The Teutonic thrash movement in the 1980s was serious business, which involved a lot of angry looking men playing hammering riffs in bands called things like ‘Destruction’ and ‘Sodom.’ Then there were Tankard, a Frankfurt thrash metal band who formed in the wake of this movement, and instead dedicated their life’s art to celebrating the ambrosia of the gods, beer. 32 years later, Tankard have become a staple of the thrash metal scene, with this year seeing the release of their 16th studio album, aptly named R.I.B. (Rest In Beer). We spoke to Andreas ‘Gerre’ Geremia, the band’s founder and vocalist about drinking, because, after all, 32 years of singing about it should give you a pretty good insight into the does and don’ts of alcohol consumption. So, here you have it…TANKARD’S FIVE-STEP PROGRAM TO A BETTER DRINKING LIFE
Tankard's Guide To Drinking
Tankard's Gerre gives us the introduction to boozing
Age Has A Lot To Answer For
"The first time I got really drunk was when I was 13 years old. I am a big football supporter of Eintracht Frankfurt and at that time they won the UEFA cup. They had a big festival in the middle of the city and gave everyone free beer, and I was totally drunk. I came home and my mother was not amused. I was very sick the next day and didn’t go to school. Our first tour was most damaging for my liver. We were very young and didn’t really know what was happening to us – we were partying every day. These days we’ll play eight or nine shows in a row, as we did last year in Brazil and Argentina, and I didn’t drink for the first eight days to take care of the voice and my health. We are all in our middle-forties and it’s different when you go on tour now to when you’re 21 or 22."
MINE-d Where You Urinate
"To be honest I can’t really remember the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done when drunk! There was one time when we were on tour in former Yugoslavia and we went through Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia, and were always crossing borders. In Bosnia we drank a lot on our travels and I had to pee like hell. They had to stop the bus and I was running out, and our guide was screaming at me. Later on he told me that it was a minefield. I survived it, obviously. I really had to pee though!"
Always Book A Hotel Room
"One time, I woke up on a train somewhere in the middle of nowhere, after Rock Hard Festival. I had a great plan not to book a hotel and go back directly by train. I had to change stations and of course on the way to the first station, I fell asleep. I woke up at 4am somewhere and was at a train station with no-one around and no timetable. I had to call a friend and ask them to look at the internet to see how I could get back."
Remember: Beer Can Be Giveth, But Beer Can Be Taken Away
"When we play live, fans always want to give us beer and drink with us, but we give beer directly from stage as well. Strangely, in Finland this is forbidden. So we played last year at a festival and the stage manager told me it wasn’t allowed. I said it was an important part of our show but there was an area in front of the stage that you couldn’t drink alcohol. It was only allowed from the back at a metal festival. Maybe we should write a song about it!"
Make The Good Times Count
"In my day job, I am a social worker and work with drug addicts. I am the manager of a ‘consumption room’ – a place where addicts can come and get fresh needles and syringes. Last year I had a guy from the BBC come and do an interview about opening the first one in Brighton. When I stop working and go off with Tankard for three shows, I don’t think about work anymore. It is a completely different world. It's great! In many ways, Tankard is very good for my health!"
Tankard's upcoming album Rest In Beer is out 23 June via Nuclear Blast.