Interview With Kosta Zafiriou of Pink Cream 69
Interview By Anders Sandvall
Here is an interview with Kosta Zafiriou, drummer from Pink Cream 69, about the band, their
newly released album THUNDERDOME, and the upcoming tour.
Where in Germany are you based? Do all of the members live in the same city?
We are based in Karlsruhe, in the South of Germany. Meanwhile, we are all spread
around the city in villages.
David, from England; does he also live in Germany now?
Yes, since he joined the band he moved to Germany. A few times he went back to England
to visit his family, but his permanent residence is in Germany.
Would you like to tell the readers who dont know who you are a
bit about the band?
Please read the history part of our biography, it would be too much to write it down
CORNER STONES OF THEIR CAREER
1987 The first Pink Cream 69 line-up consists of
Alfred Koffler (guitar), Kosta Zafiriou (drums), Dennis Ward (bass) and Andi Deris
1988 PC 69 wins the Metal Hammer talent competition
at the Rockfabrik in Ludwigsburg and receives a number of offers from German major
companies, signing with CBS (these days Sony Music).
1989 Their eponymous debut album causes a stir on
the international music scene; Pink Cream 69 embarks on a tour with White Lion in October.
1990 The highlight of an eventful year is Pink Cream
69s appearance at the New Music Seminar in New York, documenting the groups
1991 ONE SIZE FITS ALL comes out in Europe and
Japan, followed by a headliner tour with Little Angels. Their 49/8 EP, consisting of live
tracks and bonus material, provides the appropriate setting for their successful Asian
1992 Pink Cream 69 play five sold-out shows in
Japan, recording their SIZE IT UP! LIVE IN JAPAN video in the process. A three-month
triumphal march through 14 countries as opening act for Europe follows.
1993 GAMES PEOPLE PLAY is their third regular studio
release, supported by an extensive tour of Germany in November.
1994 Vocalist Andi Deris leaves to join Helloween.
Pink Cream 69 enlist British-born David Readman to replace him and record their fourth
release, CHANGE, in Los Angeles. The album is marked by a more contemporary and open
1995 Pink Cream 69 play a co-headlining tour with
Thunderhead and move on to a new record company after six years with Sony Music.
1997 Their fifth studio album, FOOD FOR THOUGHT,
arrives in spring, followed by another successful tour of Germany, during which the
bands first live album is recorded.
1998 ELECTRIFIED is one of Pink Creams
strongest releases to date; summer 1999 sees a successful tour with Bruce Dickinson and a
sensational appearance at the Bang Your Head festival.
1999 Following their active involvement in his solo
album, the band tour Japan together with ex-Royal Hunt vocalist D.C. Cooper. PC 69 make a
brief detour to South America and play cameo roles in a TV feature.
2000 Pink Creams seventh studio recording,
SONIC DYNAMITE, sees the light of day in February, followed by a tour with Axxis during
the first leg of their celebrated German tour. Autumn sees the continuation of the tour
and the arrival of the MIXERY EP, consisting of rare studio and live versions, as well as
a number of bootlegs.
2001 The band return with ENDANGERED, but are unable
to perform live due to Alfred Kofflers hand condition. Kofflers offer to have
the band tour with another guitarist is refused unanimously.
2003 Pink Cream 69 play as a quintet for the first
time, reinforced by Uwe Reitenauer to relieve Alfred. His baptism of fire is the Bang Your
Head festival, playing in front of thousands of fans.
2004 The new album, THUNDERDOME, is out, and the
sequel to their co-headlining tour with Axxis has been scheduled for March.
You have been in the business for a really long time and you have only had one
member change. How have you managed to keep the band together?
Very simply said: We love our music, we respect each other as persons and artists, and
we try to share work and profit fairly.
What has been the highlight in you career so far?
I think thereīs quite a few when you watch our history :).
Why has it taken long to finish, Thunderdome? Why have you chosen to
call it, Thunderdome?
Our guitar player Alfred Koffler is suffering from a neurotical disease
Dystonia in his left hand. We gave him enough time to see if he could recover after taking
You are only four guys on the promo pictures. Is Uwe a permanent member? Does he
play anything on, Thunderdome?
We asked Uwe to join the live line-up of the band, so he is not a full member of the
band. When we started the recordings for Thunderdome, we did not know Uwe yet. Heīs a
great guy and an exceptional guitar player - weīll see what the future brings.
Has Uwe been in any big band before joining you?
Nothing known. He is a guitar teacher in our area and played with several local bands.
Who has written the music and lyrics to the new album?
Alfred Koffler, David Readman and Dennis Ward wrote the music, David Readman and Dennis
Ward wrote the lyrics.
Are you satisfied with the album? Is there anything you are not so satisfied with? If
Basically very satisfied, although a musician never will be totally satisfied - we
already has little details in mind we can improve with the next record.
I think that you play melodic hard rock. How would you like to describe the
music you play?
You are very close to what I call it: Powerful melodic Hardrock!
Why have you chosen to do a cover of My Sharona? Is that a favorite
track of yours?
Not really - Itīs funny, I never expected that everybody would ask for this song, for
us it was not a big deal. The story is very simple: After we were done with the main
recording sessions for this record, we figured it would be better to record two more songs
for the simple reason that we have to provide a bonus track for Japan, one for South
America and one for the limited edition in Europe. Dave had a few songs recorded as a
demo, one of those two was "My Sharona". We thought it fit very well to his voice and
decided to do it. To keep it interesting for ourselves, we decided not to rehearse the
song as a band: We sat together and shortened the solo a bit, that was it. Everybody had
to learn the song alone, then we met in the studio and jammed it out. Thatīs why it
sounds in the arrangement very close to the original with a PC 69 vibe going on. Actually
it was intended to become the bonus track for Japan, but after friends and management
heard the song, they forced us to put it on the regular version;-)
How is it to be produced by a band member compared to a hired producer?
Very relaxed. Dennis is experienced, talented, knows us very well and how the band
should sound. We also worked with hired producers and definitely prefer to work with
During some years you have only toured in Germany. Are there any thoughts on
touring rest of the Europe this time? (As far as I know they haven't been to Scandinavia
since 1999; the support tour for Bruce Dickinson?)
This is not true. We've always played European countries. This tour starting in March
will lead us through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, France and Spain. Further we
already have confirmed Festivals in Czek Republik and Slowakia.
How much do you sell worldwide?
Enough to be in the position to tour all the countries I mentioned above, to sell
records in Japan, Europe and South America. Considering the market these days, we are very
happy with that!
Are you more content with SPV than your previous label? If so, why?
SPV has the strongest distribution net in Europe for all kinds of rock and metal music.
Besides this, the A&R manager of SPV who signed us always liked the band. A couple
years ago he told us to contact him when our contracts with Massacre run out. Nevertheless
we were absolutely satisfied with the job Massacre had done and have a good relationship
to them - still SPV is the bigger company, and we hope to benefit from this. Having an own
management company, the most important part of the company for us is to simply place our
CDīs in the stores.
Would you like to say anything to the fans out there?
Thanks for being interested in Pink Cream 69, I hope you like our new record
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
Thank you Anders.
Thanks to SPV for the promo pictures and Suzan at Playground music Sweden for the help.
Band Website: www.pinkcream69.com
Label Website: www.spv.de