interview with WIZARD

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Have any of you played in other bands? Snoppi: Yes, but only to help other bands out as a drummer. Not as my own band. All my life I played in Wizard.
How is it that you started playing music? 
Snoppi: I started at the age of 4 with xylophone in a music school. Than flute and after that 8 years trumpet. I started playing drums very late, around the age of 15 - 16. It always fascinated me. Before I played in orchestras, quartets and so on. Very much classic songs. I fucking hate it nowadays, hahaha. 
I bought a drumset and forced my neighbour Michael Maass to buy a guitar and learn playing it. He obeyed me and he is still there beside me! The other members were found by me on street while drinking and making party at the weekends.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?
Michael Maass (guitar, 47)
Sven D'Anna (vocals, 43?)
Dano Boland (guitar, 50)
Arndt Ratering (bass, 43?)
Sören van Heek (me, Snoppi, drums, 47)
Have you had other previous members?
Snoppi: Yes, we had one former bass player, Volker Leson. He left the band a few years ago because of health problems and private reasons.
Did you make music even when you were young? Snoppi: Yes, but the "wrong" one (in my opinion). I hated it to play classic songs on the trumpet, while loving listening to songs from bands like Slayer or Metallica. 
Where are you from? Snoppi: We are from Bocholt, Germany. That's in the west of germany near the dutch border, near Düsseldorf or Cologne.
What year did the band form? Snoppi: I formed the band in 1989. 
What's your style of genre? Snoppi: You can decide this on your own. For me it is just Heavy metal. Others call it true metal, power metal, I don't know what kind we play. Just Heavy metal, isn't that enough? 
What inspires you? Snoppi: Each of us was inspired by different bands. Sven a lot from Manowar, Kiss, WASP. Michael from van Halen, Satriani etc. Dano and me from Thrash bands like Slayer, Metallica and Arndt likes prog-metal. 
How often and where do you reherse? Snoppi: In most cases we rehearse once a week. In a small town near the dutch border. We have 2 rooms. One for drinking and talking and relaxing, the other for playing metal. 
How have you developed since you started with the music? Snoppi: We all got better on our instruments. That's it. The style of our music never changed. We are not able to play a different style, hahaha. 
Do you have other interests of work outside the band? Snoppi: I like programming and sports. And of course making party with great people. 
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? Snoppi: No, not at the moment. We have a booking agency in germany (Nauntown music) and also a promoter in czech republic for concerts there. The rest is made of our own.
What I think about booking agencies? I don't know. If the bring interesting gigs and the price is ok, than I like it. I am glad of every good planned concert that is offered to us. But of course there are also a lot shit offers from people who don't know nothing. 
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? Snoppi: No, we are not searching for a label, we are happy with Massacre records in germany. 
What made you decide to make this music? Snoppi: The power and the strength of heavy metal! It blew me away, when first listening to Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Accept or Scorpions. Later than Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Anthrax, Kreator, Destruction, Exodus and so on. 
What are your songs about? Snoppi: About fuckiing heavy metal, about fantasy, about Odin and Thor, about death and about lots of other themes. 
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? Snoppi: That depends. Everybody can write songs like he wants. The most songs are written by Sven, Dano and Arndt. Sometimes I write lyrics, like the ones on the "Angel of death" album. 
Do you start with the music or the lyrics? Snoppi: There are no rules. Sometimes so, the other time vice verca. 
Do you compose in a certain inviroment? Snoppi: Most songs were composed at home with the help of computers. Earlier we only made songs together in our rehearsal room. But for me this is boring and takes a lot of time. On the other hand you know the song better and sometimes you also get new ideas for another song by jamming around.
Have you done any covers live? Snoppi: I guess we played "battle hymns" from Manowar on one or two concerts, but this is yeeaaaars ago. I don't like cover songs very much. We have enought good own songs.
What language do you sing in? Snoppi: English
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? Snoppi: Puh, don't know. Least perhaps about 10 people? And the most I guess a few thousand. We played Wacken Main stage or other festivals ...
What ages are most of your concert attendants? Snoppi: I don't know, hahaha. I guess between 20 and 60. 
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? Snoppi: We vary, but not very much. Depends on what we promote at that moment (a new album or not).
Do you have a regular place you play live often? Snoppi: No, not really. We play nearly everywhere.
What was your first gig like? Snoppi: It was very full, because all our friends were there. And we drank very much, hahaha. It was a blast. We were young and music-virgins ;-) And keen on showing the people what we understood under "heavy metal".
What was your latest gig? Snoppi: Last week a tour through spain and at the weekend in germany on a metal ship. 
Have you had to cancel a gig? Snoppi: Not very much, luckily. One gig I had to cancel because my daughter had a surgary. 
Where have you played live this year? Snoppi: Puh. In germany (of course), in france, in spain, in belarus (white russia). 
Where do you plan to gig the comming year? Snoppi: I guess in Hamburg, perhaps again in spain, in Karlsruhe and some more. You can check our dates on facebook or under
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? Snoppi: We started very early. We sell shirts, caps, cds, dvd and so on.
Where can people buy your merchandise? Snoppi: On our gigs. Or they send a mail to 
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? Snoppi: I think it is like it is. 30 years ago we did not download but we copied cassettes. That was also for free and not good for the bands. Of course I would like it if everybody would pay for our music. But I guess if anybody really likes our music, he will try to support us by coming to our concerts, by buying merch or order CDs/Vinyl in addition to downloads.
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? Snoppi: They do not earn as much money as in history, hahaha. 
Snoppi: What work are you doing? Sorry, you did not introduce yourself very much.
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? Snoppi: I am of the opinion, that every public statement can help you. Or at least makes someone happy who likes us and likes reading something from us. To this people I say: Hi! 
Do you have any role models or idols? Snoppi: Hm. No, not really. Of course I like good drummers like Charlie Benannte or Dave Lombardo or Ian Pace. But I play what is needed for our songs. It does not have to be too complicated.
Why do you think that they exist? Snoppi: Who exists? The idols? I don't know. Everybody has somebody whos work he likes very much. 
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? Snoppi: I think that's both. There are great old songs but also great new stuff. Of course nowadays it is a little bit harder to compose a really good melody or a greate guitar riff. You have to combine more than in the past. 
What have been your biggest obstacles? Snoppi: Wizard is like a family, we are together 30 years next year. So of course we also had trouble during this time. Where somebody is angry about the other or whatever. But, family like, you have to solve those conflicts. We love each other and respect is a very important thing. 
What advice would you give other bands or artists? Snoppi: Do your thing! Have fun with what you do and don't care about the other! Hold on to your taste, your love to music and respect your friends/band collegas. Never give up! All this are things which should be clear and not nescessary to explain. 
How do you get psyched for a gig? Snoppi: Hä? Don't know, what you mean with this question, hahaha. 
Do you have any new material? Snoppi: Yes, we are working on it. I hope that we can start recordings next year. But Sven also tours with Dave Shankle (ex-Manowar) and his band Feanor in south america, so at the moment he has no time to concentrate on new material. But I hope we will start soon!
What are your web sites? Snoppi: and
How can people reach? Snoppi: Write us on facebook, that's easy. And like our band-page ;-) If you want to order something, directly write an email to 
What are your plans for the future? Snoppi: Recording new songs, make a new album and then concentrate on concert. We have to celebrate our 30th birthday next year. 
Do you have something to add? Snoppi: I hope I could give you a short overview of what is Wizard all about. Visit and like us on FB, or, even better: come to our concerts and celebrate a big party with us!
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