Tankard's “Beast of Bourbon” album was originally released only on CD via AFM Records in 2004. For High Roller Records, it's the next step to make ALL of the band's releases available on glorious vinyl. “Beast of Bourbon” was following "B-Day", Andreas Geremia, aka Gerre, compares both albums: "'Beast of Bourbon' was a natural progression from 'B-Day', maybe it was even a tad heavier." The press reactions to the album were good, as far as Gerre can remember: "Yeah, we got good reviews. There was not talk about us stagnating at all." In contrast to "B-Day", Tankard did not re-record any old demo tracks this time around. Gerre says why: "No, we closed this chapter in our career with 'Rundown Quarter' on 'B-Day'. On the other hand, 'Beast of Bourbon' contains a killer cover version of Cock Sparrer's 'We're coming back'. I would definitely want to play this number live again but I reckon I will have to kick my band mates butts for this really hard ..." Talking about Cock Sparrer and "We're coming back", I do love this legendary East End band. They played Oi! (from the mid-70's onwards) when the term was not even invented (by Sounds' Garry Bushell). And apart from that, they're West Ham supporters (like me). But what's Gerre's own connection to the band (also featured extensively in "Oi! The Book Vol.1", published by Iron Pages Books)? "Well", he says, "we have always played this number on the bus when I was following my team Eintracht Frankfurt to away games. It's a superb number and I thought it was time to perform a definitive Metal version of it. Unfortunately, I never saw Cock Sparrer live." That's sad indeed but no reason to shed any tears as Cock Sparrer are playing again on and off (for example appearing at big festivals like the "Holidays in the Sun" bash in Berlin).
Throughout their enduring career, Tankard have performed quite a few cover songs on record. Wouldn't it be high time to put out a compilation album including all their cover tunes (and B-sides)? "Good idea", finds Gerre. "But right now we are not really in the mood to record any more cover songs but you should never say never, right?"
The cover illustration to "Beast of Bourbon" is really superb (once more). Along with "Chemical Invasion" it 's one of my favourite Tankard sleeves. Gerre confirms: "Yes, along with 'Hair of the Dog' I think it's the best cover Sebastian Krüger ever did for us. By the way, for a change our bassist Frank Thorwarth got the idea for the title of the album … as the saying goes: Every dog has its day!"
"Slipping from Reality" and "Die with a Beer in your Hand" are the two songs off "Beast of Bourbon" still featured strongly in the band's current live set. Along with the already mentioned "We're coming back" these are Gerre's favourite tracks from the album. Chris Luft (of Ryker's fame) is one of the guest musicians on "Beast of Bourbon", along with Tankard roadie Harald and Alex Wenzel, a good friend of Tankard guitarist Andy.
"Alien Revenge" is another track from the album, I always considered it the second part of "Alien" from an eary mini-album of the band? "Yes, the lyrics are a continuation of 'Alien'", reveals Gerre. "Musically however, both songs are not related, the two numbers are 15 years apart from each other!" What's Tankard's secret for their longevity? Maybe it's the fact that they all have their day jobs (to pay the rent) and Tankard is just a hobby for them, an outlet for their emotions, to have fun with some friends? Gerre agrees: "It's just as you say! We have so much fun playing in Tankard, doing anything we want to do. As long as this situation continues like that, we will probably carry on for another 28 years, har, har!"
Hmm, along with Kreator and Sodom, Tankard are the only original German Thrash Metal band that never really went away. Destruction took some rather long breaks and whatever happened to Darkness, Assassin, Violent Force, Despair or Necronomicon anyway? "Yeah, again you hit the nail on the head", says Gerre. "I am really proud of Tankard's long lifespan. By the way, there are ongoing rumors about a re-union of Deathrow, that would be cool! We've been on tour with them once, that was a hell of a lot of fun …"
As we have already hinted at several times, Tankard is not just a band of the past. They have just been from the studio where they recorded a new album. Gerre gives us the details: "'Vol(l)ume 14' will be released on AFM on December 17th. There will be a limited edition containing a DVD with our set at last year's Headbangers Open Air festival."