Stefan, do you still remember, how did you discover music? How and when did you turn into hard rock/heavy metal?
My first band, I was listening to was ABBA, but my taste changed very fast, when I first time listend to THE SWEET. This band changed everything. And the next step was DEEP PURPLE, AC/DC and KISS.
What were the first songs, records, that you were listening to? How much influence, effect did it have on you?
DEEP PURPLE - Made in Japan, AC/DC - Highway to Hell, KISS - Alive II. After KISS Alive II, for me it was 100% sure, to become a drummer.
How did you end up becoming musician? How did your choice fall on drums?
The KISS Alive II Cover influenced me the way, that I wanted to become a drummer.
What were your influences to become drummer? Do you play other instruments by the way?
The mask of Peter Criss was for me the reason, to become a drummer. I play no other intsrument than drums.
Were you self-taught?
Tell us please about your musical background, experiences before you joined WALLOP!
Before WALLOP, I had no musical backround, without the regular school music lessons.
WALLOP was formed in 1983, was the line up you on drums, Stefan Fleischer on bass, Andreas Lorz on guitars and Stefan Niebling on vocals? How did you get together exactly?
In the very first days, we had a second guitar player, Ralf Weber. But he left the band very fast for privat reasons. We were all the same age and went all to the same school. In those days, Heavy Metal was not popular at all, so, our small but strong group of outsiders formed very fast WALLOP.
Was WALLOP the very first act for all of you? What about the musical past of the other guys?
Yes, for all of us was WALLOP the first band step.
What do you recall of your early rehearsals? Did you endeavour to write own tunes or were you jamming rather on covers?
It was a mixture of both, we coverd some titels from IRON MAIDEN, SAXON and TANK, but we also wrote right with first rehearsals own tracks.
Who was responsible for the music and the lyrics?
We did everything together.
At the early/mid ’80s a lot of newheavy/speed metal bands were popping up such as GRAVE DIGGER, HELLOWEEN, AVENGER/RAGE, ATLAIN, RUNNING WILD, LIVING DEATH, WARRANT, STORMWITCH, STORMWIND, VAMPYR, AXE VICTIMS, WARLOCK, STEELER etc. from every part of Germany, all started making a name for themselves, did you keep an eye on what’s going on in the German underground scene at this point or were you only caring of your own things? Were you familiar with these bands at all?
How should we watch this scene, there was no internet. We were just concentrated on us. But after the first handprinted Metal Magazines came out, we naturally came in contact, for example with HELLOWEEN and DESTRUCTION.
Can be Düsseldorf, Hamburg and the Ruhr area named as the most important parts/areas as for the developing, forming of the German metal scene?
Yes, but Frankfurt area was also strong, WALLOP, TANKARD (I saw their very first concert), TRANCE, DAMIEN and HEAVY STORM were all from this area.
How happened that the majority of the bands vanished from sight after releasing one or two albums? Would you say, that the German market was oversaturated at this point?
No, but the most bandmembers had regular jobs or had to go to the army. That blocked and destroyed a lot.
Do you agree with, that the German heavy/speed outfits were heavily influenced by ACCEPT, especially by their „Fast As A Shark” song, that can be named as one of the first speed metal tracks of alltime?
No, I´m the opinion, that the most german bands got influenced by the NWOBHM, bands like JUDAS PIEST, SAXON, IRON MAIDEN, MOTÖRHEAD and DEF LEPPARD stand for this influence.
With these hugh amount of bands that started their career at this point, was the situation in Germany the same as in Britain with the N. W. O. B. H. M. movement? Were you also familiar with the British outfits?
I was extremely influenced by the NWOBHM
In your opinion, were the German bands easily distinguishable from each other in terms of songwriting, producing, sound etc.?
I´m the opinion, the sound of the singers was the trademark for each band. You recognized right by thr first word if it was ACCEPT, HELLOWEEN, RAGE, GRAVE DIGGER or RUNNING WILD.
You recorded your first demo in 1984, can you give us detailes regarding this effort? Was it your first studio experience?
It was a hard time for us, ´cause I/we never worked with a metronome/click, what is very impotant, for a professional studio work. So, we recorded the „Metallic Alps” Album the oldschool way, with the whole band, like we did a rehearsal.
It was a self produced material, wasn’t it?
No, we had with Axel Thubeauville a producer.
The demo was mixed by Rainer Durano of OVERDOSE, does it mean, that you asked him to mix the demo, because he was more experienced, than you? Were you friends with the OVERDOSE guys?
Yes, we were good friends, honesty, I can´t remember, who was mixing the album...
Did you the demo shop around for getting fans and/or to attract some labels interests? Through which channels did you promote it?
Our record company for „Metallic Alps” was Bonebreaker Records, they took care, more or less, of everything.
You signed to Bonebreaker Records, that was founded by Axel Thubeauville, how did you get in touch with him? Were there perhaps other labels interest in the band by the way?
He liked our demotape and offered us a contract
To which extent were you familiar with the other bands of the label, such as BLOWIN FREE, CHAINSAW, INVADER, OVERDOSE and STAINLESS STEEL?
We had no contact to the other Bonebreaker bands.
What about other German labels, such as Wishbone, Earthshaker, Gama etc., that were founded also at this time?
All the labels were not interested in WALLOP and Earthshaker Rec. belong to Axel Thubeauville.
Stefan Niebling left the band shortly before „Metallic Alps” was recorded and Michael „Mick Wega” Wegehaupt was brought in as a replacement and sang on the album, what happened with Stefan? Did his decision surprise you?
Yes, the decision surprised us totally, but he got very nervous short before the recordings and decided, not be a singer and went back to his normal dayjob.
How did Mick get in the picture exactly? Was he your first choice by the way?
Yes, he was the first choice, he´s also form Offenbach like all of us and had started his own band in those days. But he took the chance and joined us.
Were you forced to find a singer as soon as possible?
Yes, we were in absoute time trouble...
Were the songs ready, when Mick joined the band or did he also take part in the songwriting?
No, the songs were ready to be recorded.
At which point didyou enter the studio to record the album „Metallic Alps”? Were you prepared to record the album?
We were absolutly prepared, without working with a "click".
Did you work at StudioWahn, Bochum or at Y.U.P. Studio?
What would you tell us about the album, in terms of songs, music, sound, production etc.?
We were absolute proud, to bring our own songs on vinyl, not many bands those days had that oportunity. And we had a very unique album title.
Besides „Somekind of pain” the other demo tracks made up on the record, why didn’t you use „Some…”? Did you re-record the demo tunes?
You know more than I do. I can´t anwer that, it´s too long ago...maybe, we thought, that that titel was not good enough.
Was the album well received back in the day? Were you satisfied with it?
When the album would´ve sold a lot, WALLOP would maybe still exist. Naturally it went not so fine, Bonebreaker Records was for sure no good choice. For a newcomer band, they did absolute nothing, to support us.
Is it correct, that you did the cover art?
Were you gigging a lot? Were there any shows in support of therecord?
We did just some local shows, we had no management, which was able, to organise us German wide or international shows.
Shortly after Mick Wega left the band and Stefan Niebling rejoined, how did it happen?
Mick didn´t felt comfortable with the unsatisfying situation, to have an album, but no support. So, he left and for the local shows, Stefan was able, to come back.
A second demo was recorded in 1986, how was it compared to the album? Did you somehow change musically or were the new songs written in the vein/style of „Metallic Alps”?
For me, the titles were absolute crap. We tried, to write "better" songs, than on „Metallic Alps”, but we missed completely.
Why and when did the band split up? What kind of reasons did lead to the demise of the band?
"No success" is the very easy answer, to this question. Too much wasted time...
Are you aware of, that in 2008 Cult Metal Classics Records re-released „Metallic Alps” along with the demos? Were all of the bandmembers involved in this project?
I knew about it for sure, Stefan Fleischer knew also about it, ´cause he´s also still active in the music buisiness. But the others, I don´t know.
Would you name „Metallic Alps” a cult classic by the way?
Yes, that I would for sure...and if it´s just because for the title and cover art work.
Interview by Leslie David