Everything old is new again with Outrage

Black metal artist Outrage have re-recorded some of their best classic songs for today's generation on their album entitled "Go To Hell". I had the opportunity to interview Udo F. "The Bringer of Doom" (guitar) about the band, as well as their interesting way of recording this album with many of the original equipment from the 80's.

Outrage was influential in developing what was to become Black Metal. How does it feel to know you influenced this popular yet controversial genre of music?
Thanks for your compliment, but "influential" is too big of a word, as OUTRAGE has always been quite an obscure band. However I am very proud that OUTRAGE has its very own style of black metal and I am proud that the band started in the 80's when everything was still in its infancy. It feels very good thinking back when it all started. I loved that kind of music and still love it. And I love writing new songs the same way I did it then. It is like going back in time and it's bringing back part of my youth.

"Go To Hell" consists of songs written by the band in the 80's. What made you decide to revive these classic songs?
These songs were the very beginning of the band, they carry the spirit of the 80's and at every show we played people asked for these songs. So, why should we come up with new songs for our first official CD? Another reason is that we still love playing them. By the way, the song "Hot on the Trail" is the only song that was not written in the 80's. It is from 2006.

The production quality of the album is great. It is my understanding you recorded these songs without using modern day techniques. You also used old guitar equipment including the original guitar from the 1980's. Why did you choose to record the album in that fashion and how is the guitar holding up?
Thank you! Yes, that's right. Besides the digital recording, we did not use any modern day techniques. In the studio we played all songs the way we used to play them in the past. The drums were played live, recorded with microphones in front of every drum, also a microphone was set in front of the old Marshall and bass went directly into the mixer. We did not change anything. That is why the new song versions are as close as they can be to the old recordings.

I took the old demo tapes from the 80's out of a box from my attic, listened to them several times and tried to catch the spirit of it. It was my aim to transport the spirit of the songs from the demo tape to a CD, from the past into the present.

Then I took the same old red guitar from 1983, the same old Marshall amplifier, the same guitar effects and even the same guitar plectrum. The plectrum became thinner and thinner through all the years, but it still does a good job! I wouldn't buy a new guitar.

And when we were in the studio and started recording, Jowita's voice (Metal on Metal Records) suddenly came to my head saying "play the songs the way they deserve!" And that was what we exactly did.

When Frank came to the studio, he was relaxed and in a great mood as he always is. He started singing "his songs" and he only sang them one time and caught the feeling of the 80's. Just great!

Why did we choose to record the album in that fashion? Well, the 80's were Frank's and my youth time, OUTRAGE started in the 80's and our music is from the 80's. That's enough reason to hold on to the past.

By the way, the hand-numbered cassettes released by Metal on Metal together with the CD, in October 2011, contained 10 songs from our '80s demo tapes, songs which we re-recorded for the "Go to Hell" CD. The tapes are sold out now, but you can listen to all of these original recordings from the OUTRAGE fan page on MySpace: www.myspace.com/oldoutragepforzheim.

Outrage has had a turbulent past, with many line up changes, a split in 1988, and a near split in 2010. First of all, why did you guys split in 1988?
There was only one reason: Frank, Andi and I were in the army in the year of 1988, hundreds of kilometres away from our hometowns. Andi was at the navy and he couldn't come home on many weekends. That's why we couldn't meet to rehearse so often.

Some time later Frank decided to leave Pforzheim and move to the place where he did his army services. Then we split the band, because we couldn't imagine of continuing without Frank.

Was there something in particular which made you decide to bring the band back in 2004, 16 years after the split?
It happened by accident: Kevin (bass guitar) came to my birthday party in 2003, because his parents had been there and he had forgotten his door key. Kevin and I had talked about music when he discovered my guitar in the corner of the room. He told me that he was playing bass guitar and I was telling him about the 80's and OUTRAGE.

Just a few days later Kevin called me and asked me if I would start OUTRAGE again. "Yes for sure, but only if Frank would join us!" I replied.

Frank said "yes!" when I called him on the phone. Some months later the band was reborn.

What were you guys doing those 16 years when the band wasn't together? Are any of the band members married with children?
I don't know what Andi and Reini did, because we didn't keep in touch. I met Andi in 2004 at our reunion show (Frank had invited him). After that I never heard from him. Reini was also at our reunion show, but he couldn't stay for the concert. He has problems with his ears, some strange disease. I sometimes meet him on the street, because he still lives in the same city as I do.

Frank and I always kept in touch. We sometimes phoned. As I already mentioned, he moved to Wetzlar, married and got a daughter.

I don't know if Andi and Reini are married. I'm not married.

What did I do in all those years? Living my life, working free lance, travelling around the world, spending months abroad.

