Raging Metal in the Madhouse
Raging Metal in the Madhouse
Madhouse has returned with their own kickass brand of raging heavy metal. Founded in 1987, Madhouse unleashed a few well received demos before calling it quits in 1991. With heavy metal still seething within, Madhouse would regroup in 2014, presenting a brand new demo entitled Pure Metal and then at long last their debut full lengther Metal Or Die! Now in this pandemic age of 2020, Madhouse has infected the world with Braindead, their next headbanging chapter of auditory insanity – now available from Iron Shield Records. Highwire Daze recently interviewed Didi ‘Shark’ Schulz, vocalist for Madhouse to find out more about their mighty Braindead magnum opus and other fist pumping topics of intrigue. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Madhouse, and how long the band has been together.
Hi Ken, nice to hear from you, this is Didi, vocalist of MADHOUSE, from Hamburg/Germany, Thanks for drawing your interest in MADHOUSE. Madhouse was foundet by Carsten Krekow and Thomas Gamlien in 1987. After 2 successfully demo tapes and shows together with Zed Yago and Darxon, the band broke in 1991 and every musician joined bands in the local scene.
What is the local music scene like in your city?
We are located in Hamburg, home from bands like HELLOWEEN, GAMMA RAY, RUNNING WILD, PARAGON and IRON ANGEL. There is a great solidarity between all bands and Hamburg is a really nice place to live, many clubs, many bands and the Reeperbahn of course.
How did you wind up signing with Iron Shield Records?
I´ve met Duck, chief of IRON SHIELD RECORDS on a festival and gave him our Demo CD PURE METAL, 3 hours later, he told me me, that he´ll gonna sign us, that wound us up. There was another band on this festival, who asked Duck, but we’ve got the slot … sometimes it’s very easy, haha 🙂
Is there any overall story or concept behind the Braindead title?
No, not really, but actually we have hard times worldwide and there are so many people, who tried to say us, what’s good or bad, or right or wrong … don’t tell us, what to do, we are no cheeps, we don’t follow the blind, we´re not braindead!
Select two songs from Braindead and what inspired the lyrics.
Oh, when I’m writing lyrics, there are several influences, my dreams and nightmares, the news in TV or only a cool story. Braindead is about false prophets and our political leaders, Save Your Soul about a nightmare, Dark Nights Of Avalon is about a gaming junkie, Oscar is a highway killer. I took all, what inspired me.
Who did the cover art for Braindead and how much input did you have on it?
We gave it to graffix.4u and told em our ideas and they practiced it, easy going.
What has it been like to release a new album right in the middle of a pandemic and so much social injustice in the world? Have you had any shows or tours cancelled because of the pandemic?
Oh yeah, definitely yes, we had to cancel the Metal Gods Open Air in Berlin, together with Assassin, Macbeth, our label buddies Indian Nightmare and Gun Barrel and our release shows as well. That’s hard.
What could one expect from a live Madhouse show?
What you wanna expect, first of all I had to say, that we are looking for a new drummer, cause Paul has left the band due to healthy problems. We have tight guitar duo and an asskicking bass player. On Open Air Shows we burn the stage with Pyros, this is not allowed in small clubs, but we had a fist held high fan base and after every show, we have more fans than before.
If Madhouse could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Annihilator and Flotsam & Jetsam, this would be great, cause they are as crazy, as we are. I think, that would be a nice package.
When you look back on the old Madhouse demos from the late 80’s, what do you think of them now?
We´ve got good reviews that time and good shows. After our demo MADHOUSE in 1989 we should sign a record deal, but this contract didn’t come about. Our music was as wild and thrashy as we were, now we are a little bit older and wiser, but as crazy like 30 years ago.
Germany is famous for their BEER!!!! What is your favorite beer of choice and why?
I personally prefer ASTRA, the sponsor of the St. Pauli Soccer team, Jever and Krombacher, cause they all have a good taste.
And are you currently involved with any other bands or projects outside of Madhouse?
No, none of us is involved in other bands, we all had jobs and families. If you play in a band, you have to give 110% of everything, this is not possible if you have two bands or more. I have some friends, having their main band and a cover band, but that’s not my cup of tea.
What’s up next for Madhouse?
What´s up next? Songwriting, there are some songs in the pool from the BRAINDEAD recordings, who needed a fresh-up, to be convenient to be part of our new record. As I told, we have to check some drummers, there is a tough candidate in sight, hope it works, than the pack is back.
Any final words of wisdom?
Be prepared for the wicked and the scared, stay heavy, stay well. Life is too short for a long face, Take the best of all and do it your way.
Didi ‘Shark’ Schulz – vocals
Carsten Krekow – guitars
Thomas Gamlien – guitars
Lars Rothbarth – bass
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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