Interview by Robert Cavuoto
To celebrate Tankard’s 40th Anniversary, they will be releasing a deluxe box set called For A Thousand Beers, The Noise Records Years. It’s the definitive collection of their decade of recorded work and will be out on February 25th.
Tankard’s rise to one of the most revered German thrash metal bands from the 80s. Their Heavy Metal Vanguard and Alcoholic Metal demos exposed them to the international metal community and attracted the attention of Germany’s metal start-up label, Noise Records.
Tankard’s tenure at the Noise Records spawned seven studio albums, one live record, a live video, and a compilation and established them as one of the most enduring on the thrash scene. One they still tour globally to this day, to their hordes of maniac forces fans. Never taking themselves too seriously and fueled by a love of beer, their unique take on ‘fast thrash punk is pure anarchy with lots of fun.
- Zombie Attack (splatter vinyl)
- Chemical Invasion (swirl vinyl)
- The Morning After (including Alien EP) (splatter vinyl)
- The Meaning Of Life (paint drop vinyl)
- Stone Cold Sober (splatter vinyl)
- Two-Faced (half/half color vinyl)
- The Tankard (including Tankwart EP) (splatter vinyl)
- Fat, Ugly & Live DVD – containing ‘Open All Night’ concert film, ‘Fat, Ugly & Live’ album plus previously unreleased video concert from the Dynamo, Eindhoven 1987 and audio concert from Frankfurt 1988.
- 12″ x 12″, 40-page hardback book of photography, quotes, and lyrics from the first decade of the band’s existence. Contains rare and previously unseen photos from the era.
- All housed in a case of beer box!
For A Thousand Beers will also be available as a 7 x CDs and DVD clamshell box set containing all the studio albums, EP’s, and the DVD with all the live concert bonus material. Pre-order www.mam-online.com/bands/tankard.html
I was able to speak with founding member and bassist Frank Thorwarth about the creation of this monstrous box set, the band’s love of beer, what makes them the proudest over their 40-year career, and their next studio album, which will be out later this year entitled Pawlow’s Dawg.
Robert Cavuoto: Why was now the right time to release this extensive box set?
Frank Thorwarth: Oh, that’s a good question, but this year we is our 40th anniversary, so it fits nicely to go back to the beginning of our career, but I really can’t remember who came up with this idea. It’s a huge honor for us to have this big of thing being released.
Robert Cavuoto: Was the inception of it due to the limitations of touring due to COVID?
Frank Thorwarth: No, it has nothing to do with COVID. We are currently recording a new album that will be released later this year, and another up-to-date 40 years celebration will be started.
Robert Cavuoto: For A Thousand Beers box set is extremely well done, with the booklet, stories on the inner sleeves, the live DVD, colored vinyl, and the outer box. How involved were you in its design and creation?
Frank Thorwarth: I was involved with collecting the photos, some of the layout, and reviewing old unreleased videos, which was great fun. The selection of albums was made by history.
Robert Cavuoto: Looking back, which of these albums is the most memorable to you and why?
Frank Thorwarth: Always the last one. Especially the one we are currently working on.
Robert Cavuoto: When you first started with Tankard, did you think that the beer-themed music would transcend for 40 years, and you would be famously known for it?
Frank Thorwarth: Well, it was never planned. When looking at the lyrics from the years, the vast majority of the songs were not about beer. For example, “One Foot In The Grave” is the only song about beer. If someone has a good idea, beer or not, we were gonna take it.
Robert Cavuoto: What is it about beer that inspired you musically when you started, and what inspires you about beer now?
Frank Thorwarth: Beer never inspired me. I just like it! As I mentioned, it was never planned. At the beginning of our career, it was just a joke for us. We saw these different kinds of “Evil” names of metal bands, and we thought it was time for something different. That’s why we have named our second demo tape Alcoholic Metal.
Robert Cavuoto: Do you have a favorite beer?
Frank Thorwarth: Yes, but my beer taste changes very often. Currently, it’s one from a city called Lauf in Bavaria. It’s named Brauerei Simon Hell. But I really like the Pils of the Dog from the Reptilian brewery in Spain!
Robert Cavuoto: With so many musicians and artists putting out a beer like Iron Maiden, would you consider a line of Tankard beer? If so, what would be some flavors and the name of the beer flavors?
Robert Cavuoto: What makes you most proud about Tankard after 40 years and 17 albums?
Frank Thorwarth: That we never gave up and are still alive!
Robert Cavuoto: Tell me how you’ve seen the Thrash world change over the years?
Frank Thorwarth: Difficult to say. Thrash survived very well in the 80s, but in the 90s, it ran out. It seemed like nobody was interested in it anymore, but now Thrash has recovered, and many old guys are still there, and many young bands are playing Thrash Metal. Thrash Metal will never die seems to have become a reality.
Robert Cavuoto: Are you content with the public’s perception of Tankard place within Thrash Metal history?
Frank Thorwarth: Well, it could always be better. But I don’t want to complain. We had and still have a great time and can play everywhere in the world. We never expected it when we first have started.
Robert Cavuoto: Why did you feel that Tankard never really broke in the United States?
Frank Thorwarth: I don’t know all the details, but maybe it’s because we’ve never toured the states.
Robert Cavuoto: What has been your proudest achievement with Tankard?
Frank Thorwarth: That we never gave up and are still alive. I know, I said it before, but this is the most important thing for me. Besides that, it feels great to travel the world and meet the metal maniacs.
Robert Cavuoto: What is on the horizon with the new studio album from the band?
Frank Thorwarth: We are close to finalizing a new studio album later this year, and it will be called Pawlow’s Dawg.