While working on these questions, we were also anxiously waiting for the reedition of the announced IRON ANGEL`s classic albums Hellish Crossfire and Winds Of War (through High Roller from Germany). Yes, the fact their stuff is being re-released is a good reason to talk about this renown and highly underestimated band again. It is true, they haven’t released too many albums but their music is firmly engraved in the history of metal, both in Germany and abroad. Hellish Crossfire is one of speed metal`s most important albums – a real masterpiece, indeed. It’s the bible of music for many generations of metal maniacs. So, to talk about old times, and to get updated on band`s present whereabouts, we sent a bunch of questions to IRON ANGEL`s vocalist – Dirk Schroder. Read on!


Hi, how are you? What’s up with IRON ANGEL these days? I am really happy that you`re active again, guys. Will you play in Poland one day as you never have; and trust me man, there are plenty of die-hard maniacs willing to see you here play live!

 Hi, fine so far. Right now we are recording our new Studio Album at Rosenquarz Studios in Lübeck, Germany and yes, hopefully we get the chance to play in Poland very soon.

Could you tell us something more about your new album? Is it going to be an old-school stuff, a direct continuation of your classic works? How many songs do you plan to record? And did you come up with the album title yet?

This new album will definitely be an oldschool Speedmetal afford! There´s going to be a total of 11 Tracks, which are already recorded instrumentally and two of them have their vocal lines recorded just recently. Even now, without any mixing and stuff, you can hear the sheer intensity and power of each one of those songs. We still think about the album title. There are a couple of ideas floating around, but nothing really serious yet.

How do you find working with Rosenquartz Studios? Who oversees the recording this time? Do you plan to include any guest appearances in this album?

It´s great. A very relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We laugh a lot and share different stories from the past, but we also work very passionate on our stuff with our producers Michael Hahn and Andreas Libera. We definitely enjoy it! This time, there will be no guest appearances.

Have you already decided who is going to release your new stuff?

Not really. I mean, we have some offers, but we think for this record, we probably going to need something bigger in order to reach all the fans out there, so we haven´t settled for anything yet OK, bro \m/ here are the answers :)

There’s a lot of people who have never had a chance to see IRON ANGEL live. I hope you will catch up on your stage activity after the new album comes out?

Yes, we definitely do and this time, we hopefully get to play a lot of new places as well.

You had been asleep for a very long time. What have you been doing in the meantime and why did it take you so long to come back to your fans?

We had our regular jobs and took care of our families. The comeback was more or less a coincidence. When Didy played at a huge festival (don´t remember which one) and saw a lot of people wearing Iron Angel Shirts, he suggested, that we might give it one more chance, so we put together a new line-up. Shortly after we announced our return to the stage, we were flooded with request and offers to play everywhere around the world. We were so amazed by the sudden interest in the band and in fact, we still are. :-D

Can you please tell us some more about the IRON ANGEL`s box-set (2013) with Live in Bochum in it, released by Hammerheart Records?

 One thing I can tell you for sure is that Hammerheart Records never had the legitimization to release anything from us! They just took our material and released it on their own without our permission and we´ve already taken some legal actions against them. This box-Set is not part of our official discography!

I’ve already heard the word about Hammerheart releasing some unauthorized versions before. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having troubles reclaiming your share in the sales.

Yes, that really sucks... You know, the industry is full of people, that try to screw you over, but hey, experience makes you wise...


And how about your first official live DVD: IRON ANGEL Live in Santiago de Chile?

 That is actually official. We recorded it on the first date of our 2015 South America Tour, including a road movie and everything. It turned out really great, since it manages to really display the great vibe we´ve got from the fans there. Awesome people!

I’m very curious about your visit to Chile. Could you tell me more about this? They’ve been known for their wild audience, just like the Polish one. The crowd must have been raging under the stage ?

It was totally phenomenal! They could sing every single word from every song. Also they are very friendly and talkative People, so we definitely look Forward to play there again and yes, hopefully we get the chance to play in Poland as well. We are definitely willing to do so. ;-)

It has been ages since Wind of War was out, right. Are you guys working on new tracks or are you just focused on playing live shows now?

 Actually, it´s been pretty much exactly 31 years now and yes, like I said, we´re in the studio right now, recording our new full-length album.

Allegedly, Winds of War was recorded together with Jurgen R. Blackmore, Ritchie Blackmore`s son. Well, he apparently doesn’t have too much to do with speed/thrash stuff, if I am correct. How did this cooperation start and how did it work out?

 Well, we used to live together in the same neighborhood and became friends with him. When we recorded "Winds of war", we brought him over to the Studio and he ended up playing some stuff on it, particularly in the song "Sea of flames".

IRON ANGEL`s activity lasted for only 5 years. The reasons why the band split up were of "personal and music" nature. What does it mean exactly? Why didn’t you decide to change the line-up a bit for example, and keep playing music after that?

 Most of us continued playing music, but in different bands from different genres. For example, Sven wanted to go into a more commercial sounding direction, while Peter wanted to go even harder and faster. And yes, there were also personal issues, but I´m not going to get into that.

You`ve been apparently pretty busy since the band split up, is that correct? Please tell us some more about the bands IRON ANGEL`s ex-members have been participating in.

 Thorsten quit music completely to become a chef in France, which he did. Peter formed the thrash-metal outfit "Roots", he later re-united with us. Mike persued a career in the IT industry, which keeps him very busy and Sven unfortunately went down a destructive path that ultimately led to his demise...


IRON ANGEL got re-activated in 1998. Whose idea was it? The only missing musicians from the old line-up were Sven Struven and Thorsten Lohmann. Why didn’t they re-join the band?

 Actually it was just Peter asking us to come together and jam a little bit. We had no intentions back then to reform the band, but things went so well, that by the turn of the millenium we decided to give it another shot and record a new album. Like I said, Thorsten had his job in France and Sven was not really in the spot to rejoin the band.

You started working on your third full length album The Rebirth but it was cancelled due to Peter Wittke`s death and consequent split-up of the band. As far as I know the album hasn’t been finished, but you actually planned to add missing parts and eventually release it anyhow, yet with no solo parts, is that correct? Why want The Rebirth released at all? What kind of music was this album all about?

 We decided to keep this album shelved. We mutually agreed on this after Peter´s death and we have no intentions to reconsider that decision.


IRON ANGEL was back around 2003. The line-up was trimmed down to 2 musicians at the time. It was announced that a brand new album Metamorphosis (or Vier) was to be out in 2005. It was supposed to be in the vein of Hellish Crossfire album, dirty and raw speed metal to the bone. And also some tracks from The Rebirth. What didn’t it happen at all, I mean the recording and releasing of Metamorphosis?

 We couldn´t get a line-up together, that was actually stable and we had our own regular lives with marriage, kids and everything, so the intention was more in the vein of giving the fans something, before we say goodbye for good, rather than starting all over again and in the end, we decided to do that in the form of a demo called "Back from hell".

You released a demo back in 2007, titled very distinctly: Back from Hell. Where can fans get it? Can you please tell us what’s on it and how it compares to classic albums of IRON ANGEL?



 The special thing about this one is, that each member of the band (also the deceased members) wrote one song individually and that the music is actually not totally in the vein of Oldschool Iron Angel, since we also wanted to show a differnet side of ours, but like I said, it was planned to be a sort of goodbye gift to the fans, rather than an attempt to start the band all over again.

Unfortunately, shortly after the demo was out, you decided to split up again. What was that? Were you guys haunted by some evil forces or perhaps some unearthly force decided to mess with your career? How active are you guys right now? Do you take part in any music projects, bands etc.?

 Like I said, we wanted to call it quits. We´ve got our families, that we have to take care of and it just seemed, that it was the right decision back then. As for now, we are overwhelmed by the positive receptions that we´ve got, when we decided to reform the band and play shows again and after 2 years of great live experiences, we´re back in the studio, recording a new album. Life is crazy sometimes...

Do you keep yourself updated with metal music these days? Do you buy/steal/download/get new albums? Please tell us what you`ve been listening to lately? Any particular good album, huh?

 Well, we´re still listening to the old stuff, since all this new crap is not appealing to us. Metal truly lost it´s "Rock ´n Roll", you know, what I mean? Back then, bands played with feel, nowadays it´s just all chops, playing at 200 miles an hour, creating one big wall of sound without any real substance. Incredibly boring!

The re-released version of Winds of War (which was out some years ago) contained some interesting live tracks. The tapes compilation album from 2003 is similar in this regard. Have you got any other similar recordings? Any juicy archival video materials for instance?

 No, we haven´t and once again, those things were released without our permission!

What can you tell us about The Black Edition box-set? What was the label which released it and what does this release consist of? Don’t you agree that such a release would be even better if it had tracks from The Rebirth or Metamorphosis? Is there any chance that metal soldiers will get to listen to any unreleased IRON ANGEL stuff?


 I never heard of any Black Edition Box-Set. Once again, a release we did not permitted! No, we won´t release any of that stuff. The only song from that period, that you might get a hold on is "Puppet on a string", which was the last song Peter wrote for us. We recorded that one live for our DVD, so if you´re interested, you need to get a hold on that. As for new material in general, our brand new album will serve you just fine, as it´s a pure Oldschool Speed-Metal Album, ballad-free and in your face! You will not be disappointed. ;-)

So, what do you want me to wish your band for the future? Thanks a lot for the interview. Any last words for Old School Metal Maniac readers? Cheers.

Great success for our upcoming record and a lot of great shows all around the world and yes, hopefully in Poland as well! Stay real, stay metal!


 Dirk Schröder – Vocals,

 Didy Mackel – Bass guitar, 

Mitsch Meyer – guitars, 

Rob Altenbach – guitars, 

Mäx Behr – Drums 


 Leszek Wojnicz-Sianożęcki 

Marek Szymański


Poprawiony (poniedziałek, 03 lipca 2017 14:38)