Hank von Hell has reinvented himself many times over the last decade, and his new-ish solo-ish album Egomania (released in 2018) is the latest document of his cartoonishly outsized persona. As Egomania capably demonstrates, Mr. von Hell loves anything to do with rock star excess – he’s just a little better about avoiding temptation these days. Of course, he’s most well known as the former singer of Norwegian shock-rock combo Turbonegro until his departure in 2010, following their last truly great album 2007’s Retox (Turbojugend die-hards may disagree).
In truth, his reinvention is not all that radical. The former Hank von Helvete is still Hank from Hell, just with some of Turbonegro’s overt ’70s sensibilities updated slightly for the ’80s. A little less glam rock, a little more glam metal. Decibel checked in with Hank von Hell before the start of his long-delayed August 2019 (dates below) tour for a little insight into what to expect. He wouldn’t tip his hands too much, but promised a spectacle. He did, however, share his actual tour rider, which – in service to journalism – we are stoked to bring to you. Remember, kids, brown M&Ms are dogshit.
Your tour was originally set to kick off in mid-January 2019, but got delayed due to the U.S. government shutdown. What happened there? And how far did you get with negotiations before you had to postpone the tour?
The thing is, everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – was in place. Shows confirmed, tickets booked, crew was already there… then that shit happened. I was beyond disappointed and frustrated about the whole situation. What happened was that my past came and bite me in the ass basically. It’s no secret that I’ve lived the “rockstar way” quite thoroughly back in the day, and what held up my visa was a 19 year old fine that they needed to look into. I wanna make it totally clear that I’m 110% behind their decision to be thorough, it’s just a shame that the tour had to be postponed due to my visa being approved too late. Luckily, everything is fine now and the visa is all sorted out. So I’m very much looking forward to this tour, it’s been too long since last time. I miss those crazy fans!
Congrats on having your song “Fake It” selected for the Melodi Grand Prix 2019. Regrettably, it was not selected to represent Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest. Did you have a plan for the performance if the song had made it to Eurovision?
Haha, well… To be completely honest…There was no plan of taking that further. Main reason was to be able to put on a punk rock show on national Norwegian TV. When the production team asked me if I wanted to participate, I basically had two demands: I was gonna do whatever I wanted for the show, and I wanted the same pyro as KISS had during the late 70’s. And they basically accepted both terms, which was cool. I remember they had to move the gas tanks for the flamethrowers outside the venue because it was too much and too dangerous to keep inside.
You previously teased the release of an EP this spring with the same line-up as on your solo album Egomania. Is that still in the works?
I tried doing an EP, but I had too much good material, so it’ll be a full album instead. I can’t really say so much about it yet (perhaps when this interview is published, there’s more to say), but this upcoming thing is a big one. A really big one. Egomania was the starting point, and this is the future. I’ll be heavy, it’ll be dark and it’ll be nasty. That’s for sure.
Recent set lists include most of the songs from Egomania, plus a few Turbonegro tracks like “Selfdestructo Bust” and “I Got Erection.” Do you have any surprises in store for the North American tour?
You bet! I’m not gonna cut any corners on this one. It’s my first tour over there in many, many years, and I feel like the audience deserves the full package, and then some. It’ll be like dirty sex with a dirty ex, but in a good way.
What’s on your tour rider, now that you’ve cleaned up your act?
HANK VON HELL RIDER:
1 x Celtic Tap Dancers (We will check heritage)
2 x Tainted Eggs
1 x Blade
5 x Lost old men
72 x Bold kittens
1 x comb
2 x Toothbrushes
8 x Greasy Herrings
15 x Minutes of fame
2 x Rolls of toilet paper (1 ply only, more would be ridiculous)
1 x Greek tragedy
2 x Minutes to Midnight
2,4,6 or 8 x Motorway
1 x Litter Box with sand
6 x Dwarves (Do NOT bring Dopey, he’s a bitch)
1 x Pencil (invisible ink or charcoal)
1 x Book of revelations
1 x Unused bathroom sink
3 x Ticket to ride (But she don’t care)
1 x Secure telephone line
1 x Unsecured telephone line
1 x Getaway car (Engine running entire show)
1 x Life Size cut out of Bono or Shrek
3 x Little Birds
3 x A Lady
6 x Dots (for connecting purposes)
7 x Seas of Rhye
8 x Days a Week
99 x Red Ballons
1 x More Reggae for the road
500 x Miles (Which I will walk, but then need an additional 500 afterwards)
1 x Way (Or another)
1 x Happy Meal
1 x Lover (Part time is OK)
4 x Stolen songs from Coldplay (they MUST have stolen them before, otherwise not OK)
3 x Stoned surgeons
1 x Flask. Not a bottle, must be a flask.
