Saturday, August 24, 2019

August 24th, 2019 - Far From The Worries Of The World: An Interview With Tadseusz Rieckmann

Good evening!  A special treat for you tonight my friends... an interview with Tadseusz Rieckmann, the amazing monster drummer of the mighty Faroese Viking metal band Týr!!  I had the great fortune of not only seeing Týr on Friday, August 23rd, but also I was able to sit down with Mr. Rieckmann before the show to discuss the latest Týr album, the tour, beer, and music in general!  Enjoy!!

B&T: Thank you for meeting with me!  I'm here with Tadseusz Rieckmann of Týr.  So you've been in the band for 3 years now.  And prior to that, you were in your previous band for quite a long time.

TR: Right, yeah... in Dalriada.  I was playing with them for 18 years.  Actually, I was one of the founding members.  I joined the vocalists Laura and András back in 2001.  That was a different line-up and a different name for the band.  After that... we changed the name I think in 2003.  I left the band last year in January.  That was my last show with them.

B&T: How did that come to pass... joining Týr?  

TR: Well, back in 2010 or 2011 I was touring with my former band with Arkona in Europe.  And back in the day I was also the tour manager for Dalriada while we were abroad.  So I got to communicate with their tour manager Anton; he's also the front of house guy and the tour manager so he does quite a lot of things.  We became friends and a couple of years later since he's also doing jobs for [Týr] quite frequently nowadays, he just recommended me to the band because they were looking for a fill-in drummer for like 10 to 15 shows.  And well, it worked out so good that I'm still here!

B&T: Now have you moved to the Faroe Islands?

TR: No, no, no... I live in Budapest in Hungary.

B&T: I knew you were Hungarian so...

TR: I'm actually German.  I was raised in Hungary

B&T: So speaking of growing up, how did you get into music?  What was your inspiration for becoming a drummer, a musician?

TR: Uh, wow... that's a complex question.  [laughs]  I think one of my first memories is me sitting in front of my brother's turntable and listening to "Abbey Road" by the Beatles, but never the whole album.  I was in love with "Come Together".  You know that's the first song [laughs] of the record and I would start and restart over and over again.  And I listened to... my mother... actually both my parents listened to a lot of classical music, mostly Bach when I was very little.  And I guess that just moved something.  When we moved to Hungary, we didn't know the first thing about the country, anything about the language, nothing.  By accident the school I went to was a music oriented school so we had quite a lot of musical education there.  I started to play guitar when I was 10, but I stopped after about 2 years.  I was singing in the choir.  When I was 15 a buddy of mine and I were walking home after a show and he was telling me that he was playing bass and that he wants to start a band and he has a guitarist, but they don't have a drummer.  We had had a couple of beers and I said, "I'll be your drummer!"  [laughs]  "Oh, really?"  And he pulls out of his pocket a phone number written on a piece of paper.  "Here.  This is a drum teacher's number."  And I was like... "well, okay."  So the next day I called the guy and I started to play drums.  [laughs]  Well, I learned how to play drums

B&T: That's great!  Who have been your biggest influences musically as far as drummers?

TR: In the early days Pete Sandoval from Morbid Angel.  And I listen to of course Nicko McBrain.  I listen to a lot of classic heavy metal stuff: Iron Maiden and Judas Priest... Scott Travis for example.  I love his drumming on "Painkiller".  And Gavin Harrison is nowadays for me one of the biggest and best drummers out there.

B&T: Previously of Porcupine Tree.

TR: Exactly.  He's an amazing drummer.  He is in King Crimson now.  Yeah, he's insane.  [laughs]  But there are so many unbelievably talented drummers out there.  I could go on for hours.  But yeah all these drummer... oh and Alice In Chains... all had quite an influence on me.

B&T: So the current tour started last week, right?

TR: Last week in Mesa, Arizona, yeah.  We are actually doing two shows, two tours.  We do the support on Demons & Wizards tour with Lizzy Bourdon and then when they have an off day take the time to do our headlining shows.

B&T: How long is this tour going?

TR: The last show will be on September 5th in New York.  We have 17 shows in total I think.  It's a nice run, but we'll be back.  I don't know if I'm supposed to say that, but we'll be back soon.

B&T: So the new album, "Hel" is a fantastic album.  With that album... tell me a little bit about the writing.  Is that primarily Heri [Joensen] or is it a group effort?  How do you guys work?

