doesn’t get what it deserves and I won’t before I die and Richard is not going to do it. We will just fight until the end.

Manu: Is there any band that you have playing in, that you would say was completely underrated and for which you would have wished more recognition for?

Ross Friedman: Yes! I would say THE SPINATRAS. I think that record was really great. It’s like Cheap Trick meet The Ramones. I thought it was going to be… The week the record comes out, CMC, the record company, got sold to a label that only wants to put out Heavy Metal. My luck, that would be my luck, I am a Metal King. But that’s the luck of the music industry in the changing times of the industry. I think it came out in 1996 and I was certain it would make it really great, it is amazing, great stuff, but NO. What can I do?

Manu: So people should maybe listen into it again?

Ross Friedman: I think so. I think it’s a gem of a record and I think it’s a beautiful record with so much great stuff on it. I’m going to do something, I think I will get it re-issued or something by somebody. I will have to see about it, because I love it. I think the record sounds amazing, the guitar tones on it were fantastic. We did a version of a BOB DYLAN song, “My Back Pages”, and I think it’s just an amazing version and I think there are great songs on it. I got to work on that.

Manu: Which record would you say does represent you the most – as a person and as a musician?

Ross Friedman (thinking): I would say… well… I don’t know… I would say maybe “Battle Hymns”. The first MANOWAR record was my record and I would say THE DICTATORS “D.F.F.D .”– Combination of those two.

Manu: Of course you can pick two.

Ross Friedman: I think when “Go Girl Crazy” came out no one had a name for it, no one knew what the hell it was (laughing). I think even we did not know what it was. No one did call it punk rock or anything like that; I would say it is more like Protopunk. And bands like MOTÖRHEAD, it’s the same thing. Lemmy said “We were never a Heavy Metal band, it’s a Rock´n´Roll Band”. And that’s what we are: A Rock´n´Roll band.

Manu: Which musicians did influence you the most?

Ross Friedman: In my life growing up it was BB KING, it was JIMI HENDRIX, JIMMY PAGE. You know, the whole generation before me, before I started. Those guys, the English invasion, George Harrison, but mainly the Blues, the Chicago Blues, the Delta Blues guys. To me that was, that is, everything, playing guitar like that. Peter Green from FLEETWOOD MAC. Guys that could say more with three notes than others with a billion notes. And I maintain to this day that’s me. It’s more expressive to play less and say more. David Gilmore from PINK FLOYD. You know you got to play fast sometimes, I got to go for it, X-RAY SPEX, in DEATH DEALER STU and I go nuts, but I think it’s more important to say what you have to say in a short matter of time. To be able to say it and get it out and it should be more like a song within a song.

Manu: With your different bands you cover Rock crowds and Metal crowds. They are obviously a bit different. What do you cherish most about each of them?

Ross Friedman: They are smart because they are there (laughing). I love the fans. A lot of them just like everything I do. They are coming. But you have fans in the genre of music. The DICTATORS fans will never listen to MANOWAR music and at the same time the MANOWAR fans think THE DICTATORS are silly. But you got a little crossover these days. I just love them all. I mean, come on, I love my customers.

Manu: Of course!

Ross Friedman: Right? Listen, if it wasn’t for them, we would not be talking right now.

Manu: Right! But is there something special about the Metal crowd or the Rock crowd?

Ross Friedman: The Metal crowd tends to be super loyal kids. They buy everything that you have. Anything that I say they respond to. The Metal crowd is very amazing. The DICTATORS crowd is kinda older, especially in the United States here. But in Europe we got young fans. I like the Metal kids, they are great.

Manu: I wanted to ask this question later, but maybe it fits here quite well: If you see someone like me, who is younger than the first album you made, at your shows, how does that feel?

Ross Friedman: That feels like you are someone very smart with an excellent taste of music and you are on the right spot (laughing).

Manu: That’s a really nice thing that you say that, and I sure agree (laughing), but I was rather asking how you feel about it, when you see young fans?

interviews 20170115 rossfriedmann3Ross Friedman: If I see young fans? I think that’s great. I can safely say that we have done our job. The fact that the music is going to generations, it’s not just stopping. There are so many bands that put out records and that was it. It shows that the band has a life, that the music has got a life, that the influence of the band is continuous. People still look to the band and their records and still form their bands. I meet so many guys who say “I saw you play guitar, I wanted to play guitar like you, I wanted to form a band like THE DICTATORS, I wanted to form a band like MANOWAR”. Let’s face it, the influence MANOWAR has is gigantic. It started Power Metal. It always makes me feel great when people say “I started to play because of you!” And this just touches my heart. It does! There are no words to say. “I started to play guitar, because of you, Ross!” That makes me feel great.

