NITROGODS "The Fuse Has Been Lit..."

By Professor Jocko

When it comes to putting guns, drinking, and hard-rockin fun to music, Nitrogods have it down to a science. If you are looking for some new music to party to this summer, look no further than this self-titled debut from a German-based trio that has fused many traditional musical styles into one unique album. I recently had the privilege to review this spectacular album, and as an added bonus, an interview with founding member and guitarist, Henny Wolter.

Coined as a "No Bullshit Rock n Roll" band, their musical style takes on a sound of its own, and is reflected in the interview below, where Wolter is a guy that just loves to play the music he loves, and doesn't sacrifice any of his beliefs to please the media...he just plays to please his fans, and I'm one of them! Their kick-ass attitude reflects heavily into their music and their personalities which seem to be so down to earth, to the point where they would be a great bunch of guys to hang out with at a strip club and drink some whiskey with and fight some yuppies afterwards.

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: How did the band form? Give me a brief history of the band?

HENNY WOLTER: I had played with Klaus Sperling in Primal Fear before from 2000-2002. Klaus knew Oimel from a former band and he introduced me to him.
I heard him sing and I thought: I gotta have this guy for a band.When I left PF for the second time in 2010 ,we formed Nitrogods and took it from there.

WC: How does the style of the Nitrogods songwriting differ from what was done with Primal Fear and Sinner?

HW: First of all, we work together in the rehearsal room when we write. That makes a big difference. The music itself is pretty different to Primal Fear. Nitrogods is simple, heavy Rock´n Roll rather than metal.

WC: How has working with guest musicians such as Dan McCafferty (Nazareth) and Fast Eddie Clark (Fastway/Motorhead)  changed any elements of the songs they played on or the band in general? Do you see yourselves working with them again?

HW: We were very happy and lucky to get these guys to perform on the album.
I´m not sure if this would work a second time. Getting the schedules together was the hardest part, because these musicians are constantly touring, especially Naz with about 200 shows a year. The songs were there before the guests joined in. So there were no parts changed. But Dan went freestyle on the outro of “Whiskey Wonderland”. He is in great shape and we kept everything he did to the song.

WC: What plans does the band have beyond releases and tours? Does Nitrogods have any prospects on future guest musicians?

HW: We don´t think about that now. There might be guests on the next one, but we need the right songs for the right persons. I won´t have guests just to have them. So we´ll have to wait what we come up with.

WC: How do any members of the band feel about selling music online and how it feels about illegal music downloads? Do you have any predictions about the future of CD and vinyl sales and if digital music will ever completely replace these formats?

HW: Of course we hate illegal downloads. It kills bands and record companies.
Legal downloads seem to be the future thing. It´s a possible scenario that they might be the future of selling music. The vinyl will never completely go, cause it sounds great. In fact, our record will be released on a limited vinyl edition here in Europe.But that´s just a thing for a small community of music lovers, I guess.

WC: Will what was done with Sinner & Primal Fear have any effect on what Nitrogods have lined up for upcoming tours? What I mean is,  do you think the fan-base will be the same? 

HW: I think there will be fans of my former band Thunderhead, that will dig Nitrogods. Not really sure about Primal Fear and Sinner though. But what I do now, is really more the type of music I was raised on.

WC: When you compose a song where do you get your ideas from and how does a song evolve?

HW: There are different inspirations to every song. When we started writing,
 we just put all our best ideas together and mixed them up.Some were great and some sucked. So we kept working with the good ones until we ran out of ideas.
I remember these phases of the songwriting very well. We would just sit in Oimels basement, smoke some, drink some Irish Whiskey and listen to old The Who and Clash. Then, all of a sudden we came up with "Whiskey Wonderland" or "Zombietrain". It was so cool, because that´s how I imagine writing songs.

WC: What tracks does the band most enjoy performing live and why?

HW: As far as favourite songs, I can only speak for myself. I just love "Whiskey Wonderland", cause it irritates the hell out of metal fans that come to our shows. That Bo Diddley rhythm is just not the right thing for a Primal Fear fan. But in the end, they´ve all banged their heads to it.

WC: What do you think Nitrogods need to do to gain more exposure and fans? Has the Internet helped spread the word about the band and its music?

HW: Yes. It sure has helped to have the trailer and  the videos on Youtube. And it helps that people know us as musicians. I think the internet is good for unknown bands to a certain point. On the other hand, it gives us so much crap everyday, that it´s hard to filter the information that we want.I get so much bandspam everyday, it´s sickening. That is annoying and makes people ignorant, because 95 % is crap. So the Net has its good and bad sides for sure.

WC: Could you take us through some highlights of the self-titled Nitrogods studio album?

HW: The whole album is a highlight to me.:) . Of course, getting to work with Dan and Eddie was one highlight . The opener "Black Car Driving Man" is just killer. I´m a riff guy. And that riff is right on the money. I also love playing the bottleneck on "Lipsynch Stars", wich has great lyrics, by the way. And of course all the surf guitar solos when I get to play the old Gretsch. I´m too into this. Can´t be objective about highlights.

WC: Some might say that Nitrogods are a heavy metal band because of the origins; but have strong roots in blues and boogie-rock; do you agree with this and do you think being classed as a metal band helps or hinders a band's perception?

HW: Nitrogods is definitely a Rock band rather than a metal band.It wouldn´t help to call us metal, cause that would adress the wrong people and they would hate it. If you are a metalhead, this is probably not the right music for you. Unless you consider Motörhead, Rose Tattoo or ZZTop metal. (For sure, I consider Motorhead metal...and also Zeke--Dr. M)

WC: Nitrogods successfully meld heavy music with more classical styles. Was this a conscious decision when the band started out or has this sound developed during the course of writing songs?

HW: No. To play this kind of music was our intention from the start. The hardest part was not to record it, but to write and arrange the whole thing. We put the focus on keeping it simple and raw. With very few overdubs and no correctional devices whatsoever. So if a part was played with the right attitude but the wrong chords, we left it.

WC: Do you or members of the band live by any traditional standards of a typical rock star; groupies, heavy partying, etc? If not, then what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

HW: I guess we´re all too old and not successful enough to really go mental
 as far as groupies and big parties. We all like our bikes and cars, and we drive´em as much as we can, hang out, drink and barbecue together. Oimel likes fishing and hunting. I like my 68 Corvette. We all have families. That´s about it.

WC: What was the last CD/release you got for your own enjoyment?

HW: Haha. Best of Straycats. Honestly.

WC: What was the last gig you went to just because you wanted to check out the band?

HW: I went to see a German band called Guano Apes last Tuesday.They´re pretty big over here in Europe. A girl fronted, snowboard crossover kind of music. The chick kicks ass. Check her out on Youtube.

WC: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?

 HW: Artie Fufkin going:”Kick my Ass”!

WC: Any message to your fans, or any closing thoughts you’d like to get out there?

HW: Support your favourite bands. Don´t download. Buy their albums and go to their shows. It keeps ém alive!