We caught up with the legend that is Tomi Gottlich, to talk about all things Rebellion related and Tomi’s desire for a Ferrari!
Firstly, many thanks for taking time out to talk to us here at
Planetmosh. If I can begin by saying that the bands has certainly had an
eventful history, both good and bad. Take us back to the beginning, how
did it all start for Rebellion?
First of all thank you for your interest in the band. I do not really
see any bad things in the history of the band, I guess it is a question
of how you look upon things. I try to see the positive sides about
things I cannot change, I find that this makes many things in life much
The beginning of Rebellion is a funny story. There was some bad
blood between Uwe and myself after Grave Digger. We met a couple of
times and began to talk the old things over. We managed to sort old
things out and began jamming together. We had a meeting with our old
record company about some contract matters and played some recordings to
Boggie (the boss). It was just a drum computer, some spontaneous guitar
and bass tracks and some rather poor guide vocals by myself. We were
really drunk when we recorded it but it gained a record contract. So all
we needed then was a band.
When you decided to put Rebellion on hold, what was the spark that got
you up and running again as a band?
I never decided to put Rebellion on hold. The band was put on hold due
to Uwe’s motorcycle accident after the Miklagard tour. When Uwe finally
left the band I thought the band was finished, for Simone and Gerd
decided to leave also and thus it was only me and Michael left. But we
received almost 1000 e-mails within two weeks all saying that the band
should survive and that Michael and myself could still be Rebellion. I
decided to give it a try. I had a pretty well defined idea how I wanted
the band structured and it all went well. I never put it on hold though!!!
It was all the same as in the years before. I did the reading (took me
only half a year on this one, the Vikings were much more work), wrote a basic structure (which topics, how the songs should feel) and then the guitarists started to write songs that would fit into the scheme. The
recording was a bit different. We took more time and tried a bit of
this and a bit of that and I believe that this has made a change.
I call it a Metal album but it is very diverse in styles as well,
songs such as ‘Requiem’ for example show a, dare I say it, softer side to the band. Have you always tried to have different styles and tempos when putting an album together?
We actually never tried that, we rather try to write the songs according
to the schedule but if you want to tell a good story you will need ups
and downs, so maybe yes, we have in a way always tried. In the
case of ‘Requiem’ I just felt it important to have such a song at
the end. I tried to portrait Arminius as a hero but without the
typical national pride phrases. There is a rather long
historical comment in the booklet about that. But after having
portrayed a hero that wins shining battles I felt obliged to remind
myself about the fact that it would have been people like me that would
have died in these battles as well, I for myself am very glad to be
still alive and thus to be able to write albums such as
‘Arminius’ . I will be very careful when I offer my life to a
cause as after all I only have one.
The production sound of the album is also very impressive, who was
responsible for that?
Most of the credit if not all would go to Oliver Geibig, he was the
first one I talked to before deciding to rebuild the band, if he had not
agreed to join I would have reconsidered decisions. I knew what I wanted
and I knew what I would get. Yes, I am very proud of the sound which to
my mind is more classical than the sound of ‘Arise’.
I notice you put together some shows towards the end of last year,
how did they go and what plans have you for live stuff in 2013?
To most people out there Rebellion was dead. We might raise some
interest in terms of ‘see them die’ but all in all only a few people
trusted in the band. However, they were the same people that had written all
the mails, and there was maybe 20 of them at each concert, sometimes
more, count 50 other fans and 50 that wanted to see the band
die and we rocked them all but it was the 20 true fans that
carried us through the first song of each concert. I guess it went
better than we could have hoped for and it was fun.
I guess most musicians will give the same answer but is being on
stage playing live still the best bit about being in the Metal business?
Bullshit, it is all about booze, boobs and buttocks , what do you
Germany has fared better than some other countries during this Euro
recession but is it harder now to get the financial backing to do the
things you want to do as a band?
Wow! what a question.
It is much harder and it still gets harder every year but I do not think
that this is due to the present crisis in Europe (and the US) but to the
fact that more and more people simply download, most not even paying.
This means less money for the bands but I shall not complain, that
is simply the way it is but as I said it has no connection to any
When do your thoughts turn to writing new material, have you any
ideas floating around yet?
Yes, I have always plenty of ideas floating about but many may never
become reality, some will take years before the time is right and one of
them may become the next album but all that is still undecided.
I personally don’t like putting bands into a specific genre but
Power Metal is a label I’ve heard used when describing the band. Is that
a label your happy with?
I do not really care, we try to write good music in the language that we
speak well and we speak METAL !!!
Because I have ordered my third Ferrari and need all the money!
If you buy the CD make sure not to download it but get the real
one because there is much information on the historical topic in the
Many thanks for your time and best wishes for the coming year.
Rebellion’s latest album ‘Arminius – Furor Teutonicus’ is out now via Massacre Records.