TR: Well, since I only joined 3 years ago and "Hel" was already kinda writing itself back then or at least parts of it, this was mostly Heri, Gunnar [Thomsen], and Terji [Skibenæs].  They sent all the songs over.  Heri did a lot of the arrangement of the songs and he just sent them to me and I figured out the drums for that.  I could say it is a joint effort.  We went to the studio in Denmark to Jacob Hansen.  He's a wonderful guy and very professional sound engineer.  We recorded the drums over there and some vocal, but the others recorded in the Faroes or on the road even.  That's why it took so long for this album to come out because we just didn't have the time for it.

B&T: Yeah, I know you were touring extensively that last several years.  I saw you on the 70000 Tons of Metal.

TR: Yeah, yeah right.  

B&T: Was that your first experience on that cruise ship?

TR: No. I did the cruise 2 years before in 2017 with Dalriada as well.

B&T: This last one was my first time going.

TR: Oh yeah?  Awesome!

B&T: In fact I interviewed Brittney Slayes from Unleash The Archers and in that interview she said she was most looking forward to seeing you guys play because she knows you; you guys are friends.

TR: We actually just met up with them 2 days ago in Vancouver.  They came out to our show.  Yeah, good guys!

B&T: She mentioned that she is very inspired by the music of Týr.

TR: Good to hear that.  

B&T: Especially with the epic warrior kind of stories.

TR: Yeah, yeah.  It's very compatible... our 2 bands. I mean music-wise and person-wise as well.  We toured together in 2016 and that was a blast.

B&T: So with the show tonight, the current tour I would imagine you are playing quite a bit from "Hel" and then songs from throughout the career.

TR: Exactly.  Maybe next year we will be touring with not so well known songs as well

B&T: I know the last 3 times I've seen the band play it has been much newer stuff... all pretty much in English whereas I know a lot of the older albums have more Danish and Norwegian and Faroese.

TR: Well we... especially Heri is very aware... he in fact always want to put some Faroese songs, traditional songs in the setlist as well so I think we always have at least 2 in the set.

B&T: Are there any dream bands you would like to tour with?

TR: Yeah, I mean of course... Judas Priest.  That would be awesome.  [laughs]  That would be very awesome!   That would be my dream.

B&T: So after September, after the tour finishes, what are your plans?  Will you take a break?

TR: Yeah.  There will be shows in a couple of months.  We have some coming up in December... quite far away as well, but they are not public yet.  

B&T: I know you've done some session work in the past.  

TR: Well, not that much... only local in Hungary.  

B&T: Is that something you plan to continue doing?  Is that something you enjoy?

TR: Yeah, if the possibility arises, yeah why not?  But of course Týr is my main band.  I had a different band in Hungary as well, but I was singing there.  That was more of stoner, sludge, grunge stuff.

B&T: Very cool!  How long did you do that?  

TR: 2-3 years I think.  We did mostly Hungarian shows.  We had 1 EP and we wrote an album, but we just simply couldn't get the band together for quite some time to record the album.  Sooner or later, I would really love to record that because there are some good songs.

B&T: What was the name of the band?

TR: Sunwharf.  It's on Bandcamp, Facebook, and I think we have 2 or 3 videos on YouTube as well.

B&T: So my blog is kinda ridiculous I pair heavy metal with craft beer.  

TR: That's not ridiculous!  That's life! [laughs]

[At this point we discussed TRVE Brewing for a few minutes. :) ]

B&T: So you get done with a set or you just want to chill for the evening, what beer do you drink and what album do you put on?

TR: Umm... okay.... I really love German beers... mostly like Pils and Keller.  And there's a Czech beer called Klostermann.  It has a German name, but it's Czech... from a microbrewery over there... and it's a red beer.  And I just... I love that.  And what am I putting on?  Maybe Alice In Chains, maybe Khemmis, maybe Revocation or some mellow stuff like Esbjörn Svensson Trio.  They are a modern jazz trio from Sweden.  Very good stuff.

B&T: It is always interesting to talk to musicians about what they listen to and sometimes quite surprising.  I think sometimes as metalheads we assume you guys are always listening to metal.

TR:  Yeah, you know sometimes it's just too much. [laughs]  But I think heavy metal is all about openness... of getting new impulses.  And if you check the theory behind heavy metal, it's all classical music... especially classic heavy metal you know?  All the scales, there's not much more to it.

B&T: Well Tad, thank you so much for the interview.

TR: Thanks for having me!  

B&T: It was great talking to you and I can't wait to see the show tonight.

TR: Yeah, see ya man! 

You NEED to see Tadseusz Rieckmann with Týr on the current Tour From Hel!!!  Skål!!

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