The BossHoss hit the road with Motorhead this week on the back of the release of their UK only album God Loves Cowboys and the news that their last album in Germany had just gone platinum. With a big following in Germany and a reputation for highly entertaining live shows, as well as having their own brand of beer we thought it about time we found out a bit more. We caught up with Alec and Sascha in Manchester just before they hit the stage:

R13: For those in the UK not yet familiar with The BossHoss, how would you describe your sound?
A: Well that's not easy!
S: Rock & roll!
A: Yeah rock & roll all over! Well we put a lot of country music in, in a rocky way, we made it a bit faster and more trashier than you would normally get and then we put more and more rock & roll into it. Sascha comes from the rockabilly scene so there's some rockabilly in there, some punk rock roots.
S: I think the easiest way to describe it is, is it's all rock & roll. Straight forward and hand made, organic music, with a lot of roots influences.

R13: You've just released God Loves Cowboys, is it fair to say that's a bit of a career retrospective?
A: Not really, but kind of. It's the first record we put out in England but we have seven records already in Germany and we've been together for ten years now but that record is more from the last two or three records. We thought those would be the best songs to show where we are at the moment and that describe the BossHoss sound the best.
S: There are a lot of rock songs on it, we got a lot of countryesque songs, slower songs, we've got songs that are very much influenced by pop but the market in England can stand a lot of rock so we chose the songs that are the most powerful for that record.
R13: The idea behind it being to introduce the band to the UK audience?
S: Yeah.

R13: You've played a lot of countries throughout Europe, do you get different reactions in different places? Are there some places that just don't get it?
A: No not really. When you play somewhere where people don't know you it's more work and it's interesting to see how they react but overall everywhere is the same.
S: Yeah it works because it's not a typical German thing, it's not German music, it's a mixture of mainly English speaking influences from the past from England and America so the music works the same everywhere. The best places for us are Germany, Switzerland and Austria because that's where we've done the most promotion but that doesn't mean it doesn't work in England or America.

R13: You're known for doing cover versions, which is how you started out and I wondered that now you do predominantly your own songs, whether you resented having to play those cover versions because that's what people know you for?
A: When we started it wasn't to create a band it was just to have a couple of beers and thought about doing some country cover songs everybody knows.
S: We had our bands and we met at work and said let's do something together.
A: It was a drunken accident!
S: But since we are musicians anyway it wasn't planned, we didn't plan on a huge career and we were concentrating on our old bands at that time. But then we did that first record and thought let's see how it goes and after it was a big success we though OK we don't want to repeat this first record for the second album. We want to go on because it's getting serious so let's put our original songs on the second record. We made it to the third and more and more originals came up and the covers got less and less until the last record in Germany had no covers on there. We're not ashamed of those covers though and we still play a lot of those live because it works and they're fun and that's our past so we're not denying it.

R13: You've done a lot of big shows like Wacken and Download, so you're used to playing on a big stage to a big crowd but are you shitting yourselves just a bit at the thought of opening for Motorhead and what is a traditionally very partisan crowd?
A: Just a little bit?! Yeah of course because it's very different. It's the first time we play arena shows in the UK after we played smaller club shows in the last couple of years. Download was OK but people are there anyway but yeah it's Motorhead and it's an old school metal crowd and they want it hard and loud, they want it the Motorhead way! They want Motorhead...and some Germans! laughter
S: It's always the same if you're opening up for a band which is famous and a bit special with an old fan base, but still we've been in the audience a lot in front of Motorhead and people are not so bad so I think it will be OK. We're not the main act and we know that and people are waiting fro the main act and we know that too.
A: If we were not on the stage we would be in front of it so we know it will work!

R13: The last album has just gone platinum and the one before double platinum in Germany, that must blow you away?
A: Yeah it does.
S: Yeah when we were talking about how we started we never thought about this happening one day so we are pretty proud and it's pretty cool of course. Nowadays especially it's pretty amazing to sell that many records.
R13: So now that you've achieved that and given that you didn't have a plan when you set out, what's left to do, what are your goals for the band now?
A: Triple platinum of course! laughter
R13: That's just greedy!
A: Well the world is big you know? We've played most of our shows in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Sometimes here in the UK but it would be great to play all over the world and to build a base in every country on every continent.
S: We have a lot of countries nearby, you know it's only an hour and a half to fly to England so it would be very easy for us to go to France, England, Benelux and other countries in the neighbourhood so we're just starting out.

R13: Given the varied influences in the music you must get a very varied crowd?
A: I would say it's a real mix. They go from 15 to 55 or whatever. They love live music, they love powerful shows where they can shake a leg and so it's not only one specific group.
S: We don't have any electronic or techno audience so most of them are into rock music I would say but from young to old. Like Motorhead.

R13: As a seven piece band does that make it hard to keep everyone happy or are you all on the same wavelength? How do you decide what you're going to do if some want to go in a different direction?
A: We've known each other such a long time and we also have three horns so ten on stage. We get along very good but the travelling party is very big so it's not so easy just to hop in a car and drive somewhere to play. It's a big management thing to keep everyone together and get everyone on the bus and technicians and so on.
R13: That must make it difficult when you're going to a country where people don't know you and you can't command the same kind of fee, that must limit where you can go sometimes?
S: Yeah we couldn't afford it if we didn't have big success in Germany. This trip now, we get a small fee but that doesn't pay our flights and we have hotels as well.
A: It's an investment.
R13: I was wondering if any of the Motorhead guys had heard your version of Killers yet?
S: We met him in Berlin so...
A: Yeah! I think Lemmy heard it when we put it on a German record two years ago.
S: Did he hear it?
A: I don't know, but he will love it! laughter Well, he likes Germans and he likes Motorhead songs!
S: But he likes the old Germans laughter
A: But we are old!

R13: Presumably you want to come back after these shows and do some more of your own so what can people expect from a BossHoss show?
S: We're a band that love playing music. We're friends and you can see that when we're on stage in our interaction. There are a lot of people on stage so there are a lot of things to look at!
A: And then people say "are these guys really Germans? They're cool, I love them!" laughter
R13: It's good to have self-belief
A: A little... laughter