2021 – Interview with Stephan Boriss

Thursday March 18, 2021

Ladies and gentlemen, with you the bass player Stephan Boriss, a musician who was part of the band in his early days and who recorded such important albums as Gates To Purgatory, Branded And Exile and Under Jolly Roger. Stephan has kindly agreed to answer a few questions … here they are.

0- Hi Stephan, how are you? First of all, I want to thank you for stealing some of your free time for this interview. It is an honor for me to share these words with you. Are You Ready For Boarding?.

1- Let’s take a long travel to the past. When and why did you start playing bass guitar?.

In 1980 I was hitch hiking through the UK with a friend. In Bounmouth we saw a Stiff Little Fingers Show and met my Cousin and a friend. Impressed by the Show we decided to start a band. I preferd the bass part.

2- What kind of music did you listen to in the 70-80s and what were your favorite bands?.

I listened a lot of Punkbands like Sex Pistols, UK Subs, Angelic Upstarts, the Clash and Stiff Little Fingers. On The Rock side I listened Deep Purple, Iron Maiden ACDC, Saxon and Judas Priest.

3- When did you meet Rolf Kasparek and how did you decide to be part of Running Wild? I think your long journey began in 1982.

In 1984 I red an advert in a scene Magazine. A Heavy Metal Band was Looking for a bass player. I Answered the advert and was invited for a rehearse. There was a good chemistry between us and we decided to proceed.

4- How were the first rehearsals with the band? Were you excited? What future projects did you have at that time?.

The first rehearse were exciting because it all was much more professinal then I was used. At that time I still went to high school.

5- What songs did you rehearse? There were many compositions that were not released later, remaining as unreleased songs such as Warchild, Angel Of Death, Deliver From Sin, Running Wild,… What can you tell us about those songs that almost seem forgotten in time?.

We played the already existing songs as the ones you mentioned to train or comon play. As these songs were written and developped with another line up and Rolfs song writting developped more and more he and Preacher wrote new songs.

6- How were the first Running Wild’s concerts?. Was it very difficult to be in the Heavy Metal scene of those years in your country?.

The first show we played was on small rock festival in a school. We already performed in leather cloth and used some pyro technics. So that Show became sort of legendary. We played, as far as I remember only 4 more shows in Hamburg before we started the `85 Tour through Germany.

7- How was the relationship with your co-workers Hasche, Preacher and Rolf? Was the atmosphere between you positive?.

Yes, the atmosphere was very good and especially Hasche and I spend also a lot of evenings in bars and Clubs together.

8- Do you have any unreleased material, demos, photos or rehearsals from those early years?. I think the demo «Heavy Metal Like A Hammerblow» had a very important impact in Germany.

Yes I have this Hammerblow-tape, Photos I only have from some shows but i know there exist much more good pics which really would like to have but never got.

9- The important year in the Running Wild history arrives in 1984. You get a record contract with Noise Records. I imagine that the news was received with great enthusiasm on your part. Were you excited at the prospect of the future that presented itself to you?.

Sure, that was really exciting and we rehearsed hard for these recordings.

10- First appears the Death Metal Sampler with the songs «Iron Heads» and «Bones To Ashes». Why were those songs wasn’t included in the first album?.

Because we wanted to publish new songs.

11- In the compositional process of the songs, were you all in charge of each contributing their ideas or was it Rolf who was working on this issue?.

Rolf came with the song idea and than we developed the other instruments.

12- And the important moment in your life arrived I imagine … the recording of the first studio album «Gates To Purgatory». How was the album title decided and how did you choose the songs that would be part of the album?.

It was a great expirience to record the first one Album and we all together deceided which songs should be on it.

13- How was the recording process for «Gates To Purgatory»? Did you have a lot of pressure to record the songs? Was the atmosphere good in the recording studio?.

It was a good atmosphere. I remember it as consentrated work with some good and funny moments.

