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Nuclear Warfare

Nuclear Warfare
We're Underground And We're Free


Архив интервью | Русская версия

My acquaintance with these German thrashers started by pure chance – during the set of a Russian band called Mad-V, who were one of the openers at Nuclear Warfare’s gig in Moscow in December 2008, I decided to ask a big guy standing right next to me in the audience what the name of the current song was. To my great surprise, I heard through the noise and screams, “Do you speak English?” The language barrier was momentarily removed, and other band members soon turned up. Frontman Andreas “Nucleator” Schramm turned out the most communicative person, and we agreed to do an e-mail interview. From that moment on it was easy – sent the questions, wait for answers, and here we are with a ready interview of this young, but very active band.

Not long ago you did a Russian tour. Tell me how this tour became possible. What do you feel about Russian concerts and Russian fans?

The whole tour was a fantastic experience for us. From our point of view the concerts were  great. We did a long time of preperation to give the Russian fans 200% of energy and power! And I think they like it. They were all very enthusiastic at the concerts, bBanging all around and screaming.

Which moment during Russian tour still stands out in  your memory? Maybe you could share it with us…

For us the Kazan gig was very special because it was Fritz’s (bass player) birthday, and after the show we had a heavy party with much vodka. But from this time I don’t have so much memory. (laughs) There are so many unforgettable impressions about the people, the country and…and… It was a very intensive experience in the whole thing.

There were not so many metalheads on your show in Moscow. And how many fans usually come to your shows in Germany?

It’s very different in Germany. On the one day it is possible to play in front of 5 people, on the other day maybe there are up to 150 people. It depends on the location. The last time we were in Munich we played in front of 300 people. I think this was one of our biggest concerts.

On Moscow show I climbed at the stage three times. Now I think it was not a good idea – I disturbed the band. Sorry for this! What do you think about fans who climb up the stage during the concert?

Oh, don’t feel sorry about this!!! We invite the people to come on stage. The end of every Nuclear Warfare concert is the song “Inner War”. To this song we always take the people on stage and make a party. Sometimes up to 20 people! In Moscow we had to abridge the concert because we had to reach our train. So we could not play this song.

All band members have “normal” job. Is it hard to return from tour and go to the job? What you feel when a tour comes to end?

No, this is no problem for us. It’s like the situation here – a weekend on the road and through the week go working. The biggest problem was that we all were very tired when we reached Germany. The next two days to the weekend we all were like zombies. (laughs)

Do you remember when you started listening to metal music? Which bands were you favorites at that time?

I started with metal in 1991. My first album was “Kings Of Metal” by Manowar. Back then I listened much to Helloween, Manowar, Blind Guardian, Running Wild. After that I discovered thrash metal for myself. At that time my absolute favorites were Iced Earth and Running Wild.

Nuclear Warfare are not very popular in Russia. Tell us your story: when and where did it all begin? Who were former members? Why did you decide to choose the name “Nuclear Warfare?” Did you consider other names?

We founded the band in January 2002. The founding members were Fritz (bass), Listl (guitar), Motze (guitar), Thomas (drums) and me. The name was “Death Squad”. But there were enough bands with this name – so we were searching for a new one. The last ones we had to decide between were “Violent Force” and “Nuclear Warfare”. We choose the more powerful name. (laughs). After some line-up changes we got our current constant line-up with one guitar player and Miri on the drums.

Your first demo “First Strike” was released in 2002. How many copies did you sell? Did you send you demo to any labels? Is it possible to find this demo in stores?

We sold 100 copies of the tape. We didn’t send it to labels because we just wanted to have some recordings for us and our friends. Some copies we sold via our homepage.But today it’s totally sold out.

Please, clear out your situation with labels. Do you have a contract with a record label now?

We don’t have a contract with a label. And also it is not our intention to search for a label. In our situation it’s much better to hold all controls by ourselves. We can record a CD at the time we want, we can choose the complete artwork and design, the release date. We’re underground and we’re free!

Why did Thomas Bernhardt leave the band? And how did Miriam join Nuclear Assault?

We had some personal problems which grew bigger and bigger. At that time we decided to part ways. This was a decision by the band. Miri joined the band after she met Fritz in a metal pub. Very unspectacular. (laughs)

Please, introduce other members of the band. How you can describe them? Can you compare Miriam, Sebastian and Florian to any animals?

Ok, let’s try. On the bass guitar we have our red-haired beermachine. For him there’s just one animal possible: orangutan!!! On the guitar we have Listl - always late, never prepared, total chaos. Animal: sloth!!! The drums get kicked by Miriam. I think she is the brain of the band, she’s well-organized and she keeps all together. Animal: fox. And finally me on the vocals. A mix of all. (laughs)

All your songs are full of aggression and the main lyrical theme is war. What message do you try to bring to the people through your lyrics? Which themes do you carry apart from that?
Well, thrash metal is very aggressive music and it needs aggressive lyrics. On the other hand, war is a very aggressive topic which is constantly surrounding us. Read a newspaper, watch TV, learn our history - it’s a war everywhere. I think it’s a good symbiosis. The main message of the war-related songs is: Fuck war!! We also have some songs with just thrash metal as a topic, like “Thrash Metal Tank” or “Thrash Squad”, or an alien song (“Unholy Genesis”).

