Hello Tony, Atomkraft is back with your new single "Coldsweat" that is also available as a five track mini-CD availble from W.A.R. Productions. Why do you feel it was finally time to revive Atomkraft and what are your plans as a band for the foreseeable future? Is their a full length studio album in the works?
I recorded a cover of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Cold Sweat’ some years back as it was suggested by a friend for the Phil Lynott anniversary. I decided on this track as it was more in the vein of Heavy Metal, from the Thunder and Lightening album. I looked at ‘Killer on the Loose’ also but the problem with Thin Lizzy is...they are so classic...it’s hard to do them justice..Metallica did a great job with ‘Whisky in a Jar’ but my approach was always going to be more extreme and picking a track without destroying it was gonna be hard...hahaha.. Hopefully I did it and them justice..I had some guests on the recordings...Par Hulkoff (Raubtier) guitars and Cherrise Osei ( Mantas band/The Faders/Mika, etc.)and a guest solo by Jurnalist and solo guitarist, Joe Matera. The track was never released and Joe has always championed it since we did it. Everntually Alex Wieser at W.A.R productions contacted me after getting a copy from Joe and asked to release it..and that was kind of it..Following that I was invited to contribute an interview to ‘The History of a Time to Come’ documentary being shot now, about the British Thrash scene during the 1980’s and then was asked to appear as ATOMKRAFT at a show in London with Helstar. I agreed to everything and so here we are..lol. All kinda just happened..Now I am writing a new album with Kraen Meier (Sacrificial), Paul Caffrey (Gamma Bomb) and my old friend, Jim Durkin (Dark Angel) the album is titled, ATOMKRAFT – The Dark Angel and will be released around January 2012.
Speaking of the "Coldsweat" release, one of the bonus tracks entitled "Intro" was recorded during a gig at the London Marquee Club where Atomkraft served as the direct support for American thrash legends Slayer on the "Hell Awaits" tour. What all do you recall from that concert? Did Atomkraft have any interaction with Slayer backstage before or after the show?
Yes that is true...that was put on the Ep for fun..it was used only once and in 1985 so I figured why not...Yes we had a great time meeting a playing with Slayer back then. They had toured Europe and this was their last dates before returning home. They were kinda tired but played a great show.. We chatted and had some photos done before they played and after we played then after the show we all went back to their hotel for some drinking etc....I have always been a huge fan and so this is one of my favourite memories...We played only 3 tracks at this show because...the equipment failed on us (Story of our life..lol) so we waited for it to be fixed but then I thought..fuck this...and after all,I am the Demolition man...so I trashed the fuck out of our stuff...our drummer even took a sledgehammer to his drumkit...hahahahaha. The crowd was still throwing our drummers bass drum around the place while Slayer were on...hahahaha. I have a tape somewhere from the whole show with Tom and Jeff shouting, Slayer while we are on...hahahahaha.
Good times..They are top guys, were then and are now...
Tell me about the other bonus track "Coldsweat" that was a previously unreleased song. How long did you have this song in the can before unleashing it upon your fans? When and where was it recorded?
These songs were all recorded along with ‘Cold Sweat’ as I intended at the time to complete a full album..but my acting work and my theatre work (I am an engineer/Master Crapenter) took up too much time that I was not able to concentrate on it any longer..They were all done around..several years ago..and I recorded it here in London at my studio at the time. The new album is being recorded between Denmark, London and Los Angeles...
Take me back in time to 1985 where after six years as a band, Atomkraft finally released your debut full length album "Future Warriors" through Neat Records. In a period that found many of your peers in the NWOBHM scene steadily releasing albums and further establishing their names I imagine it must have been a bittersweet triumph to finally issue your debut full length after six years as a band. Did the three of you ever feel like you "missed the bus" in a sense by not releasing your debut during what was collectively considered the heyday of NWOBHM from 79-82?
