Bonfire to release new studio album ‘Fireworks (MMXXIII Version)’ on September 22nd
German rockers Bonfire consisting of lead vocalist Dyan Mair, guitarists Hans Ziller and Frank Pané, bassist Ronnie Parkes and drummer Fabio Allesandrini will be releasing their new studio album Fireworks (MMXXIII Version) via AFM Records on September 22, 2023.
Track List for Fireworks (MMXXIII Version):
01. Ready 4 Reaction
02. Never Mind
03. Sleeping All Alone
05. Don’t Get Me Wrong
06. Sweet Obsession
07. Rock Me Now
08. American Nights
10. Give it A Try
11. Cold Days
12. Angel In White
Dustin Hardman / AFM Records‘ press release indicates (with slight edits):
“Sometimes you get the feeling that time stands still. Surely 1986 was only yesterday? And haven’t the hits from back then lost none of their magic? Then you dig out your favourite records and discover that the tracks that sound alive and fresh in your memory have acquired a little patina in recent years, which is pretty much what happened to Bonfire guitarist Hans Ziller when he remembered his band’s first major successes. Bonfire are one of the most iconic German hard rock bands of the past forty years, and their 2020 album ‘Fistful Of Fire’ garnered high positions in the German charts. Their first three releases ‘Don’t Touch The Light’ (1986), ‘Fireworks’ (1987) and ‘Point Blank’ (1989), which have shaped a whole era, still hold a special position in Bonfire’s career.
As one of the group’s founding members and its main composer, Ziller came up with an ambitious idea. How would the songs from those now slightly dated releases sound if they were re-recorded in contemporary studio conditions? This concept was particularly exciting because the band’s current line-up is one of the strongest of their entire career. And so his idea began to take shape. The outstanding current Bonfire line-up has completely re-recorded all three albums, supported by updated cover artwork and a sound to make your heart beat faster. The result will be released on September 22, 2023 on AFM/Soulfood. Ziller: “What we wanted to do was to record the songs as if Bonfire had been a metal band in the eighties!”
Naturally, you need first-rate musicians for this kind of ambitious undertaking, and that’s precisely what Bonfire mark 2023 have. Greek singer Dyan Mair, one of the greatest European vocal talents of our time, has recently joined the Bonfire fold. Ziller hadn’t realised that the man from southern Europe has always been a huge Bonfire fan for whom a lifelong dream came true. In less than two weeks, the 30-year-old had mastered all 35 songs from the three cult albums. Ziller enthuses: “Dyan can simply sing anything, from rock vocals to falsetto. You only have to listen to him to realise that he will excel live.”
In addition to Mair and Ziller, the line-up includes solo guitarist Frank Pané (Valley’s Eve, Sainted Sinners), New York bassist Ronnie Parkes and drummer Fabio Allesandrini (Annihilator). What literally screams metal by name definitely sounds like it. These recent recordings of ‘Don’t Touch The Light’, ‘Fireworks’ and ‘Point Blank’ see Bonfire deliver the timeless material from the original albums in a powerful sound that, despite its unbridled power, has lost none of its complexity. Ziller: “Of course, we kept to the original arrangements as much as possible, perhaps slightly changing a riff now and then or updating the sound of a guitar part. But all the essential elements, right down to the lyrics, have remained untouched.”
Bonfire have taken an equally sensitive approach to the cover design. The main features of the original artwork have remained unchanged, but there are a few subtle alterations. ‘Don’t Touch The Light’ now features two women instead of two children, the cover of ‘Fireworks’ has been given a little more “heat”, and a monk is now standing in front of the huge gate on ‘Point Blank’, instead of a woman. “The direct reference to the originals has been retained, but at the same time you can see that these are new versions of the albums,” explains Ziller.
And so we can now all look forward to fantastic new versions of great Bonfire hits such as ‘Ready 4 Reaction’, ‘American Nights’, ‘Fantasy’, ‘Never Enough’, ‘Waste No Time’ and ‘Never Surrender’, which have lost none of their compositional timelessness and could hardly sound more haunting. It comes as no surprise that Ziller & Co. plan to present their stroke of genius as extensively as possible. They are set to release seven (!!) lead singles and are also thinking about a lavish collector’s box, including great fan gadgets. According to Ziller, there’s plenty of material: “Of course it’s still a secret what the content will be, but I can tell you this much. I’m currently busy writing a book about my career as a musician. So who knows?””
Bonfire‘s “Who’s Foolin’ Who” (MMXXIII Version) video:
Bonfire‘s “S.D.I.” (MMXXIII Version) lyric video: