Hauptmann Feuerschwanz: “We are adults now, more matured. The meaning of the lyrics is deeper. The humour is there, but more hidden behind the words”
Terwijl ik dit schrijf is Feuerschwanz op nr. 1 binnengekomen in de Duitse album charts met het nieuwe album ‘Memento Mori’ dat uitkwam op de laatste dag van 2021. Dezelfde avond kon je ook nog een livestream bekijken om het nieuwe jaar al feestend in te zetten, want deze was een troost omdat de tournee in januari geen doorgang kan vinden en ook bedoeld als release party. We wilden wel eens kennismaken met de muzikanten achter dit succes bij onze oosterburen en dus praatten we met de zanger die zich presenteert als ‘Hauptmann Feuerschwanz’.
Vera Matthijssens Ι 10 januari 2022
How are you doing at the moment?
Well, in December it was a bit dark. We had the message that the tour is not happening in January. We are quite sad about that and now we have the release at 31/12 and we decided to play a little concert, a streaming concert. The release party will be on line, that can happen. We have very good technicians and camera men, I think that will work.
You are a band with high work ethics. In 2020 the album ‘Das Elfte Gebot’ came out, then we had the DVD ‘Die Letzte Schlacht’ in 2021 and now the new album ‘Memento Mori’ is already coming up…
Yes, the pandemic time is not very good for us and we decided to work more in the studio on a new production of an album and for us it is good to have a common goal. ‘Memento Mori’ is the result of it.
This should be a direct successor of ‘Das Elfte Gebot’. In which way can we see that?
Indeed, there is a direct link between ‘Das Elfte Gebot’ and ‘Memento Mori’, music-wise and lyrically. It is a very deep message to live your life NOW, because the death can be waiting, but ‘Memento Mori’ is more metal and we have decided to use more heavy riffs and double bass playing of the drums and so on. In the beginning Feuerschwanz was more medieval folk music.
You should also go away from the simple humour, like you said, there is a message in the lyrics; the music is still catchy, but texts are well-thought…
Indeed, we are adults now, more matured. The meaning of the lyrics is deeper. The humour is there, but more hidden behind the words.
You started as a parody band of all these medieval folk metal bands, but now you really are a part of that scene. Isn’t that strange?
Yes. When we decided to go to the metal scene in 2018, with the album ‘Methämmer’, we grew more into a serious band. People saw it and liked it.
Also your old fans, the fans of the early days?
There are some old fans who hate it, but this is normal when you decide to develop the band. We are older now, but still having a very good time. We are drinking, partying and Feuerschwanz live remains a party band, but the songs go deeper.
You are six members. How do you write songs?
The main song writer is Prinz Hodenherz, but we are a team of song-writers. The guitar players of Feuerschwanz are the music team. I and Hoodie are the lyric team. Hoodie is in both teams, so he is the mastermind. He has the best connection with our engineer in the studio and so on.
Yes, he really looks like a Viking…
Indeed he looks like a Viking and maybe a little bit with the hair of the singer of Iron Maiden in the eighties. He likes that band very much, he is a fan of Iron Maiden.
Let us shine a light on some of the songs. We have a ballad. Is that the first time you wrote a ballad and what can you tell about this song?
It is not the first time, but this ballad ‘Das Herz Eines Drachen’ has deep connection with my biography. It is about the connection between a son and his father. The son wants to be more connected to the father with emotional feelings, but there is a wall between them, because the father fought in a war and his emotional feelings are traumatised. That is my biography. I have a very old father and he was in W.W. II and my second profession is psychological therapist. For me this song means a lot. The meaning of the song is to find the heart of the father, the dragon heart is already there and now you can feel it after a long time.
With ‘Krampus’ you are going to have another chart buster I think…
Yes, ‘Krampus’ is a very nice thing, I, the Hauptmann and Hoodie, we don’t like Christmas. We don’t like the over-consumption around the Christmas time, the commercial Christmas. The krampus is very destructive, he is a demon from old times. We like it to have a krampus in our house.
And the video for ‘Krampus’ is also special, with a monster in a cave…
Yes, we had a cave in the Franconian area and the monster in the cave is a very deep psychological thing. Very cool for us to have this images in our songs.
The title track is a big opener ‘Memento Mori’. Any thoughts on that one?
Yes, it is an old sentence in Latin. Memento Mori was in former times a slave saying to a general ‘memento mori’ because when they have the victory, the slave said: you are overall human, but for us there is another meaning to be connected with the dead people of your family and you can feel the connection of you and the dead people. There is an energetic connection with it.
Another song I liked is ‘Ultima Nocte’. The guitar accents reminded me a bit of Amon Amarth and later it reminds me of Powerwolf. Do you agree on that?
Yes, we like many bands. Amon Amarth is one of them, Powerwolf, Sabaton, Arch Enemy. We mixed up the riffing structures of this and in this case ‘Ultima Nocte’ goes a little bit in the direction of Amon Amarth, but in the typical Feuerschwanz mixture with the folk instruments. We do all the choirs and harmony vocals ourselves.
In ‘Rausch Der Barbarei’ I hear some oriental influences in the melody and it is sung in a different way…
That is true. In the lyrics ‘Rausch Der Barbarei’ has a serious message about the use of aggression and rage. Today an aggressive human is not a good human, but it is our ethnicity. We play a little bit with the words of aggression. Barbarei reminds of the time when the Germanic tribes fought against Rome, but we want to have a healthy use of our own aggression.
There is not only the regular album that comes out on the last day of 2021, but there is a special edition with instrumental versions of all the songs and a cover album.
Yes we have this special edition, called ‘Drachenblut’ edition. It comes with a calendar and some pictures of the band. And we have an LP edition that comes with a big book of the album in a bigger format. Very nice! And we have an earbook with three CD’s. There is also the cover album ‘Die Glorreichen Sieben’ included. We even have an edition on cassettes, very old school of the eighties. This is very exotic, but I like it. In former times I put my ideas on cassette. Very cool.
I had a great time watching ‘Warriors Of The World United’, your cover from Manowar. You made a video clip for it and that rules!
Yes, thanks! Many people are Manowar fan, since their childhood. I and Hans are fans of the eighties Manowar and Hoodie, Johanna and Jan are fans from the nineties. I am glad you like the clip, because we have good friends as guest singers and it brings a good mood, a feeling of being united.
We have a message of trying to reach our goals in these pandemic times if we stay together. It is really hard to make your profession of being musician these times.
Is Feuerschwanz for you and most band members a hobby or is it a job?
It is a second part of profession, but Hoodie is a professional musician. He has Feuerschwanz and another band dArtagnan. He is the song writer of two bands. So he is a full pro. So for him it is not easy. In January 2022 the tour is cancelled, we have new dates for the tour in 2023, more than one year later. It is very complicated to arrange new dates of a tour. We hope in the summertime to play festivals in a more normal way; like in former times and step by step we come to our new normal life for playing live. Nobody knows, so we look forward step by step.
Feuerschwanz has mainly success in German speaking countries. Did it change a bit since you are signed with Napalm Records?
Yes, since we signed with Napalm, we have a more international connection and this is very good for Feuerschwanz, so we decided to have some cover versions in English and so we wanted to show people of English speaking countries our mixture of music. It is very interesting what the future will bring in this respect, perhaps a European tour or so. Until now we always toured in German speaking countries, but I think we need a big partner as a support band or so or a festival and then we can go to other European countries I think.
Welcome in Belgium and the Netherlands when touring is possible. Do you have a message for (potential) fans?
My message for the fans is that we are thankful and grateful for the support in nearly two years of the pandemic times. We hope for a better future and many concerts.