lassmates Gerre (Real Name: Andreas Geremia; vocals), Axel Katzmann (a.k.a. Axel; guitar), Frank Thorwarth (bass), along with Oliver Werner (drums) and second guitarist Bernhard Rapprich developed what is probably the only heavy metal band dedicated solely to the consumption and celebration of alcohol, Tankard. The name would be chosen from a dictionary definition of the meaning as "beer mug".
Not long after the band's formation, Thorwarth and Gerre switched roles, while Bernhard Rapprich left the band as his conservative father did not want him, "hanging around with a bunch of drunks". He would be replaced by Andy Bulgaropoulos.
They staggered their way into the music world with two demos and a tour with Sodom before their 'Noise Records' debut album, Zombie Attack (1986), a concept album of sorts. Chemical Invasion (1987) was next, it's subject matter centering on commentary against the practice of contaminating their fine German beer with additives. Shit-Faced was probably the most noted track of their career; anthemic of sorts, it was featured on their The Morning After (1988) release. This album described exactly what the Tankard drinker probably felt like. The hang-over set in, however, as their German humor failed to make the rest of the world laugh, believing their music was nothing more than mediocre late '80s styled thrash metal.
Their style and subject preference changed little during the 1990s while the binging went on with the albums Hair Of The Dog (1990), The Meaning Of Life (1990), Fat Ungly And Live (1991; with Oliver Werner departing on drums shortly after), Stone Cold Sober (1992) and Alien (1993), all of whom celebrated the 'joys' of pub life. Stone Cold Sober featured the second line-up change and the second drum replacement with Arnulf Tunn assuming the drum roll from Werner.
Their beer finally went skunky when they tried to go serious on Two-Faced (1993). With only a 6-pack left, they tried one more time with a record featuring traditional German drink songs titled Tankwart (1994). By this time, however, the pub was closed and the world was tired of driving the 'porcelain bus' after each release. So after one last for the road, The Tankard (1995), with Olaf Zissel on drums, they took their basic and unaltered late '80s thrash metal sound and staggered on home.
Instead of emptying their steins and checking into A.A., however, 'Century Media' took over where 'Noise' left off, bought them another round, and out popped Disco Destroyer (1998). With the line-up change of Andreas Gutjahr taking over on guitar from Bulgaropulos, they finally threw their 'three sheets to the wind' and declared themselves the Kings Of Beer in 2000. Who's going to argue with them? Their next effort, now on 'AFM', was 2002's B-Day (the "B" in question most likely meaning "Beer"). It was happy hour at the beer house for Beast of Bourbon (2004), The Beauty and the Beer (2006), Thirst (2008) and Vol(l)ume 14 (2010) followed before moving over to 'Nuclear Blast' for A Girl Called Cerveza (2012), R.I.B. (2014) and One Foot in the Grave (2017).
In 2015, Zissel was hospitalized with what was suspected to be a stroke; he was replaced temporarily by Gerd Lücking (of-Holy Moses).
See Less... ⏫
Tankard in Sélestat - 2017
Photo by: Guillaume merkel
CC BY-SA 4.0
|RRCA File Code||REV00357|