deep in the English countryside, Tank are busy making their new album, their
comeback album if you will. They also just happen to be making the album that
could both re-establish and redefine the classic British Metal that's been
missing for so long...
Tank is, purely and simply, the very essence of Metal. Since their
inception during the heyday of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, few have
walked it and talked it in quite the same way as they so consistently have.
Throughout the conversation with Algy that follows, I was left in absolutely no
doubt that is a mission, a crusade of sorts, to make their brand of Metal their
With the sun beating down-yes, sun in England!- and the windows of the studio
control room (situated above a farmyard barn, I might add) open, the atmosphere
is relaxed and friendly. The recording of the album, to be called "Still at
War", is proceeding well, and on the day I visit, avuncular guitarist Mick
Tucker is laying guitar parts-huge great chunks of blistering noise-on a track
called "In the last Hours before Dawn". The backing tracks, with new
drummer and (ex?) Praying Mantis man Bruce Bisland playing up a storm, are
totally incendiary. Make no mistake, this is Metal of the very highest order!
and Tank founder member Algy Ward is happy with what's been done, and at his
behest we retire to a quite area of the studio building to talk more about the
record, and why it's been so long coming.
So, first Tank
album in some fourteen years. What people can expect?
"I think I would have to say a very loud experience- a Tank album
basically! No long songs, keyboard intros or the like, just a back to basics
Tank album. The material has been written since 1988, so it's been a long time
And the same bunch of reprobates are
"Yes, Mick Tucker and Cliff Evans on guitar and Bruce Bisland from Praying
Mantis on drums!"
How exactly did Bruce end up on the album?
"I rang him up and asked him! He said
send me a tape of the demos, which I did, and he said yeah, fine. We rehearsed
for a couple of weeks, booked the studio and that was it."
So how come there's been no new Tank album
in fourteen years?
"Every had other projects to occupy them, and there were contractual
problems that really only gave us two options. Either I could pay to extricate
myself or I could do nothing. I choose latter. I didn't do very much for about a
year and a half, and then I started to work again. I did sessions, played in the
Nicky Moore band with Mick, recorded Atom God album, two Warfare albums, one of
which I produced, and an album with Evo and Wurzel from Motorhead called
Warhead. This was really only killing time, though, until we could make a new
Tank album. I had never stopped writing Tank material, but I've always written
more than was needed. There's always been a backlog of songs, and there still
I'm right in saying that you already have
the next album written, aren't I?
"Actually, I'm two albums ahead! The
next studio album will be called "Sturmpanzer", and the album after
that is to be called "Retribution".
When do you find time to sleep?
"Who says I do?"
So what tracks are highlights of
"Still at War"? Which songs are you happiest with?
"The title track, "Conspiracy of
Hate", "Return of the Filthhounds" and some of the slower songs
like "The Blood still on their Hands" and "In the last Hours
before Dawn". They've all got a different slant on the whole war thing. I
research the subject fully, it's a long process. For instance, the next album
"Sturmpanzer" has needed a lot of time at the Imperial War museum in
London, and there's still a lot of work I need to do so that I can get
everything factually correct".
And it's important to you that all the
information carried in the songs is correct?
"Absolutely, otherwise I wouldn't put my name to it".
Do you have a message for Tank fans?
"Hammer on! .... you know it makes sense!"
Tank- "Still at
War"- release date September 9th 2002.
(P) & ©
2002 Zoom Club Records(ZCRCD89). Tel:(44) 208 686 1336