J: Congratulations on the show.
V: Thank you very much, thank you.
J: So, how are you enjoying Metaldays?
M: It’s my first time here and one of the things that I enjoy the most
J: I will move the microphone closer to you.
M: Oh yes, (laughs)!
M: And he (points to Pavao) will take pictures?
J: Yes, yes.
M: So yeah, in my case it’s my first time here at Metaldays and it seems to be a very well-established festival, and everybody knows who they’re going to listen to. The cool thing for me today is, well, first thing; we played here (points to main stage);
V: (takes out phone and films)
M: I’m doing an interview, come on this is
V: With Jadran
PH: And Pavao
M: And Pavao, that’s right.
P: And me?
M: And Peavaldinies yes.
P: And Vassilios
(in unison) mhm, mhm
M: Another thing, that I was very impressed about; this is the professional organization, just backstage with all the promoters and everything. It was cool to see a lot of bands that we admire and follow for many years, in my case, I’m a huge fan of ‘Kataklysm’ and they’re gonna play tonight. I’ve been following this band for more than twelve years and I’ve never had the chance to see them live, and (in a squeaky voice) I’m gonna see them tonight!
V: Peavy, I think, has the same thing with ‘Loudness’?
P: Yes, well firstly, it’s a big pleasure to watch them and to drink with them last night
M: Really cool
P: Yes (coughs), all the dressing-rooms next to each other, really nice to [meet them], we knew them before, but now we got to know each other a lot better and also, I have to say that the festival has a really good, kind of family feeling.
M: Yeah exactly, it’s pretty [family-friendly]
PH: Yes, this is the best thing at this festival; it’s a friendly festival and VIP and Press area are the same and many bands come here. It’s very nice.
P: It’s very cool
PH: Unlike ‘Hellfest’, ‘Wacken’ and you know, these big festivals which are like
M: It’s too big you know.
J: Everyone has actually said this thing about Metaldays, that it’s family friendly and has this spirit.
P: (says something in German)
(Manager brings over beer and hands one to everyone)
PH: He can’t, he’s thirteen
V: You’re thirteen?
V: You’re so professional for thirteen, unbelievable
M: Jadran congratulation
J: Thank you
M: I have to say danke (gives beer to Peavy)
P: For me bitte
J: But yeah, everyone I’ve talked to have said this, that they see Metaldays as a much friendlier festival than others
M: It is, it is, it is; we feel it like that, we feel it like friendship between all the bands and people and something we don’t see at other festivals is the production itself, the backstage guys, it’s the crew on the stage, it’s guys in the dressing rooms, I mean everybody’s so professional
J: Yeah, I mean, everybody’s very strict this year, but…
P: Cheers bro!
M: Cheers! (laughs)
J: And this is also something interesting here; that bands get to interact with each other.
M: Yeah, it’s very cool.
J: So, ‘Rage’ has existed since 1984.
P: Well, ’83 or, ’84.
J: Well, depends if you count ‘Avenger’ as [‘Rage’]
P: Avenger is included already, it’s the same band, it’s just a name change after the first album.
J: How did you actually shorten [the name] to ‘Rage’? Since it was supposed to be ‘Furious Rage’ right?
P: Yeah this is just a…
V: (smiling) you know your shit (laughs)
P: Interesting, it’s a stupid story with us…
M: You know your shit…
PH: Don’t question the little guy (laughs)
P: To answer this you have to explain the situation in the music business in the early 80’s was very different than today, where some independent record companies [were] coming up and we had signed to ‘Noise Records’ then and the owner of ‘Noise Records’ called Karl-Ulrich Walterbach he was presenting himself to be very “creative” and yet [had] no respect for musicians, this was common, you know, it was the same with ‘SPV’ and [with] all of these independent companies, metal musicians were kind of, idiots for them and they just used them to make some money, you know. And I remember I heard a conversation between Walterbach and Manfred Schütz from ‘SPV’, it was like; “I don’t care if I sell washing machines or, this stupid metal music, it’s pretty much the same for me” and then it was like; “Hey, but these metal bands are selling really good, don’t you wanna give them some money at least?” and obviously he didn’t pay them so far, you know, and then Schütz said, maybe this is nothing for the interview, but it is funny, he said “before I pay some money to these idiots, I will buy another fur [coat] for my girlfriend” (laughs)
M: That was the ripping off business back in the day.
P: I was sitting in the next room and the door was open and I heard this, and I was like; ok, [if] that’s your philosophy, you know…
M: So, we need to move out of here (chuckles).
