Alex Beyrodt is all over the place. Between VOODOO CIRCLE, PRIMAL FEAR, and a zillion other projects the man simply never stops. So the fact I was able to pin him down for a few minutes to discuss Whisky Fingers, the latest VOODOO CIRCLE album (out now via AFM Records) was nothing short of miraculous. Here he gives us insight into what it’s like being involved in many different musical endeavors as well as what drives him. Check it:
Amps: So this is album number four for VOODOO CIRCLE. It’s an ass kicking record. Our guy gave it a glowing review. He loved it. I love it. Tell me about Whisky Fingers.
Alex: Yeah, I’m totally blown away by all the reviews and results so far. It seems 95% loved the album. And I think the fact that we went back to our roots and showed a little bit more of our blues influence is a good thing. People loved that. It’s good and I think in the future we’re going to continue this direction even more. We wanted to have more dynamics on this album anyway. Like we had on the second album, Broken Heart Syndrome. There were many songs with dynamics and different parts and stuff. And we wanted to do this on this album. Yeah, and that’s all about Whisky Fingers man.
Amps: There’s such a cool blues influence. I love the way Alessandro’s (Del Vecchio) keyboards weren’t overwhelming at all. They really sound like a bluesy type organ. They fit the songs so well against your guitar.
Alex: And that’s a real Hammond B3 organ, 150 kilograms.
Amps: Wow, that’s a heavy beast right there.
Alex: Yeah, but it makes a difference. You can hear that. It makes a difference and I think this record has lots of depth. If I pronounce it right. Because that’s a hard one for a German, depth. (Laughs) Yeah so, I think that’s the right way to do it.
Amps: My favorite song is definitely “Heart of Stone” but I love the way it just builds up from the beginning and it all kicks in.
Alex: You know the beginning of “Heart of Stone is actually a guitar. That sound effect in the beginning that’s a guitar. It’s a guitar through a guitar synthesizer, yeah.
Amps: You’re obviously a busy guy. You’ve got all this going on. Now is Francesco Jovino (drums) in this band as well as PRIMAL FEAR or no?
Alex: Yes and he was in VOODOO CIRCLE first. I got him first. But actually, the story is Francesco applied for the drummer job in PRIMAL FEAR last year. But we decide to go on with Aquiles (Priester) Some things didn’t work because of the distance and everything. We thought we could handle it but we couldn’t. By then Francesco was already in VOODOO CIRCLE. And during the drum recordings me and Mat (Sinner, bass) sat down and we said, “Man, Francesco is such a great drummer.” He recorded the whole album in three days. The way he grooves and the way he plays the high hat cymbal. The high hat is the most important thing for a drummer. It makes a difference if he grooves or if he sounds stiff. And during the recording, we both said, “Man, his high hat. This is exactly what we need in PRIMAL FEAR.” And so, we actually had dinner: Alessandro, Francesco, Matt and myself and we offered him the job in PRIMAL FEAR. And he was so happy. Just imagine there he is recording VOODOO CIRCLE and then gets the job in PRIMAL FEAR all in one day.
Amps: Speaking of PRIMAL FEAR, I cannot wait till you are here in Philly. The three guitar attack is just incredible. Will VOODOO CIRCLE possibly do a U.S run when the PRIMAL FEAR cycle ends, or not possible with everyone’s schedules?
Alex: We would love to come to the U.S. Obviously the schedule right now is really, really busy. But the main thing, the main problem is somebody has to invite us and pay for it. It’s not that we don’t want to. We would love to come back to the U.S. I don’t know if you know that we did ProgPower USA, I think was it this year? And that was a great experience. I think it was my third or fourth time. And it’s always great being there it’s like family. The fans, and the musicians, and the crew, and promoter – it’s just like a big family. And I just love going over there. Doing that show, when we went on stage VOODOO CIRCLE – something happened that night with the crowd, with the band, with everyone. I would love to bring that back to the U.S again. But like I said, we need to have better record sales over there or more attention or more I don’t know.
Amps: I know that you’re a ProgPower veteran. I didn’t get to go this year, but I saw the PRIMAL FEAR 2014 U.S. run in Dallas and I was absolutely blown away. Everything you touch just turns to gold.
Alex: (Laughs) Well, tell that to my bank. They say different.
Amps: This really is a very organic record. I’ve got it in the car. I listen to it quite often. I always stop on track six. I gotta listen to “Heart of Stone” three or four times before I can move on.
Alex: That’s good to hear because I wanted to write a song for the people. I mean all the songs are for the people. But, I wanted to have a so called single hit. Right? And “Heart of Stone” is meant to be the single hit of the record. So, I’m glad you like it because that means we did our job right.
Amps: Listen, you’re doing your job right trust me. So this album is out now. PRIMAL FEAR comes out I think January 29. What are you going to do after that run? How long do you anticipate being out?
Alex: I will actually hit the tour bus in the beginning of February. And I’m going to end the tour at the airport in Frankfurt in June 14. Like I said, I’m going to hit the tour bus, in February and come back middle of June. And in between I play around 100 shows.
Amps: Jesus! How do you even have any fingers left?
Alex: (Laughing) well, I think for me that’s not so difficult. But for Ralf Scheepers (singer), that’s going to be difficult. But that’s not only PRIMAL FEAR. It’s going to be PRIMAL FEAR then I go on tour with VOODOO CIRCLE in Germany. Then I go on tour with ROCK MEETS CLASSIC.
