INTERVIEW WITH Mark Ruffneck (Drums) OZ


First up, how are you guys feeling right now?
Mark Ruffneck and also other OZ hard core members, Ape De Martini and Jay C. Blade just feeling well! And also both Guitar Players Michel Santunione and John Berg are just fine! So OZ is alive and breathing, ha, ha! To be back in action after a so long break is just wonderful!

The reviews for “Burning Leather” that I've read where all raving! Any thoughts on that?
We have been extremely well received everywhere, so we are really happy with the feedback! The best comment; Burning Leather is a great album! And the reviewers understood our idea about showing with this album what OZ is about 2011. The worst comment; Why we were re-recording OZ old classics? We shouldn’t touch those classic songs! So reviewers didn’t understand our idea about this album! So, the majority of reviewers have liked “Burning Leather” and understood our purpose with this album, but there have been also a few reviewers who didn’t like our idea to mix new songs and re-recorded old songs! So I like to give here one more reason why “Burning Leather” is as it is! We haven’t been in any contacts with our old record company owner Börje Forsberg since 1991! Why? Because He is Asshole!  So we were re-recording old songs that we could ensure that people also could get some old songs in good quality together with new songs and this way people could get the good picture what OZ is about 2011. This is the main reason to re-record old songs!

The band lay dormant since 1991. How did the resurrection occur?
The Afterburner Story started at a Midsummer Party 2009 while being sponsored by Carlsberg (ha ha) and Nokia ("Connecting People"). I called both Jay and Ape and asked if they were interesting to make some music together again. They both were thinking some weeks and after that they informed me that yes, let’s make some metal music together! So, the main reason for OZ reunion is:  We just like to make music together again and now we have time and possibility to play together again! So why not?

The band has a new record deal with AFM now. Was that a difficult search for a getting a good deal?
We were talking with quite many record companies in Scandinavia and also in Europe about the distribution contract for the new album Burning Leather. We got contact with AFM Records somehow by some contacts that we had. AFM was showing quite fast their interest to work with OZ, and when we start discussions with them, It was developing quite fast after that they were listening Burning Leather. And we are really happy that we could sign OZ to AFM. Well UDO can’t be wrong! 

Ape hasn't lost any power in his voice over the years! Above that he looks that a member of the WWF! Has he done some special training to keep his voice (and body) fit?
No, I think that he hasn’t made any special training, but he has been training his whole life and he has also been living the healthy life! And he has his genetic background, ha, ha! His father was an Olympic athlete and that probably clarify a part of story! And he is really special as a person, one of a kind and he is really in a great physical shape and can sing better nowadays as he did in the 80’s! Miracle or not, but this is the story, ha, ha!

You're booked for the next K.I.T. Festival in 2012 with other cult bands like Witch Cross, Sword, Dark Wizard, Ostrogoth and Tytan! I imagine you're all looking forward to that? Are you planning on doing something special? A Scandinavian metal special perhaps?
Yes, we think that it’s really fun to play there as it has been in summer 2011 when we were playing at different festivals. We probably do something special, but playing next K.I.T. Festival is not so much different than other festivals. We have the same rules as other bands! Money Talks! When we're getting more money we will put all that money on OZ stage show!


Besides that German festival, does the band have other tour plans?
Yes, we try to play some other festivals in Europe during this summer and probably after summer we start to record some new songs!

The intro for the new version of “Searchlights” sounds like the red alert from the original Star Trek series! Is this a coincidence? Or is there a Trekkie among the band or crew?
Yes, It’s a coincidence. We just like to have the red alert siren as the intro for the new version of “Searchlights”. We didn’t think that it sounds like the red alert from the original Star Trek series. No, we are not any special Star Trek fans, but I think that Jay is more interested about those series than others in the band.

Many bands from the 80's did a comeback with a new album(s) and tour the globe (Europe – Exxplorer – Overdrive – etc). Even Black Sabbath are planning a new tour with Ozzy now! Do you have any idea how this is possible? Is it the lack of “real” new bands with an unique sound, or what?
Well, if they like to do that! Go ahead! Just do it and at the end, you as an artist have a total freedom to do what you like! What do I think about that? Maybe the music business is right now without new ideas and good bands and we are starting from the beginning again. New wave or heavy metal (part 2) and Hell Yeah! Just do it, ha, ha!

To finish this interview, do you have some words for the fans and readers?
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our loyal fans out there, and also welcome new fans into our fold. For more info, please check out our website:

And Keep on Rocking…\m/
Mark Ruffneck (Drumz) OZ

Interview done by -Rik Bauters


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