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The Entire Band (Powergod)

Interview with The Entire Band from Powergod
by Grigoris Chronis at 27 October 2005, 9:13 PM

There's bands out there and there's…bands. Powergod is not what I'd call your ordinary band. Hailing from Germany, true to the Heavy Metal tradition, with two covers albums (among other things) featuring some really well known Heavy Metal musicians…Powergod is a band for the really faithful to Heavy Metal music. Why do they do covers? How do they get to collaborate with all those famous musicians? How do they manage to maintain those Heavy Metal qualities we all grew up listening to (and some obviously lost them…)? Grigoris interviewed the band and here's what they had to say…

Greetings from magazine! It was good to see Powergod’s return this autumn with the really tempting Long Live The Loud - That’s Metal Lesson II all-covers release. Judging by the album’s title - and from what I had the honour to listen to - we must be talking about a thunderous tribute to all these semi-’obscure’ 80’s classics. What’s your impression on this release?

Thanks a lot. As you said: it’s thunderous! We are very proud of the album, and I really think the whole Metal community should know and celebrate the album!

It’s a fact that the vast majority of less-than- 30-years-old metalheads are not that familiar with the likes of legendary bands like Abbatoir, Hirax, Hellion or Rough Cutt. You hope this album will really ’push’ them to search a little bit more in Heavy Metal’s triumphant 80’s history?

Yeah, absolutely…the album is perfect to go do some homework. Plus it gives the older metalheads a chance to take a trip down memory lane without making any compromises regarding modern sound and stuff.

When Bleed For The Godz - That’s Metal Lesson I came out, I was curious a lot to see how well this album would sell. Well, not necessarily by referring to numbers, did …Lesson I have any success? Was this achievement the driving force for Long Live The Loud - That’s Metal Lesson II?

Yes. That’s correct. B.F.T.G. was a great success in many ways, so it definitely paved the way for Part 2.

We again do not see any cover from Top acts like Iron Maiden or Judas Priest. Apart from - I guess - leaving this to various other bands to do it, is there any other motive behind these specific band selections?

It’s boring. They’re heroes and we all know that. Let’s praise some unsung heroes now!

Really, how did you manage to gather all these living legends to participate in the recordings? John Gallagher, Minoru Niihara, Andrea Schwartz & Anca Graterol, Schmier and Tom Angelripper, Lips… It must have been a helluva time!

To be honest: only Tom Angelripper was in the studio with us. Everybody else recorded their parts where they lived, thanks to modern technology. Otherwise it would be unaffordable. But it still was a lot of fun! And a great honour!

How did they react to your calling? What did they think of the cover versions?

As far as I know everybody is very happy with the result. How could they not be? Seriously, they trusted us, because they knew Part 1, and most of them are friends of ours anyway.

I hope you could also record Long Live The Loud with Dan Beehler! I think you were supposed to invite him.

Yes, but it didn’t work out. Without going into detail, we would have loved to have him on the album, but some things are just not meant to be…

There was info for a somehow different track listing for this latest release. I remember at your official site an initial track listing featuring some other tunes also, from bands like Malice, Sortilege and Leatherwolf. Did you eventually record these songs and put them on hold for a future release?

No, everything we have recorded is on the album. No leftovers. Those songs will make it on Part 3 I guess…if we make it!

Cutt Your Heart Out comes from a slightly different - yet also brilliant - band. Rough Cutt did lay more on the American Hard Rock style. So, should we expect any Ratt or Y&T in a future recording (Laughs)?

There is a plan to do Posergod (e.n.: ?!?!?!), with just tracks of that style. We’ll see…

Continuing from my previous question - being a 30+ y.o. metalhead myself - only a band like Powergod could fit both Rough Cutt and Hirax in the same album! I memorize the days when everything was Hard & Heavy, without all these sub-genres we see today in Metal music.