Amps: That’s right! What are you in 16 different bands?
Alex: (Laughs) Hey man I want to buy a Corvette so I have to work harder you know. Yeah and then we go to the States, right? I think one week after ROCK MEETS CLASSIC, we come to the states. From then we fly directly from Canada to Japan and back to Germany. Then I’m back home to see what’s left of my relationship.
Amps: I’m sure it’s tough being away from your lady for that length of time right?
Alex: Yeah definitely, definitely. Because I’m in this relationship now since 4 years. And my girlfriend she’s really young. She’s 24 and I’m 51. She made me a different guy. I’m a better person now. And she has so much knowledge about music.
She can hear the difference between a Les Paul and a Strat. Imagine that, she’s 24, right? And she loves JIMI HENDRIX, RORY GALLAGHER, THE DOORS, and all that stuff. And sometimes she knows better about these bands than I do. It’s scary. It’s really scary. So, yeah she’s a very important person in my life. And she supports me. Really, like crazy. Every musician should have a girlfriend like that. So, I was just kidding when I said let’s see then let’s see what’s left from my relationship. But I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s going to be tough. But I love it. I love being onstage. I love touring. I love traveling, so looking forward to it.
Amps: With two full albums worth of material that you wrote the lion’s share of are you going to take a break? Or while you’re out there on the road does stuff still come to you?
Alex: I’m permanently writing. Whenever I drive my car, I have my mobile with me. If I have an idea, I just sing into it and record it. And then I listen back to it to it when I get back home and can’t stop laughing because it sounds so silly. I probably have around two hundred guitar riffs stored in my iPhone, And about 30 songs in my studio already recorded. I’m constantly writing and collecting ideas. I think it’s a natural gift. Sometimes in the middle of the night you know when you can’t sleep and I hear this melody. And I have to get up and record it. Otherwise, it’s lost. The next morning, it’s gone. It’s not there anymore.
Amps: You’ve worked with a lot of great people, plus you live in the greatest country for metal and rock in the world, Germany. Is there anybody out there on your wish list to collaborate with or have you basically done it with everyone you wanted to be with?
Alex: Well, the fact that I played three tours with Ian Gillan of DEEP PURPLE and being able to be onstage with him and play all the songs responsible for me playing guitar. That was a dream I thought will never come true. I actually never dreamed about it, you know. Playing with Ian Gillan as a Ritchie Blackmore admirer…I don’t know, I’m still speechless. And it was really great to play with ALICE COOPER. I had so much fun with him onstage. Paul Rodgers, what a singer.
But if you ask me of course I would love to do something with David Coverdale. I’m not sure if he knows about me. He probably doesn’t know who I am (laughs).
Amps: Hey, when Doug Aldrich left WHITESNAKE there were a lot of people screaming for you to be in the band.
Alex: I know, I know. I was so touched by this because I could read it on the internet. And I was really like…wow. That’s, that’s really great.
Amps: What’s happening with SILENT FORCE right now?
Alex: Nothing. I don’t have time right now to focus on anything else. VOODOO CIRCLE and PRIMAL FEAR is already so much work. Plus ROCK MEETS CLASSIC needs so much attention. And you know what people don’t know, I need four to five weeks to prepare myself for ROCK MEETS CLASSIC. There are fifty people on stage. And they’re all nervous for the first show. But, after three shows they start enjoying it so much. And they all want to come back. You know they all want to come back. And they don’t do it for money. They do it because they love it. And that’s great. It means we do something right and the whole thing works. You can see the ROCK MEETS CLASSIC Wacken show online. It’s really good. The sound quality is good. And there are about ten cameras. You see the one hundred thousand people in front of the stage and the last song we play is “Highway to Hell”. You see the one hundred thousand people going totally crazy. It’s really amazing.
Amps: What are you listening to when you’re driving around in the car or just hanging out at home. What type of music and is it old stuff or new stuff?
Alex: Basically, I listen to Joe Bonamassa, the EAGLES. Every day, I listen to the EAGLES. I love the EAGLES. Did you see the movie, the documentary (History of the Eagles)?
Amps: I’ve probably watched it fifteen times. It’s fantastic.
Alex: There’s so much taste in their music, and melody, and the spirit and everything. It’s amazing. I listen to RIVAL SONS a lot. There’s one blues guitar player I like these days and his name is Anthony Gomez from Texas. He does that funky, heavy rock thing. A lot of Richie Kotzen of course. I love Richie. He’s probably the best guitar player around ever. I barely listen to heavy metal. Almost nothing. I’ve been in this business for so many years. I’ve played so many shows. And you know what I also enjoy? Silence. I enjoy silence a lot. I take long walks in the woods. Yeah, that’s what I do to relax.
Amps: What do you want to say to all the fans of VOODOO CIRCLE, PRIMAL FEAR, ROCK MEETS CLASSIC and the three thousand other bands that you may be in that we don’t know about?
Alex: I just want to thank everyone who supports me through all the years and buys the records and come to the shows. Because of the readers and fans I am able to live my dream. And therefore, I’m really thankful. That’s it. That’s what I want to say.
Alex Beyrodt is hands down one of my favorite guitarists out there right now. Any project he’s involved in will always find its way to my stereo. If you still haven’t checked out VOODOO CIRCLE, PRIMAL FEAR, SILENT FORCE, and/or ROCK MEETS CLASSIC then I’m gonna just go ahead and classify you as beyond help, simple as that.
LIVE PHOTOS: RADEK ŠICH