You supported Tankard in 2003. How was it? What you feel now remembering that show?

Oh, from my point of view it was not so a big show. We played on Friday at 2 p.m. and at that time everybody was still at school or at work. So we played in front of 2 people. Later I got in trouble with the organizer and his security. The others had fun that evening but not me.

Do you have any dreams to go on tour with some bands? How often does Nuclear Warfare play as headliners?

I think we headlined about 15-20 times or so. It’s not so important for us. In Germany it’s better to be a co-headliner. There are many bands we want to do a concert with. But do they want to play with us? (laughs) Sodom, Kreator, Exoudus, Destruction - one of these bands would be awesome!!!

Do you have friends in other German metal bands? Is there friendship on the German metal scene?

We have some friends in bands from other cities in Germany. With the Internet it’s very easy to get and stay in contact. Also therе is a famous metal pub near the place we live. So there’s a big scene around Stuttgart.

What do you think about thrash metal today? Can you compare young metal bands with old ones?

Hmm, in my opinion, thrash metal today sounds too modern. Some albums have so clean and sterile production which kills the spirit of the music.For example, I like Kreator very much, but on the last album “Enemy Of God”, I don’t like the sound. A great album, but not the sound of old thrash metal. I like raw and not so perfect underground productions.

Your first album “War Is Unleashed” sounds very rough. Where did you record it? Who was the sound producer of this record?

The album was recorded at Lederfabrik Studios. The studio was closed shortly after the release. The producer was the owner of the studio, Marc Jüttner. He is more into death metal but he capurted the spirit of thrash metal very well.

“War Is Unleashed” sounds as a mix of old school thrash and hardcore. This cool music is very rare nowadays! What do you think about your debut now?

Hmm, there are some songs on “War Is Unleashed” that I don’t like very much, “Predator”, for example. This song sounds like it’s not ready, there is something missing. But I still like the CD, and “Warfare” is still one of my favourite tracks from Nuclear Warfare.

Your first and only single “Dosenpfand muss weg!” was released on vinyl and shows you passion for punk rock. Is this a joke, or do you really like this kind of music?

It was a fun project. First, we wanted to do a beer drinking song in the Tankard / old punk way ,and second, we wanted to make a vinyl single. So we combined both and recorded the “Dosenpfand”single. We recorded it with the help of a friend by ourselves. So the song, the recording, and the artwork are all very old school!!!

In 2006 you recorded your second album “We Come In Peace”. I think this CD is great step forward: the album sounds much better than your debut. Can you compare “War Is Unleashed and “We Come In Peace”? Which album do you like better?

For me, I like “We Come in Peace” more than “War Is Unleashed”. The sound it’s much better on this album, and the songs were more developed. We spent a long time on preparation and did a pre-production.

The “Royal Fortune” EP came out in 2007. It seems you take turns between serious records and funny things – after great and powerful CDs you record singles and EPs. Is it possible to tell when you try to be serious or not?

The “Royal Fortune” EP was our own birthday present. In 2007 we celebrated 5 years of Nuclear Warfare. Fritz and I are great Running Wild fans and we had wanted to do a pirate song for a long time. And so we said, “Let’s make an EP with this song”. We also re-recorded “Social Terror” from the “First Strike” demo, “Kill” in a “Bolt Thrower Version” and a new song called “Conventions Of Soceity”. I think for a thrash metal band there is no need to be always very serious. We do what we want and we have fun with this.  We are all little children which want to do stupid things. (laughs)

At your Moscow show I bought the compilation “Killing Combat”. Is it your official release? If yes, is this release prepared specially for the Russian tour? Or will you sell it in every country you play?

This is a special release for the Russian fans. But we will sell here in Germany the copies which were not sold. The first CD “War Is Unleashed” is now sold out and so the people have the possibility to get a few songs from that release on this CD.

Tell me about Nuclear Warfare’s plans for 2009: can we hope to see you in Russia once again? Or maybe you intend to do a live album?

In February this year we start the recordings for our new album. The working title of it will be “God Of Aggression”. We we record it by ourselves in our new studio. The idea of a live album has been existing in my head for a long time. Last September I recorded a concert of us, but the recordings went out crappy due to technical problems. Maybe I’ll try again this year.

Would you like to tell something to your Russian fans? I hope I see you once again!

Thanks a lot for the good time we had last December, and we hope to see you again!!! Stay THRASH!

Nuclear Warfare on the Internet: http://www.nuclearwarfare.de 

Konstantin “Hirax” Chilikin
January 22, 2009
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