Interview: Graf Holzfeuer of Arnocorps

Arnocorps are back touring Ireland and the UK this month. They’re regular visitors to these shores now. Generally every couple of years since 2012.
This tour was set to be another heroic adventure, but sadly Amplitude Festival was cancelled due to visa issues aka the uncertainty around Brexit.
What’s the matter? The CIA got you pushing too many pencils?
Like the heroes they are they have filled the remaining dates and set to bring the party to to us once again. Without Richter….

We spoke to founder and front man Graf Holzfeuer ahead of their tour!

BM: Come on, don’t bullshit me! It’s been a long time since our ballsy hero Cormac Bennett brought you over to Ireland. 
Ireland isn’t normally a location bands tour every time they come to Europe. Why do you think Ireland and ArnoCorps have always had such a connection? 

GH: Exactly, come on! We first hit Ireland with our audio assaults back in 2006 and it has always just felt like home away from home for us. Heroes and sheroes in Ireland just naturally pick up on the sincerity of our intent, right there. Our purpose for being there, I believe. They can spot bullshit, no two ways about it. They sense that ArnoCorps as a band is more a way of life than any sort of financially-motivated career or anything like that. They pick up that we’re a family up there on stage, brothers just wanting to spread our comradely and enthusiasm of having a good goddamn time, making the most of life and all this! The Irish fans intuitively feel they can be a part of, too, even the first-timers. It’s goddamn fantastic, let me tell you!

BM: I remember that. A lot of my friends in Galway were at the gig in Richardsons and were all talking about it. They felt the pump! I soon learnt about all those Austrian tales bastardised by Hollywood let me tell you!
Due to too many pencils been pushed in the UK by those in the public sector, Amplitude festival was cancelled. 
You’re obviously disappointed, but would you like to play more European festivals if the opportunity arose? 

GH: We’ve only done one large festival appearance, which is wild for a band that’s been active for 18 years like us! One of our strengths has always been creating a big event-style atmosphere inside tiny clubs, so the need to be on a huge stage isn’t really there. We create a kind of excitement and pump for the people that feels huge, even if it’s a tiny 100 person capacity bar. This is terrific, but we were very confident that our pump would translate to a big stage, too. Based on feedback we received and reviews we saw online for our Bloodstock opening night headline performance in 2015, we succeeded, big time! That was satisfying, performing for 6,000+, but I admit something felt like it was missing. I kept jumping off the stage and climbing the railing to get in the crowd. I never shared this publicly, but I actually broke my foot from jumping off the goddamn stage! I had to finish the rest of that tour in pure goddamn agony! Hey, what does not kill you makes you stronger! But the answer is yes, we’d love to do more big festivals, absolutely! Maybe next time I’ll break a leg or get a concussion! Fantastic!

BM: I was there man! It was great to see you playing to a packed out Sophie tent.
Your new EP Welcome To The Gym is out now. 
To me, it’s among the best tracks you have written. Real crowd anthems. Will you be playing both tracks on this tour? 

GH: Hey, thank you! Jello Biafra, who runs our label Alternative Tentacles, he said the same thing, actually! He said these two tracks were among our best ever, which is terrific! “Scavenger Hunt” with the chorus of “Hello! Welcome to the gym!” is our new set opener, so fans will get to hear that and Dead Lift at all of our tour dates. It’s really intended to be a sequel to our last 7-inch release, “Two More!”, so both can be combined for the ultimate motivational gym playlist, let me tell you! Come on, even if you don’t workout, the ballsy inspiration can apply to anything you’re trying to accomplish, right there. Exactly!

BM: No bother man! Nice to know Jello agrees…
A great set opener without doubt and Two More is excellent!
Due to your backlog of heroic releases. How hard is to pick a set for a tour? 
Certain songs will always remain, but for the rest how do you decide? 

GH: Ha, you’re goddamn perceptive! Yes, this is a big struggle for us. We really don’t write any filler songs to pad our records. Each individual song holds a special place, they’re all our babies! So it’s tough to decide, right there. We recently stopped playing some old classics just to make room for some newer tunes and it was tough to do! Playing some shows without Predator and Commando didn’t feel right. Don’t worry, they’re back! Basically, we try to include at least 50% of each record in every set. On tour, often we’ll make up our set list backstage right before going on, just to keep it from being repetitive for fans that come to several of the audio assaults. It’s funny though, we don’t have a really hard time agreeing as a group. I guess it’s based on some kind of intangible energy that we can all sense, so it always comes together. No problemo!

BM: You are also bringing your biggest line up to date on this tour. How will such pumped heroes like ArnoCorps deal with smaller stages on the tour right there? 

GH: That’s right! We have this thing where we don’t like complacency or repetition without progression. So, each tour, we need something that will make it unique, right? Different from the time before. What can we do to make this one memorable? This is our 7th tour out there, so we just took a look this time at the situation we were in as a band, with having multiple members in different countries and we never have the chance to all play together. Usually we have the symmetry of 2 guitarists with 2 bass players. But now we have 3 guitarists with the addition of Öddum Kriegtroll in California who was originally intended to just fill in for Nagelbett who moved to England, but he ended up being such a hit with fans that we decided he needed to come to Ireland and UK with us. Hey, then we realized we need to keep the symmetry, so fuck it, let’s have 3 bass players, too! COME ON! We won’t fit properly on stages, but we’re ballsy. We’ll figure it out! You really can’t be a hero without challenges and obstacles to overcome, can you? Forget about it! It will be a spectacle for sure!

BM: Any advices you would like to give to anyone that is on the fence about attending one of the dates on this tour? 

GH: Truthfully, if you’re on the goddamn fence, then maybe you shouldn’t go! Hahaha! Our shows are about a communal pump, total strangers coming together and feeling like brothers and sisters, putting arms around each other, buying each other beers, all these things. If you’re not in the mood to have potentially the best night of your entire life, make new friends and experience the greatest band of all time in their ballsy prime, then hey, what can I tell you?

BM: Thanks for taking the time to speak to us today. Is their anything you would like to add? 

GH: I’d like to add that I’m feeling the goddamn pump right now! Thank you to everyone that comes to our audio assaults, keeps in touch with us online, shares with us their stories of leading the action adventure lifestyle and most of all, for all the support you’ve shown over the years. It’s the fans that keep ArnoCorps still feeling like a new band and keeping us feeling young! The most unbelievable thing is that we initially set out to share advices and educate listeners, but it’s the fans that really show us what is best in life. See you at the party! GO!!!!!!!!!!!

Catch ArnoCorps in Belfast, Galway and Dublin!
Get to the boat!
Get to the plane! Get To The Choppa!

See you at the party Richter!

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Filed under: Burning Metal Ireland

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