Claus Lessman, best known as vocalist with Bonfire, expands on his singing career and what the future holds with regard to new music and live gigs.
Who were your influences in the early days and have you always wanted to be a singer in a band?
My influences when I was young were bands like The Beatles, Queen, The Eagles, Deep Purple, Boston and Journey. Quite a strange mixture, but I just loved them and still do. I really did not want to be a singer as the lead vocalist in a band. I would have preferred to be more in the background, for example as a bass player who can also sing a little bit...because bass players have more fun! ☺
Apart from Bonfire, have you ever auditioned for the vocal spot in any other notable bands?
Simple question and so is the answer.... no.
You have appeared on a number of albums over the years. Do you have a favourite and why?
I really like the two Phantom 5 albums and the latest release of Lessmann/Voss. The writing and recording were just so easy going and a lot of fun. Especially after the more than painful split with Bonfire, it has been exactly the right thing. It was just feeling so right and Michael Voss and me are friends for a pretty long time already and I think there is almost nothing better than when two friends share the same good vibes together.
Do you have any plans to release a solo album?
Actually, there are no plans so far for releasing a solo album.
Some vocalists are on strict dietary regimes or gargle with special liquids. How have you kept your voice in tip top shape all these years?
I must confess, that I have never had any recipe or dietary regime for my voice. I also never had any singing lessons. My voice is just the way it is. Unfortunately, it is not like it used to be, but that already seems to be centuries ago. ☺ I guess I also paid my dues due to alcohol and cigarettes.
Do you still get the same buzz out of singing live as you did in the past?
I would totally agree, although I have not been on stage for years. To be honest, it is the best kick you can get, when you feel like one with audience. I think, that it is one of the main reasons why you start a band.
Is singing your full-time occupation?
You have recently released an album with Michael Voss. Is this a one-off project or can we expect more from this collaboration?
Actually, we both just don’t know at the moment... but...why not... we will see.
Are there any musicians that you have not worked with, but would like to in the future?
This is a question that is pretty hard to answer and belongs more in the land of dreams. But three names are coming alive in my mind. Sammy Hagar, Jeff Lynne and Paul McCartney. Just to mention three of my most adored heroes in Music.
With the live circuit opening up again, is there a possibility that we could see you performing some live shows in the UK?
I really cannot answer this question because it is very hard for me at the moment to go out and play live again, although I would love to do so. It is too hard to explain. Thank you for your understanding.
Interview by Stuart Dryden