14- Songs like «Genghis Khan» or «Prisoner Of Our Time» to name two examples are essential classics, many of them still sound live today. What are your favorite songs from the «Gates To Purgatory» album and why?.

I think those two songs plus Diabolic Force were my favorits. I can not really explain why, I just liked them.

15- By the way Stephan, who was the person whose arm appears on the album cover?.

That is the arm of a guy called Django. He was our pyro roadie. I still meet him once in while on Metal Festivals. By the way, he went to school with Michaela! Small world.

16- «Gates To Purgatory» had an incredible success. I believe and consider it to be one of the best Heavy Speed ​​Metal albums of all times. Were you aware of the enormous importance in those years that the album represented?.

No, I wasn`t. Years later in 2008 when after I met Hasche again he expaind me how big the impact of Gates to Purgatory and the early Running Wild were on the world wide Heavy Metal Scene.

17- Stephan, for me you are one of the best bass players the band has ever had. You gave the group a lot of potential and live you were unstoppable, pure energy. What memories do you keep from the first shows to promote the album?. In the next question we will talk about a very important concert.

Thanks for the compliments! I think I was a reasonable bass player but I agree that I was a good show man.

18- In the previous question I was referring to the Bochum show that was held on April 22, 1985. It was an impressive event recorded on video but it was never officially released… or did it get published?. What memories do you keep from that concert?. The energy you have in that event is amazing, you didn’t stop on stage.

I didn’t even stopped behind the stage, when I smashed a locked door to get my pyro bass for the encore. The show was really good as well as the audience. We never released the Vídeo because it was no good. There was no main camera. Only cameras from the sides and from the bottom. That’s why it doesn’t pleased our demand.

19- Stephan, do you know if more concerts from 1984 or 1985 were professionally recorded?. If they exist… who has stored all that material?.

There were only some Bootlegs from the Lorely, from the US tour and my last Show in Copenhagen.

20- We are already in 1985 and Preacher leaves the group. Why did he do it?. How did you feel when you heard that news?.

He decided to concentrate on his studies. It was bad moment because we lost the Illusion of for friends that go all the way.

21- Majk Moti joins the band, have you already known each other before?. What was it like working with Majk? Did you get on well with him?.

No, we didn`t know Majk before. We found him through an international advertisment. He was living in London at that time. Yes Majk and me were good friends.

22- Ahead of you you had the challenge of recording a second album … «Branded And Exiled». Was it easier to prepare the songs than on the first album?.

No, it was not easier. For the first Album you have years to collect ideas, For the second you only have month. Further more you you have the presure to prove that the first Album was no accident.

23- «Branded And Exiled» was also a very powerful and dark album. What would you highlight from the album? It contains songs that are also unforgettable classics like «Chains & Leather» and «Evil Spirit».

I like Mordor, Chains & Leather and Evil Spirit. The last one is the first complete song from me that was published.

24- What are the most important differences between the production of «Gates To Purgatory» and «Branded And Exiled»? Were you satisfied with both?.

To be honest I can`t really remeber differences, too long ago.

25- On September 14, 1985 another very important concert for you takes place, the «Metal Hammer Open Air Festival» in Loreley. What memories do you have of that day and the rest of the bands that also participated?. There is an officially released video of you playing the song «Branded And Exiled»… Do you remember if the Running Wild performance was recorded in its entirety?.

That was a cool Festival. The other bands I remember were Pretty Maids, Venom, Metallica. The was some troubel between Venom and Metallica about who is the headliner. And in addition Venom forgot their pyro control desk. The promoter forced us to rent our desk to Venom, because they refused to play without pyroshow. We wer angry about that behavior, so we decided to fire all stock in that we had. I’m sure that there is more Vídeo matirial but I don’t have it.

26- In 1986 and with enormous success you were on one of the band’s most remembered Tours together with Celtic Frost and Voivod, the «Blitz Usa Tour». It is the only tour of the band that has passed through America in its entire history. I imagine you have many memories of that, rescue the ones you consider most important Stephan.

