“For me, thrash metal means being able to escape from everyday life and simply forgetting everything in front of the stage and letting the hell out with the best people in the world”

“For me, thrash metal means being able to escape from everyday life and simply forgetting everything in front of the stage and letting the hell out with the best people in the world” It just bangs, has crunchy riffs, heavy drums and that unmistakable aggression Maybe that was exactly what fascinated me so much at the age of 10. I’m Daniel, born in 1985 and when I had my first contact with this kind of music, it was already in the mid-nineties. At the time, I wasn’t aware that
the genre was in a deep crisis and so, like many others at the time, I followed the bands’ songs on TV and radio. I found it totally boring at first and oriented myself more towards the up-and-coming Black Metal. After that I discovered the albums of the 80s more and more retrospectively and got a different perspective on the genre. The record covers with the many colorful social themes in combination with the heaviness and speed of the music made me want more. So I gradually got more albums and discovered the new works by Sodom, Kreator and Destruction at the turn of the millennium. From that moment on, thrash metal played a central role in my life.

Over the years I attended numerous concerts and festivals, created new structures through my own metal festival in Sauerland, my own metal club and my own metal magazine. That in turn smoothed my way into the scene. During this time, thrash metal also played an accompanying role for me and at some point I asked myself why, after 35 years of music history, there is still no documentation about this extraordinary music genre. So I started researching and quickly noticed that there were various documentaries on the international scene, but mostly based on specific bands and in which the influence of the German thrash metal scene was only mentioned in passing.

At some point the idea came up to make a short film about it, initially it should deal with Tankard, Destruction, Sodom and Kreator and have a length of 20-30 minutes. The conditions were good: I’ve been behind the camera since I was a child, if it was my birthday back then I was shooting, at that time it was image and short films for companies. But I wanted to do something different – away from 0815 thinking – develop a story that the world might have been waiting for. So in early 2019 I started collecting ideas for a potential documentary about thrash metal in Germany. At the beginning of June, during a private trip, I stopped at a holiday apartment by the sea in Cuxhaven. I actually only wanted to stay here for one night, which turned out to be three whole nights and a creative trip to Heligoland. I then went back to the Sauerland with a first rough script, which I developed further over the coming months.

At the same time, however, the first shoots for the planned film were already taking place. For me personally, to be honest, it was a jump in at the deep end. It was July 27, 2019 – I was partying until 6 a.m. and had agreed to accompany Husky (then drummer at Sodom) to accompany me on a shoot at the Nord Open Air in Essen. Slightly stricken, I drove there in the afternoon and just turned on it. Two weeks later the same thing at Party.San Open Air with the band Traitor. Two or three more interviews followed in September and October, and since I’m a very perfectionist, I quickly realized that the equipment I had was not good enough for my first film. In addition, the first shots were far from perfect for me. During a trip to the USA at the end of October, I continued to develop the script, improved the equipment over the coming weeks and, in Bas and Simon, brought two more
experienced people into the film team, who were to accompany me on larger shoots and live recordings from then on. What was missing now was money to finance the planned project.

So I confidently approached potential film funding sources and submitted applications for funding and support for the project Thrashers (R)Evolution (which was the film’s first planned title). Unfortunately, a short time later there was a hail of cancellations, but I never let that discourage me. And so we planned the shooting of 2020 well into the winter months – largely privately financed. Numerous interviews followed throughout Germany. At that time we were already pushing a wave of social media, developing a website for the film and accompanying the shooting with multimedia. As a result, other people became aware of the film and wrote to us at the same time via many channels in order to be able to be part of the film. In hindsight, the film did really well Stories and protagonists emerged that I hadn’t considered in the script at all before. As a result, the original version of the screenplay had to be adapted. In the course of the many shoots, the first ideas of what the film cover should look like arose in my head. In almost three months of work and numerous adjustments, this was finally completed in early December 2020 by artist Axel Hermann under the new banner “Total Thrash – The Teutonic Story”. Now the time had come to unleash the film on mankind – only the further financing of the project had not yet been clarified. At that time, I was developing a three-way refinancing scheme: a grant for post-production, various sponsorship packages, and a crowdfunding campaign. While we were filming more interviews in the background, the film was already available for pre-order in three exclusive packages. And although we were denied funding from the state a second time, all 775 packages were sold out by the end of May. After that it got pretty quiet around Total Thrash. I withdrew
to Cologne for weeks to edit the film. Here the script was completely changed and further developed in numerous discussions and creative approaches. It was almost a kind of “new film” thanks to the great work of my editor Nicole. This was followed by the sound design by Holger, the graphic design by Marc, the color grading by Felix and the final mix by Christoph. A great one developed in the background Team that made the film what it is from today’s point of view through their commitment and their friendly and partly voluntary support.

At the end of 2021 I am about to hold my first film in my hands, which is truly a very emotional moment for me. It was always my goal to make my own film and the fact that this would now also be about my
favorite genre and that I could get to know all the musical role models as an enthusiastic thrash metal fan at the same time combines several lifelong dreams for me in one project. Now the film has successfully completed a major cinema and club tour across Germany and the world premiere in the Lichtburg in Essen was completely sold out. I’m looking forward to showing my film at one or the other film festival in the world.

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