Yes...the band that made the debut album was a different band from the 6 years before...we had been playing and recording demos all that time but it took til 1985 until NEAT Records agreed to release something and by then I had 2 new members after losing the original drummer and the second guitarist in the band..to be fair...we never sent demos to any other label than NEAT...we had no idea who or where we would send stuff, back then don’t forget there were mainly fanzines apart from Kerrang, and Sounds, Melody Maker here and most of the fanzines were European not English. So as NEAT was right where we lived we just waited and kept doing demos til they said yes...hahahaha..stupid but, we had no guidance otherwise..
If we had have put an album out in 1980 to 83..it would have been a very different album...we were Very Heavy and Dark....in those days...but could play our instruments....lol...
I don’t think we , ‘Missed the bus’ but yes it had an effect on us...as it looked like we got our tickets late...and of course made some people think we came later..hahahahaha..sorry but we came at the birth...
Did the nickname "Demolition Man" come before the Atomkraft song "Demolition"? How exactly did you wind up with that moniker?
Ah...hahahahaha..no the track Demolition came later as my anthem..lol. The way the name came about is..we played a show with Warrior in the North of Englad...around 80/81 I think and we all 3 had a solo spot...during my own bass solo I launched myself at the audience and my bass cable, that was wrapped around my amps and stack, pulled everything over...there was lots of flashes,vales exploding etc...lol...it was a real mess...hahaha...so Steve White (original guitarist who went on to form, WarMachine) went to the mic and said.....’Ladies and Gentlemen............The Demolition Man!!’ and that was it...hahahahaha
Of course three years later in 1988 you would join Venom as bassist and vocalist. Was it difficult for you to leave Atomkraft behind? How did Ged and Rob initially take the news when you told them that you had landed the Venom gig? Were they happy for you?
Well of course it seemed like 3 years later but for me it was actually..almost 9yrs later...lol...We had just done our biggest and best tour when that all happened but to be honest...Rob decided he had had enough and wanted to leave...we had a singer we were using and a bassist and I was doing second guitar duties by then as I wanted a fuller sound..the singer also wanted to leave and I just did not want to start over...members (including myself) were coming in and out over a 3 year period and I had had enough..Ged wanted to continue and tried for 5 minutes but it was never gonna happen I guess. The Venom job came at the same time so it was an easy choice..did I miss AtomKraft? Well.....here I am? Hahahahaha...I guess I did!! I just like playing and was a long time friend and fan of Venom so...it was natural and easy..plus Mantas and myself have a certain chemistry as musicians which is very enjoyable..
Obviously the "Prime Evil" album must hold a special place in your heart purely from a sentimental or nostalgic aspect as there must be a great deal of memories involved about recording your first album with Venom. Would you call this your favorite Venom album that you recorded with the band? If not, what would refer to as being your finest or fondest moment with the band?
Yes it does and it is probably my fav recording yes...it all seemed perfect then..I looked at what I liked from Venom and took that as my starter point for writing.. I can’t help my style or approach so never wanted to try and copy anyone...why? lol..I am me and don’t need to be anyone else...myself and Mantas were tighter and I think Abaddon enjoyed the challenge also..we had some great moments but alas some bad ones too...I am proud of all I did with Venom but some cover art and recordings (as far as production goes) suffered later. We should have kept to the plan like with Prime Evil and we made mistakes doing club shows...but hey...everyone makes mistakes...We were always called Venom by the way...we did a set of low key shows on purpose to fit in a second guitarist...so used the moniker, Sons of Satan from Welcome to Hell...but this was always planned...not a name change...as some like to try to make out..hahahahahaha...
What were your primary reasons for leaving Venom in the early nineties? Looking back now are there any regrets for doing so?