The tour was good fun. Although the first Show was cancled because our Instruments didn`t arrive in time. Every Show was different due to the different fans. When there were Celtic and Voivod fans it was difficult for us and vice a versa. The combination of the bands was not really fitting. But there was good mood between the bands and we did some good pool parties.

27- Arrived in 1987 the album with which Running Wild once again achieved an astonishing success, the famous «Under Jolly Roger» is prepared. I think it is perhaps one of the best Running Wild albums and the history of Heavy Metal in the 80s, do you agree with me?.

Yes, it was a good Album.

28- The cover showed us a ghostly pirate galleon, made for which the group will be known in the future. Did you like the new musical direction that the band was taking in those years?.

Yes I liked the idea to of changing the Image. The old Image was often misunderstood.

29- There is a song titled «Apocaliptyc Horsemen» that was not part of the album, later it was included in several reissues. What were the reasons why that song was not part of the album?.

To be honest, I don`t remember.

30- Do you remember if there are more unreleased songs or unpublished demos from 1987? If so, could you name one?.


31- Correct me if I’m wrong Stephan. After recording the album, you left the band in 1987 like your friend Hasche. Perhaps this is the most difficult question of the entire interview … Why did you leave the band? What were the reasons for your departure from Running Wild?.

Hasche and I were dissmised by mail while we played in Copenhagen. The rest of the band where nor happy with my development of my bass play and Hasche and Rolf could agree about the future style of the music. The rest of the band where nor happy with my development of my bass play and Hasche and Rolf could agree about the future style of the music. Hasche want more melodic chorus and several voice singing. Rolf didn`t but started with it after we were out.

32- Since 1988, the Running Wild’s followers have lost your way and your musical situation. What happened in the following years? Did you join in any other Heavy Metal band?.

I refused the Army and made my civil Service. After that i die a Chef education as a Chef. After finishing I moved to Greece and worked three years on a cycladic Island. After returning to Germany I opened a theater restaurant in Bavaria. Three years later I went back to Hamburg and made an American Bar and Restaurant. 3 years later I startd to work in fish shop in the Hamburg habour area. Now, since almost 14 years I work as a seafood Trader for an importer of frozen seafood. I didn`t make any music after i left RW.

33- The only news I’ve had from you Stephan is that you worked as a cook. Is it true or is it a fake?. What do you do or do you currently work for?Comment what you want.

See above.

34- Have you continued listening to the music of Running Wild in later years? Is there an album that catches your attention?.

I didn`t listend to RW for some years. But I like «Rapid Foray». I saw some RW shows in Wacken but I was a bit disapointed.

35- Are you still listening to Heavy Metal music or playing bass in your free time?.

Sure I still do, visit concerts and Festivals like Rockharz and Wacken. Besides I give chefing lessons in during the Wacken Festival for the Benefit of the Wacken Foundation.

36- Do you keep in touch with your old friends Hasche, Preacher and Majk? With Rolf Kasparek?.

I`m in contact with Hasche once in while, bur since he lives in Thailand it is difficult. Preacher I met some times in Wacken. Majk is back in England. To Rolf I never talked again after Copenhagen.

37- Rescue from your memory the best moment you lived in Running Wild and the worst.

Lorely and The US tour where impressing and the day when I opened the letter with the cancellation was the worst.

38- Are you aware of the importance and your role in the history of Heavy Metal and Running Wild? Are you proud and happy about your past?.

Not really I don`t see my role that big. But I`m proud and happy About These days. I tattooed my last bass guitare on my calf.

39- We are going to finish this long interview if you like Stephan. It has been wonderful talking to you and getting to know you. I want to wish you the best and thank you once again for your words. The last words are all yours, say what you want.

It was good to flash back the old times. And you owe me a drink whenever we meet (Of course!!! that’s done Stephan… Cheers!!!). Take care and see you!

Interview realized by Jesús Maestro Margarida

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