Interview: BONDED – Bernd ‘Bernemann’ Kost on German thrash metal of “Rest In Violence”

Posted by Morgan Y Evans - Walking Bombs on Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 10:49 AM (PST)


Thrash act BONDED released a pulverizing debut Rest In Violence back in January via Century Media that you will want to make sure you get to hear a little of before it burns your skull to cinders. It is actually now a German stamina test to see how much of the record you can withstand before your ears burst into flame, at least in my quarantined imagination. This album will make you feel passionate about the bonds in your life, keep the fire in your step and help give you the will to fight through the clouds in your mind.

Formed by scene veterans Bernd “Bernemann” Kost (Guitar) and Markus “Makka“ Freiwald (Drums) in 2018 after their exit as longtime members of SODOM, musical partners Marc Hauschild (Bass) and Destroy Them / ex Suicidal Angels member Chris Tsitsis (Guitar) were quickly added to the ranks in order to continue working on new own song-material as well as to develop the concept for a new entity, which was finally completed with the addition of Assassin frontman Ingo Bajonczak (Vocals) and consequently named BONDED.

Get to know this amazing project and read our exclusive new interview with Bernemann BELOW!

How did this project come together? The band sound amazing and very focused on getting a specific and unified sound. I am very impressed. Super insanely tight musicianship and complex arrangements that still thrash despite technical power. Amazing. Does everyone ask if the name is influenced by Exodus, haha?

Bernemann: Hahaha….not everyone but I must confess that not only a few people already had the same idea. Sure we love Exodus but the bands name stands more for the friendship between the musicians and people who work close with us. Makka, Marc, Chris and me know each other for ages. As well our producer Corny is a buddy since a long time like many others we´re working with together.

After the split with Tom we started the band immediately. We already had a couple of ideas for new songs and the best requirements for coming back quickly. Finally it took 2 years because we needed time to find the right front man. We knew that we couldn´t live with a compromise and were more than happy to get Ingo into the band. With him we´re able to sound more versatile than ever, and that’s our aim. Brutal songs but always with space for a melody and a hook you will remember.

How did Century Media come knocking? That isn’t the easiest label to get on! I can tell they must have known people would like this music in the scene, rightly so!

After we released our first self-made video “God Given“ on YouTube we got many interest from record labels. At the end we chose Century Media, we know the company well and it is in our home-city Dortmund. Makka and me already had deals at CM with our former bands Despair and Crows in `86 and `91. Most of all it´s a strong partner who believes in us, we’re happy to be a part of the CM family.

Ahh, of course! What was it like making the video for “Suit Murderer”? No one could hear this tune and not know this is the essence of fierce thrash at in the deadliest form! Did you want to make an anti-greed song out of the gate because of world events?

“Suit Murderer” was one of the first songs we have written in 2017 for the next Sodom CD, so the music was already complete when Ingo joined the band. The lyrics are his statement against the inhuman greed for money worldwide that you see when you switch on your TV.

How was it working with Cornelius Rambadt in Germany on the record? The sounds are amazing. Had some of you worked with him previously in Sodom?

Makka and me already worked together with Corny, he produced the last Sodom longplayer Decision Day and he absolutely did a great job. Our decision was quiet easy to produce our new baby together with him. Especially because he became a good friend who worked in the past years as a part of the Sodom crew as well. We knew that he respects our ideas but always has some creative thoughts to add. Corny is old-school and he takes care that his productions never sound too polished. With him we could work relaxed and effective in a familiar atmosphere, perfect.

Thrash Speed Burn Festival and Endzeit Festival are coming up. Are these the first festival appearances for this project? What excites you about bringing this stuff on the road? (Note: This question was asked via email weeks ago before the viral momentum affected a lot of things). 

We already played the first festivals last year and it was great. The Thrash Speed Burn is our release show and the first festival I will play together with my son Ronni (14), he supports us with his Band “Ruhrpott Underground”. You can imagine that this will be an important day for me.

In the past shows it was very exciting to see the people reactions about our new songs. I was used for more than 20 years that everybody knows the setlist, now we are on stage playing new material that nobody knows. It was an unusual challenge but we were overwhelmed by the feedback we got.

That is great to win people over with fresh songs, though! How did Bobby from Overkill get involved and also Christian “Speesy” Giesler as guests? I know fans of all of these bands who are gonna flip out over this record.

Speesy and Bobby are friends we know for a long time. It was Speesy who gave us the first call in January 2018 to join our band but due to the many Kreator shows it was impossible for him playing in both bands. Nevertheless he took the time to record one song for us. With Bobby I met after an Overkill show in Osnabrück last year and he asked about our new band. He offered us spontaneously to sing in the same song and you can imagine how happy I was in that moment. A few weeks later he send me the vocal files for RIV and he also added some lyrics and worked on the vocal arrangement. It blew us away. He´s a fantastic and authentic guy, we’re happy and proud to have him as a friend.

“Godgiven” was interesting and almost gives me more of a Low-era Testament vibe, which I personally think that is an underrated album of theirs. A little more slow but still anthemic chorus and very charging. I loved it. This and ‘Je Suis Charlie’ that you made clips for, I love how there are distinct headbang parts and also good melodic lines and heavy vocals yet you can grasp the words and yell along.

We love the combination of hard riffs and memorable vocal lines in varied songs. I personally don´t like shows where bands rush through their setlist without any surprises. Sure it has to be brutal but I believe that from time to time the fans are grateful for a little break before we keep on breaking their necks.

Ha. “Yes, we are still somewhat alive”. Any US tour plans? Please come to NY or Boston for our magazine staff, haha. (Obviously, when it is safe)

I am sad that we didn’t play more shows in the US in the past but I hope we can correct that in the future. We will talk to our booker and see what’s possible. The costs are not low for flights and visas that makes it difficult to find a good promoter…we surely would love to come over, even to NY or Boston. Promised!