Formed in 1981 by friends Ken Hammer and Ronnie Atkins in Horsens, Denmark, Pretty Maids was originally a cover band. The members soon started writing their own material, however, which lead to a deal with the English record label Bullet Records. Today, Ronnie Atkins still leads the band and Ken Hammer still wields his axe, and they have a new album out. KS spoke with front-man Ronnie Atkins about the album, the trip to Japan, and the future.
Since the early 90s, Pretty Maids has had a very strong fan base in Japan. How do you feel about Japan?
Well, Japan definitely has a very special place in our hearts. We’ve had a strong Japanese following ever since the 80s and we’ve toured Japan so many times since 1990. I always enjoy going there since the people are so friendly and the fans are very dedicated. Besides that, I’m totally in love with Japanese food. So yes, to me, Japan is something very special, always was, and always will be.
The 2014 album Louder Than Ever featured some re-recorded previously released tracks. Does this mean latest album, Kingmaker, been a long time in the making?
Well, Kingmaker was actually more or less written just prior to going in the studio. The thing is that you write more or less all the time and record bits and pieces that you might use at some later point. We also had some ideas that we’ve done in either 2014 or 2015 that ended up on Kingmaker. But the majority of the album was written in January 2016 and we entered the studio on Feb 1, 2016.
Kingmaker is a milestone recording for Pretty Maids in that it’s your 15th studio album. With a career already spanning more than three decades, what does the future hold for the band?
It’s hard to say what the future holds for PM. But I definitely don’t see any stop signs yet. We’re still having fun and enjoying what we do. As long as we have a fan base that still wants to buy our music or come to the shows then it’s all worth it. The fan base has been increasing the last couple of years; a lot of younger fans have checked in, which tells me that we must somehow still be kind of relevant in what we do and that’s a nice feeling. For the remainder of 2017, we’ll still be out promoting Kingmaker and 2018 will also see the band on the road.
Danish hard-rock band formed 1981
• Club Quattro, Osaka • Rock • 7pm • ¥7,500 • Tel: 06-6311-8111