Interview conducted March 02 2013
Interview published March 26 2013
Now into the 31st year of their
career, classic German thrashers Tankard are still going strong. Their
latest album, A Girl Called Cerveza, was released last year and most definitely
proved the band's potency, containing a string of top-notch thrash tunes.
When the band was confirmed as one the acts at the House Of Metal festival
in Umeå, Sweden, Metal Covenant took the opportunity to re-connect
with their charismatic frontman Andreas Geremia,
commonly known as Gerre.
The singer appeared in the hotel
lobby being quite weary, due to a cold as well as some late-night partying.
That did not, however, prevent a very pleasant time with Gerre - a very
nice, modest and funny guy, and a dedicated metalhead just like you and
Mozzy: So, how was yesterday's show?
Gerre: There were not so many people, but the
crowd was very crazy and we had a very good time. I mean, it was a
little bit late, quarter past 12... But we had a lot of fun, and you
can have fun also with just a few people. I think it was ok!
Absolutely. And there are usually more people at this festival on Saturday
than on Friday. And the stage you're playing tonight has a couple of bars
around it which will attract people.
Mozzy: As for Sweden, have you been to these
Northern parts before?
Gerre: No, we've just played a couple of shows
in Sweden. The only shows we've played are
Motala? (Motala Rock
Festival). Yeah, Motala, and Sweden Rock. That's it, and we're gonna
come back this year for Sweden Rock again. It's a very relaxed festival,
just as the House Of Metal festival is very relaxed, I think. It's
only that we are not used to the rules about alcohol (smiles). After
2 o' clock, you are not allowed to get drinks anymore. But we'll get
used to it so tonight we know what we have to do. We have to collect
all the beer (laughs).
Mozzy: It's great that you're playing on
both days of the festival. And after this, do you continue with some more
Gerre: No, it's just two shows at the weekend
and then we
We did a small tour in South America in January.
As we all have regular jobs and the other guys all have families,
we just do like 30-35 shows a year. Mostly at the weekend, of course.
And we spend all our free time into activities of the band. So yeah,
we are independent; we can do what we want. In one way, it's very
cool; on the other hand, we get so many offers
Mozzy: You want to do more gigs, really?
Mozzy: Is it difficult to plan things -
the touring, days off and so on, fitting everything together?
Gerre: Well, our manager Buffo does all our
booking and I think for this year, everything is booked already. So
we usually know a year before when we do a gig somewhere, so we can
plan, and it works out.
Mozzy: I guess the ones you work for are
understanding people too?
Mozzy: Cool. Has it always been like this;
during the 80's or 90's for example, were you ever able to live on the
band or did you always have day jobs?
Gerre: Well, I lived from the music in the
90's for one or two years, I think. But that was never a big discussion.
I mean, you can make such a decision when you're 20 or 25, but if
You don't know what will happen in 20 years, you know.
So in this sense it is a little bit difficult, so therefore we do
it somehow in a half-professional way. Yeah, it works.
It definitely seems to be working well for you. And you had your 30th
anniversary as a band last year. What are your reflections on that?
Gerre: Yeah, last year so many things happened,
you know. We were recording the album, changing the label, doing the
album art, and
well thirty years is a very
long time, and
I mean it's stupid when you say that time is
running faster when you're older, but it's really true, it really
is! (laughs). So yeah, I think we are proud that we never gave up,
and always kept our kind of music, and did what we wanted to do. But
yeah, thirty years is a very, very long time
Mozzy: And you were very young when you
started, too, then?
Mozzy: Cool, keep on going! And I want to
say that you are definitely still very relevant; your latest album (A
Girl Called Cerveza) is a very strong album, your best in quite a while
Gerre: Thank you. I love the albums before
that one too. On Vol(l)ume 14, we worked with a new producer, and
I think that is good too, but I think on the newest album, the sound
is better. It's very transparent; you can hear all the instruments
very clear. On the other hand, it has very heavy guitars, so there
is a good mixture. Vol(l)ume 14 is not that heavy, concerning the
sound. So, I think we are now really on the right path. We really
wanted to change from this bombastic sound. But we will see how the
next album will sound, I don't know.
Mozzy: Now I want to show you a couple of
photos. Last time I met you was on the 70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise. Do
Mozzy: You can have those photos.
Gerre: Cool, thanks a lot! That was very cool,
an amazing party. I lost 700 dollars or something like that(laughs)!
We had a lot of fun, it was a great experience.
Mozzy: And you released a DVD recorded at
the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise too.
