• Axl Rosenberg


We’ve always said that no one should take MetalSucks too seriously, and that the best thing any artist whose balls we bust should just laugh it off. And the ones that do this with aplomb, like Fear Factory’s Dino Cazares, always earn our respect.

I’ve been merciless to Axel Rudi Pell. I thought the compilation he put out last year, The Ballads IV, might have been the worst release of 2011 had it not been for Lulu. And while I sincerely believe that his new album, Circle of the Oath — out March 27 on SPV/Steamhammer — is marginally better, it’s mostly because he didn’t butcher any Dio songs this time.

But I recently e-mailed Axel eleven of the most obnoxious questions I could think of, and he answered ’em. He answered ’em! And he gives as good as he gets.

Does this mean I now like ARP’s music? Hell no.

But do I now respect him? Hell yes! He’s a mensch in my book, and I am now at least 2% less likely to make fun of him again in the future. Bravo, sir! You’re a good sport.

Read the interview after the jump. I promise you, I didn’t pull any punches, and neither did he — and the results are funny as hell.

Before we discuss your new album, Circle of the Oath, let’s backtrack to your last release, The Ballads IV, for two quick questions. I’m specifically interested in your cover of  “Holy Diver.” Was it your intention to make Ronnie James Dio roll over in his grave, or was that just an unexpected perk?

This is a rather impious question… but go and find out by yourself. Play that track at his grave and see if you hear anything like a roll over!

How many wind machines were on set for the “Hallelujah” video?

A coupla hundred… lots of old retired people had to be used, riding their bicycles in the basement creating power for the generator. What a waste…

Circle of the Oath is currently taking up nearly 100 MB of space on my hard drive. Why?

Because you haven’t qualified to receive the physical CD, but you love the tracks so much that you won’t erase ‘e ! Ha… I´m not writing only “songs,” I’m writing musical masterpieces, and sometimes those creations have to be long, but most likely you don’t understand this, being a bird brain!

What the hell is a “circle of the oath?” Is it, like, a circle where an oath is taken? Did someone take an oath with regards to a circle? Or it is just, y’know, total and complete nonsense? Because the lyrics to the title track don’t really explain it. Johnny Gioeli just says how “changing fortunes” are “what life’s about” (Huh?) and then screams “CIRCLE OF THE OOOOOOAAAATTTTHHH!”, as though that friggin’ explains anything.

I guess you should listen better, but what should I expect from someone who only finished elementary school? “Circle Of The Oath” is about Life and Death. It is a certainty that, when you’re living, at some point you have to die. So all in all it’s about the circle of life and take the Oath as the “death.” “That´s what life’s about… stumblin’ in, fadin’ out…” Got it now ?

Speaking of Gioeli, does he write all the lyrics to your songs? And if so, don’t you think it’s time he was fired? I mean, “You keep on movin’/ Livin’ in a world of sin/ You think you’re groovin’/ But there’s no chance to win?” Seriously, dude?

I’m writing all the lyrics by myself, so I guess it’s about time to fire me ! You’re great in ripping parts of lyrics out of the content, but being a smartass, I´ll forgive you !

Are you at all concerned that people will confuse your song “Run with the Wind” with Poison’s “Ride the Wind,” or since that song is much more butch than yours, does it not worry you too much?

Sometimes I love to write pussy tunes ya kno… for people like you. What´s even more confusing is the fact that my hair color is the same as CC DeVille’s…

Did “World of Confusion” seriously need to be nine-and-a-half minutes long? Couldn’t it have just not existed instead?

No, because we needed to fill in the blank spaces on the CD in the end! I even had to remember some old track of mine called “The Masquerade Ball” to make a second part out of it, because I ran out of any other song ideas, but we had to complete the CD, unfortunately.

“Before I Die” is actually kinda catchy. So, like, how the hell did THAT get on the record?

I have to deeply apologize for that. It was never my intention to write any “catchy” song, so it will never come to your ears again!

Flanger much?

No Flanger is in danger, touched by no stranger and fulfilled with anger at the edge of a broken hearted Ranger. Wow… that´s so cool, most likely a part of my magnificent lyrics for the next record.


How much do you love Chinese crested dogs?

A lot, as long as I can still make love to ’em… seriously, I’m more into steamed Chartreux cats, served “not skinned.”

Is this the most fun interview you’ve ever done?

Funny ? I didn´t even know it was trying to be funny… ;-)


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