Running Wild Bio:
In 1976, Rolf "Rock'n'Rolf" Kasparek, along with Uwe Bendig, Michael Hofmann and Jörg Schwarz, founded the group GRANITE HEARTS in Hamburg. At this time, Hasche and Matthias Kaufmann were together in another Hamburg-based band GROBER UNFUG. In 1977, Matthias was also helping out GRANITE HEARTS as bass player. Rehearsals were held at the Emilie-Wüstenfeld School, which is where Matthias and Rolf got to know each other. Matthias also persuaded Hasche to join the band. After rehearsing hard, the new group were desperate to find the right name ...
They hit on RUNNING WILD as they were all fans of KISS and JUDAS PRIEST.
After many personnel changes, Rolf has long been the only remaining member of the original line-up and he alone determines the direction of the band. He writes almost all of the music and lyrics for RUNNING WILD.
The First Albums
In 1981, RUNNING WILD recorded their first demo which featured "Hallow The Hell", "War Child" and "King Of The Midnight Fire". The first two tracks appeared on the compilation album "Debut No. 1" on the Raubbau Label which had become more known on the rock-scene through the punk band SLIME. The 1982 line-up was Rolf, Hasche, Preacher and Stephan Boriss.
In 1983, RUNNING WILD recorded some pretty rough versions of "Chains And Leather" and "Adrian (S.O.S.)" for the compilation album "Rock From Hell". These two songs along with the "Debut No. 1" tracks as well as live-versions of "Genghis Khan" and "Soldiers Of Hell" appeared on the demo-tape "Heavy Metal Like A Hammerblow". This demo also came out as an unofficial vinyl bootleg. The 1984 compilation "Death Metal" from Noise Records included two RUNNING WILD tracks: "Bones To Ashes" and "Iron Heads".
Noise Records also released their first album in 1984, "Gates To Purgatory", which was a massive underground success. In these early years, the band played with occult imagery, something that earned the band a reputation as satanists. As with many other 80s metal-bands, these accusations were groundless. It's clear that the occult lyrics were not meant very seriously as ex-guitarist Gerald "Preacher" Warnecke was at that time studying theology and today works as an evangelical priest in Cologne.
1985 saw the release of the LP "Branded And Exiled" and a live-bootleg "Black Demons On Stage", featuring guitarist Majk Moti for the first time. The band already had a fairly large fanbase that was steadily increasing.
In 1987 »Under Jolly Roger« is published when Running Wild launches their individual bizarre pirate image and hoist the Jolly Roger for the first time. In this year another change in the line-up is made. Drummer Hasche and bassman Stephan are leaving the ship. They are replaced by Stefan Schwarzmann and Jens Becker. In the wake of their first european-tour they sail up to Budapest (H) where they are playing a famous gig in front of 5.000 fans. The material taken from that tour is released as the live album »Ready for Boarding« a year after. International critics are throughout the line positive. Furthermore this record is used to draw the final line under their management so far.
At the end of 1988 their fourth studio album is released. »Port Royal« is sold over 50.000 times. In the meantime the band can look upon a wide basis of fans and they represent a steady mark in Heavy Metal. Nevertheless Stefan Schwarzmann leaves the band in direction of U.D.O. and gives the sticks into the hands of Iain Finlay.
In 1989 the new studio album »Death or Glory« is published which holds itself several weeks in the european selling charts. A short time after the maxi-single »Bad to the Bone« is placed into the shops.
The »Death or Glory« - tour 1990 is an outstanding success nearby all concerts are sold out. Parallel to the tour the mini-LP »Wild Animal« shows up. The steady carussell in Running Wild's line-up turns again. Iain Finlay leaves the pirates and Jörg Michael appears as a temporary drummer. As new members of the band drum-roadie AC and axeman Axel Morgan, replacing Majk Moti, are confirmed.
In 1991 Rock'n'Rolf and his crewmen strike once again and releases first the maxi-single »Little Big Horn« (No. 34 in the single charts) then the album »Blazon Stone« and shortly after the "Best Of"-compilation »The first Years of Piracy«. A successful tour with Raven and Crossroads underlines the momentary status of Running Wild.
The next studio album »Pile of Skulls« is released 1992 and deals lyrically with corruption and disguise and spots the new bassman Thomas Smuszynski for the first time. Also on board is the returner Stefan Schwarzmann. As a single from that album »Lead or Gold« is released. The next year the »Pile of Skulls« - tour is rolling in which the band shines with a monumental stage and devastating pyro-technics.
1994 first the single »The Privateer« and then the album »Black Hand Inn« are released. On that record the new wizard on the guitar Thilo Hermann (Ex-Risk) is presented. Jörg Michael instead is now a steady member in that crew.
The »Summer Metal Meetings« 1995 are becoming a brilliant success under the flag of Running Wild and bands like Rage and Grave Digger. In the end of October another cannon-blow is fired with the new album »Masquerade«. That new album once again shows the german Metal where the gold is lying.
On the relating tour 1996 the band celebrates its 20th year of sailing the wild seas of Metal and takes a deserving rest after.
After a creative rest with the same line-up and with a fresh blow in the sails »The Rivalry«, for the first time released under the custody of GUN RECORDS, is released in early 1998. This record is more compact and more melodic than ever. It lives by the rough voice of Rolf Kasparek and the nearly unbelievable guitar power being played by Kasparek and Hermann. With »The Rivalry« Running Wild once again rises the flag of true Heavy Metal and stands for that untouched Heavy Rock. Unfortunately Jörg Michael leaves the band in spring even before the »The Rivalry« - tour to concentrate on his work with Stratovarius. As a replacement Chris Efthimiadis (Ex-Rage) has to fill up that hole for the tour, on which he really shows his knowledge throughout that pirate material.
In 1999 NOISE RECORDS releases remastered versions of »Death or Glory«, »Blazon Stone«, »Pile of Skulls«, »Black Hand Inn« and »Masquerade«. Each album contains bonustracks.
At the beginning of 2000 »Victory«, the eleventh studio album of the institution from Hamburg, Germany, is published. Running Wild head Rolf Kasparek aka Rock'n'Rolf would like to see the last two albums »Masquerade«, »The Rivalry« and the new longplayer »Victory« as a trilogy made out of three loose concept albums. The reason why they are loose concept albums is that there is a leitmotif running through each of them, but the songs of all three longplayers can definitely stand on their own feet. It is about the battle between light and darkness. »Masquerade« marked the beginning of this trilogy, the subject matter of »The Rivalry« was the argument, and »Victory« marks the end: the decisive battle. With the title song, the trilogy finds its climax and its end.
At the end of February 2002 Running Wild returns with their twelfth studio-album »The Brotherhood« and a new line-up: Rock'n'Rolf (vocals, guitar), Peter Pichel (bass), Bernd Aufermann (guitar), Matthias Liebetruth (drums).
In 2003 the band celebrated its legendary 20th anniversary with a spectacular gig at WACKEN OPEN AIR and NOISE released a 2-CD »20 Years in History« containing two as yet unreleased tracks.
At the beginning of 2005 »Rogues En Vogue«, the thirteenth and last studio album for GUN, was released. As a crowning ending of the same year REMEDY RECORDS published the first tribute album »The Revivalry - A Tribute To Running Wild«.