Interview by Elizabeth Sharpe.
Lagerstein are set to kick off their ‘Beer Right Back’ Tour this Saturday night at The Wallaby Hotel on the Gold Coast. The tour then travels through Brisbane, Sydney, Woolongong, Melbourne and Canberra before the guys head off on overseas adventures to play some massive gigs and festivals including the world famous Wacken Open Air! They have two new members with Lucky The Great and Rusty Timbers joining the crew and have been working hard on album number three which is set to be recorded in Europe soon too. 2019 is shipping up to be an epic year for the Lagerstein crew! GC Live had a chat to the Captain himself, Cptn. Gregarrrr before the tour.
What I really love about Lagerstein is that the shows are far from your average gig – they’re a theatrical pirate-metal extravaganza – the fans are always enthusiastic, and the crowd is fuelled by the insanely energetic performance on the stage. You guys are touring machines – late 2017 you even toured Europe – What were the highlight venues or shows, can you give us a taste of what the music scene is like over there and which acts that you played alongside should we be getting on board with?
“Europe is amazing in so many ways especially the music scene, it’s so diverse compared to Australia for so many reasons. The festival scene over there is just crazy and its just a whole other world. It’s just so loose, people just go there and set up tents for 4 days and just have fun instead of just going to get out of their mind wasted. Everyone is all about the music and it’s such a good vibe.”
Do you think there’s been anything that happened or that Lagerstein have learnt from that European string of shows that will benefit your Australian fans and the punters on this upcoming tour?
“Yeah, that’s a good question. We pretty much take the same show that we play to 2 people or 200 people or 2000 people. We’ve toured pretty much all around Australia now too and as different as it is, it’s still the same metal scene that you’ll find everywhere else in the world. It has definitely brought us together closer as a band, spending 8 months in Europe in a house… we were in a 3 bedroom house with 7 people so it was… yeah that was fun. Yeah but we didn’t have 1 big argument or anything or anybody loose it, it is kind of like we are all really awesome in that sense that we all get along really well and we can work off each other I think that was the best thing for us to be able to spend that time together and get to know each other better and become tighter as a band in a lot of different ways. And that shows on the road as well, and we don’t have arguments on the road and we’re not getting in each others pockets too much. We can respect personal boundaries and spaces. Yeah, the best thing about touring is that we do get to spend so much time together and we already have this locked-down, this good tight crew. It’s always like we’re a working pirate ship, like nothing could go wrong.”
There is indeed an upcoming tour that you’re just about to kick off- Lagerstein’s ‘Beer Right Back’ Tour covers 6 Australian East Coast dates – what can fans expect on this tour?
“Well for a start there’s been two new crew members added to the ship in Lucky the Great, who’s our new bass player, and Rusty Timbers who is our new drummer.”
That’s a great way for them to be welcomed into the fold…
“Yeah, well our ship’s crew is ever-changing but I think it’s a pretty tight ship at the moment. It’s an awesome way to start for them. They haven’t played any shows so it’s straight into a big Australian Tour. Both of them are very well known in the metal scene around Australia as well so surely a lot of people around not just Brisbane but all the other states will be happy to see these 2 dudes on stage with us. We also have a few different little skits that we want to throw in to try to mix it up a bit.”
I love all the completely unique merchandise items that Lagerstein come out with – what is going to be available for purchase at the shows on this tour? Anything new?
“I haven’t really seen another merch stand like it at another show. Like with 5 different shirts, 6 different steins, it’s pretty cool to have this much merch and just a lot of fun things like shot glasses, USB lighters, and card games. Anything new? We do have a new design on a flag. Other than that, we are getting rid of everything and cutting down the prices of all the old stuff – getting rid of that stuff and getting a fluctuation of new merch happening. The other thing that we’ll be bringing to the Australian show will be that we will be releasing a new album. We are going to be bringing a few of those new songs out to the Australian crowd and I’m sure that Australian crowd are pretty keen to hear right now, having our last album out now for the last 3 years we’re pretty keen to get the new stuff off the ground.”
Another thing I really love about Lagerstein is the fact that you guys are really immersed in your local music scene too – I personally have seen some of you out at local shows and that is something that for me, I really appreciate, and it raises my respect levels for you guys. Each of the band members have very colourful and authentic alternative names/alter egos:
The Majestic Beast
Neil Rummy Rackers
Jacob, The Fiercest Pirate in all the Caribbean
Lucky The Great
Which of those band members is the one that is MOST committed to their alter-egos… that REALLY embodies it, not just when the Lagerstein shows are pumping?
“That’s hard because when we are around each other we use our alter-egos more than we use our regular birth given names. It’s just easier for us, we’re always in some sort of pirate-y mood so whether it’s throwing a beer around or getting the crew together to do some writing or whatever it is we always embody that in a way. But I don’t know who you would say most … Majestic Beast always looks like a bit of a majestic beast, he embodies that pretty hard. Yeah, I don’t know, that’s a good question because we are always using our stage names rather than our actual given names so it’s hard to tell.”
That’s interesting to know though that you continue to use those when you’re off stage as well though, that’s pretty cool…
“Yeah we’re a pretty weird band in that sort of sense. If you’d spend a week as a fly on the bus on a Lagerstien tour you’re going to see some pretty funny shit. So definitely some weird stuff you wouldn’t usually see; 7 of us walking through an airport singing one of our songs acapella as loud as we can sort of thing – it turns a lot of head walking through streets.”
It was teased from your socials too, that this might be the last opportunity for Australian audiences to catch the S.S. Plunderberg for a long while… the reason being that you guys are “setting sail across the seas for more adventures far and wide!” This sounds pretty damn exciting… Can you maybe throw out a few hints?
“So we’ll do the Beer Right Back Tour and we’ve all been working our arses off this past year or so – 2018 was a big working year for Lagerstien. 2017 we went out and did 105 shows and 2018 we got stuck down and just did a lot of downtime, growing our treasure chest and working on album 3 has taken up a huge amount of our time on the ship. So now we get to head back over to Europe for 2019, we couldn’t be more keen because this is going to be one of our biggest overseas experiences to date. We’re recording our third album and we’ll be in the studio for a month in Sweden – with the most notorious Fredrick Nordström who’s done heaps of big bands; In Flames, Bring Me The Horizon, and Opeth. So we’re really keen to work with him.”
Wow! That’s huge news!
“Yeah, so we got in contact with him and he had heard of us and he doesn’t mind the old pirate thing so he was more than happy to have us over for a month and we’ll just be staying with him and getting him locked in and recording in there. After the last album we did, ‘All For Rum, Rum For All‘ we were working and recording and between driving an hour each night so we were all wrecked and a bit of a mess and we just didn’t get to that artistic creativity that we all wanted. So I said I’d really love to record this new album just locked away in a wooded area for a month, and now were getting our dream come true and doing it in Sweden so I couldn’t ask for anything better. So after we do the recording we’re spending a few months hitting the festival scene hard. We’re doing Wacken Open Air which is going to be out of control and insane. It’s one of those festivals that you always dream about playing that you never think is coming any day soon, but out of the blue this has popped up for us this year, as well as a few other awesome festivals, MISE Open Air. And we get to play a few of the ones that we played in 2017 like Dark Troll Festival in Germany. Getting to play with bands as well that we’ve idolized as we were growing up; Parkway, which has been one of my bands that I’ve listened to forever, and Slayer… just the list of the bands that we are playing with is ridiculous this year.”
GC Live absolutely loves Lagerstein and we strongly recommend you get to one or all of their upcoming shows! Tickets for the tour are available HERE.