P: And then there was this thing with ‘Furious Rage’, you know, we decided, well, the thing was, Karl Walterbach always wanted to change the band names, he signed us, but he said; okay, we need a different name, you know, when I sign you, I want you to have a different name. The same [thing] he did with ‘Kreator’ , ‘Running Wild’ and with ‘Halloween’, they all had different names, before they signed with ‘Noise Records’ and so, we picked the name ‘Furious Rage’, told him this and he became “creative”, but he didn’t even tell us, you know, and, he just shortened the name to ‘Rage’ and we found out, in the record shop. I went to my record dealer,
P: Yeah, in my home town, and I looked at the shelf at [section] ‘F’, you know, ‘Furious Rage’, I couldn’t find it, but, it must be out… The dealer knew me, and he knew my band, so I said: “Hey, where’s my album, I can’t find it?” and he said: “Hey, you’re looking at the wrong shelf, you need to look at the ‘R’ [section]. I was like: “Why? We are ‘Furious Rage”. “No, you’re just ‘Rage’” and I was: “What the fuck!?” (laughs). So, I found the ‘Reign of Fear’ album. I found it and it said just ‘Rage’.
J: And so, you just left it as ‘Rage’?
P: Yeah, I mean, I don’t regret it, but it was very disrespectful, the same was when he just took a song from the album and on the CD version later, it was released the song; ‘The Scaffold’, and his only comment was that he doesn’t like the ballade. What ballade?
P: You know, it just starts with an acoustic intro.
M: It’s just a lower song, but not a ballade.
P: He just heard the first two seconds and heard an acoustic guitar. “Oh, I don’t like the ballade, out”. We weren’t even asked, you know, and this was normal, it was with all the other bands; interfering with your output, your artist output and your music. It was interfering with your presentation. For example, we were just another thrash band. We are actually a kind of power metal, whatever, but definitely not a thrash band like ‘Kreator’, but he wanted us to sell as a thrash band. “Ah, these thrash bands are selling pretty good, you are also a thrash band”. But we’re not, we’re not, we’re not a thrash band. “I don’t care, I say you are another thrash band”. This created a big misunderstanding, many fans were confused, why we should be a thrash band, it’s not thrash, you know.
J: Do you think is a problem? In the music industry, in general?
P: It was back then. Then it was very common, especially under the independent labels, there was really no respect for musicians.
J: But, focusing on freedom of speech in music, I mean, this is still a big issue.
P: I mean now, now today, this is completely different. Today, as an artist you can really do what you want, you can express yourself freely.
M: Somebody didn’t have any breakfast (laughs)
P: But yeah, this today is completely different, it’s a completely different situation, I was just explaining this for your readers to understand, that read this or hear this; how different the situation 35-years ago was, it was a completely different world in the music industry.
M: But today, yeah.
J: If I’m correct, you two have joined in 2015 (Vasillios and Marcos)?
J: And, you Peavy have been since the beginning.
P: But they, my friends didn’t join my life in 2015, they joined my life long before.
J: But they joined the band in ‘15
P: Yeah, yeah…
J: The chemistry between you must be good?
P: We were friends, basically our whole lives, I’ve known ‘Lucky’ since he was fifteen or so (chuckles),
M: He is sixteen now (laughs)
V: You are nine or something? (laughs)
M: (laughs) number nine
P: Number nine… (chuckles), but yeah, we have a long friendship together…
J: But this then must help with your band chemistry?
V: It does really, because, the thing is normally, if you would change the lineup, you would get a lot musicians, like, from a closer environment or other bands, but I think it’s very rare, what happened with us; we, Marcos and I, we were ‘Rage’ fans from the beginning, so, you can imagine that, or you must think about it is that, the first time we met for a rehearsal, it was like; “which song are we gonna play?” and Marcos said: “well, you can choose one, I know them all…”, so, we’re talking about a band that had at this time, I mean, more than twenty records and more than five hundred songs or so, and then it was like, we grew up with it. My first album, when I was fifteen, was a ‘Rage’ album. I got to know this band in those years, you know, ’88…
P: Perfect band yeah (chuckles)
V: I travelled with them and we became friends. I know everything about this band and Marcos even more because he…
P: You were doing drum tech for Chris back then.
V: Yeah, I was doing drum tech of Rage when I was sixteen, seventeen, I traveled with them with ‘Motörhead’ on the tours and I was kid, like you, doing this.
P: I had to sign for him because he was underage.
V: He had to sign a paper to my father to take me with him.
P: “I’m gonna take care of your kid”, you know (chuckles)
V: And Marcos, sometimes, I mean I can’t say this, but sometimes even Peavy would ask for a song: “How do we play this? I forgot again” and Marcos knew…
Interview by: Jadran Mihelčić