Tankard (band)

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Tankard performing at With Full Force 2018
Tankard performing at With Full Force 2018
Background information
OriginFrankfurt, Germany
GenresThrash metal
Years active1982–present
MembersAndreas Geremia
Andreas Gutjahr
Frank Thorwarth
Olaf Zissel
Past membersBernhard Rapprich
Axel Katzmann
Oliver Werner
Andy Bulgaropulos
Arnulf Tunn
Tankard performing in 2017

Tankard is a German thrash metal band from Frankfurt, founded in 1982.[1] Alongside Kreator, Destruction and Sodom, Tankard is often considered one of the "Big Four" of Teutonic thrash metal. Stylistically, Tankard have consistently played thrash metal that thematically centres primarily on alcohol reverence, unlike the remaining "Big Teutonic Four" (Kreator, Destruction and Sodom), who are all known for covering such topics related to death, politics, violence and anti-fascism.


Formation and early years (1982–1985)[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 Bernhard 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.[2]

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.[3] 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 (1986–1995)[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,[4] 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.[5] That year the band released The Tankard, which is widely viewed as a very good album by fans and critics alike,[6] and is their final album with Noise.[7]

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 Bulgaropoulos left the band to spend more time with his family.[8] 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 The Big Teutonic 4. This release cemented them as a major force in German metal. They released another studio album, R.I.B. on 20 June 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.

Tankard's 17th studio album One Foot in the Grave, was released on 2 June 2017.[9] The band released its 18th studio album, Pavlov's Dawgs, on 30 September 2022.[10]

As part of the "Big Teutonic" four series, Tankard will perform together with Kreator, Sodom and Destruction for the first time on July 20, 2024 at the Klash of the Ruhrpott festival, which will take place at Amphitheater Gelsenkirchen in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.[11]

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

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

Former members[edit]

  • Oliver Werner – drums (1982–1989)
  • Axel Katzmann – guitars (1982–1995)
  • Andy Bulgaropulos – guitars (1983–1999)
  • Arnulf Tunn – drums (1989–1994)



Studio albums[edit]

Release date 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
2017 One Foot in the Grave Nuclear Blast
2022 Pavlov's Dawgs Reaper Entertainment[12]

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
  • Schwarz-weiß wie Schnee (2017) – EP
  • Hymns for the Drunk (2018) compilation
  • For a Thousand Beers (2022) Boxed set


  1. ^ Rittner, Ronny (2017). "Tankard – One Foot In The Grave". Rock Hard. Vol. 35, no. 361. p. 95.
  2. ^ "Tankard Band Bio 1". Tankard.info. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Tankard Band Bio 2". Tankard.info. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Tankard Band Bio 3". Tankard.info. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Tankard Band Bio 3". Tankard.info. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  6. ^ "AllMusic". AllMusic. tankard. Retrieved 25 June 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ "Discogs". tankard. Discogs. Retrieved 25 June 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ "Tankard Band Bio 1". Tankard.info. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Tankard – One Foot In The Grave". Musicline.de (in German). Phononet. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  10. ^ "TANKARD Announce New Album 'Pavlov's Dawgs' To Be Released In September". Metal Addicts. 19 May 2022. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  11. ^ "'Big Four' Of German Thrash Metal, KREATOR, SODOM, DESTRUCTION And TANKARD, Announce 2024 Festival". Blabbermouth.net. 31 July 2023. Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  12. ^ Tankard Andreas "Gerre" Geremia Interview-'For A Thousand Beers' Box Set & New Album Details, retrieved 16 April 2022

External links[edit]