Gerre: Yeah, it's sort of a bootleg. Somebody
was filming, and you know
if you release an album then there
is a normal CD plus a limited edition. You have to bring something
special, so on the DVD there is a video clip for A Girl Called Cerveza
plus the show which we call Live Bo(o)atleg, with two o's. You know,
boat is called Boot in German, so it's a little wordgame.
Mozzy: I can actually see myself in that
live bootleg, when you run out into the audience.
Gerre: Oh, cool! It was 4 o'clock in the morning.
I was not so amused when I heard they had changed our stage time from
6 o'clock in the evening to 4 o'clock in the morning, but there were
still lots of people and we had great fun. And before the cruise we
stayed for two days in Miami, which was cool also. We were in Miami
Beach and more and more metal fans were coming into town. That was
really a great feeling, an amazing feeling.
You seem to have a very cool relationship with your fans.
Gerre: Well, without the fans Tankard would
be nothing, so
We try to have a good time with the fans, drinking
beer after the show if it's possible, and so on. So, I'm looking forward
to tonight; I hope some more people will show up.
Mozzy: One awesome thing I saw a couple
of months ago on your Facebook page was the picture of the guy in the
wheelchair you brought up to sit onstage. That was very cool, I think.
Mozzy: You have lots of great, funny pictures
on your Facebook page, which I think people appreciate. I don't know if
you are on Facebook yourself that often?
Gerre: I'm not that into Facebook, but I follow
our official page. It's Buffo, our manager, who is handling our Facebook
Mozzy: As you said before, you toured in
South America recently. How was that?
Gerre: That was very amazing. It was the third
time for us in South America, and the fans are totally crazy. You
cannot really imagine, they treat you like you are a rock star. And
they are very thankful. And very crazy, so sometimes you think hell
is breaking loose when you get onstage (smiles). We played seven shows,
in Brazil and Argentina. Then we were supposed to play a festival
together with Sodom in Colombia, but that was cancelled because
First, Exhumer cancelled because they had no flight tickets or anything,
and Sodom did not get their money in time. We were also waiting for
our money, but we were already in South America and our flights were
booked, so we discussed what to do. If we had travelled directly from
Brazil to Germany, it would have cost thousands of Euros. So we decided
to go to Colombia for one day. We put a picture on Facebook, and some
fans came to the hotel and we had some beer with the fans. It was
cool. We were very sorry we were not going to play the festival, so
we offered the promoter to play alone, but he did not want that.
Mozzy: That was still a great gesture towards
the fans, I think.
Mozzy: The South American fans seem more
physical as well, wanting to get close to you and touch you and so on.
Certainly crazier than here, in the Northern countries!
Mozzy: About your stage performance as a
frontman, I think everyone agrees that you are a very entertaining onstage.
Were you the same when you were young, and does it come natural for you?
Gerre: Oh yeah, I always try to do my best,
I think that just standing there and having a good light
show and so on, that is boring for me. As long as I have some energy
I like to give it to the people and get energy back.
Mozzy: You have a big thing coming up with
the Big Teutonic Four show (with Kreator, Sodom and Destruction at the
Beastival festival in Geiselwind, Germany, from May 30 to June 1).
Gerre: Yes, it's the very first time after
31 years that the four bands are playing together. Before, they always
talked about the Big Three, and now they talk about the Big Four.
It is very cool and we're really looking forward to that event. There
is also a limited vinyl edition with each band doing a cover song,
and we're doing The Prisoner by Iron Maiden. So we're looking forward
to it, and maybe there will be a possibility to repeat it at some
festivals, with these four bands. Maybe next year or so, we will see.
Mozzy: Is there a DVD planned for this event,
Mozzy: Otherwise, how do you see the future
Gerre: Well, we are fully booked this year,
at festivals and club shows. And we're going to Russia, to Finland,
we will come back to Sweden, go to Austria and so on. And there are
plans to record new stuff at the beginning of next year, but there
is nothing written yet, as always. The last few weeks before we go
into the studio there is total chaos, but I think we need this kind
Mozzy: You seem to be on a very good run
now, with the new album.
Gerre: Yeah, we're on Nuclear Blast, who have
a lot of power and do lots of promotion. We are very glad to join
them. And we appeared in the German official charts, just for one
week, but we still appeared, at place 32. Place 30 would have been
funny, in our 30th anniversary (laughs). Other than that, we're looking
forward. We hope we can travel around the world, and keep the standard
of the last album. We don't want to stop!
Mozzy: You must not!
Mozzy: Well, that was all I had. Thank you!