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Jörg Düsedau

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In times of increasing digital anonymity and alleged germfree perfection, the rock’n’roll trio Nitrogods from Hanover and Stuttgart has opted for the second time in succession for a more arduous but in the long term artistically more satisfying path. Mind you, their songs don’t fulfil such criteria as absolute tonal purity, musical integrity and clinical sterility quite the opposite: their second studio recording Rats And Rumours was consciously recorded in a studio featuring analogue technology, in which phenomena such as having to change reels and regularly clean recording heads are part and parcel of the day-to-day routine: “That’s first and foremost a question of attitude and of course fun, because we’re die-hard vintage fans and really enjoyed every single second we spent recording on a venerable 24-track recorder,” guitarist Henny Wolter explains. “Of course this kind of production is much more complex and laborious because you can’t just move whole passages around using the copy & paste function, you really have to be able to play the whole song. Every time you mess up, you have to start all over again. And that’s what makes this kind of production such an exciting challenge, and what you get at the end of the day is real rock’n’roll sound.”
No doubt about it: the recording procedure and band philosophy on Rats And Rumours suit Nitrogods down to a tee. Henny Wolter, vocalist/bassist Oimel Larcher and drummer Klaus Sperling recorded more than a dozen new songs at the Echolane Studios in Bergen-Hohne, some of which their fans already know from their gigs. Wolter: “We started writing new material directly after the release of our debut album two and a half years ago. That’s why we’ve been able to put numbers such as “Back Home’, “Nitrogods” and “Whiskey Supernova” through their paces in front of an audience.” He is referring to a total of 13 tracks which continue the stylistic directives of Nitrogods” debut album, but sound much more diverse and audibly more multilayered. The song “Automobile’, for example, explores the subset of metal and rockabilly even more extensively, and “Nitrogods” is also marked by that raw rock’n’rockabilly feel. Wolter refers to “Ramblin” Broke” as a “blues escapee”: “The song has basically nothing to do with heavy metal ut could easily have been recorded by John Fogerty or Creedence Clearwater Revival.”
Talking of which: even in 2014, Nitrogods” role models can’t be found purely in the hard&heavy genre but come from the whole rock music landscape: “We love everything, from Status Quo through Motörhead, Stray Cats and Clash to AC/DC,” Wolter admits, “and that’s the mix that our new songs consist of. We realise that we’re not going to reinvent the wheel with this kind of music, but at least we’re putting some new tires on it.”
Nitrogods were founded some three years ago by Henny Wolter, who formed Thunderhead at the end of the 1980s, played with Primal Fear, then Sinner, for many years and was a member of the Rock-Meets-Classic tour band. drummer Klaus Sperling (Freedom Call) also worked with Primal Fear for a number of years, and vocalist/bassist Oimel Larcher is a close friend whose driving bass style shakes up his listeners” intestines and whose vocals bring to mind countless pints of beer and whiskey. This recorded the debut album Nitrogods in February 2012 and has been on the road ever since. Wolter: “We play as often as we can and spare neither expense nor effort to bring our music to our fans. That can be pretty strenuous at times, but this kind of tour de force is part of Nitrogods and the general image of our music. It wouldn’t suit a real rock’n’roll band to take off like a rocket launch. And this way we had the opportunity to get to know each other better and to sing about life on the road in our songs. True roc ‘n’roll doesn’t happen in a gold cage but in small sweaty clubs where you have to win over every single member of the audience the hard way. But that’s what we want to do and that’s the attraction and the forte of this band.”

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