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Going For The Knockout: An Exclusive Interview With Al Crespo Of Germany's UNBREAKABLE

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 @ 9:25 AM

"There is no way things can go wrong when you have this positive way of seeing and approaching things."

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Ask a metal fan to name an act that calls Germany home and more often than not you'll get answers like SCORPIONS and ACCEPT. That European country has been the birthplace of some of the biggest heavy metal/hard rock acts in the world and now comes a new act looking to make its mark on the metal community; UNBREAKABLE. Their debut release, Knockout, is about to drop and was produced by none other than former SCORPIONS drummer Herman Rarebell, who himself said uNBREAKABLE could be the next SCORPIONS. Whether or not that turns out to be the case is for the listener to decide, but with someone of that stature behind you, how can it go wrong?

Given that little teaser, lead vocalist Al Crespo was kind enough to answer a few burning question I had for the band with regards to working with Rarebell, the band's familiar musical sound and what the future may hold for these German upstarts:

KNAC.COM: Former SCORPIONS drummer Herman Rarebell produced your Knockout CD. How did the band first become involved with him?

CRESPO: The band had already been together a while making music, playing gigs and working on our own songs in our small studio. We had a few tunes on the radio for unsigned bands. We started noticing that we were growing in popularity. People supported our music, more and more people came to our concerts and our fan base got huge for such a small band. That’s when we decided to make it happen. Our fans wanted to listen to more of our music and they deserve the best. And we contacted Herman. As our SCORPIONS influence is so big in our band, he probably found something familiar in us.

KNAC.COM: Did he approach the band first about being your producer or vice versa?

CRESPO: Well, after we contacted him, he visited us in Frankenberg and heard one of our rehearsals and said: Let’s go for it!

KNAC.COM: How was it working with such a living legend?

CRESPO: We learned so much from Herman: the work as a professional musician and the work in a high quality recording studio. He is one of the best rock drummers in the world and has worked with the biggest bands and artists around the world. He is also a great producer and text writer. Being coached by Herman has been a big advantage, because he knows how things are done in a recording studio as a musician and as a producer. The rhythm of work with him and his team is also different. These are people who’ve been on top of the industry for decades and that we noticed for sure. They know how to get the best out of everyone of us.

KNAC.COM: Besides being the album’s producer, did he give you guys any advice about the music business?

CRESPO: All the time! We call him Uncle Herman. He’s been so kind to us since the beginning. He has advice for every circumstance. We decide things together, because this is his project, too. So he is involved in it and wants it to be successful as much as we do.

KNAC.COM: What was the biggest lesson you learned from working with him?

CRESPO: I think it’s the energy he always brings with himself. There is no way things can go wrong when you have this positive way of seeing and approaching things. For sure he’s a professional in everything he does and he has a lot of fun in it. To be able to be such a great and successful artist and loving what you are doing is what I admire most about him.

KNAC.COM: Listening to Knockout, the band has an uncanny musical resemblance to the SCORPIONS. Was this by design or was it because of Herman’s involvement?

CRESPO: We were always very influenced by the SCORPIONS. We all grew up listening to Classic Rock and as the most emblematic band of Germany, the SCORPIONS are our heroes. We’ve even been doing a lot of covers from them. Actually Pascal (Alles, guitar) even had a SCORPIONS cover band. So this music style was always present. And now even more with Herman in our team.

KNAC.COM: He’s mentioned that UNBREAKABLE could be the next SCORPIONS. That’s setting the bar pretty high for you.

CRESPO: Oh yes, it really is. For him saying that is the biggest compliment we could receive. I mean, he was one of them and if he says so, he should be taken seriously. Things have changed a lot in the world and in the music industry in the past years. Things work different now. We only know we do great music and love doing it everyday from our hearts.

KNAC.COM: Tell me a little bit about the background of the band. How did you first get together?

CRESPO: The band was formed by the drummer Alex(Ries) in 2003. But the true UNBREAKABLE DNA came as Pascal(Alles, Lead guitar) and Martin(Ries, guitar) joined the band. With this structure the song writing and doing things from another point of view began. Soon we saw there was big potential in us and that we wanted to try it big!

KNAC.COM: How did you decide on the name UNBREAKABLE?

CRESPO: Since we all fight for the same purpose and goals, which is being able to share our music with the crowds and our love for the music, we are unbreakable!

KNAC.COM: When it comes to writing song material, how does the creative process work within the band?

CRESPO: Well, someone comes up with an idea. A guitar riff or a melody and we jam and develop the idea. If it feels good it can turn into a song. The most important thing is that it grooves and that it is spontaneous. Then we record our ideas, songs or song fragments and hear how they feel.

KNAC.COM: The debut album is about to hit the streets. Are you satisfied with the finished product?

CRESPO: Of course I am. We couldn’t have found a better working team, who really understands us and has made us sound the way we do on the album. We got the best quality with the best guys on our first album already.

KNAC.COM: Any nervousness yet as to how it will be accepted?

CRESPO: I think more than nervousness is anxiety. We’ve put all our efforts and love into this and we want our baby to see the world already. We believe in our music and our fans also do.

KNAC.COM: What’s next for the band after the album’s release? Any major tour plans yet and do they include coming to the U.S.?

CRESPO: Yes, that’s definitely something we want to do: Hit the road in the States! We are only focused on promoting our stuff over there, our album and our video. We are really looking forward to playing there!

KNAC.COM: Germany has always been a hotbed of hard rock and heavy metal activity, with a plethora of big names like SCORPIONS, ACCEPT, KREATOR and HELLOWEEN hailing from there. Who’s your personal favorite and why?

CRESPO: I don’t want to repeat myself but the SCORPIONS are and will be the biggest from Germany. I listen to HELLOWEEN a lot, too. But the songs, the anthems the SCORPIONS have written changed music history.

KNAC.COM: American fans are probably the most finicky on the planet. What do you have to say to your potential American fan base about UNBREAKABLE?

CRESPO: Finicky? Oh, then once they’ve listened to our songs, they won’t have any other option but to love them! So stay tuned and enjoy our Knockout!

Pick up your copy of Knockout in the KNAC.COM More Store right HERE.

Check out the video for "Rock The Nightlife" right HERE.

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