Manu: Great! – I feel like there is a special atmosphere within the DICTATORS NYC band. What do you think is it for you, that is so special about it?

Ross Friedman: That’s a great question. I think this line-up is a line-up that really has a chemistry. There is a mutual respect and there is no animosity like in the last. We all really respect each other, they want to be there. Dean [RISPLER] is a great guy. I mean, everyone loves Dean and he is just an amazing musician. The rhythm section is the best we ever had and Daniel [REY] has been a family member since the beginning. He came to see us when he was a kid, he has been in WILD KINGDOM, he was the only choice on second guitar. He is an amazing guitar player; we have this great respect and chemistry. Now we have something that offers a new dimension to the band. Great vibe, it’s a professional, world class Rock show now, so people are responding. Besides the good chemistry in the band it’s a good Rock Show. If you really like Rock´n´Roll, if you really like guitar-based Rock´n´Roll, THE DICTATORS are the band you should go see. Believe me, if I was a kid right now, and I liked Rock´n´Roll and that band was coming through, I wouldn’t care where that was, I would be there!

Manu: Knowing that you and Richard have kind of different opinions on politics, it’s always a little bit amusing listening to his funny presentation of American Politics and seeing you standing by his side, grinning.

Ross Friedman (laughing)

Manu: Did you ever feel the urge to go to the microphone and comment on something he said?

Ross Friedman: No! No, I don’t believe politics has a place in music. I am completely turned off, now U2 has decided, that now that Trump is going to be president that they are striking and I said “Well, it’s going to be a long eight years strike for you”. Cause that’s what’s going to happen. I don’t see it, I don’t see musicians like Springsteen … You are turning off more people then you… I don’t think politics has any place in music, I really don’t and especially at a DICTATORS show. Who f**g cares? What is the band about? We are about cars, girls, surfing, beer, fucking around, getting stoned … just doing the shit that we did when we were young and that is the spirit of the band. Rock´n´Roll, you know.
Richard likes to yap away but I don’t think it has any place for it. People ask “How can you be in a band with this guy?” He is my best friend, we grew up together. If you know me you know there is no bad bone in this body, but who is going to say what you believe in is wrong or right. Your side, I am not like that. I couldn’t care less, all my friends are lefties, I don’t care. They know me. As a matter of fact I had a nice… My friend Cheetah [Chrome] started to curse me and then he wrote me a message “I am sorry, Ross, I would like to apologize to you for that”, because they get to bad words and start cursing, which I never do, cause I am always laughing. I just tweak people on Facebook. I like the tweaking, cause I know I am going to get a reaction.
This guy goes “I am so sorry that I disrespected you” and I said: “Listen, your apology is accepted”. Just keep it civil, that’s all. I know the country is divided, I know the world is divided, I know politics is divided. I just say let’s keep it civil, cause at the end of the day I have been friends with Cheetah since 1977, or earlier than that, and I love the guy and he loves me. I know he hates my politics and I don’t like his politics, but we could be killing each other on Facebook and then ten seconds later we are goofing off at the messenger, like it never happened. And when we see each other we never talk about politics, never! So you go figure that, I just like tweaking people.

Manu (laughing): I know you know how to do that.

Ross Friedman (laughing): I KNOW how to do that, really. And on the other hand I can feel the air burning. That’s Facebook, it has no power, it’s just people talking. So… Richard should shut up!

Manu: But still you are having fun at the show when he does that.

interviews 20170115 rossfriedmann5Ross Friedman: We have more fun than we could shake a stick at. It’s still so divided, it’s crazy. The losing side can’t accept the fact that they lost. The behavior is kind of not so good; because I know when Obama won we did not go out and burn cars. We did not go cause trouble. I mean we did not like it. I did not like it.I think I have grown up a bit on this, I said: “I did not vote for you, I did not support you, ok, but I do believe that you did the best for the country. You did what you think was best for the nation and I thank you for your service.” That’s how I am ending it. That’s what I say about Obama. Give the guy a chance, that’s all. I am sure it’s going to be war every day for the next ten years. I hope not, but it’s going to be, I guarantee you. It was yesterday.
We’ll see. Give him a chance, see what he does. I know there are 94 Million people without work. I’d like to see them have jobs, a big portion of them want to work. But there are a lot of things to be accomplished in the country, for the good of everybody. I hope it works. Especially the inner city blacks, the inner city murder rate, all that stuff, the lawlessness, the fatherlessness. The families need to be fixed, which is a disaster. I think education and good parenting are a big part of it. I feel for kids and I see them coming into the Cage, and I know single parents, single mothers, are trying to do their best. Whenever they bring in a kid I take care of them, I give them bus money, I let them play in the cage for hours with no money, I do that all the time. I just want to try to help people, help the way I can, but you can’t substitute for good parenting.

