TANKARD – It’s always the morning after (Retro)
Tankard, a band I more or less have followed since the mid 80’s, when I bought their two first albums through a mailorder simply because I liked the coverart. So, when Sigurd the Great aus South of Heaven booked the band back in 2007, I simply had to try to get an interview with them. And since my colleague Christian did a whiskey interview with Lord Worm from Cryptopsy, I seriously had to try a beer interview with Gerre from Tankard. And here’s the result.
Beauty and the Beer, along with the 2 previous albums B-day and Beast of Bourbon, that’s Tankard back to the roots again.
I don’t really think it is back to the roots. Its still old school thrash metal with a somehow modern sound. I think it stays in the row with the other two albums we did with Andy Classen as the producer. I think you are right with that they are fresher if you compare them against Disco Destroyer and Kings of Beer. They are fresher and have a better sound, better songwriting and are a little bit more old school thrash metal.
The reason I say that Beauty and the Beer is back to the roots is that I feel that this album is much closer to the music you had on your 2 first albums Zombie Attack and Chemical Invasion that any of the other albums you have released.
I can understand you there, but musically you can’t compare those albums against each other. Zombie Attack has some punk influences; it’s still thrash metal but not in the typical way. If you take Beast of Bourbon and Beauty and the Beer, the music is much harder than on Zombie Attack.
The cover art on all of your albums has always been very colorful and somewhat funny. Is this something that you work a lot on?
I think that started with our second album Chemical Invasion when we for the first time had the opportunity to get an album cover made by Sebastian Krüger. We saw the album cover of the Mad Butcher EP from Destruction which he made and wanted to have him work with us, cuz this comic style of him suits Tankard and our music very well. Tankard is a very funny band with a lot of humor and we don’t take ourselves too seriously, so the funny covers really fit the band, hehe.
Most of the rest of my questions are actually about beer, hehe.
Haha, no problem.
Why this fascination for beer?
We all like to drink a couple of beers, but the story behind all that stuff is that we named our second demo tape Alcoholic Metal, and that was at that time just a funny name cuz it was a demo tape from 85 and in that year a lot of new heavy metal styles were born; black metal, poser metal, speed metal and so on and we just did a joke out of it and made or own style called alcoholic metal. Since that time this has been our image. Actually in the nineties with Two Faced we did try to get rid of it, but it never really worked for us and for the last couple of albums we took it back. It’s a sort of parody of our own style.
Which one of you came up with the idea of calling the music alcoholic metal?
I really can’t remember which member of the band who came up with this title. It is over 20 years ago and I really can’t remember, but I think it was a band idea at the end.
Which beer would you say is the best?
The beer we get at the moment is always the best one, hahaha. You know this is the only reason we play in a band. To go to all these different countries and taste different beers.
And I don’t think you are alone there. As you said, you have been to many different countries and you have tasted a lot of different beers, some great, some good and some bad. Can you remember where you got the shittiest beer that you ever tasted?
This is a really hard question and I can’t remember, but personally I don’t like Heineken.
Have you ever tried to make your own beer?
Yes, we had an idea of working together with a brewery or something back in the good old days, but we were never able to realize the plan. They did have Space Beer in Berlin some time ago and maybe this is an idea for the future, hehe.
Do you prefer strong or medium beer?
I prefer mineral water, because the beer is just an image, hahahaha.
Yeah right, but you do agree that non alcoholic beer is for people who like to piss?
Most of us get from time to time a bit too much beer, and get drunk. Have this ever happened to you prior to a gig?
Yeah, a couple of times when I was a little bit younger, but now I try to just drink one or two before the gig. If not I can’t remember what to sing or anything, hehe.
What is your worst episode ever with beer?
The morning after, it is always the morning after, hahaha.
The price for a bottle, pint or half a liter of beer is pretty cheap in Germany compared to a lot of other countries, especially here in Norway where the prices are astronomical. Do you have any thoughts on this; do you for example think that there should be the same price for beer all over the world?
This has something to do with politics, but for me it’s hard to believe that the beer is as expensive as it is here in Norway and in Sweden. Next time we are gonna smuggle beer into these countries, hehe.
Enough about the beer and over to something called “Best Case Scenario: 25 Years in Beers”. You have to tell us what this is?
We’re gonna go to the studio in the end of March where we gonna record some old classic Tankard songs in a new modern way. Andy Classen again is the producer. There will be a limited edition version of it as a double CD, where disc two will be a tribute CD to Tankard. Hopefully the fans will like this album. I like to tell you about a tour we are planning between Christmas and New Years Eve, where we gonna play the very same cities as we did on our first tour in 88. That will be fun if it happens. We are also trying to get some dates in South America and we are playing on several festivals this year, so we have lots of things to do this year, as a celebration.
Yes, 25 years in business; is it still fun?
It is still fun, if not, we would have stopped. The most important thing when you play this kind of music is that you have fun.
We ended the interview and Gerre was expressing his excitement about how many who would show up for the concert. We who were there know that there were a lot of people and that it was an unforgettable evening which unfortunately not too many remember a lot from. Cheers and thrash till you die!