Tankard (band)

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Tankard
Tankard-live07.jpg
Background information
Origin Frankfurt, Germany
Genres Thrash metal
Years active 1982–present
Labels
Website http://www.tankard.info
Members Andreas Geremia
Andreas Gutjahr
Frank Thorwarth
Olaf Zissel
Past members Bernhard Rapprich
Axel Katzmann
Oliver Werner
Andy Bulgaropulos
Arnulf Tunn

Tankard is a thrash metal band from Frankfurt am Main, Germany, founded in 1982.[citation needed] Along with Kreator, Destruction and Sodom, Tankard is often considered one of the "Big Teutonic 4" of Teutonic thrash metal. They released their first record in 1986 and continue to write and record in the same vein: fast metal songs in honour of alcohol.

Singer Andreas Geremia at Rockharz Open Air 2016 in Germany
Bassist Frank Thorwarth at Rockharz 2016
Guitarist Andreas Gutjahr at Rockharz 2016

History[edit]

Formation and early years (1982-85)[edit]

Tankard was formed in 1982 by three classmates, bassist Andreas "Gerre" Geremia, guitarist Axel Katzmann and vocalist Frank Thorwarth. Thorwarth and Gerre soon switched roles; at the same time the trio added drummer Oliver Werner and second guitarist Berhard Rapprich. They chose their name from a dictionary upon seeing its definition as "beer mug".[citation needed] Their earliest written song was called "Ray Death", a song about nuclear war and their first gig was played in a local classroom in 1983. As drinking alcohol in the school was banned, they smuggled their beer in with milk cartons. Soon after, Bernhard Rapprich left the band as his conservative father did not want him "hanging around with a bunch of drunks" and he was replaced by Andy Bulgaropoulos.[1]

With the lineup now stabilised, the band released their first demo, titled Heavy Metal Vanguard, in 1984. After this, the band toured with fellow German thrashers Sodom. SPV were interested in signing both bands, but allegedly SPV retracted a deal after seeing the band perform live.[2] In 1985 they released a second demo, Alcoholic Metal, which cemented their thrash metal style and lyrical themes. Both of these demos were very popular in the underground, and on the strength of this demo they signed with Noise Records. The eight-track demo also features rough versions of four songs that would later appear on their debut album, Zombie Attack

The Noise years (1986-95)[edit]

Zombie Attack was released in July 1986. In October 1987 their sophomore album, Chemical Invasion, was released, with the album art being the first of eight done for the band by artist Sebastian Krüger,[3] followed a year later by The Morning After. Both of these albums were produced by Harris Johns, who would go on to produce all of the band's albums up to 2000. However, shortly after the release of compilation Hair of the Dog, original drummer Oliver Werner quit the band to be replaced by Arnulf Tunn, and the band released three albums with this lineup: The Meaning of Life, Stone Cold Sober and Two-Faced. They also recorded the live album Fat, Ugly and Live during this time. This lineup then folded when Tunn was replaced by Olaf Zissel, who remains in the band to this day, in May 1994 and the next year founding member Katzmann was forced to leave due to osteoarthritis in the wrist.[4] That year the band released The Tankard, which is widely viewed as their most underrated album by fans and critics alike,[5] and is their final album with Noise.[6]

Later career (1995-present)[edit]

The band decided not to replace Katzmann and remain a one guitar band.[citation needed] Also, after the release of The Tankard, the band signed with Century Media Records. After the release of Disco Destroyer, longtime guitarist Andy Bulgaropulos left the band to spend more time with his family.[7] He was replaced by Andreas Gutjahr, forming the current lineup of the band. The first album released with Gutjahr was Kings of Beer, which was their second and final studio album with Century Media. The band signed with AFM Records and release five studio albums in a decade with the label, starting with B-Day and ending with Vol(l)ume 14. On 27 July 2012, the band announced their signing with Nuclear Blast and released their first album with the label, A Girl Called Cerveza, that day. Also that year, they released a four way split with Sodom, Kreator and Destruction called de:The Big Teutonic 4. This release cemented them as a major force in German metal. They released their most recent studio album, R.I.B. on June 20, 2014.

In 2015, Olaf Zissel was hospitalised with what was suspected to be a stroke. He was replaced temporarily by Gerd Lücking of Holy Moses. Their latest album achieved no. 41 on the German charts. While they have built a fan base, they continue to have day jobs.

In 2016, on the band's official Facebook page, they reported that they are now working on their next studio album, which is set to be released in 2017.

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Andreas "Gerre" Geremia – vocals (1982–present)
  • Frank Thorwarth – bass guitar (1982–present)
  • Olaf Zissel – drums (1994–present)
  • Andreas Gutjahr – guitar (1999–present)

Former members[edit]

  • Bernhard Rapprich – guitar (1982–1983)
  • Oliver Werner – drums (1982–1989)
  • Axel Katzmann – guitar (1982–1993)
  • Andy Bulgaropulos – guitar (1983–1999)
  • Arnulf Tunn – drums (1989–1994)

Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year of Release Title Label
1986 Zombie Attack Noise Records
1987 Chemical Invasion Noise Records
1988 The Morning After Noise Records
1990 The Meaning of Life Noise Records
1992 Stone Cold Sober Noise Records
1994 Two-Faced Noise Records
1995 The Tankard Noise Records
1998 Disco Destroyer Century Media
2000 Kings of Beer Century Media
2002 B-Day AFM Records
2004 Beast of Bourbon AFM Records
2006 The Beauty and the Beer AFM Records
2008 Thirst AFM Records
2010 Vol(l)ume 14 AFM Records
2012 A Girl Called Cerveza Nuclear Blast
2014 R.I.B. Nuclear Blast

Other releases[edit]

  • Heavy Metal Vanguard (1984) - demo
  • Alcoholic Metal (1985) - demo
  • Alien (1989) - EP
  • Hair of the Dog (1989) - compilation
  • Open All Night (1990) - video
  • Fat, Ugly and Live (1991) - live album
  • Fat, Ugly And Still (A) Live (2005) - DVD
  • Best Case Scenario: 25 Years in Beers (2007) - re-recorded compilation album

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tankard Band Bio 1". Tankard.info. Retrieved August 6, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Tankard Band Bio 2". Tankard.info. Retrieved August 6, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Tankard Band Bio 3". Tankard.info. Retrieved August 6, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Tankard Band Bio 3". Tankard.info. Retrieved August 6, 2016. 
  5. ^ "AllMusic". tankard. AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-06-25. 
  6. ^ "Discogs". tankard. Discogs. Retrieved 2014-06-25. 
  7. ^ "Tankard Band Bio 1". Tankard.info. Retrieved August 6, 2016. 

External links[edit]