Manu: I wanted to ask that later, but since we are talking about it right now: I know that you have a big passion for your other work besides music. Can you tell people who don’t know anything about it, about your Cage? What you are doing, what it is?

Ross Friedman: Well, the family has a Batting Cage. We had it for about 11 years and it’s for practicing Baseball, Softball and Cricket and Soccer, and a lot of people come in. I love sports, I do. Especially I love Baseball, because my son was so good at it and he is a coach now and he teaches and I just think that it’s great for the kids. The inner city kids love Baseball, especially the Latin kids are all super into Baseball. Dominicans and Puerto Rican kids they love the game and when I see good kids I help them.
Especially now its training time for the upcoming season and they come into my place and say “Ross, I only have…” and they got pennies and dimes and nickels and dollar bills and stuff like that and I ask “How much you got, let me see. You know, we have to make an 11.000 Dollar rent in that building, so it’s hard, but how much you got?” [stutter] “Alright, see the back two cages there, where I can’t see you? Here is a bucket of balls, go there, make sure you don’t do any damage, make sure you’ll be careful and I’ll see ya” – “Oh thank you, thank you Ross, thank you. If I will ever get a Major League Deal, I will take care of you; I will come back and take care of you”.
I say “Famous last words. I hope you do! But you guys don’t be idiots, don’t get caught up in the street, don’t sell drugs, don’t get caught up in bullshit. Do good in school, because if you want to play for a college, college don’t want idiots, they don’t want to give idiots money, scholarship money. You have to maintain your grades, you have to be respectful, you have to be good, play hard, take care of yourself” … I am being the typical parent … “that’s what you have to do to succeed. For college you got to be straight, you know, don’t fuck up on drugs, don’t drink, if you see your friends at a party doing some shit, walk away. Don’t get involved in that, cause you do one bad thing that’s on your record, a college won’t take you. They don’t want trouble colleges; they want good actives, that do good in school. If you do a good job, the schools will give you a scholarship, and if you fuck your grades up, guess what?” So, I try.

Manu: That sounds great! – Since you are inducted to the Hall Of Heavy Metal History because of MANOWAR, we should obviously talk about MANOWAR a bit. How do you feel about your MANOWAR years?

Ross Friedman: That was kind of crazy those eight years. But I thought that we established something, that wasn’t… (thinking) There was no word for what we did and we did it. We put out an amazing amount of records in eight years. From 82 the first one, we put 6 records out, one record every year and I think that’s a pretty good record for doing it and I think it has never been matched again. And I think it won’t be matched again. I started the band, I created the band with Joey and it seems to me I wasn’t there long enough to enjoy the fruits of the work, because after “Kings of Metal” I was out of the band. I was asked to leave the band and after that it was kind of an empty feeling I had, knowing that I wasn’t there. But I am getting the recognition. But it would have been nice to be there, it would have been nice to have had the “Kings of Metal” tour. That tour would have been huge; it would have been a great live record to be made. I’m just thinking about it, but well, what can you do? It wasn’t my decision.

Manu: Are you still in contact with some of the ex-bandmates?

Ross Friedman: No. They have done things, that I just can’t believe. We recorded “Battle Hymns”, we recorded “Kings of Metal”, it really was unnecessary. Talking about moneygrab: There is not a chance in the world, that they are going to retire. I think they just want money. Was it 90 Euro? That’s a lot of nerve, charging that much money. I guess more than Iron Maiden!

Manu: What do you think about the albums they recorded after you?

Ross Friedman: I can’t really comment on it, because I haven’t really listened to them. I have heard snippets and things like that, but I really don’t want to comment. I don’t think it’s my place to comment.

Manu: Alright, you don’t have to of course.

Ross Friedman: Thank you. I am sure they did the best that they could do.

Manu: Very diplomatic. Do you think there will ever be a MANOWAR show that includes you and what would the occasion most likely be?

Ross Friedman: Well people keep on telling me “He’s going to call you”. And I don’t think so. Do I think it’s possible? I think anything is possible. You maybe think I would like to see them not playing anymore. The band will play again, like when KISS said they are retiring, it’s never going to happen. THE SCORPIONS did it, that’s shit, cause everyone knows, bills have to be paid. There is not a chance, right now it’s not going to happen.

