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In Words: Warhead

- Björn Eilen & Benjamin v. d. Heide - April 2000 - Claudia Ehrhardt -
- Peter Breitenbach - Nov. 2008 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Warhead promotion photo
© Warhead

Peter Breitenbach - Nov. 18th 2008 (by email)

In the year 2008 many bands celebrate their anniversaries, so does the German band Warhead. They celebrate their 15th anniversary and release a live album which was recorded years ago. So time to talk to Peter Breitenbach!

To celebrate the 15th anniversary you release the live album Hour Of Death. Why did you decide to release this live album now?

We planned to release the live album for several years, but due to the line-up changes it never happened. Now everything worked out and for me this is the perfect present to our long time fans.

Please tell us, why you didn't released this live album way earlier!

Shortly after we recorded the live album our singer left the band and the band been put to rest for about 5 years. And now we have a stable line-up and the anniversary, perfect timing for the release.

Its obvious that its an authentic live recording. How important was it for you to have this authenticity?

Authenticity is very important for me! How do you want to convince your fans with, if not honesty? I have no problem with fixing something in a recording, but I would never ever release a concert recording of a bad show which was completely re-recorded in the studio! One of the coolest live albums is Slayer's Decade Of Aggression. You can hear some wrong notes, but that's cool, we are all human beings and so it's natural. But the album simply rocks! ;-)

I think the live atmosphere was captured very well, even if you recorded this one after the tour. Do you agree?


If memory serves the show was longer then a CD... How did you decide where to shorten it?

I decided to choose more stuff off Beyond Recall. But unfortunately we couldn't use the title track, coz the guy who did the live recordings had to switch tapes just in the middle of the title track!!! No clue, why he didn't do it earlier...

Any video recordings from that days which you might use as a bonus somewhere in time?

Yes, and we are planning something! It'll be a surprise! ;-)

After the tour the band have been through some changes... Björn left the band. Peter, did you expect that? Coz at the tour it seemed that everything was perfect...

We did know early that year that Björn wanted to leave the band. And it wasn't a problem for us, so we did this tour and simply wanted to have fun!

Will we get the chance to see Warhead live these days? With a kind of anniversary set?

Yes, the anniversary show was early October in Osnabrück and later that month we had a release party in Lingen where we recorded the live album - same place. We did video both shows and a festival, so next spring the metal world will be able to see the shows at our first live DVD! ;-)

You are part of the metal scene for many years and always kept going. Was it easier to get back now? And how much did the scene changed?

I think that for a band like Warhead it got easier, at least easier then 8 years ago when the German true metal scene was flooded with bands. I really hope that the time of operatic vocals is over now and that people want some heavy, thrashy music. You can already feel the change. These days there are many more bands then 8 years ago, but quantity isn't the same as quality!

There been some changes, so what can we expect from Warhead now?

Classic heavy metal with Bay Area influences which is played by real - not virtuel - musicians. And we will play whenever and wherever we can!

Looks like there is some more to come, so fans should listen to Hour Of Death, keep their eyes open for live shows and it won't take long til the DVD will hit the stores!

Claudia Ehrhardt


Warhead: Benjamin - live 2000
© Claudia Ehrhardt

Björn Eilen & Benjamin von der Heide
- April, 10th 2000 - Essen (Germany) -

The German power trashers Warhead released their 3rd album which is called Beyond Recall. It's an conceptual album. I took my chance to do an interview with singer Björn Eilen and bassist Benjamin von der Heide before the show in Essen.

The story of the album Beyond Recall tells about a man who killed 2 persons during a robbery, got chased and arrested. He was sentenced to death and tells about the feelings he had while he was in death row and about the execution with the deadly injection and what happened afterwards. You don't make a clear statement about death penalty.

Yes, but I tend to say that it's not an album about death penalty, it's more about the person who has to go through this. A situation he can't change. We tried to describe his way from doing the robbery until his death. Björn had the initial idea. In the beginning it was just an idea for a song. Björn often writes about death in his songs. Then he had the idea to do a conceptual album, so we discussed it. First I was like "Oh, a conceptual album... Something new", but then we started working and it worked!

At the end it deals with death penalty. In the bio it says that you won't make a statement with this album, not pro and not against death penalty.

But if you read between the lines you'll know our point of view. When I wrote the lyrics I tried to be this man, to feel what he felt. Sure, from that point of view, you'll get the meaning that death penalty is wrong. We see it the same way and.... We tried to be that man, surely that ain't possible at all. Therefor you had to be in the same situation and that we can't... But

Who really wants to be in that situation?

....Right, but everywhere in the lyrics are hint how we see it. We don't want to say: We are against death penalty and here is our album which is about it. We tried to do it in a way where people who are pro death penalty could listen to the album and might think about it.

Right, it's more in a subtle way. It's listen able, even if you don't want to think about the subject. Not preachy.