What do the members of the band do during their "off-time"? Does anyone have hobbies they enjoy?
Yes, of course. Yannick is fond of reading and he enjoys meditation. My hobbies are travelling, reading, music, foreign languages and cultures, séances, and all that is not from this earth. Frank told me that he hasn't got any hobbies. Since we kicked Torsten out, I have no idea what he does in his spare time.

How have things been going for the band since 2004? Have you played a lot of shows and have fans been receptive to you?
Yeah, things have been going well. In 2004 when the band had its reunion we recorded our first self-released CD called "Back for Attack". We have played some good shows and all seemed to be good. In 2005 we recorded "A Mute Reminder", in 2006 "7 is 1 Take One", our best-sold CD as well as our EP "Tales of Counted Sorrows" with guest singer "Iron Lung" from the band Warhammer on one of the songs. Then in 2008 we had our 25th anniversary. We released a CD called "Order in the Court", a DVD "Arrival at 7.11" as well as a little book in the style of a black-and-white fanzine called "OUTRAGE, the Complete Story". "Conspirator" was our last CD in 2010 before Jowita from Metal on Metal Records came and offered us a deal.

Oh yes, the fans have been very receptive to us. The situation is not quite the same as it was in the 80's, so many things have changed; also people have changed, but we are quite satisfied with it.

I understand the band almost split again in 2010. What happened in 2010 that made you guys want to split? Did the recording deal with Metal on Metal Records prevent the breakup?
It was in December 2010 when we decided to call it quits. That time we had decided to play a last concert on the 26th February 2011. There was no special reason for the splitting. I had enjoyed all the years with the band, but I thought enough is enough.

Some weeks before the last concert Jowita from Metal on Metal Records sent me an e-mail, ordering all our CDs. In the morning before the last concert all our plans were "spoiled", as Jowita sent us a record deal.

There has also been a line up change since 2010. How are the new members doing? Do you still keep in contact with any of the old members?
Yes, there was also a line-up change: Yannick, the drummer, joined the band. Thank god I met him. He is really a very good drummer, a very honest person you can always rely on and he became a very good friend. He's the only one in the band I frequently meet in my spare time. And there was Torsten, the bass player, but we kicked him out some weeks ago, because he couldn't meet the band's expectations. I don't keep in touch with him.

Yes, I'm still in contact with all old members except Andi, our drummer from the 80's and Roland of course, who died in an accident then.

What's it like performing now compared to the 80's? Do you see a lot of changes in the metal scene since its height in the 80's?
I think that the biggest difference between the 80's and today is that everything was quite new to everybody. Every month, every year there were new bands with a new style of music, new ideas, new kinds of shows, new images and personalities. Everything was still in its early stages of development. And the fans were also much more enthusiastic than today. As a band that was founded in the 80's, we played our shows as if we were unique. We were treated as if we were gods. Of course, we weren't, but it felt like that. From month to month there were new magazines reporting about new bands and artists. But there were only tapes and vinyl, no internet, no computers, no mobile phones, no today's modern techniques. The only possibility to spread your band's name or make it a little more known was to play concerts. And the only way for a fan to contact his favourite band was to send a letter. No SMS, no email, no fast way at all!

I remember that all the fans were always in a great mood, always in search of something new. Plenty of those fans came to our concerts. What a great time!

Performing today is also fun, of course, but anyway, there is a big difference between the people in the 80's and today's youth. What means "new" today? We've got everything. We are full of everything.

Anyway, we still enjoy playing concerts and we will continue playing as long as we can.

Now that you are older (and wiser), is there anything you have done differently since the band has gotten back together? Has your vision for the band changed and do you look at things in a different light compared to the band's early days?
Great question! No, I don't think that I have done something differently. I am still the same person, a bit older and maybe wiser, but still with the same interests and goals. You ask me if my vision for the band has changed. Well, I haven't yet thought about that. It is true that I take things much easier than in my early days. I've got a lot of experience in music, so things go better than in the 80's. I have already "lived" OUTRAGE from 1983 to 1988, that's why I have a feeling how to manage the band. But I can't say that I look at things in a different light.

What are the future plans for the band? Are you in the process of writing new material?
We will try to play as many concerts as possible, in Germany as well as abroad. I hope that soon we can come to the Netherlands! Would you invite us?

Future plans? Let me think… there will be a new CD in April 2013. Maybe we will also record some additional old songs for a vinyl.

No, I finished writing new material some weeks ago. All new songs for the next CD are finished. At the moment I am working on the lyrics.

Any last words for your fans?
Hails to all you OUTRAGE fans out there! Thank you very much for supporting us! I hope to meet you soon on one of our concerts. Meanwhile, please check out our pages for further news: www.myspace.com/outragepforzheim, www.facebook.com/outragepforzheim and our official website: www.outrage-band.net

Thank you for taking the time to interview it has been my pleasure. We wish you best of luck!
Thank you, it's my pleasure! Stay heavy!

Dank je wel, Meliisa. Ik hoop dat wij binnenkort in de Nederlands kunnen spelen!