Manu: But never say never?

Ross Friedman: Never say never! I never say never. I mean the relationship between Joey and me can … Its possible. A lot worse have been fixed.

Manu: Are you sometimes annoyed about questions concerning MANOWAR all the time?

Ross Friedman: Nah. Cause I know the questions I am going to get and I expect them. Like when I go on Eddie Trunk show next week, I know what I am going to be asked and I have to have an answer. I am not annoyed about it.

Manu: And it is part of your music history.

Ross Friedman: It is.

Manu: Tell us something about the new line-up of ROSS THE BOSS Band. How did you come together and what happened to the old line-up?

interviews 20170115 rossfriedmann4Ross Friedman: Ok, well, we played the KEEP IT TRUE-Festival last year in April. I was invited to play by Oliver Weinsheimer, he is the promoter and he said you got to bring Mike Kotoya. He is a vocalist that I worked with, he is from my neighborhood here and we have done a show before that in Brooklyn, and I said “Okay”. I put a band together and that’s the band that played KEEP IT TRUE and it blew up, it was amazing. What happened was that all of a sudden I got these requests for shows, tours, from our manager and his job and my agents job is to get me work, to get the band work, to make money, you know, that’s the response to success. How do you respond to success? By not playing? Sit on your ass?
We had two weeks in March and then it became 25 shows in South America and I said “I am doing this!” I said “Guys, let’s go! It’s not the whole year, its five weeks. What are you doing? You are 24 years old. You are 22 years old. You are not married, you don’t have children, you know what I mean, you work for your father, you can get some other help until you come back.” –“No, when we tour we want to leave on Saturday and come home Sunday”. And I said “That’s great, guys, but it doesn’t work like that. Real presence doesn’t work like that. You got to work. You got to work hard.”- “Well we want to do the big festivals” – “Oh well, you got to work hard to get to the bigger festivals. It just doesn’t happen, I mean all the other bands, they worked hard at it, SABATON, BLIND GUARDIAN, all these other bands. You got to work hard on it.” – “No, we can’t leave”.
I said “Guys, if you can’t leave, I got to leave you. I can’t, I am sorry”. I love these guys, they are good boys, but you want to tell me that there is a Heavy Metal musician that doesn’t want to tour Europe? I mean, come on! So, Plan B, I got to get a new band. So in a matter of days I had Rhino, Mike LePond who is the original bass player, and we found Mark Lopes, cause he came down here singing with my friend John Rup and they opened for us when I played Blackthorn in November. That singer is great, so I asked him to sing. He could do it – Bingo! New line-up, practiced, played some shows, now we have the new line-up

Manu: There you go!

Ross Friedman: There I go! Everyone is excited because Rhino is the best drummer. There are drummers, but then there is Rhino. This guy is absolutely amazing. And Mike LePond he is an amazing talent and Mark is a fantastic singer, who looks great by the way. He has a great stage show and great stage presence and people are very excited about it. Here we are.

Manu: Back then, how did you get to work with your German band mates, by the way? How did that happen?

Ross Friedman: That’s a whole other story. Oliver again invited me because I started playing with MAJESTY, doing some stuff for them, being very friendly with Tarek [Magherty], Olivers best friend, and was asked “Do you want to come and play KEEP IT TRUE festival?” And I go “Yeah, I’d love to, but I don’t have a band!” I think that was in 2006 and he says “Well, strange to say that, but these guys send me a tape, they are called MEN OF WAR”, cause they were a German tribute band. And so I listened to that and I said “You know what? They are really pretty good!” So I gave them a call, we talked, I went over to Germany, met them, had a good German breakfast at Matze’s house and we decided to work together. And then we made a demo, we played the KEEP IT TRUE Festival, which was pretty good, and I started writing some tunes and we recorded some, and I sent the tunes to AFM and it was on. 2008 I did “New Metal Leader” and 2010 I did “Hailstorm”.

Manu: Parts of the next question you already answered. It was your 63 birthday recently, and yet you are touring heavily, we talked about that already. Do you ever get tired of being “On the Road”? It appears you will not see much of New York City in 2017?

Ross Friedman: No, I should be in Europe for March and April. This year is going to be insane. I don’t get tired of it. I mean, you know what I get tired of, is moving into an hotel. My suitcase is always packed, it’s always here, I carry it with me all the time anyway, because I am constantly travelling. Next week, then South America, then the big tour. That’s what I am used to all my life, that’s what I do. And I love playing on stage, and that’s why I play. That’s why I do it. Because how could you do it, it’s so much work, travelling, in and out. But then it’s for the stage time, interaction with people, playing, it’s great.

