VENDETTA (for Metal Centre)

Somewhere at the turn of the 80’s-90’s of the last century, being a teenager and young Metal fan then a poster of VENDETTA’s album “Go And Live… Stay And Die” hanged on the wall. Then without knowing this music, I felt it must be something great. Some time later I was able to buy a piratical tape with the album “Brain Damage” of the same band. This bass-line in the introduction and the all music made the name VENDETTA stay in my head for many years. And even though the band has ceased to exist, that I still feel great sentiment for their music… It’s been many years, the band returned on the stage, but I learned about it recently… It turned out that they have already next three great Thrash albums and will go on the European tour and quite coincidentally Metal Centre got media patronage for this tour… so it would be a sin not to do an interview with them… It is a great honor for us to host this legendary German band on our website!

Interview was prepared by Pavel (Metal Centre)


Greet! Why “Vendetta”, not German “Rache” or “Vergeltung”?
Heiner: Haha – Good first question. It was not usual that time – it was cool to have something from another language.

The band began existing many years ago, 33 years… How do you remember those times?
Heiner: We were young – haha – We only wanted to play music – We ad no plan about the music business, and everything was cool for us – It was a great time!!

What bands did inspire you at that time?
Heiner: Everything aggressive, METALLICA, SLAYER, ANTHRAX, it was new, means “Wow” that time…

Your first album “Go And Live… Stay And Die” (whose I had the cover-art on a poster on the wall of my room) was released in 1987 on the vinyl. Then such action was the norm, today a vinyl record is a rarity… Besides there was such a term as Speed Metal, something between Heavy and Thrash Metal. Did the term Speed Metal match to this album?
Heiner: I am not sure , many people are saying it’s Thrash, but I think its just good metal. I’m happy that vinyl is going forward again. Our album „Feed the Extermination” went out on vinyl and the album “Hate” is getting re-released on vinyl in November. I think – That’s great.

I think you always played Thrash Metal but someone people sometimes called your music as Speed Metal. And do you still listen to this album sometimes?
Heiner: Not so much – haha – I’m also back in times when we play the old songs live – haha.

A year later you released another album, “Brain Damage”, on the vinyl (in Poland I had it on the piratical tape). This introduction to the first song sounds in my head today! The interesting bass, introducing energetic, powerful and melodious Thrash Metal. Why did you stop to exist a few years later?
Heiner: We had a lot of problems, personal, and the band did not work like before, also private things, it was a little bit too much for young guys, I think.

But still in 1988 you were involved in a split with the English SABBAT (notabene nice band but does not exist). I suspect that such the 7 “vinyl is hard to find and probably costs a lot today…
Heiner: I don’t know if people pay money for… haha – it was a cool thing that time, we went in touch with lots of metal fans – i think it was a flexi-disc??? Right?? haha.

On the Internet I did not find someone to sell it… The demo of 2003 announced the return of the band after many years of non-existence. How did VENDETTA come back on the stage?
Heiner: It starts with a gig, where we recorded a LIVE 2000 CD – just for Fun, then we were looking for musicians. First was Lubber on the drums. He brought Mario into the band later.

Was it hard to go back to the scene at that time?
Heiner: Of course, and we needed a singer. The labels told us to search for. We also did not know how the people react after all that years.

The new songs were still in the style of the old VENDETTA, albeit with a fresh approach to the playing and of course with a different vocal sound…
Heiner: Thank you – and yes, the style is old school and a modern style. Mario is able to sing loads of different vocals, he has a lot ob possibilities to sing, so we can do lots of things, but he is singing in another style to throw out the words. I would say, more aggressive.

In the song “Hannibal” appears the lyrics with the words “Kill’em all”. Do not you mind that the phrase is associated with METALLICA?
Heiner: No, the lyrics are from Daxx , and the theme of the song is another one.

With your return you recorded 3 albums for discs. As you said before „Feed the Extermination” was released on the vinyl and „Hate” will be released on the vinyl… Do you release your last album “Th 5th” on the vinyl too?
Mario: First CD’s yes, but “Feed the Extermination” was thrown out by vinyl and CD, “Hate” is coming back end of this year on vinyl. I am not sure by our new album „The 5th” – I hope too… in the future.

