A few days ago I had the chance to talked with guitarist Henny Wolter from Thunderhead. Unfortunately a few of the concerts had been canceled. So I had to do a telephone interview with him.
Please, give me first a short round-up about the past of Thunderhead.
The band exist since summer 1988 with a constant line-up. Including the live album we have released 5 albums. First was Behind The Eight-Ball (1989), Busted At The Border, Crime Pays and the last studio album is Killing With Style released by GUN Records.
Killing With Style is your first release in America.
That's not right. The very first album been released in the USA, the others ain't. Killing With Style is our second release in America.
It's unusual that a German band is published in the USA with the first album.
To be true it didn't worked out. Just a catalogue number of Capital / EMI Records. No promotion, no video clip or single. The result is no interest.
I think the American market has enough own bands to promote. Something different, you been on tour with bands like Saxon, Victory, etc. What's about a headlining tour in Europe?
We tried several times to do a headliner tour, but it was to expensive. We wouldn't get the money in which we needed to cover the costs. Once we tried, but it was a financial disaster and it nearly was the end for the band. Now we are much more careful. When the time will come, we will headline. This time we play a few headliner shows, then play the festivals with Accept. It's not a European headlining tour.
Just a few extra shows.
A few of the festivals should be canceled.
Yes, the booking is very bad at some festivals, so it happened.
Perhaps it's not the right time. Many festivals took place and the holiday is around the corner.
You have the chance to do it now or we won't do at all. We will do it now.
Plans to go to Eastern Europe?
We played in parts of Eastern Europe, e.g. Hungary and Czechoslovakia, but the response been not that good. The infrastructure is very difficult there.
The albums aren't available in Russia regularly.
There are possibilities to play?
For sure! But there haven't been that much tours. People are hungry.
Sounds interesting. We play wherever people would like to see us.
I heard your shows in Japan were very successful.
We played in Japan several times. Japan is a loyal market. They didn't forget someone, if you have a fan base, you can count on 'em. The Japanese organize it a little bit different. Before you start touring there, the advanced booking have to make sure that the concerts are sold out. Otherwise they didn't take you over to Japan, because the costs are too high. That make sure that you always tour successfully in Japan.
You released a live album with the best tracks and a cover version of Ace Of Spades. Why this song?
We rehearsed the song for a birthday party of a friend and they liked it a lot, so we played it on a few Thunderhead shows. The resonance was very positive and we play it for about two years live now. It's part of the set. Wolfgang of G.U.N. Records said to us: "You are crazy, why don't you put it on an album?" We didn't feel good with it. After we played with Motörhead we have been compared with them and we admire them. That is the kind of music we like. We thought that the live album is the perfect place to record the track without become a Motörhead clown. It's almost a classical Thunderhead live track.
What are your plans for the near future?
After the tour we'll continue to work on the pre-production of the next studio album. It should be recorded in fall, but there could be delays. But it depends on America, 'cause the Killing With Style album will be released in the next days. Perhaps we play there a tour, but we have to wait for the turnovers and that depends on the promotion.
Do you think Thunderhead will have a chance on the American market?
I really couldn't say something about it. We have no possibility to control it from Germany. It depends on the work of the label.
So we have to wait and see.
It was nice to talk with Henny and he told a few interesting details about the business, I think. Hope that everything turns out for them very well and that I soon will get the chance to see them live again