FEBRUARY 18th, 2018



Metal Titans had an opportunity to chat with Tankard drummer Olaf Zissel who was doing international press for a new Tankard compilation issued by Nuclear Blast Records. The album is titled ‘Hymns For The Drunk’ and is a hits album of sorts. The interview was a good time, it was laid back, relaxed and a little off center. Grab your favorite brew and scan through the Q&A. And don’t forget to pick up ‘Hymns Of The Drunk’ [2018] and their previous effort ‘One Foot In The Grave’ [2017] both on Nuclear Blast Records.

Ruben Mosqueda

MetalTitans: The international metal scene has changed over the course of the Tankard’s career. Since you’ve been in the band what changes or trends do you think helped heavy music? What changes and trends have harmed it?

Olaf Zissel: I think the biggest change in the past was the web and it helps and harms in both ways… Every new thing is just a few clicks away but it's also lost in seconds because there is so many to check out.

MetalTitans: Prior to you enlisting in Tankard; how familiar were you with the band’s work? Were you sweating bullets during the audition?

Olaf Zissel: I'm always happy if I've finished my work at the studio. That is not what I like most in being in a band. The songwriting usually isn't finished but I have to start to do my tracks and that's sometimes confusing if I receive updated files with a lot of changes.

MetalTitans: Tankard has re-issued several albums over the course of the past few years. How do you think the flood of product will impact the new album ‘Hymns For The Drunk?’

Olaf Zissel: This is a thing I don't care for much. Perhaps, you have to address this question to AFM? We had a new album out last summer and all the Noise records stuff re released on vinyl shortly after. If they think it is the right time to go along with another one, we can't stop them.

MetalTitans: How much do you guys really like beer? I mean the band is named after drinkware after all, but is it legit?

Olaf Zissel: We are really into the stuff and since I brewed my own beer for the first time in 2014, when I was on vacation in South Africa.  So at this point we are really serious or in other words; we are the only true metal band! No killing of virgins, no running true the woods armed like knights and no fighting against dragons. Just serious beer fanatics. 

MetalTitans: What’s some international brews that you would recommend to our North American readers?

Olaf Zissel: I recommend leave your fingers away from every international accident brew. Go for the local stuff that gives  you an idea from the taste of the area you just in. 

MetalTitans: Have you tried any of the American ‘microbrews?’ What do you think about those?

Olaf Zissel: We don’t have access[to microbrews], since we are not over there [North America] often, so that's still on my  to do list.

MetalTitans: I can’t imagine having a warm beer, what’s that like? Is it awkward for you to drink it cold?

Olaf Zissel: If the beer is good there is no need to cool it down so much, but there is also no reason to drink it too hot. Belgium has tried to export their “Gluekriek” stuff in the early 90's but not with a big success in Germany. It's a cherry based brew with a lot of spices and sometimes mixed with orange juice and the reason why that is not so big in Germany is simply that it doesn't match the purity law from 1516 and that means that it is a drink but not a beer.

MetalTitans: Any chance that Tankard will be joining the likes of Megadeth and Iron Maiden with your own adult beverage soon? Have you been approached about that? I figure you’d be a likely candidate for your own brew.

Olaf Zissel: We tried a few times but as small as we are we couldn't handle the work shipping and storage of bottles.

MetalTitans: How do intend on promoting ‘Hymns Of The Drunk?’ Anything for North America booked at the this point in time?

Olaf Zissel: At this time we still promote our latest regular album ‘One Foot In The Grave’ [Nuclear Blast Records] and we are traveling around the world for that. If we will get a serious offer from North American promoter we  think about it but they don't ask us so much. As for  the  ‘Hymns’ album, I just can say that it's an AFM thing and I don't know how they are going to promote that.

MetalTitans: Tankard performed some shows  a few years back as part of “Big Teutonic 4” tour (Europe’s answer to ‘The Big 4’), what was that tour like for your guys? Did you see a little bit of a spike in albums sales in North America?

Olaf Zissel:  Let me clarify, we did not tour. As I remember we just played two festivals together and that was not easy to schedule it but there are still requests to repeat that. So who knows if we will do it someday again?

MetalTitans: In closing, what’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received in your life? And who did it come from?

Olaf Zissel: I don't really know what is the best, but I remember the first one spoken from my mother…   “Do not eat with your mouth open!”

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