The Great Southern Brainfart recently conducted an interview with KINGDOM COME mainman Lenny Wolf. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Great Southern Brainfart: I never thought it was fair that KINGDOM COME got so much backlash for sounding like LED ZEPPELIN. Did the criticism you received sometimes make it hard on you?
Lenny: I was a young man, a singer who hardly spoke English and our band just exploded. We were excited and at first the press celebrated us. I remember [U.K.'s] Kerrang! [magazine] said, "Finally, there's a band like 'the big magic Z!'" and we were all very happy. I must admit that there were some similarities, but in no way did we even get close. Every band, especially young bands, are influenced by somebody and those influences will surface when you start writing your own stuff. In the beginning, we took it as a compliment then all of the sudden some press person overheard Danny [Stag; guitarist] saying, "Who's Jimmy Page?" He was saying it out of context like, "Oh no, not this question again." so he printed that one line: "KINGDOM COME guitarist announces he's never heard of Jimmy Page." This is so far out and ridiculous but the way the media works. The press loves victims. They love kicking you when you on the ground and they'll kick you even more. That's just the way it is. We also learned that bad press is better than no press and once I realized that, I just ignored it and I didn't care anymore. Fortunately, the music does all the talking and if the music gives you goosebumps and the music moves you than don't worry about it.
The Great Southern Brainfart: I'd much rather have somebody say I sounded like LED ZEPPELIN than some crappy band.
Lenny: [laughs] Exactly! Like I said, we took it as a compliment and were excited. We were playing in London the night before Robert Plant was playing and we went down to see him. He was goofing with us, having fun and he was so relaxed. Robert Plant is like above all. He's really above everything. He was joking with us and it was really great. It really made me sad when I noticed Jimmy Page, who was one of my heroes, starting to whine about little KINGDOM COME who was never really a threat at all. I'm very happy and very grateful that whatever happened happened because I could be driving a truck here in Germany delivering washing machines or whatever so who am I to complain [laughs]?
The Great Southern Brainfart: The classic lineup from the first two albums is the one that most are familiar with. Why did you guys disband after only two albums?
Lenny: I think back on those times now and I wishing things would have started a little bit slower and that we had connected more closely. Bands like AC/DC and AEROSMITH were living together for many years through all the ups and downs and fighting periods. KINGDOM COME never had that. The bonding wasn't as strong. We just hooked up, did a record and all the sudden we were #12 on Billboard and we didn't know what hit us. There was a subconscious pressure all of the sudden which we did not handle very well. I'm sure in many aspects I fucked up too. We were young and things happened too fast. It is what it is and I have no regrets. Sometimes I feel a slower pace would have been healthier than the success and then all of the sudden Seattle came around the corner in the 90's and all the bands from the '70s and '80s were all out of work [laughs].
The Great Southern Brainfart: Is there any chance that KINGDOM COME will ever come over to the states for a tour?
Lenny: That would be wonderful. I'm still emotionally connected to America since I spent 10 years of my life there. It just has to make sense. I don't care about making money but it has to be sensible. We just need to find the right promoter who's willing to take a risk and say "OK" and just get us enough money to take care of travel issues, production and make sure the boys can get something to eat and maybe take a buck or two back home. [laughs] If that can happen, we'll get right on the plane.
Read the entire interview from The Great Southern Brainfart.