No...no regrets...had we followed the game plan..we would have taken it through the 90’s and still been doing it now..but as usual...money is the problem with that band...well people stealing it from the others...and having it stolen..Sorry but there is no other way to exlplain...getting paid...X for something the band does and not paying everyone equally...I think Abaddon and Eric (manager) stole around £40,000 or something from me on deals they did....etc.. and I was on the dole(unemployment benefit.) how can that be fair? Exactly it isn’t. They were all stole from as Venom by NEAT but instead of learning to be fair they learned to do the same...eventually after poor production and bad artwork...MFN weren’t keen to take another 3 album option and I had found out about some of the money...so I said fuck this...I have life to get on with...Also I was working with the Royal Shakespeare company and making great money and had moved to London..so I couldn’t be bothered with the shit any more... No certain people like to tell how I left to allow the old singer back in and..well frankly all sorts of other horsehit but none of that is true...just someone’s dream that it was...hahahahaha.. I left coz I was done with it. And to be absolutely clear, I am not whining, complaining or still living in the past...hahahaha..I have moved on coz life is too short..and I don’t care enough....but just pointing out that, having wrong done to you is no reason to do it to anyone else but especially people you class as friends...is it?
Mpire of Evil is the re-branded name of the Primevil project that you and Mantas recently revived alongside drummer Antony "Antton" Lant (brother of Venom bassist/vocalist Conrad "Cronos" Lant) An EP entitled "The Creatures Of The Black" will be released later this year through Scarlet Records. From this point forward do you envision Mpire of Evil being the main priority for both yourself and Mantas?
Yes, it is our main priority...we all have our side projects..mine being ATOMKRAFT but the M-PIRE comes first...The full album...HELL to the HOLY will also be out in January 2012 so we are also focused heavily on that piece right now too!
Four cover songs were recorded for the debut Mpire of Evil EP. Was it an easy decision for the three of you to all commit to the same four songs? Tell me about what these songs mean to you as a musician..
Well yes...we needed something released before the album as we wanted to so some shows as we were ready so the idea to do this mini came up..we would commit 2 new trax and pick 4 covers that meant something to us as individuals and as a band...It was kinda easy really... as we are fans of the genre as a whole...and all the bands we chose..First we decided we each would pick THE band that made us want to play ourselves and then pick a fav track from that band that did then and does now still inspire us. For Mantas of course it was Judas Priest...his love for the band and KK downing goes all the way to making him who he is...we picked Exciter because of it’s pace and the stops..which if you listen carefully on our recording there is a clue to which venom song it inspired somewhat..when Mantas wrote it! For Antton...ACDC...a classic Bon Scott era track too...Hell Ain’t A Bad Place to be...pure DC and perfect for us as...Hell isn’t a bad place to be and we know as we’ve all been there..lol. For me..it could only be Motorhead..the first, extreme act....and the track Motorhead...that opening bass riff...that Rickenbacker..that voice..that fury...ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..:-) Perfect!! And the 3 way choice...KISS..all things lead to Venom’s stage approach..the showmanship, the size, pyros, etc..Venom had attempted God Of Thunder before and so we thought it was time to actually do it! It was so great to do all of them and we tried to stay true to the tracks...as far as we could...as changing them would not have been the point...we wanted to show how they made us feel by performing them with that feeling..
There was some talk years ago about an upcoming solo album that would include guest appearances by such notable players as Mike Sifringer (Destruction) Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth) and Phil Fasciana (Malevolent Creation) Whatever became of that project? Do you expect those tracks to ever see the light of day?
Well THAT I will still do...but I got sidetracked as one does by life itself...but those guys and the others are all amazing...in their own ways and I want to work with them all if I get the chance..I still have %80 of the tracks and so...who knows when but it shall come into being at some point I hope...:-)
What inspired you to learn guitar/bass in the first place? Was there a specific song or band that made you want to learn how to play or perhaps the appeal of shagging some birds?
Shagging some birds?? Ahahahahahaha....I wasn’t thinking until I saw a very manic show of the Dickies (who were a fav band of mine back then)where I thought man...that looks like fucking fun...that was ’78. Then later that same year heard a bassline to a track that shook my world....Motorhead...by Motorhead...and that was it...!!
