Festivalphoto recently interviewed Bai Bang singer Diddi Kastenholt.
Festivalphoto: Hey Diddi… You've just released your new album, “Livin' My Dream” on AOR Heaven. Can you tell us a bit about the songs on the album?
Diddi: Hallo to you Anthony! Well, we started to write songs almost right after the last album "Are you Ready", and it’s been a good journey!!! We wanted to do an even better album than the last one if at all possible? We had a lot of good reviews all over the world for "Are You Ready", but we knew we could still improve. We took one of the best songs from the album and said, “All the new songs must be better than this!!!! That was hard, I can tell you!!! But, with the slogan "Kill Your Darlings", we pressed on and added the epithet, “Kill Your Darlings - a little bit more!”
We finally came up with 10 songs; all and each one can stand out and stand up for themselves. We had more songs but, really, those did not live up to it!!!! I believe its better to have 10 super songs on an album rather than 15-20 and you listen to only 4-5, while the rest are only “transportation”?? Skip, skip....!
Festivalphoto: Who writes the songs - is it a group effort or are there one or two main songwriters?
Diddi: We all have ideas basically. I write the lyrics, we put all the ingredients together; I then do a lot with our producer, testing ideas out on him and, at the end, we have a great collection of songs! It’s good teamwork!!!
Festivalphoto: What are the musical influences?
Diddi: I think a whole lot of bands influence us really!! Basically anything from Kiss, to Aerosmith, T-Rex etc..
Festivalphoto: How would you describe your music?
Diddi: Our music is ‘Glam-hard-rock’ with a lot of harmonies and hooks! Great riffs and a good groove!
Festivalphoto: In March 2010, it was announced that Pelle Eliaz had left Bai Bang and been replaced by Rasmus Ehrnborn from Paul Di'Anno's band, but Pelle now appears to be back in the band - what happened?
Diddi: Well, basically, Pelle’s wife had a baby and he obviously had responsibilities and difficulties playing with us back then! He just needed a bit of time out! That was ok! Rasmus came in and did some gigs and we were really pleased with him! It was fantastic. But I’m glad Pelle is back fulltime now!!!! We missed him a lot!!! He’s a real "Brother In Crime"!!!
Festivalphoto: What other line-up changes (if any) have there been since the last album?
Diddi: One major line-up change only, sadly, and that is our long time drummer Jonas who had to leave the band last year! In May, his girlfriend of many years was told she had cancer, and obviously, Jonas could not join us on gigs then. She sadly died later that year!!!!! For the record, there are no hard feelings between the band and Jonas at all. It was extremely sad for him. We are still very good friends!!!! We took on Johnny Benson on drums! And that was the fuel injection that we really needed!! He is now a full-time member of Bai Bang!!!!
Festivalphoto: Are there any plans to tour in the UK?
Diddi: Yes, I really hope to come back to lovely London again!!!!! And get round the UK!!!!! We did a tour with Knock Out Kaine (in UK) a few years ago and that was great fun!!!!! It was all over the place in really nice clubs!!! ”We really love the UK and London in particular!!!!
Let’s hope we can come back very soon!!!!!!”
Festivalphoto: What are Bai Bang like these days - still crazy or calmed down since the 80s?
Diddi: Bai Bang will always be CRAZY!!!!!! We never slow down!! Ask Gipsy Pistoleros.......he,he,he,he; or Knock Out Kaine!!!!!! We are really ‘living our dream’!!! Jump into the old tour bus, on the road; gig; meet fans; and we’re having a great time doing it!!!!!!!
Festivalphoto: What bands did you listen to when growing up?
Diddi: I listened to T-Rex, Kiss, the Beatles, the Stones, Nazareth, loads of stuff. And......, many years later, we actually went on tour with Nazareth!!!!!! My idols from way back?! We still see each other sometimes, and it’s a real pleasure!! Last year, we had a show in Switzerland! And those guys were playing right on the day before our show!! We showed up unexpectedly!!!!!!! And, what a party!!! I also have my personal manager in the USA and South Africa; that’s Gloria Jones, Marc Bolan’s widow, and I was a huge fan of Bolan!!! Everytime we play Los Angeles (either the Whiskey A Go Go, the Cat Club, or the Roxxi), we stay at Rolan Bolan’s house (that’s Marc and Gloria’s son), in LA!!! He and I are
really good friends. My bro’ in the USA!!!! It’s a small world isn’t it??
Festivalphoto: Certainly… What bands do you like to listen to these days?
Diddi: I like to keep myself very updated to new bands!! I still listen to Kiss, Poison, Motley Crue, Ozzy,Whitesnake and loads of the classics, but the new stuff is really exciting as well!
Festivalphoto: For people who hadn’t heard Bai Bang before the new album, what album would you recommend them to buy (after “Livin' My Dream”)?
Diddi: You need to listen to "Are You Ready" as well!!!!! There are also a bunch of great songs on that!!!!! Buy it!!!!
Festivalphoto: Thanks for your time and I look forwards to your next UK shows
Diddi: Hope to see you soon! Rock On and Live Your Dream!!!