Interview with Johannes Korda (Gonzo), lead singer
Interview By: Neil Langton
Nice to speak to you, how are you guys?
Thanks a lot, everything is fine, which is special in these times.
How are you feeling after finally releasing your debut album ‘Midnight Marauder’?
It’s a feeling of deep relief after a lot of work. But it goes along with a lot of fun, though. And it kept us working through the pandemic to refine one song or the other.
Any particular reason why it took so long for you to get round to recording / releasing the album?
Oh yeah, it’s due to the kind of song writing we prefer, I think. Every one of us can contribute. So sometimes it takes longer for creating a song by 5 people, than by one who writes it on his own. And if you keep this in mind, you can recognize this by listening the songs on the album.
What have the reactions been like to the album?
Oh, we’re surprised about all the good vibes we are getting back. Old school metal is not dead!!! And it makes us proud, when people compare our style with the gods of our youth, like Metal Church or Griffin etc., that’s what the album is all about.
After waiting so long you managed to record the album in these times of a pandemic! What extra difficulties did this produce, if any?
There were times we couldn’t meet. No rehearsal, no time to rock. That is hard. For us, Metal is an escape from our everyday life. It can keep your head high in difficult times.
Have you managed to get together as a band over the last couple of years of Covid restrictions, etc?
We met once or twice a week on Skype and managed who is next to work on the recordings, which song needs another soundtrack and so on. That was helpful and sometimes annoying, but we’ve known one another for so long, that we can handle that.
How did you come up with the name ‘Powertryp’?
Hmm, not easy to say, Frank came along with the name and we checked it, if there’s another band with this name. The “y” was used to make it a little more unique. So, I think it’s not that overdone and you can imagine the music which is played.
What are your ambitions for ‘Powertryp’ now your first album is finally ‘out there’?
To answer with a sentence of our “brothers in speed”-lyrics “ …filling the halls is all that we need”, we want to get back on stage. That’s the main reason for being an artist!
Who designed the cover artwork for the album?
Well, the idea to use a band photo came from us, the artwork was finally done by Tomi Mäenpää. We like it a lot, I think he did a good job.
Is there any one song on the album you are particularly proud of or that means a lot to you?
Difficult to say, this changes from time to time. At first, I really had problems with “Out Of Ashes” and now it’s one of my favourites. To be honest, the song that means a lot is “Chapel Of Steel” which is a homage to the Metal bands we grew up with.
What topics influence you when it comes to writing lyrics?
Hmm, let’s see, there are some topics taken from books, like “Bastet” which is based on a novel by Wolfgang Hohlbein. Or the main idea from “Here’s Control” is the Major Tom story. Other topics are drugs, “Hotter Than Hellfire”, Sex , “Doors Are locked” and rock`n roll, “Brothers in Speed”. Someone wrote that it’s in some way a bit “cheesy”, but I think it’s all for the metal!!!
How would you describe Powertryp’s music to someone who has never heard it?
Excellent guitars with power and speed, a rhythm section which keeps the band pumping like a steam train through the night and yes, well sure there are vocals, but, oh man, I’m the singer, I can’t say anything about the vocals. I think they’re melodic, it’s pure Metal, as it should be (in my opinion) 😊
You have long been a powerhouse of the German underground scene, have you managed to play live much over the last couple of years?
We have had some gigs in 2020, but we used the pandemic for recording. That´s why we are sooooo hoooot for playing live!!!
How is the German underground scene? Are there any other bands we should be looking out for from there?
There are a lot of bands in the underground, but I don’t really follow that closely. From our area I can think of Mechanic Tyrants, Repent, or of course Atlantean Kodex. Of course, the latter are not really underground anymore.
How would you describe a typical Powertryp gig?
Do you know Hulk? His fist? Coming towards your face? Something like that. We try to give all the power of the songs into the crowd. Conversation with every muscle tendon and our hearts on the strings, the drum skin and the vocal cords.
Any plans for a tour in 2022?
We’d like to do a world tour. No, to be honest, we will do gigs over the years, but a tour would be to difficult to plan this year. See what’s next year’s challenge.
When it comes to touring have you any ‘dream’ destinations you would like to play?
Our dream is to play at some nice festivals, open airs or even on some smaller gigs with the right audience. People who wants to take a Powertryp with us. Nothing special, or the other way round, only specials 😊
Do you prefer playing live or recording a new album?
Each is a challenge, but nothing tops a crowd of crazy people banging their heads to your music.
What are the pros/cons of being in a band especially during these difficult times?
Let me get this right, cons? To play in a band? To be creative? To put your soul in something you love to do? Hmmm, I don´t know what you mean (laughter).
What advice would you give to anyone starting a band or who are currently in one that’s struggling for recognition?
Starting a band is the best idea you can have. Be creative and don’t let others destroy this dream by saying it’s not good enough, or nobody wants to hear it. Be authentic. That’s the most important thing. And for those who are struggling, don’t try it with a crowbar. Leave it. Let it grow, or go!
What genres of music do you listen to personally? Any bands you would recommend to our readers?
Oh, I’m one of the generation Metal Church, Overkill, Megadeth, also Riot, Exumer with a pinch of Queensryche and Skid Row, yes, Skid Row. For me, Mr. Sebastian Bach was a hero.
Do you and your bandmates have any interests/hobbies away from music?
Cole and me, we are the craftsmen. We both own houses and there is a lot to do. Frank collects music. He’s got a huge collection of Vinyl and CDs and he visits all the time flea markets to increase it continuously. Michael has two dogs and a computer. That’s mostly his life beside the band. Stefan is our athletic. He rides his bike as often as he can.
Thank you for your time, is there anything else you’d like to say to Metal-Rules readers?
I want to thank you for reading the whole interview. Because if you read this, means you read it all. Hope you enjoyed it and we see us somewhere at a gig.