TANKARD:  Interview with Gerre 
by Dalia "Gryphon-spirit" Di Giacomo 
14/09/2002 -    at the METAL CONCERT "TANKARD + BITTERNESS+ VORACITY" at Wärchhof in Luzern  presented by SWISS M.I.N.D. -

Gerre and Dalia  -                   pic taken by Stefan  

Dalia: So, we are here with Gerre of Tankhard, the Thrash Metal legend, and let's begin with a question about beer. It's the first question about beer and the only one i will do!

Gerre:.. thats cool, because we are not a beer band, (laughing), we are a very serious band....

Dalia: .. so a serious question: Jesus turned water into wine, what wuold you turn into beer?

Gerre: The whole oceans... (laughing)

Dalia: With your last release B-Day, you have found again freshness and enthusiasm, but i personally think that all this is not due to the fact that you have changed the producer or to the fact that at the moment there is a Thrash revival. I persanally have the sensation that you have become more motivated again...

Gerre: That's a very difficult question, because, you know, for persons like you, who stays outside, it is much better and easier sometimes to see what happens, so the only thing i can say is, that the producer- change was a very good step for Tankard. It was the first time we worked together with Andy Classen, and it was a totally different working, and he takes care more about the feeling and not about how exact we play or the perfection of every note i sing, he is more a feeling guy. This whole record has a totally different feeling respect of the "Kings of Beer" album. We still play the same Thrash, but with the change of producer we play a bit more modern sound, like very heavy guitars..... it's four guitars...our Guitarist played four guitars on this album, and to come back to your question, we are always motivated and on the new album there is really no song justto  fill up and to get the track list full. Our producer told us that there is not one bad song on this album. And i think these are the main reasons, we are a band where the music comes out from the heart and then we go to the studio and see what happens.....

Dalia: After 20 years of activity, how do you see the Rock/Metal Scene and the Rock/Metal Music business in general? 

Gerre: Well, a very general question...you know, i grow up in the early 80' with new wave of british Heavy Metal, with bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motörhead and stuff like that, and at that time Heavy Metal was something special, something new... i still listen to Heavy Metal, but today i think there is no more this revolution- feeling, and today, Heavy Metal is just a genre between lots of others. But maybe it depends to my age, but if you grow up with a certain kind of music is always another feeling, you know...... ,by the way, the Metal Scene is very big, lot of cd's in the charts and lots of festivals, and i think that's great!

Dalia:You did some festivals this year, what was the best moment for you?

Gerre: Well, The biggest festival we played was the Bang Your Head Festival at Balingen, and we had a hard position there, because our manager told us one week before ' you have definitively to play at eleven o'clock in the morning', and our drummer says, ' ..ok, then we go on stage in Pijama..'and we said " nah , we can't do this , it's ridiculous" and stuff like that, but at least so we did, you can see the pictures from that show on Tankard.org ,  and yeah, we played at eleven o'clock in the morning and the people came out of the tents and it was realy big party..... it was cool..
What i like to play next year , is the Gods of Metal Festival in Milano, but it wouldn't be that easy to get in there......but we will see...

Dalia:You are beginning a tour through Europe..

Gerre: ..no, we just.... the album is out since middle of July and everybody in Tankard has a regular job, so we are not able to go on tour for a couple of weeks, but we play every weekend. This weekend we play here, next weekend we have three shows in Italy. We go to Greece this year ..for the first time, next year we go to Turkey, Sweden... yeah, there are a lot of countries we've never been before, and things are going much better for Tankard since the last two years..

Dalia: Do you like to play in Italy?

Gerre: We just played once in Italy, it was the last year and it was f***ing amazing. The audience was totally crazy. We played at Milano Bresso at the Indian's Saloon, and there were about 300 People , but they went really crazy and it was very cool to play there, and we are looking forward for the next weekend

Dalia: When you go to studio, how long do you need to get the tone of the instruments?

