【face-to-face / interview】NITROGODS
NITROGODS is a German band led by Henny Wolter and Klaus Sperling, who are respectively ex-guitarist and ex-drummer of PRIMAL FEAR. Joined by bassist / singer Claus “Oimel” Larcher, the trio will release its debut self-titled album on February 27th. If you love catchy tunes, references to bands like ROSE TATTOO and MOTÖRHEAD, you definitely want to check them out. Note that the disc includes the collaboration of Dan McCafferty, singer of NAZARETH, and Fast Eddie Clarke, ex-MOTÖRHEAD.
The debut album of the band will be available in late February. What can we expect ?
Henny : It is very simple, you can expect hi-energy old-school Rock N Roll. We just want it to give people a good time and make them want to come and see us live.
Who are your major influences ?
Henny : We love Hard Rock , blues based bands from the 70´s and early 80´s, like MOTÖRHEAD, ROSE TATTOO, ZZ TOP et STATUS QUO.
The band may still be unfamiliar to the public at large, but the three of you are well-known musicians. When and how did you form the band ? What inspired you guys to make music together and choose the name “NITROGODS” ?
Henny : Klaus and Oimel have been playing together since the mid 90´s. I got to know Klaus during my first stint in PRIMAL FEAR. I played with him there from 2000 to 2002. Klaus introduced me to Oimel and I thought : « I gotta have this guy for a band ». We played together for fun on biker parties and took it from there. The name NITROGODS should let everybody knows what we´re all about. It´s hi-energy, fast, loud and rough like some nitro injected into a dragster engine.
How have your previous bands contributed to shaping your sound ?
Henny : If anything from my past gets close to Nitrogods, it would probably be Thunderhead. Thunderhead had a similar approach to playing heavy and fast Rock N Roll as Nitrogods do.
The album features guest-appearances by NAZARETH singer Dan McCafferty and ex-MOTÖRHEAD guitarist Eddie Clarke. Can you tell us more about it ?
Henny : I met Dan during the Rock meets Classic Tour 2010. One night, at the hotelbar, I had him promise to sing one of my songs. He said he´d do it for free, if he liked the it. I sent him « Whiskey Wonderland » and he flew in from Scotland and sang it for us in the studio. It was just perfect, I just love his voice and he´s one of the coolest and realest guys I ever met in the business. Eddie played with Klaus and Oimel on a couple of charity shows before. Oimel asked him he would like to add a solo to one of our songs and he spontaniously agreed. He played a great Wah-Wah solo on « Wasted in Berlin ».
You guys said : “The time has come to return to the true values of rock music”. According to you, what are these true values and what do you think of the rock music scene today ?
Henny : To us, Rock N Roll needs to be kept real. We dislike the fact that many productions nowadays sound exactly the same, everybody is recording the same way with the same plug-ins and drumsamples. It´s very boring and if you compare it with a 70´s AC/DC or Staus Quo record, the old stuff blows the modern shit away. The old productions have much more liveness and impact than the digitally compressed modern Rock and metal productions. Everybody corrects vocals, drumbeats and everything else until the production is clinically dead. We are trying to get away from that habit and going back to record the old school way.
Is there any special song for you and why ?
Henny : I love them all but my special favourite song would be « Whiskey Wonderland ». It has that great Bo Diddley Rythm going-on and the way Dan and Oimel exchange vocals with their unique voices is just pure Rock N Roll.
Do you have any anecdote regarding the recording of the album ?
Henny : I got a little anecdote about how I first met Oimel before we started NITROGODS. I was playing on a biker party with Klaus ( Sperling ) and there was a fight going on. I was just standing by the bar as I caught a punch and went down. It was Oimel, who accidently hit me in the back of my head. Later he told me he was very sorry and that he didn´t mean to punch me but somebody else. Then Klaus told me, he knows the guy and that he´s a great singer. That´s how I got to know Oimel.
What has been your biggest challenge on this album ?
Henny : The most time consuming thing was to find the right sound for NITROGODS. I tried loads of equipment until I picked up a 66 Gretsch run through an old AC30. That was my main guitar setup for the album. We even used vintage Telefunken microphones to record the drums and vocals. So finding the right instruments and equipment to capture the raw sound of NITROGODS on tape was the biggest effort.
What do you want people to take away from listening to your music ?
Henny : We want people to have a great time of full blown-out Rock N Roll like on our live shows. The best would be them to get a nostalgic feeling about their favourite Rock N Roll albums from the 70´s listening to NITROGODS.
What are your plans once the CD is released ?
Henny : Touring, touring and touring and writing our next album.
Any last words ?
Henny : Support your favourite bands. Don´t download, if you really like a band, buy their albums and go to their shows. It keeps them alive !