Kingdom Come was a German heavy metal/hard rock band fronted by Hamburg-born vocalist Lenny Wolf (born as Frank Wöllschlager). The group's first album, Kingdom Come is to date the band's most internationally popular and biggest selling recording.
Interview With JB Frank, Bassist
March 6, 2015
By Londa R. Marks | Metal Music Interviews
Published By Rock Legend News, Firenze, Italy and
Tempi Dispari.it, Rome, Italy
Johnny Frank (JB Frank), bassist with rock band Kingdom Come. Kingdom Come’s self titled album released in 1988 sold 5 million records and reached Number 12 on the U.S. Billboard 200 Album Charts. It was produced by Bob Rock, and Lenny Wolf. Kingdom Come has performed opening shows for Van Halen, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Scorpions, Dokken, Motley Crue, Ratt, Warrant, Black Sabbath and more.
Rock Legend News: Johnny, who has been most influential to you and has this determined your approach to music, or what exactly has been your approach to music?
JB Frank: I’d say the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Animals, the Yardbirds and fans from that era were my biggest influences. I love Jimi Hendrix. I did many psychedelics and watched the sky melt listening to his music and thought, “This is what I want to do.” Bands from that era influenced me.
RLN: With Kingdom Come, you recorded the self titled album with legendary producer Bob Rock best known for producing bands and artists such as Aerosmith, The Cult, Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, Metallica, Black Veil Brides and more. The album gained Platinum status in US, Canada and Germany. Aside from killer songs like: “What Love Can Be,” what was the secret for this successful record?
Rock Legend News: I would say the secret of Kingdom Come’s success lies in the cosmos. This was the rhythm that was created by the culture of personality. Our record was rush released six months early because we were the number one band in the world on request lines. How do you explain that except that there's a deeper connection to the human experience. We actually sounded like a 60’s or 70’s band that came out in 1988, which is weird. We reached far back into the blues, one of the most primordial forms of music which touches all of us.
Rock Legend News: Having played with bands like Scorpions, Dokken, Van Halen, what are some of your favorite memories with them?
JB Frank: Playing the big crowds with the big bands like Bon Jovi, Metallica, Van Halen and Scorpions was great but playing for the big audiences was really good because you could feel the power; you could feel the unity; you could feel what is an amazing divine energy — then your balls! That experience, well, it is hard to top that. That experience is hard to parallel because that experience becomes hard to substitute.
Working with Bob Rock was excellent. He’s a good man and excellent producer. He’s an engineer on some big albums like Bon Jovi. Polygram wanted him to do everything. I had run into Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee of Motley Crue at the Rainbow and they said, “My God, your album sounds good. Who did it?” I said, “Bob Rock.” They immediately went to Bob and put out their biggest selling album ever, along with Metallica’s biggest selling album ever, and the biggest cost ever, but won by what is called “Bob Rock’s Midas Touch.”
Rock Legend News: What is your response to Led Zeppelin's guitarist Jimmy Page who commented about Kingdom Come in 1988 by saying, "Obviously it can get to the point where it gets past being a compliment, and it can be rather annoying, when you've got things like Kingdom Come, actually ripping riffs right off, that's a different thing altogether."
JB Frank: Oh, I don't think Jimmy Page or Led Zeppelin were too mad. Their careers reunited and they sold an extra 20 million records that year. I'm not saying we were responsible but its just a culture wanting more Led Zeppelin; then came Whitesnake and Exedra who borrowed much from the mighty gods Led Zeppelin. But I think if Jimmy Page or Robert Plant would go back into their history, they might find a bar, and a few things to say about how they borrowed a few things that enlightened them. How can you be mad when you're enlightened?
Rock Legend News: What can you tell us your next project?
JB Frank: I hope to see everybody out there on the road when she comes true next year.
Rock Legend News: I want to ask you the same thing I am asking others because it is a profound occurrence now. Why do you think the 80's are re-igniting? I mean, it is like it's 1985 in Colombia, South America; it is happening here in Italy and it is apparent all over the world that the 80’s and even the 70’s rock styles are becoming enlivened again.
JB Frank: The primordial archaic revival. Obviously we've evolved from the primordial to the technical and it leaves this empty feeling, sometimes pissed off even to the point where we want to go to war. So, when we feel music that's actually real, the last of the real music of the 80s and 90s —- even though I did come some good time after that; but, we’re living in now and people, fans, are turning on their intuition and tuning out their fears and conditioning, seeking out music they really desire. And when they find it they connect with it on a profound level with all the senses.
This is what we seek happiness for. Isn't this the purpose of life; to feel joy, truth, love, intelligence and soul spirit principal, beauty, gravity, geometry? They're all encompassed in the 80’s rock music. Kingdom Come went a little further than some bands.
Just an added note to the interview: This is a message for all musicians and producers doing live performances in a 432 hz. It will change the world, welcome to the new earth; it’s about tuning your instruments, thank you.
Good fortune to all. Thank you very much for your time. I love everybody and thank you so much. Much love!
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