The avuncular drummer tells us about a life well spent in the service of metal...
Hello Husky! Thanks for joining in with Metal Origins! First question – what are your earliest memories of heavy metal – was it love at first sight? “Well, I stole my first record from my dad. Must have been around 1987 or 1988… too long ago! Before that I listened to some Talking Heads, Die Toten Hosen and Die Ärzte. But after I checked out Master of Reality my Metal Heart started pounding. After that it all went fast… Alice Cooper, Priest, Maiden, Metallica,Slayer and so on”.
A rapid degeneration! What was the first metal album you bought with your own cash, as opposed to filching? ” I’ll never forget that day! I went after school to a local record- store called Elpi and went inside to check out which would become the first record bought by myself. I had Act III and The Years of Decay in my hand. I decided to buy …Decay because the coverartwork looked more brutal! (laughs) I had to pay 12.99 Deutschmarks which is like seven euros or ten dollars. Nice prices back in time!”
Weren’t they just! I was thinking only the other day the first T-Shirt I bought at a gig – Judas Priest, of course – cost only four pounds! Were there any bands you loved as a youngster that cause you to wince now and ask ‘what was I thinking’?
“All the bands I listened to in the past I still like nowadays! From the softest hard rock to the fastest grindcore! Maybe that’s the recipe – mix as much as you can, so it never becomes boring!”
Who were the first band you saw live? “My first Live show was in 1989 – Alice Cooper at the Eissporthalle in Köln together with my dad! That was so amazing and from that time on I thought to myself “one day you are also playing live shows like this”! (laughs again) – OK, I play shows now, but not in those dimensions!
Maybe not that big, but size isn’t everything! How hard was it growing up to get info on the bands you loved- was there much mainstream media coverage where you lived? “So all in all when I started around 1988/89 to listen to metal in a proper way, all the infrastructure was already very good. We had many shows around my hometown and there were some really great magazines around like Metal Hammer, Crash, Rock Hard, Heavy oder was?! and so on. So I was very happy with all that and I also decided to start a small fanzine!”
Good man! So being very much a print media kinda guy, do you think the internet has taken away the mystique if being in a big band for young people today? Do we know too much about our heroes in 2016? “The Internet nowadays has its good and shitty things. On one point it’s good for younger bands getting a big following on all the social media sides. But on the other hand this “Metal-hunting” thing is totally gone and many younger maniacs really don’t know how it is to “hunt” for new records and new bands. Bigger bands get even bigger with the www in my eyes. But this Download- problem is still there. I hate downloading albums! I need something in my hand. I am still collecting vinyl which is for me still in 2016 the main medium in metal!
I totally agree on all counts! There was something very special about finding new bands from different countries and even continents! Were you a big festival goer as a junior headbanger? “I had not so much money when I was young, but I visited many small festivals until 1995 when I made my first experience at Dynamo Open Air. After that I went every year to many bigger festivals. My favourite festivals right now are Party San Open Air in Germany, Maryland Death Fest in the US, Rock Hard Festival in Germany, Fall of Summer France and so on”.
I was at Dynamo in ’95 too! It really is a small metal world… How hard/easy was it for you to get to big gigs growing up? Would you have hitched hundreds of miles to see your favourite bands if necessary? “I still do it if I am not on tour with my own bands! I love to meet friends, chat and have a couple of beers with them! I think that’s makes the scene special”.
It certainly is. Back to vinyl – what five albums have stayed with you since your formative metal years? “Metallica – Kill ‘em All, Slayer’s Reign in blood, The Rack by Asphyx, Entombed – Left Hand Path and 1916 by Motörhead”
A nice mix, and good that finally someone has picked one of their own albums! Did you have a metal crush? I had lifesize posters of Lee Aaron and Doro Pesch on my ceiling in 1986… “(more laughter) I was always a huge Vixen and Lee Aaron fan, but never had lifesize posters. But my room at my parents place was covered in posters and articles about bands… maybe like every metalhead did in the past!”
Yep, that’s certainly what mine was like! Anything else you’d like to reveal about your metal upbringing? “So much stuff happened in my upbringing. But mostly the time with Infernal (Desaster) in his room made my metal- life as it is today. Listening to metal twenty four hours a day, watching videoclips, drinking beer and just enjoying metal! Just as it should be!”
Amen to that! Thanks for taking part!