Interview with Diddi Kastenholt of Bai Bang

For the first time in years Swedish Bai Bang have released a new record called "Are you ready". Frontman Diddi Kastenholt talks about the new album, the recording process and the reason that he wanted to be a musician.

Could you describe the new album.

Well, it's a necessary, well-produced album with a lot of glam and hard rock.

Which part of the album are you most satisfied with?

I'm very satisfied with its general impression, it's not just 5 good songs and after that 5-7 crappy songs. On this album every song has something special, and that's what I'm most satisfied with.

Why did you use several different studios during the recording process?

It was convenient that way, we used several different producers, who have their studios in different places in Sweden, and so we have recorded the album partly in Stockholm, Gotland and Helsingborg. It was a little bit work to make it fit with everyone's schedules, but it was nice to change surroundings every now and then.

Did the album get the response you were hoping for?

Yes, but you never dare to hope on too much, but when you look at reviews from abroad, and even from Sweden, we've received great reviews, so we are more than satisfied. We knew we had a great album, but you never know if people are going to like it or not.

How come it took all this time before you released a new album?

When "Attitude" came out, it was released in different countries during 4 years time, so the fact that it has taken 7 or 8 years for us to release something new isn't completely true since we toured with it for so long time. And after that we released a "Best of"-album and have had some changes in the lineup of the band. Also we felt like we wanted to spend some more time on this album, the recording process have taken two and a half years, but we wanted it to be an album with only great songs.

What do you hope the new album will lead to?

All that we have now, we've received some gigs at festivals and such, and got a lot of attention in the better magazines. But most of all we wants to get out there and play the new album for the fans.

You've been booked to big festivals abroad, but almost nothing here is Sweden, how come?

We don't have anyone to book gigs for us here in Sweden, and it takes a lot of time and effort to sit and do it ourselves. We have checked out some booking agencies, but we're waiting until we find something permanent and that we also are satisfied with.

How do you consider a perfect gig with Bai Bang should be?

The venue doesn't matter, it can be a big place, a small club or a festival, it should be a lot of people, preferably jammed. And the crowed really catch on. But even if it's only a small crowed we always give 100 % , we play for the people that shows up, you know. But a perfect gig should have good sound, good light and a great crowed.

What's the most memorable thing that ever has happen in the band?

It's so many great things. But some of them are when we played at the legendary places in Los Angeles, our first tour in England, which was only a few years ago. Also, we played in front of a crowed with 100 000 people in Estonia some years ago at an outdoor festival. Once we played in Moscow, and an ex-member of the band drank my lenses, cause I had forgotten to bring the case for the lenses, and put them in a glass of water, and when he came in that night he had a headache and put a couple of treo (effervescent tablets against headache) in the glass and drank it.

Do you feel like you have calmed down since the 80's?

No, when we're on tour it is wild, it's just as fun every time, every gig. Everything you do before the gig and after, it is a real rush.

What bands did you listen to during your childhood?

I liked T-Rex, Aerosmith, KISS and bands like that, and that's still the kind of music I like best.

What was it that made you wanna be a musician?

Well, I've always loved to sing and play, and I started rather early. I was like 15 or 16 when I started with the band. Also, my father was a musician as well, so I guess it's in the genes. He was really good at the piano and the accordion.

Do you sing in the shower?

Yes, absolutely.

What can we expect from Bai Bang in the future?

That we're out playing a lot of gigs, and also, that the next album goes faster to make, we're already looking at some new songs, so we'll see what's going to happen.

Some quick questions:
What is your favorite band? Motley Crue and Aerosmith.
What's your favorite beverage? Jack Daniel's with Coca Cola.
What's your favorite festival? Sweden rock festival.
What is the best concert you've ever seen? I saw Aerosmith in Stockholm a whole lot of years ago, and also some gigs with Alice Cooper.

Interviewed by Wednesday Salo

Visit the Bai Bang Website