Somewhere on the way of the band there was a change the line-up. Kalus, You have remained alone from the old line-up. What happened to the old members?
Heiner: Daxx is not playing live music anymore, but he is still writing songs, sometimes lyrics for us, and also for PARADOX in the past. Mickey is still playing, Samson i don’t know exactly.

And how did the new people get to the band?
Heiner : Lubber, our drummer, and Frank Heller were playing together in a band called BLOODY CLIMAX. They also had a record deal and they were on tour with RAILWAY and W.A.S.P in the past. Mario was also in a band with Lubber before. Frank Schölch and Opf are from the Metal-Scene in our area. We know each other before, by playing gigs and party…
As we started we were complete without Samson. Then Mickey left the band and Daxx came back.
We wanted to have a second guitar player, so Frank Heller joined us the first time. A few years later Frank Schölch joined for Daxx and we had only one guitar player again. He quit after “Feed…” album so Frank Heller came back and a few weeks after Michael ”OPF” Opfermann completed the Line Up.
Uff … I did not really get understanding these changes of line-up but the final effect is important…

The last album “The 5th” from February this year… Is there anything you do not like on this album?
Heiner: No, I think we chose the right songs. The critics were OK, haha,

And is there something in the music of this album that has not yet been on your previous productions?
Heiner: That’s difficult, because music is always changing, you’re getting older, music changes, and of course people means musicians and fans are changing, Listening is changing.

I love instrumental classic-guitar insertions in the style of “The Search”. Once upon a time the bands more often inserted these types of musical passages, I remember even the song “Mode III” of ATOMKRAFT (they also tried to return after many years of silence, but I do not know if they still do something)… Despite of the years and line-up changes VENDETTA still keeps that style.
Mario: Thank you. The song is by Frank Heller. Also “Nevermind” written because his father and mother died short time before. And why we should not try a slow song or an instrumental one…
All the other songs from the new album are written and arranged by Klaus „Heiner” Ullrich.

Well, this bass introduction to the song “Religion is a Killer”, like in the song “War” from the album “Brain Damage”… or of course another classic thing in Thrash Metal, this is obviously before mentioned a power-ballad “Nevermind”… It all proves that you do not succumb contemporary trends…
Mario: It’s not easy, If you play only old school, some people say you are not going forward, you don’t advance, and if your playing a complete new style, it’s not old school for the other people. We hope they recognize the band… haha.

You had the opportunity to watch how Metal music was changed over the years, how it intertwined with other musical genres, how it evolved… What do not you like in modern (Modernist) Metal, and maybe is there something you like among these modern post-metal-core new bands?
Heiner: I am listening to everything, there is no rock or metal i don’t agree with. But I like DISTURBED for example.
Mario: Yep DISTURBED and FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. They created a new thing, something special, I think.

And when it comes to contemporary image of fans of Modern Metal music? I mean the departure from the stereotypical image of long-haired naughty boy (dressed in narrow jeans, leather clothes and high boots) to short hair, nice clothes, personal culture, often musical education, etc.
Heiner: The image is not like in the past. Today everybody could be a metal fan. A doctor, a lawyer, short hair, long hair. It depends on the person how to wear clothes and hair. But I think there are also more people listening to metal music. Look how crowded are concerts, especially open airs…

You are about to start touring across South-East Europe, promoting the latest album. The organizer of the tour is the Ukrainian company. How did you get agreement with them?
Mario: They were in touch with our manager, Michael Hansen. They checked out everything.

What attractions do you prepare for fans during this tour?
Heiner: I think we’ll play songs from all albums, of course also from “Brain Damage” and “Go And Live… Stay And Die” – we hope they want to listen to old school stuff.

You will share the scene with the Canadian DARK MINISTRY. I do not know this band but I know that ex-drummer of EXCITER play there…
Heiner: Yeah, I think that fits together – old band – same age… haha.

But it’s probably not the only concerts in this year?
Mario: No, we re planning more shows in Europe in November and December, for example Germany and Italy.

How does a person of your age feel on stage that performing so energetic music? Do you care about your physical fitness?
Heiner: Haha – yeah – we are getting older, we are not in the twenties but it works… haha.

So, I wish you great concerts and the hearts of the fans! Last words I belong for the band…
Heiner: We are happy to be on tour, join us.
Mario: and keep Thrashing.


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