5TH AVENUE – reloaded

The 5th Avenue not in NY, but in HH: In the early 90s, five times in a row the Rock band played at the Wacken Open Air festival; in 1994 and 1995 named the most popular act of the city by the readers of the Hamburg daily newspaper Morgenpost – and then in 1995 the band dissolved. Now, 17 years later, 5th Avenue returned to the stage at the Hamburg Metal Dayz after their reunion a year earlier. How it came to be and much more – Singer Oliver Peters will answer our questions.

How did it come to this comeback?
I wanted to record a new song last year and asked Ingo (drums) and Adrian (bass), if they would like to participate. The two were in immediately and Ingo´s wife Angi came up with the idea, why not reviving 5th Avenue again. And then it happened everything very quickly and suddenly we were in the Kaiser cellar on stage.

Who is still from the original line-up?
Adrian on bass was from the beginning in the band and Ingo sat on drums already 1994/95.

Why did you dissolve the band in 1995?
There were musical and personal differences. Further, it was no easier by the fact that our album simply never got published. Thus, the tensions were getting bigger and the end of 1995 the deadline was reached.

You played at Wacken festival from 1990-1995, but before that at the Hamburg Oxmox band contest?
Our band existed only a few months, and we have submitted our first demo tape to the Oxmox magazine. I remember, how we cheered as the promise came that we are in the final. In the club Große Freiheit we were the first band to play, but that did not matter. No matter, if we win, but we won the second or third place. Just a week later, we have the KNUST sold out in 15 minutes, so we can not have been that bad. The OXMOX band competition was definitely a landmark case in the history of the band.

As you said in an interview this year, you never wanted to make music again. How can this happen – as a Rock`n´Roller? Sounds kind of disappointed.
When the band broke up, I felt so very empty, and I had put all my energy at all times in this band. In addition, the other five were also my best and closest friends, and it was not by consensus apart. This has left its mark for years and taken me any joy in the music.

What have you done in the meantime?
Adrian has continued with the guys even under other names. Ingo get in the band Jackbox, where he still plays today. I´ve made some studio work, recorded among other the theme song for two children series.

How does it feel to rock on stage again after so long?
Just great… The new formation has tremendous energy, which is just fun!

Did you have any albums published? (Are they still somewhere to buy?)
Yes, we have recorded the album in the U.S. “Petting Zoo”. Unfortunately, the recordings are lost, and the album was never released. Our first single from the album, “Luka” you can still find on eBay or Amazon.

A new album is being planned?
Yes, we are working very busy at the songs, have also spoken with many record companies. There were some requests, but to date we have not signed anything yet. We will probably release the album by ourselves.

The music of 5th Avenue then and now – there´s something new to discover or do you continue, where where you had stopped?
We currently play old songs from the period to 1994, but are in the process of writing new songs. This is very exciting, but 5th Avenue have then more often reinvented themselves and the new songs are really good. I´m very excited to present these live soon.

In the Hamburg Metal Dayz in 2013 you were announced on stage by Thomas Jensen (Wacken Open Air) – is a performance at the Wacken Festival planned?
Thomas and Holger have always supported the band and it was a great honor to be presented by Thomas personally. A performance for the 25th anniversary Wacken would be amazing, of course… let´s see.

Certainly an old, familiar question: Why the band name, what´s about the 5th Avenue in Hamburg?
Well, we were sitting in a bar and had a cocktail on the menu “Fifth Avenue”. Before we could not agree on a band name, and the first show was soon in order. The band name was not hurting anyone, it was more of the smallest possible denominator.

On 13 December 2013 you will have a show in the Club Knust in Hamburg. “Metal Monday Revival” is the name of the event in which the 20-year long melodic metal band Chalice occurs, too. As quasi newcomers – because founded in 2011 – Blind Man´s Gun are also there. What to say about the concert?
That was the idea of Karsten Schölermann (Knust owner), it should be a tribute to the “Metal Monday”, what was an institution in the Knust in the 90s. Both bands I find very awesome and I look forward to working with them to rock the club. With Chalice we were also represented at the “Metal Monday” sampler. But that there are not only old, wrinkly and fat men on stage, we asked Nadine and her boys Blind Man´s Gun. It´s not supposed to be a men-only club…

Do still many women come to attend your concerts?
Yes, very strange… that can not be just because of us as protagonists, we are not as pretty as back then. But in our shows the women are in front of the stage and the men at the bar. This is really just as it was. But as our guitarist Andy puts it: “There is no disgrace for a man to go to a concert of the 5th Avenue …”

Oliver Peters – Gesang
Andy Pelzer – Gitarre, Gesang
Yogy – Gitarre, Gesang
Ingo Kahland – Schlagzeug
Adrian Marx – Bass
Ansas Strehlow – Orgel

Andreas Torneberg

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