After doing this for well over thirty years, what advice, if any, would you lend to kids starting their first metal band? How can they take their musicianship to the next level and what are some things to beware of as a recording/touring musician?
Advice? Go for it...don;t be put off just follow your dream..you can make it happen...other people will say great stuff, bad stuff, love you, hate you, advise you etc,etc....listen to yourself...YOU...no one else...they have opinions just like you but there are not you and are not in control of anything...Go for it!!!
Taking it to the next level is keep going, just keep going, play with heart and mean it....beware of false prophets...and keep in mind, EVERYBODY wants something...if they want to help or advise you...what do they want? You will know what you want but you must know what they want also..just keep your eyes open and do not be swayed by offers to do something for nothing...always ask this...are you getting paid? Music is not about money it is about emotion but no money and you can’t do it on a bigger scale....and you need that to let the world hear you! Oh and on tour....Shag some birds! Hahahaha
You have always struck me as an old school metal musician that keeps current with today's metal scene. Tell me who we could expect to find on Tony Dolan's i-Pod. Who are some bands that have recently caught your attention?
...yeah I can’t turn off...hahahaha...well currently ...I’ll get it and have a look...Mmmmm..k...I have on there right now....
Rammstein..Naplam Death..Gamma Bomb..Destruction...Kreator..Tryptikon..Immortal..Motorhead...Exodus..Slayer...Carpathian Forest....Ulver...Bloodwrath......Def Con One...Warbringer...Witchburner....Backwater...Behemoth...Sacred Legacy....Mortad....lots from South America and the middle east..about 300 more...lol
Let's talk about your career as an actor, you've appeared in a number of films throughout the years. How did you originally break into cinema? What was your favorite role as an actor and are you involved in any film projects at the present?
Well there is always project around but you need to be chosen but right now and for the past years I have not concentrated on the acting...I need to focus right now on the M-PIRE and ATOMKRAFT..
I worked for a famous theatre company and once when we were in India performing was asked to fill in as an actor..I did this and then when returning to London they asked me to help and do it again and that as kind of it really..I really enjoyed it and so decided I would do that...I have been very lucky and consider it an honour to have worked with great directors and great actors...like Paul Bettany, Sylvester Stallone, Russell Crowe amongst others...onstage and on film..I am currently working on a stage play from a very famous horror film which I intend to perform in but right now cannot say more..we currently have around £300,000 but need more investment to make it happen...anyone????hahahahaha
What's next for Tony Dolan? Where do you see yourself in the next few months leading up to the first quarter of 2012?
Next? Well promoting ‘The Creatures of the Black’ ep and finishing the prep for the full album for M-PIRE of EVIL...we are making a special appearance at a friends show and doing a new photo shoot in London in October and with our new manager ( Tommy Moriello) are booking for festivals and date through 2012. There is a European tour and US tour on offer but we plan to get to South America as soon as possible...it is a hectic time....also I have been working on the fanclub...HELLSPAWN....there will be all sorts of cool offers..for both Gold and Silver members...this will be officially up and running by January when the album is launched..in Milan...where we will do all press and perform a special show...
On behalf of Pest Webzine and XMG Venezuela I'd like to thank you for taking the time to talk metal with me today Tony. Before we wrap this up do you have any last words for your fans reading at home?
Thank you..this was fun and great questions...:-)
For Venezuela and all fans...We are coming...I cannot wait to meet you all..I hope you like what we are putting out for you...the best is yet to come...keep the faith...in a world where governments are corrupt and money is none existant, we will will because we are one, a brotherhood of man...hand in hand we are never alone and stand strong..we need to make one big effort..be one with all...build and M-PIRE, the M-PIRE of EVIL...come and join the M-PIRE...Best wishes...and a great thank you from my heart to you! Stay strong and keep it wild and heavy!!!!
Interviewed by Osiris Stefanelli and Robert Williams
Answers by Tony Dolan (Atomkraft, M-Pire of Evil, ex.-Mantas, ex-Venom)