I am a huge Sodom fan and I got into the band in late 90s with their Tapping the Vein album. The album still has a special value for me as it was the kick-starter for my endless fascination for the band. The album is especially unique because of its wild riffs which were viciously played by Andy Brings, my then guitar idol although I was playing the drums. His short-lived Sodom career (1991-1995) produced two frantic studio albums which I consider the cornerstones of speed and mania for Sodom: Tapping the Vein and Get What You Deserve.
Sodom albums featuring Andy Brings on guitars
Of course he was already out of the band by the time I got to know Sodom. He proceeded to play in a speed metal band called Powergod which has released five albums. Andy Brings appeared on the albums under the pseudonym “Riff Randall” and played the guitars and bass. You gotta be Andy Brings to be called as Riff, after all. I had a near-meeting experience with him in 2003 at Rock Station Festival – Ankara which unfortunately did not happen since Powergod could not make it to the fest due to some health problems. They were disbanded in 2007 but that made the longest career ever for Andy: 10 years in the same band.
Complete Powergod discography with Andy Brings (Riff Randall) on guitars and bass.
Meanwhile, he had a side project called The Traceelords where he played rock’n roll – apparently his all time dream. This was his first venture into rock ‘n roll after all his metal background. It was parallel to his Powergod years and he released 3 albums with the band between 2001 and 2006.
The Traceelords discography
Andy continued under his solo project “Andy Brings” and released Rock n’ Roll in 2010. It was not long, either, before he put it on hold and he fired up a project called “Slit My Wrists” which actually never saw the light of day.By the way, I had the awesome chance to meet Andy Brings at Wacken Open Air 2007 Sodom 25th Year All-Star show. He left no part of the stage untrodden and played with such enthusiasm like it was still his band. That show was an awesome experience for Sodom fans and for me, it was even more awesome since I got to meet Andy after all those years. He was probably the most lively, energetic, friendly and cool metal celebrity (yeah, for me he is so). Continuing his career, he formed his latest band Double Crush Syndrome. His career has been full of ups and downs, one-hit bands, unfinished stuff, constant band/member changes but one thing has remained the same: Rock n’ roll. His constant struggle and dedication finally seems to pay off as he was able to cut a deal with Nuclear Blast! Their debut album Die for Rock n’ Roll came out on 17.03.2017 and – Sodom albums aside – it is the best production in his career. The album has 10 songs all of which are catchy, politically-incorrect, critical, full of energy, and most of all, ROCK N’ ROLL!
DCS has five new videos for the debut album. The band is currently on tour until the end of April 2017. I asked Andy for an interview among his very tight tour schedule and he kindly accepted. Enjoy the read.
Volkan: Congratulations on the DCS debut album, Die for Rock ‘n Roll! How is the reaction so far?
Andy Brings: Thank you very much. The people love it, we entered the German album charts on #48. Even the press likes it, but that’s not important. The people who bought it are the ones that matter. It’s very cool, very rewarding.
V: You got five new (+1 old) videos out of the 10 songs in the album. How is that even possible?
A.B.: And there will be more, at least two more videos. We could release each song as a single, they’re that good. If other bands can’t do it maybe they should write better songs.
V: Aurora Steffens and Markus Herzog were replaced by Slick Prolidol and Julian Fischer. What was the reason for this massive change?
A.B.: Aurora and Markus left the band because they wanted to. Personal reasons. Especially in Aurora’s case I was very sad, she was the whole package. A great loss for Rock N’ Roll, but I respect her decision of course. And it paved the way for Slick’s return to me, which was a good thing. Pure fate.
V: You are on a very busy European Tour. How’s it going?
A.B.: The tour’s been great so far. We toured through Germany and England with STEVE ‘N’ SEAGULLS which was awesome. Going to England was like coming home for us. The people there totally loved what we did. Now we are playing our own shows, almost two hours every night, which is the best. We love the longer shows a lot.
V: Signing up with Nuclear Blast is massive! How did it happen?
A.B.: They approached me which was very cool. I’ve known some of the people I now work with since like forever, and the negotiations were over pretty fast. Both parties wanted this, so we agreed on the terms within less than an hour or so.
V: How is the DCS fan base? Young or old people? Metallers, rockers, punks…?
A.B.: All of the above and more. The young, the young at heart, all colours, all shapes. We love everybody!
V: What makes the band different from The Traceelords and your Solo project “Andy Brings”?
A.B.: Well, I think all my trademarks are still there, but I think I’m a better singer and songwriter now, and since I’ve always written amazing songs, that’s really saying a lot, haha. I know better how to work the gift these days. That comes with age I guess. I’m still young, but I’ve been doing this forever and always worked hard on my craft. Plus I’ve got the best band I’ve ever had. Slick is awesome, the best sidekick you could ask for, he never ceases to amaze me. And Julian kicks ass, too.
V: Is the “Andy Brings” project still alive?
A.B.: Inactive, but since that’s my name and I’m still alive…..you never know. Nothing planned though.
V: Don’t get me wrong but you playing in a rock’n roll band feels like driving a Ferrari in a parking lot at 10 kmph. Do you have any plans for any metal projects to release your talent and fury?
A.B.: That’s a very nice thing to say, and I totally get where you’re coming from, but me playing Rock N’ Roll is the fiercest assault on your eyes and ears I’m capable of. That’s where I come alive. My tribute song to DORO PESCH “Hail To The Queen” from 2014 was more Metal, and I enjoyed that a lot. I just did a remix for song from German Goth band ERDLING, and it sounds like a Sodom song from 1992, only better. Every once in a while I love playing Metal guitar, but playing in a Metal band? No. I’d rather kill myself.
V: Tell us something very interesting about Sebastian Bach.
A.B.: He’s a very sweet man with a big heart and treated us like a gentleman when we toured with him. The most interesting thing I witnessed on that tour is that he really is EVERYTHING I expected and wanted him to be, and much more. It can be very dangerous to meet your idols, but he was great in every way.
V: What is the distribution of metal and rock in your body in percentages?
A.B.: I will always be an old school metalhead with all the 80s stuff in my blood, but I was never just that. The RAMONES played a huuuge role in my life and still do. And I’ve always loved pop music, so that’s who I am. All of it.
V: Do you receive any heat from your metal fans?
A.B.: Not much. They know I’m the real deal. Every once in a while some asshole who is trapped inside a stupid person’s body and whose life is stuck in 1992 makes a homophobic comment about my makeup or the clothes I wear, but I laugh at that. When they meet me or even better see me on stage that usually stops, because I rock harder than 20 guys half my age, so fuck it. It’s all love.
V: Do you have fans who do not know about your Sodom career?
A.B.: Yeah, sure. That can’t be a surprise for you, I left SODOM in 1994 and have made many albums and toured with my own bands a lot since then. I love it when newer fans find out about my evil past and scratch their heads because of it.
V: Do you miss your long hair?
A.B.: No, never. The only thing I regret is not having my hair cut off 10 years earlier. I did it in 2003.
V: What is the next step for you and for DCS?
A.B.: We are touring some more in 2017, and then it’s already time for the next album in 2018, which is very exciting. I love working in the studio, creating new music.
V: Any messages for your fans?
A.B.: Be yourself, be happy, and SUPPORT ROCK N’ ROLL