The Greek premiere of Daniel Hofmann's music documentary "Total Thrash - The Teutonic Story" is coming to Gimme Shelter Film Festival on Monday 23 October 2023 at Gagarin 205 Live Music Stage, in Athens.
Daniel Hofmann, director of the documentary answers our questions on this unique film that captures the definitive story of a metal sub-genre born in the Ruhr valley that got to conquer Europe, the world and, of course, Greece!
He will also be joining us for a live Q&A after the movie screening whilst local thrashers AMKEN, one of the most popular bands out there, will kick off proceedings.
Don't miss this for the world!
RockOverdose: Hello and welcome to Rock Overdose! First of all, congratulations on your documentary about the German Thrash Metal Scene – Total Thrash! I found it really interesting not only in terms of music but also in terms of the European history. Did you have this in mind when you decided to make this film? Or it came across while creating it?
Daniel Hofmann: Thank you very much for the congratulations. I think we have done a huge step with the documentary of TOTAL THRASH to show the world out there which great influence does Teutonic Thrash from Germany had in the 80s and all over the world till today. The first idea in my mind was to do a movie about the big teutonic four – Kreator, Sodom, Destruction and Tankard – but I realized very soon, that there is so much more, which makes German Thrash Metal so special and you couldn´t break this down only with those four bands. There are so many music and even thrash documentaries out there, but in my opinion the German thrash scene wasn´t really represented as it should be in most of those movies. All those facts and ideas I had already in mind when I was working on the first script of Total Thrash. During the filming process more and more stories and persons came up to be part of the final documentary. This was existing for me too after all and finally the story changed at the end a little bit while creating it.
RockOverdose: Is this your first music documentary? How did you approach it in terms of timeline and of telling the story of the German thrash scene? Are there any aspects that you didn’t want or was difficult to mention or maybe you didn’t manage to approach for some reason?
Daniel Hofmann: Yes, it is my first documentary and even my first long movie. I am so happy that we had done a huge part of the live footage in the first steps of the filming process already in 2019 and later the main part of the interviews in 2020. It was not easy to do such a film in the corona time. I think at the end the first script also had changed during the filming process and the final documentary got a few other stories and content – e.g. the part of the GDR was not part of the original script and was set later as a side story during the post production. There are no aspects for me which are not involved in the final movie.
RockOverdose: How easy was to organize and gather all those people on film to talk about? Which was the most difficult part/scene to film and why?
Daniel Hofmann: In the first step of the filming process we had a few bands and interview dates to do. It all came over my working as a festival promoter from the Metal Diver Festival and as a magazine editor of the Metal Striker. I had many connections to labels and to bands, which where of course the first choice for Total Thrash planing. With other bands I just had connected on my own via Facebook, Instagram or mail contact, again others came because a person knows another person and said to me: “This one should be also a part of Total Thrash”. Everything works very well. At the end we had another 30-40 interviews, but we had to cancel all of them, because it was too much content at all. The most difficult scenes where the live footage, because we worked in parts with 3 cameras (e.g. on the live gig of Sodom) and it was not easy to get the perfect sound and also to get the atmosphere around a concert inside the documentary as it is.
RockOverdose: I noticed that Mille Petrozza has minimal participation in the film and only through video scenes. Given that he is an integral part in forming the German thrash metal scene and sound, it’s quite striking that he’s not featured in the film. Is there a reason for this absence?
Daniel Hofmann: I am a huge Kreator fan and of course Mille should be part of Total Thrash, but all request were rejected or ignored, so that we had to find a replacement and a person, who could tell the history of Kreator as well. The only person for that job could be Ventor, because he was involved since the beginning of the band. Finally I think that Ventor has also done a great job in the documentary.
RockOverdose: Are there any backstage moments that were cut from the final product but for some reason couldn’t make it happen? Would you like to mention some?
Daniel Hofmann: Not really. Of course we have done many backstage moments, e.g. within the backstage scenes with Sodom we had to decide what we include in the final cut of Total Thrash. So we use the scenes from the Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen instead of the scenes from Nord Open Air, which we had shorten after all. But every scene we want to use is inside the final film.
RockOverdose: What feedback have you got so far from the crowd? Is there something that you’d do differently or you wish you could add or correct?
Daniel Hofmann: At the beginning of the filming process we had not the best equipment and so we had to do the first interviews with this and replace it after that. Also as said before due to Corona we could not made all live sessions which I wanted to include in Total Thrash after all. So we had to use existing concert excerpts. Those things caused some problems in the post production. Also perhaps there could be a few people less after all, but I won´t say at the end, that I would correct thinks after the movie was finished. I really like it and also the fans out there like it. I had so many conversations on the cinema tour, people talk to me on festivals and concerts and say thank you for made this documentary happened. The feedback is such a pleasure for me after three years of making Total Thrash.
RockOverdose: Do you have any plans to film another documentary about music? Are you familiar with the greek metal scene? It would be quite interesting to make something about it.
Daniel Hofmann: Of course I had so much fun and the three years working on Total Thrash was really a pleasure at all, but at the moment there is no further plan to do another music documentary. I have some ideas and being inside the script process for my second movie – a fictional film. Perhaps in a few years there will be another metal scene film, let´s see what future brings and what is in my mind. I am also familiar with the Greek metal scene and really proud, that AMKEN will be part of the screening on Gimme Shelter film festival. It is one of my favorite thrash bands here.
RockOverdose: Thank you very much for your time. I’ll see you on October 23 at the Gimme Shelter film festival, in Athens Greece!
Daniel Hofmann: Thank you for the interview. We proud to be part with Total Thrash. See you there.
GIMME SHELTER FILM FESTIVAL
16, 23 Οκτωβρίου & 06, 13 Νοεμβρίου / Gagarin 205 Live Music Space
- 16 Οκτωβρίου: 20 Ευρώ
- 23 Οκτωβρίου, 06 & 13 Νοεμβρίου: 15 Ευρώ
- Ε-tickets στα 123tickets.gr & www.GSFFathens.com
- Hard Copies στο Hard Rock Cafe Athens (Ανδριανού 52, Μοναστηράκι).
Ακολουθήστε μας (@GSFFathens) ή εγγραφείτε στο newsletter μας
μέσω του www.GSFFathens.com. Για να τα ξέρετε πρώτοι όλα!
Παραγωγή: Laika Productions | Fairplay