Yes, I think you can listen to the music without reading the lyrics. We usually write the music first, so ever song could stand on his own, except I Swear which is kind of an intro for the last song. And because every song can stand alone, you don't have to deal with the concept, if you don't want to.

I think there are people who just want to listen to the music and don't what to think about the lyrics.

We don't want to be preachers. We don't want to force the people to think about certain things.

We don't want to be the moralizer who say death penalty is wrong and this is the way. We want the people to think and talk about, that's it. For us it's very important to tell people what we think about it, even if there are people who are not into the words, but for us it's important. Everyone who reads the lyrics and try to understand will find out that we think about what we write and that we are really into this.

Björn, why you decided to quit guitar playing live and just be the singer? What happened to make you decide for the singing? For us the announcement that you are looking for a guitarist was a surprise. What happened?

This decision I made more or less a year ago. About a year ago I recognize that playing guitar and singing is too much and that it limits me on stage. I had to face that I can't play guitar 100% and can't sing 100% at the same time. In the rehearsal room it was okay, coz there I just had to stand and make music, but live I had to entertain the people as well. First I didn't tell anybody, just thought it over again and again and last summer I told the band about my decision. At that time I was 150% sure that it was the right decision for me. Okay, they were a little sad about it, but accepted my decision. In late fall we informed our management and label. At that point we started looking for a guitarist and we thought that it'll be complicated and that it'll take a long time, but than things happened very fast. We found Florian Alvers. We met him before, coz he was playing in a band which supported us once. We didn't entice him away from his band; the band had already broke up. We gave it a try and it worked out pretty good.

Watch the show tonight and you'll understand!

So, luck were on your side and it turned out in a different way than you expect.

We were really lucky!

Especially when you are not one of the big names in business, then you can't take years between two albums.

On the level we are, we have to work hard! I mean, I would have played guitar as long as it would be necessary at shows. We would have continued playing live, but I wanted the change as soon as possible. I'm really happy that on stage I just have to sing and I think that's obvious.

I have to confess that now I'm really happy that Björn made that decision. He has more possibilities on stage to perform and it's more fun for him as well as for us.

You said that you have to work hard and I think that's the reason why you decided to play as much shows as possible, even if the package tour was cancelt.

Whenever a promoter said he would give us the chance to play, to do a Warhead show we used the chance. The tour was promoted in the print media. The CDs had stickers with the tour dates and so we wanted to take the chance!

We don't want to be the band which is promoted and than didn't come to play! We was scheduled to play at the Iron Savior tour which we told a lot of people, but that it didn't happen for us....

So you won't do it the same way Riot did.... ;-)

That's no fun and we definately wanted to do the shows!

What's coming next for you? This is kind of a tour, some shows been cancelt and so it's not several weeks of touring, more like several single shows...


Anything planned so far?

Two shows... At the end of May in Lingen (May, 26th) and Mellingen (May, 27th; both are in Germany).

No more shows scheduled right now, but we want to play as much as possible live! Last year we played just one show! And that's not what we want!!!

How are the reactions outside Germany? Any plans to play somewhere?

The album is released in Europe, partly in Eastern Europe... Can't tell you exactly... We would like to do a bigger tour which leads us through Europe for sure, but right now we just played a show in Belgium and one in Sweden together with Grave Digger.

Which is a decent package! It fits, coz you are from the same, or almost the same genre...

Grave Digger is more a true metal band and we tend to play a thrashier style...

I don't want to compare you, but it fits better then to play with e.g. a prog metal band.

At the show in Offenbach a few fans with Grave Digger shirts showed up.

But a lot of Grave Digger fans know us from the shows we played with them. We would like to play with a band like Testament, Overkill or Grip Inc., something like that to introduce ourselves to another kind of audience.

I see, that is interesting....

We concentrate on the German market first, then Europe and everything else is like a topping...

Perhaps we play at a festival in the Czech Republic this summer....

I guess that the interested ones can get latest news at you homepage.

Yes, I think we have a pretty good one and for us it's very important! We try to be up-to-date, always...

That's the chance you have with the internet...

If people don't know, if a show will be or who is opening, check our homepage! So, don't call our management or label!

Especially on this tour it was important, coz many shows been cancelt and I heard that many fans called the local promoter to get info. Check our page and you'll found all the latest news!

I guess you're involved....

Not with the programming, but we write the words. News and everything else, in the beginning it didn't really worked out, but now we are satisfied. If fans sign our guest book or have questions, we try to answer them and try to keep in touch with the fans.

I think the fans appreciate it.

Definately! They really appreciate it and are very surprise at first that they got a reply. For a young band that's the chance, to use the internet to make a difference.

They make a difference! Live they offered a killer show, even if just a handful of fans is there and they are keeping in touch with there fans. These guys know that they can't do this without their fans and so Warhead is a band of fans for fans!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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