-Interview- Bodyguerra (1/3/24)

Bodyguerra talks about their their start with music, the Germany music scene and much more.


From: Germany
Sounds like: Rock

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name "Bodyguerra" and is there any meaning behind it?

Guido:I grew up in a family, that had music around 24/7. My mother listened to Elvis and Janis Joplin all day, my father plays guitar too. He used to play these instrumentals from the early guitar heros like The Shadows, The Ventures. I remember listening to the radio as a very young boy, hearing early Scorpions, early Pink Floyd without knowing who it was, liking the rocking guitar music very much. So it was kind of natural for me to start playing. Songs like 'Peter Gunn' and 'Apache' were my first choice. The very big strike came when I bought this 24 carat Purple sampler , a kind of best of Deep Purple, from my pocket money. It had the Made in Japan version from 'Smoke on the water'. That was it, the big bang, wanting me to make my living on the guitar. I knew nothing about guitars, amps, sounds, but the will was there. From that, first bands, different styles, gave me a deeper view into music. Later I got a degree as a guitar instructor.

Soundwise I always have been a real strat cat, I love the 70ies live records from Ritchie Blackmore, later I discovered David Gilmour, each sound state of the art, Yngwie Malmsteen. So I developed a fat strat sound, ballsy but not muddy, keeping it distorted but clear. That is my mindset for Bodyguerra, next to big drums, cool melodies and hooks. In Bodyguerra each instrument has it own place within the sound. Ela comes from a household with a lot of RocknRollhits from Elvis Presley and later from the Stones and acts like Smokie. She got aware what the human voice can do just by listening and got started. A naturell development for her.

The name has it's own story. I used to do baroque riding, my goal was to ride like the old masters, you know, like a knight with a sword. I took my first lessons on the island of Mallorca. A spanish mare called 'Bodegera' was my teaching horse. Bodegera is a lady selling wine in a wine shop, the Bodega. Everybody called this horse 'Body'. I found a list in the stable of all horses and Bodegera was misspelled 'Bodyguerra'. I like the word and kept it in my mind. Actually it has no meaning at all.

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

I want them to have a good time. You know, music has a lot of power, it describes what words can not. All the emotions are there. Music can be soft, aggressive, romantic, all the emotions are there. So when someone is in a certain state of emotion and Bodyguerra's music helps him to get through it, we reached our goal. In generell we want the audience to have a great time and forget about all their sorrows for some time.

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

Powerful, loud, yet clean. My roots go back to the time of the first guitar heros, there is always melody, powerful drums, groovy bass and loud screaming guitars. It's all about the song, not overplayed soloing. As our sound is based on only three instruments, every instrument is important, no hidding. And overall Ela's voice.

4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

Oh, that's a tough one. Well, first I would say the Scorpions. They did a lot for roc kbands from Germany. They opened the door to the international market for german artist and followed their own vision with great confidence. Personally Deep Purple would be a dream of mine and Bruce Springsteen, not a perfect musical fit, but I love his down to earth attitude, his connection to the people. But honestly, there are much more....

5. How has Covid affected what you do?

Oh hell, yes, that was a big bang. We got a new album, different lineup, a tour with David Reece Band (ex-Accept, ex-Bonfire) was on the way...and everything blowed up, no album, no tour, record company got sold, line up (it was an international one) splitted up...total desaster. But I must say, that the german goverments on each level did a lot for artist. We got for example some artist scholarships over the three years and much more. We used to produce 'Fire & Soul', the album before 'Invictus', some videos, got a new worldwide record deal, went on tour in 2022. Thankfully, we managed to rise out of this desaster with a new lineup and music.

6. What’s your take on the current state of Rock?

Rock is still there and many many people are fans of this handcrafted kind of art. I appreciate this very much. I feel strange when people, like in Japan, go to a sell out show of a hologram 'Artist'.....I mean, there is a fictional character and you adore him as a fan???? Many DJs take old rockhits, do a remix and call it hardraw music....without the originals there would be nothing like this. Rock in any kind is a music of real musicians creating a special moment for the audience. No matter which kind of Rock. There are many great artist out there, whether it is more bluesbased like Joe Bonamasse (he turns everything on 10!!!!), more modern style like Polyphia, or extrem like Slipknot. So many great artist out there. So I guess Rock will still be there in a big way for some time.

7. What's the current music scene like there in Germany?

Many musicians call Germany the hardest music market on earth. Look, the Scorpions got successful when they left Germany, become the most successful touring act in the US, Rammstein the same. They got very big when the americans got aware of them. It seems as if the german people are not proud of their own artists in a way. This is one side. On the other, there is a big need for live shows. People want to get out to shows again and have a good time. What makes me think is this tribute thing. Germany has the most tribute bands. I can understand musicians doing this, they need to pay their bills. But it is also a buyout for music. You don't need to watch ACDC bc there are tons of tributes around. And these slogans like 'playing the same guitars as the original'.....come on, you the need the hands, the attitude, the mindset, the guitar is just a tool. I am very conflicted on this topic.

8. What’s your take on the royalties that streaming services pay out to artists?

That's simple a crime, streaming services steal your royalties. When I remember back the CEO from Spotify once said 'musicians should release three albums a year to make a living' says it all. That message is nothing but disgusting bullshit. The costs to produce a wellmade album are still the same. In Germany a service called ROKK is on it's way, a streaming service for Rock and Metal music with the goal to have a fair payment. You can't kill streaming, not yet, but it has to be fair to the artists who deliever your the basic for your trade. The current situation is piraty. Period!

9. What's next for Boydguerra?

We are nominated for the Innocent Award 2023 from Berlin in two categories. !. Best album 2023 with Invictus and 2. Best Breakthrough Artist 2023. This is a voting, running till Jan. 14th, 2024. So, when there is someone wanting to support us, please send an email with the message ' I vote for Bodyguerra in both categories' to innocent-award@cuteanddangerous.de. Tourplans are on the way, We will make them public when the papers are signed. Another video will be coming also. A lot of work ahead.

10. Any shoutouts?

Keep the faith in the good, in your goals. Don't let anybody make you afraid. And when Bodyguerra's music helps you on your path, then we did it right.