1 x Potato
1 x YouTube channel
1 x Fake foot
1 x Bucket of wet paint
2 x Things
1 x Gadget
1 x A man saying the word “Shovel” In Scottish accent
1 x Synopsis for pitch to TV Channel about small unknown sports in Azerbaijan
1 x Pill
1 x Turtle
1 x Book about breeding parakeets
2 x Parakeets or any other stupid bird that looks like them
1 x Bird impersonator
1 x Cage, brand must be Nicholas
1 x Loose Cannon
1 x Box of hair coloring (Color depends on mood, check with Tour Manager for color of the day)
1 x Of those little screwdrivers that can be used to fix really small wristwatches or perhaps random toy from McDonalds
1 x Cool guy who’s able to stand on stage for at least 75 min doing absolutely nothing
1 x Really loud (English preferred) person who must pretend to be either bus driver or Tour Manager during entire day of show. Huge plus if this person has severe drinking issues and doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing.
1 x Person pretending to be from record label. Preferred if person can be in the way all day, and also be able to drink up entire rider of alcohol before band has a chance to even open a single bottle themselves.
1 x Person pretending to be drum technician. Preferred if person is (or can at least pretend) to be German and not speak a single word of English. Person must also have weird tribal patterned shirts, army hat, cargo shirts, 92836 laminates on key chain from tours prior to the birth of Christ and smoke at least 5 packs of imported Thai cigarettes. Person does not have to know how to work a drum kit.
1 x Person at venue telling the Tour Manager that the stage is too small and that the in-house light tech only uses lights from the last Genesis tour with Phil Collins. He must also be severely addicted to cannabis and wear t-shirt from a band ithat you need calculator to enjoy.
1 x Person acting as local Roadie. Must be compulsive liar and tell stories about when he/she hung out with Lemmy. Please note that stories cannot actually have happened.
1 x Runner with extremely bad knowledge of both driving and surroundings. Basically, he/she shouldn’t be able to find their way to their own left pocket. Huge plus if person has very low stress level and haven’t slept for at least 72 hrs.
1 x Average guy named “Joe.”
1 x Backstreet Boy
2 x Thumbs (Up)
1 x New Snickers Bar
1 x Guy who used to tech for Nickelback or Hanson
1 x Really tall person
1 x Normal length person to compare with tall person, to see if the person really is tall
1 x Step staircase (Only one step needed)
4 x Dangerous sheep
1 x Ridiculously large bowl of cereal or shrimp
1 x Package of yeast
2 x Cups of flour
1 x tablespoon of Sugar
1 x 1/2 pint of milk
1 x Oven
1 x Flammable flamingo
1 x Historical historian
3 x Lame lamas
2 x British Brothers
1 x Finish Folksinger
8 x Danish Dogs
4 x Respectful Roosters
2 x Cheeky Chesterfield Supporters
1 x Trustworthy Truffle Dog
6 x Adorable Alcoholics
1 x Stuttering Stranger
2 x Worn Water-skies
1 x Garden Gnome
9 x Suspect Swedes
42 x Unbearable Utters
2 x Microphones that is used for singing and pole dancing
3 x Long cables
2 x Short cables
2 x Half-short cables
1 x Really short cable
1 x “Get Out Of Jail-Free Card”
1 x Offer Hank can’t refuse
1 x Pair of identical twins (does not have to be related)
1 x Of those really cool things you use to send papers in envelopes to people that you don’t know
1 x Fax machine (Does not have to be operating. Hank doesn’t know how to use it anyway)
3 x Really good ideas
36 x Really bad ideas
1 x Flying DeLorean
1 x Reoccurring role in “Les Miserables”
3 x Wishes
1 x Stray Cat
2 x Boyz
2 x Men
1 x 1st Edition of the Bible (Mint condition)
8 x Stroboscope Lamps (Must be active during entire show and placed in Production Office)
6 x Stunt Doubles for Hank
1 x Weightlifter
3 x Glass Of milk
2 x Shots of Bird-flu vaccine
7 x Sausages
4 x Diary free cartons of orange juice
7 x Lucrative Business models
4 x Towels
6 x Bottles of Still Water
Will there be any fireworks? And more specifically, will there be any bottle rockets fired out of anyone’s arsehole?
I won’t spoil any surprises. Be there!