Tailgunner have just released their latest single, Shadows Of War. It harks back to the classic sound of heavy metal and thrash.
The single written about the horrors faced by British soldiers in WW1, could not be more authentic – with the lyrics taken from quotes from real British soldiers from the Great War, displayed in London’s imperial war museum.
We welcome the band to At The Barrier for our Why I Love column as they share their love of German power metallers, Helloween.
My first concert was Iron Maiden that Summer, with their first UK stadium show at Twickenham in July of 2008. I got a taste of Heavy Metal in a special way, but it wouldn’t be until many years later I’d truly dive into the depths of the genre.
In the years after, Rock N’ Roll ruled my speaker with bands like AC/DC, Hanoi Rocks, The Cult and so many more. So in the Autumn of 2017, working a job that can only be described as worse than community service – stacking Christmas displays on shelves during the night – I was left with 5 days (or nights!?) worth of time to discover new music every week. Little did I know, but a big pumpkin was soon to arise, bringing with it the dawn of the rest of my life.
Helloween were a band I’d been aware of for a few years at that point, but my experience went as far as screaming along to ‘I Want Out’ when local Heavy Metal heroes dropped it into their set. If they have THAT, what else do they have? With that thought in my head, it was time to find out.
After that first night, I proceeded to listen to nothing but their first 3 albums for 10 hours a night, for the next 2 weeks. With Kai Hansens menacing melodies, Michael Weikaths ‘effortlessly cool – but it’ll still take your head off!’ style, and the blistering solos they shared I had found Heavy Metal like I had never heard it before… They did everything, better, and pushed to it’s very limits. Each time a riff blows your mind, another equally good follows, other bands wish they wrote choruses as catchy as the German units verses. Throw in a voice I now consider to be my favourite in all the genre in Michael Kiske, and the equally good Andi Deris (What other band can say they’ve replaced one of the best, with another of the very best?) the finest drummer Germany has produced in Ingo Switchenberg and a new hero for me as a Bassist, with melody soaked technicality in every single song from Markus Grosskopf, I had a new favourite band – And things were only getting started…
Two weeks after discovering Helloween, an advert appeared for their show, now reunited with Hansen and Kiske, at Brixton Academy. I was in London the next day for Airbourne, but there was no chance I was missing this band I’d just fallen so in love with. I can’t remember what I told work that day, all I know is I was heading to London with a ticket which read Pumpkins United.
I walked out that night knowing I had to form Tailgunner. Over the four and a half years that followed, I have made that dream a reality and woke up a mountain of Heavy Metal I had previously missed – All with one big German pumpkin leading the way.
When the time came for the band to finally return to the UK this Spring, to be there again with our guitarist Zach alongside me, at the other end of a journey Helloween had set me out on half a decade ago was the most rewarding show I’ve ever seen. This is a band, a group of musicians, and a collection of albums that have set me further on my way in Heavy Metal, both as a fan and as a musician – and for that, they will always remain heroes.
Heavy Metal, and Helloween, forever.
Many thanks to Tailgunner who will be on tour in July 2022…
…and you can listen to the new single from Tailgunner below…