Gerre: Well, this time we needed two and a half weeks, something like that. A couple of days for the drums and bass and then the guitars and the vocals to get them work on the main point.

Dalia: When you write a new song, do you start with having already some kind of melody in mind or....

Gerre: ... First of all there is the music, and the last two album was a team work. The other three guys work together on the songs and at the rehearsal room they show me the parts and i say ok this one is good as chorus or something like that and this part we kick out, and so i would say it's teamwork, but first of all there is the music and after i put the vocals on it.

Dalia: Which is the best for you, the town Frankfurt or the Football Team Eintracht?

Gerre: It's both amazing!

Dalia: so you dont make a choice...

Gerre: I cannot make a choice because i  live in this brilliant town.... no honestly, i was born there and it's my home, and our Football Team plays at the moment in the second league, but tomorrow morning we have to get up very early because i won't miss to go to the stadion in the afternoon at three o'clock and we have to be there in time.

Dalia: You are very engaged in social field, and you have learned in order to become a social expert which is also your main job. In particular you are very close with junkies' problems. Would you tell us some considerations about drug problems?

Gerre: Well, the job i do..... well i go to the university and study social work , you can do this in Germany, and the people i have to do with, they have all a very big drug problem and most of them are homeless.... most of them are very sick.....like having H I V or Hepatitis C and lot of other illness ..... yeah,.... the job is sometimes very hard.......but... i do this job now since 5 years but still have a good mood to do it, and finished now with the university i have to do in this job even other things like organization or public relations, but i also have to do with that people and with some of them i have a good contact and with some others we are like fire and water, because you cannot handle them all equal, that's not possible. The main intention of our project is to help that people to no get sick and maybe to get them to make a cleaning, but we never see them again when the cleaning was successfull.

Dalia: What is the scientific experiment you wouldn't undertake ?

Gerre: .. to clone human beeings, because we have reached a level that they can do it, i think that when the day comes when the individuality is lost, human race is lost. Well, you can use genetics to help people with some sickness like cancer or something, but cloning human beeings is really dangerous.
By the way, if they like to clone me, with less weight please.....!! (laughing) 

Dalia: Related to the lyrics of your song Voodoo Box, which would be your wish if you could have such a magical box and what would you sacrifice for a good wish?

Gerre: Well , my first wish would be that my footbal team is going bck to the first league, and the second wish is that to see Tankard selling a lot of cd's and getting big

Dalia: ..Tankard is already big...

Gerre: oh, i don't know what you mean with big, we had some hunger years in the past and since the last two or three years it is turning better, but as i told you before, all of us has a regular job and we don't have to live from our music. Tankard is more a feeling band and to make music is more a half professional hobby, and so we are maybe a little bit more relaxed than other bands which have to live from their music. The most important thing for us is to have fun ,and the people who come to see us have fun.

Dalia: Ok, the last two questions...

Gerre: ... already?.... 

Dalia: ..Oh, well, i have another one... 

(all are laughing)

Dalia: Theoretically spoken, if you would change  band,  what other band would you choose, a band with a lot of groopies, a band with a lot of wine, or a band with a lot of money?

Gerre: .. so if i'm not able anymore to play in Tankard, i have to choose one of this three bands...... i don't want to change (laughing)........very hard.... i would say that i will take the band with a lot of groopies , but as the groopies have a lot of money means that there is a lot of wine too......

(all are laughing)

Dalia: ..and now we come to our typical Gryphonmetal last question, this question is called the Game of the Tower. There is a very high tower, and on this tower there are hree bands waiting for you, you can save only one and the other two you have to push down. The three bands for you are Deine Lakaien, Umbra et Imago and Rammstein...

Gerre: Oh! I would push down all three

Dalia: All?

Gerre: Yeah! All, All !!!! 

Dalia: Thank you so much Gerre!

Niederrohrdorf - Switzerland Impressum