Interview with André by Ales Komarek (Czech Republic - 27.06.1998)
The life on rock festival has got it's specific, nowhere written, rules. Probably the most important one is not to wonder anything. Simply, get wet, if it's raining, dry-up, when it's sunshine, drink a lot of beer, see the sludge everywhere. This year besides the sunshine, the others were full enough on festival Night Full Of Stars in Trinec. Now imagine yourself going,through this shit, for some music, when you see somebody familiar. You pass over him, when another comes. Hey, that's André Olbrich, isn't he? And wasn't Magnus Siepen the first one. Yeah, sure he was! You'll meet your friends contently, you're talking about it, when you see stand lonely person right in front of you. That's the time, when to talk with one of BG leaders, seems to be no problem. We have added also little interview with drumer Thomas Stauch as a bonus for you. By the way, whole interview made by Renata Dobošová, written by Marek Neckáø from Cruel Barbarian - Czech BG style power metal band has been done in German language. Verstehen Sie?
Hi André. I'd like to put some questions on you. Have you got a little time for me?

Yeah, no problem let's go.

So, the first one. But be prepared becouse it's really unusuall one and I'm pretty sure that nobody over here has asked you for the same yet: How do you like Czech Republic? (both laughing)

Yeah, you've got me into the trouble! This kind of question is frankly little bit off-beat, but everybody have to notice that we have just arrived, thus we didn't have too much time for some sight-seeing. From this point your country seems to be... (he is looking round the large ironwork factory with a lot of pong chimneys) ...industrial (laugh).

And what about fans? Weren't you afraid about feed backs you'd to have here, since you came for a first time?

You're right. That's what make us full uneasy in some respect. We've wondered how much people'd know about us here. But I think you 'd be able to tell me that.

Well, my opinion is, that you can put it out of your mind. If I could assume just from the view of me and my friends, there are at least a quater of whole attendance just for to see you. (laugh)

That's amazing. The count of our crowd in Germany, where we play quite often, usually don't exceed two thousand. But we weren't sure about Czech Republic.

But you like also Japan, don't you? You've got a pretty good position there as I may deduce from some photos on "Tokyo Tales" or from your Japan tourbook in RockHard. Am I right?

Yeah, sure you're. But it isn't as easy as it could look like. A lot of folks suppose, that if you come to Japan, you'll get perfect feed backs automaticaly there, but, however loyal Japaneses are, you've to dive into their heart first. And the only way to do it is through hard work, good music and patience. For example we had some success there even after our third record.

Are you nervous, if need be possible have you got some rituals before the show?

Of course, I'm usually a little bit nervous. Mainly when we play somewhere for the first time and don't know fans reactions.

Thus I suppose you to be quiet today. Haven't you? (laugh)

No. You've calmed me down for the present. (laugh) But back to the rituals, I always need to warm up before the show, to play as good as possible.

You mean scales, chords etc.?

No, no. I mean body work, stretch myself.

So you're working on „Manowar image"?

Exactly! (both laugh)

As for your health, I've red somewhere, that you had got some hand problems before the Immaginations recording. How do you feel now?

Well, now it's O.K., fortunately. But believe me, it was a bad times. I wasn't be able to play guitar and had too much free time.

How does Andre Olbrich usually enjoy his free time?

Quite normaly, I think. Go to some pub, drink beer, talk to friends. Nothing special.

What do you prefer, live shows or studio recording?

Well, can not say exactly I like live shows and hate recordings. Both have got some magic for me. In studio f.e. I love the moment, when everything is done and you can hear the final sound.

Let me to take you back in time to the Blind Guardian beginnings. What time had you the brain wave to found the band and why?

For the first time we talked about the band at high school. And why? It seemed to be a great idea to have a band. (laugh)

What about your ideals?

I'd rather talk about musical influence, not ideals. You've got ideals when you're teenager, but in the „later" age it's just the bands you like. And I personaly like lot of them and not just metal bands. But if you'd like to hear concrete names, so SAVATAGE for all.

I love your last CD...

... thanks ...

... and think you have done the next step towards more orchestral music, but it must be harder to play the same live. The half year ago I have been on Savatages' concert in Prague I like them for their ability to play live everything they have got on their LPs. May we expect something similar from you as well?

We'll do our best!

I saw Thomas Stauch maybe minute before his going to show, thus you'll see just few quick words from him.

We have seen almost all your band members, except Hansi. Don't you know where he is?

I Really don't. Probably he is sitting in bus, eating and watching video as usuall.

How do you spend your free time? In case you've got any.

Don't you think I'm playing drums for all time. I do the same things as anybody else does: choring, cooking, laundering. (laugh) No I'm kidding, of course. Usually I'm watching TV, playing some computer games or so.

We could see your band members in your own essential track suit. You're wearing ones right now. But tell me, could we buy them anywhere?

No, you could not. You'd never pay for it. It's worth its weight in gold. (laugh)

Hi André, my friend Mara from Cruel Barbarian (our heading metal band), which is playing the kind of music like you do, promised me 5000 coins for the case, I arrange them to play as your foreband. What do you think about it?

(impresed, maybe panic expression) I don't know, this is not my business, it concerns our manager and we can't interfere in it. was just from wheeze and enjoyment of our meeting.


I totally didn't expect to see you overhere. Where are the others?

They are running hereabout.

How do you like a festival and whatever the Czech Republic?

I like it here. Those who have played by now were pretty good. (some rock & roll with tuxeelos and with a saxophone - I didn't pick up the name). And what about Czech - I don't know to much, in fact just this stadium.

And why just Trinec? Don't you play in some bigger city and just by yourselves?

Sure, but as I said it's our manager's business and as I know, there were no serious offers, other wise we would have certainly come.

(noted that André is drinking coffee) Obligate questions for all foreign visitors. How do you relish Czech beer? Have you already have one? May I invite you?

No, no thanks. I never drink before show! And to tell the truth, I didn't taste your beer. But a lot of people recommend me to do it, so after the show I will certainly one. Although there will be no so much time.

O.K., after the show overhere! (laughing)

Sure, I will be here. (smile).

Anyway, where are you off to?

Oh (thinking), Budapest! It's in...


Yeah, Hungary, thanks.

André, can we take a pictures with you? Will you wait a little while than we get a camera?

Go for it, but avoid to take long.!

Sure, we don't wanna deprive you of the concert! And what will you play?

It is a problem. I don't know it. We have only 40 or 50 minutes. Normally we are playing for about 1 1/2 or 2 hours. We have to cut short our programm becouse of further performers. I really don't know what we will play. Unless opening will be provided by "Into The Storm". The rest is now probably preparing by Hansi.

When I was coming overhere today someone was playing "Barbara Ann". I told to myself that I will hear it probably twice this day - it is there?

Yes, I am pretty sure about it!

(Conducted autography and photography started at this moment. André suffer everything patiently and his pleasant and reserved heeding totally captured all of us. After the Andrémania I asked some more questions)

How do you put up with the popularity? I always wonder whether it is rather annoying when people stop you in the street and you are loosing your privacy.

No, not at all. For one thing you must get used to it and for another it is quite swoomy when people cognize you in the places you would never expect it. It is normal and probably uniform in all places.

I am mesmerize by "The Bards Song" (sung by funs) which I found on "The Forgotten Tales". Can you tell me, where it was recorded? (stupid question)

In Düseldorf.

Sure, it is said there. How many people were there?

I don't know exactly, maybe about 4000.

André, my last question. Are you listening to your own things?

No, never.

Thanks a lot.