Oh, there were some animosities between posers and thrashers…but I never believed that shit. To me it was all Metal. That’s why we do this. Sub-genres suck. It’s either good or bad music.

It’s the band’s 5th release, right? Three Evilution… and two …Lesson… albums. In these six years of discography, all via Massacre Records, what’s the impression you have ’bout the present and future of Heavy Metal music?

Metal’s lost its balls, its energy, its rawness and its rebellious attitude. Most of the contemporary stuff just bores me to death. Too clean, too slick, too powerless. We try to maintain some kind of old school energy in our sound that a lot of bands are lacking these days. There is some cool stuff out there, but in my opinion this cool stuff rarely includes double bass drums and high pitched vocals.

Speaking about Massacre, I guess thing are going well between you and them. Do you feel satisfied by their support?

Most of the time: yes!

Really, how did they react hearing your decision for a second all-covers album?

Great plan, when do we get it?

In fact, it’s a little bit ’rare’ for a band to have two ’covers’ releases in a total discography of five albums. I guess there’s no lack of inspiration for Powergod songwriting! Many fans love the Evolution… series and expect something 100% in the near future. Are you in the process of anything?

No. We take it as it comes…we don’t know what we are going to do next. Certainly no lack of inspiration, believe me. We just wanna do some cool stuff for the people. Covers or own songs: both is fun. A lot of fun.

You think the …Lesson… releases may prove to be a step ’back’ for the band in the future?

I don’t think I understand the question. You know, this is all Powergod, whatever brings us on stage is fine. Nobody has done anything like this before…the tributes put us on the map of Metal history forever, and a lot of people like our own shit as well. We are a happy band!

Powergod on stage: we need a report on your performance at the Earthshaker fest! You headlined the opening night of the fest with a tributes setlist. We read various guests were also on stage! Did you have a good time?

Yes, it was great, and the people loved it. Unfortunately Minoru Niihara was not allowed to perform with us, but Schmier was there for example. We had a great time, with all the classic songs. Fans came up to me, crying and saying You brought back my youth for 90 minutes…thank you!  I think that’s amazing!

Was the audience ’warm’ enough to Powergod’s eyes?

Yes, absolutely. And even if that wouldn’t have been the case I would have loved every minute of it. This was for the heart!

Did you have the chance to see other bands live? Manowar or any other? Your impression?

Manowar: Brilliant when Ross The Boss entered the stage. Destruction was cool, Loudness were great when the played the old songs. I didn’t watch any other band, there wasn’t hardly any band I liked on this festival so why waste time?

The Steel Meets Steel and Keep It True IV fests are on the way! Are you planning a ’covers’ setlist again?

Yes, right now we are promoting the covers album. It’s fun.

Really, Germany is the ’mother’ country of all Hard & Heavy festivals the last years! If the U.K. was a ’pole’ for the Metal world in the 80’s (various Metal gigs, major festivals etc), it’s Germany now that ’pulls the strings’! Why do you think the U.K. lost its potential? Was it only the Grunge/Brit Pop ’cyclone’ of the 90’s?

I am sorry but I don’t think about Metal too much anymore. As I said: most of it is boring! That’s the reason why everything died in the first place. Punk, Metal…it became too much, too many shitty bands. Same thing now…but when the smoke has cleared away a few bands will survive, and the next wave is coming. It’s happening!

I see… Powergod in 2005: in the days of Nightwish’s success, Dimebag Darell’s death, Ozzy’s ’lunacy’ and endless mp3 downloading, do you feel ’positive’ for the band’s success/future?

Oh yes, music is the key to the heart…and if it’s honest and good, it will survive. What’s the alternative? Give up? NEVER!

As for the Heavy Metal future, as a music style?

I don’t think in terms of Metal. If something is good and it deserves to survive, I think it will. Music is the greatest thing on earth…it moves people; it helps them in every way. Good music will find its way!

Thanks for your spare time! Feel free to give tell readers anything you want!

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