Manu: You don’t tired of that.

Ross Friedman: No. As long as I have my guitar on me, I am a happy boy.

Manu: So, what chances do Germans have to see you on stage in 2017?

Ross Friedman: You have the “Discipline Of Steel” Tour coming through in March. I don’t have the dates in front of me, there is Hamburg…

Manu: Yes, I have them. There is Mannheim, Hamburg, Essen and Andernach. But I also heard something about THE DICTATORS coming in October /November?

Ross Friedman: In Germany, yeah. DICTATORS will be in Spain and Portugal in April. We have about 20 shows. But there is always another one brewing, that’s great (laughing).

Manu: Apart from touring, what else is planned in 2017?

Ross Friedman: Another CD, the third Death Dealer CD we are working on now. New ROSS THE BOSS music, and new DICTATORS music. And I have some guest stuff I have to do, too. I am backlogged right now. People are waiting on me.

Manu: Talking about DEATH DEALER: Maybe you can tell us something about how you are working on new stuff, while all the people are spread in totally different places?

Ross Friedman: Right. We are not so different from a lot of bands these days. I mean, when you are a multicontinental band. I have Stu Marshall, my buddy, he is in Sydney, Australia. Sean Peck, Mike Davis and Steve Bolognese they are at the West Coast and I am in New York City. But we managed to do these two records really quickly and really good. You know it’s the digital ag. I send you stuff, you send me stuff, … .We keep on doing it until we like it and it works. It really does. You have to take the best of new technology and that’s what we have done, so it’s good. I am thinking of the day when we can do group rehearsal, group Skype or something, in real time. That’s coming, you know that. That’s definitely coming. Everyone sets up, wherever they are and we rehearse before the tour, not being in the same room. Everyone from the band is here, so let’s do this… dadadada… that would be amazing. Writing tunes “Let’s try this here” dadadadada… That’s next!

Manu: You know what? I think it’s kind of amazing that you have more bands at the same time, then others maybe in their whole lifetime!

Ross Friedman (laughing): Everything’s crazy. But it’s fun. It’s a lot of fun.

Manu: So when you are recording something new with Death Dealer, will there be a tour as well this year or next year?

Ross Friedman: Hopefully next year. Maybe in the fall, let’s see how fast we can do this to make sure it’s perfect.

Manu: Can you tell us something about the development of the Punk Rock Scene in NYC after the closing of the CBGBs in 2006? How is the situation today?

Ross Friedman: I have to say it’s not such a good report, because after the CBGBs closed, and we closed it, we played the last weekend, it is very sad. I don’t know where there is a scene. I don’t see it. I don’t know where… I mean it’s a lie, people are still there, and come to see people who play, but it’s not happening the way it was. The Bowery Electric is the place now and all the bands are playing there and Jesse Malin of D GENERATION is a great guy and he is really trying to be the guy that is doing it all and he is doing a great job actually. But there is no one to replace Joey Ramone as the scene maker, the Head MC, as the Dude. But Jesse is doing a good job. He is helping all the bands, giving them a place to play.

Manu: But that doesn’t sound very much for such a big city as New York City?

Ross Friedman: No, it’s not. Of course there is the big companies like Reverb Nation, putting on the big bands, but there is no underground like it was. But we need it, we need another place. I wish at Manitoba’s you could play live music in there, but you can’t, because of the sound, because of the neighbors. It would be great.

Manu: So what does that mean for newcomer Bands to come up? Is it a problem for them these days?

Ross Friedman: Yeah, it is a problem to get started. There is no CBGBs, there is no Billy Crystal, someone putting out the stuff, helping the bands do it. Something will happen, so don’t give up. Do not give up!

Manu: Are there any bands you would recommend, young and fresh ones?

Ross Friedman: I don’t know of any. Because I don’t have the time to know of any. For that you got to talk to Dean, because Dean knows everything. He is working in the studios, with Jesse Cannon and Dean’s the one who knows everything, not me. I am really not up to date on all the bands.

Manu: Alright. There is a possibility now to send a message out to your German fans.

Ross Friedman: Yeah? That’s going to be some long interview, holy smokes!
I want to thank the Germans, German people, German fans over the years, giving me so much success, so much pleasure. I played for you so much, so many great things you said about me, I love you guys. I love everyone everywhere, but I love the Germans, who are very loyal people, great Heavy Metal fans, now they are becoming DICTATORS fans, I am very, very happy to know you and I am looking forward to many years to come.

Manu: We do, too! Thank you so much for taking the time, answering the questions and everything.

Ross Friedman: Everything for you.

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