Henrik Brockmann’s interview
Written by Kevin Tanza on May 13, 2019
Thank you for talking with us, Henrik. It’s a pleasure.
For those that not well-aware, can you tell us about your beginnings? How did you get in the music business and what inspired you to become a singer?
Well, I will try to do the short version.
I started singing around the age of 13-14 in school bands. I was the one that was best at singing and worst at playing guitar, so it was the only “free seat” I could get. I really did have a great time in the beginning yet later on I got more serious about it: seems like the singer position was more or less natural to me. Obviously, I was very much into some of the bands of the late 70´s and early 80´s: when I heard Iron Maiden and AC/DC for the first time I knew that it was rock that hit me like lightning, there was no looking back after that.
After singing in numerous local bands in Copenhagen area for some years, I met up with Andre who – at that time – played in band called APART. I knew about his band, and after Andre heard me singing with some band at the local venue he invited me to do a test song (“Running Wild”)… it all happened around 1989, I´d guess. At first it didn’t go so well, since the song was in a much higher key originally, so we kind of forgot about it for a while. But Andre didn’t: he called me up again… he actually re-recorded the song in another key and then the magic began.
What are the albums and singers that have influenced you the most?
I think that the early Iron Maiden and AC/DC were my first influence; later on I was much into Van Halen and Thin Lizzy. Later on I started to get more into David Coverdale, Ian Gillan, Robert Plant, Ronnie James Dio, Joe Lynn Turner.
The singers with great sound and range were my favorites: then a list of 100 singers came along. But Chris Cornel, Jeff Scott Soto and more feel/rusty sounding singers rocked my boat as well… even Elvis Presley were among my favorites.
I think that the live records like Deep Purple “Made in Japan” and Thin Lizzy “Live and Dangerous” are THE two vinyl records that have stayed longest on my turntable… Malmsteen´s “Rising Force” and Saga´s “In Transit” followed closely.
You’re mostly known for your work with the Danish band, Royal Hunt, in the early 90s. How did you join the band and what can you tell us about that period of your career?
I already did tell a little about how Royal Hunt started.
I remember that we worked hard for many years on the road and in the studio before we got the first record deal: we played the smallest bars of Jutland and parts of Denmark you never heard of. In due time we also got into greater venues and some festivals around Scandinavia, but after the first album came out we began looking beyond Scandinavia – the world seemed to be quite big. Andre and I went to Japan on a promotion tur and later on we toured some of Europe and even USA twice.
After our second album – “Clown in the Mirror” – my journey with the band ended, as you probably know.
You still maintained a positive relationship with the band’s leader, keyboardist André Andersen, since you played in his solo ventures and got together again with Royal Hunt. How is your musical chemistry with André?
Andre and I have always stayed in touch. When we work together we kind of know the next step before anybody else: all these times before the record deal in the beginning as well as our later work have made us to some kind of a special team.
Andre is probably the most hardworking musician around, so when we do something together is usually becomes great. Also, Andre has performed on some of the albums/projects I have been a part of… so I think as we grow old (older!) we appreciate the chemistry we have more than we ever did before.
You recently joined the band N’Tribe. How did that happen?
N´Tribe ( visit us at ntribe.dk )started after recording one of the old Royal Hunt songs which – way back in 1991 – never made it to our debut album. “Land of Broken Hearts” was about to be re-released on vinyl and Andre asked if we should record something old/new as a special treat to the fans. I was on instantly.
So the song was recorded… and then we recorded some more… and after a few drinks and laughs Andres said: let´s make it a band…. at least that´s how I remember it. But the story is still being written and I´m sure that more songs and laughs are on the way.
Obviously being a vocalist tends to be a more demanding role because it exhausts you physically. What do you usually do to keep your vocal chords in good shape?
First of all quit smoking, stop drinking (too much) and sing as often as possible. I perform a lot in different cover rock bands live – mostly in order to stay in shape. Singing 3-4 hours live 1-2 times a week makes my vocal cords stay in stronger, more robust.
It´s not enough for me to sing at home or in the shower, I need to be on stage playing live to challenge my voice the most.
Denmark and most Nordic countries have strong Metal scenes. Why do you think it’s the reason behind this?
I think that just like in the rest of the world, rock and metal´s not being played on TV and radio… it´s not in the mainstream In the Nordic countries rock music is also an underground thing, but it has managed to stay strong for some reason… I think it´s the fans. You see: Nordic countries share a common way of thinking, so if a Swedish band makes a record, fans from Denmark and other Nordic countries will support it… maybe it’s the Viking way.
I would like to talk about your time with the group Evil Masquerade. While they were never much known, it was a fantastic lineup with André, Henrik Flyman, Mats Olausson and you. Looking back, what do you think of that particular project?
It was great for 2 albums that I was on, but it never got any further because of some differences we´ve had after the second album. I don’t know if the band´s still around.
I consider my work on these 2 albums being some of my best as I tried to be more theatrical/musical-like stylistically… I haven’t done that since.
You always have been changing from one musical project to another. Is that by design? Does that keep you interested as a musician?
I don’t know. Sometimes its the small things that make the change. I don’t design it that way, but every time you do something new – it keeps you alert and fresh. The thing is that you will never know how people will react to the new stuff: that’s both exiting and scary at the same time.
Looking back on your career, what do you think are the most important things that you have learned throughout the years?
I think that my greatest lesson should be “you will never know what´s around the corner” Keep on being interested in new stuff but remember your roots at the same time.
What would you advice to a musician who is just starting out?
Believe in what you do. Don’t let anyone put you down. All beginnings are tough. If you´ll keep working it will pay off in the end.
Thank you so much for this opportunity, Henrik. Any last message for our readers? Where can we follow you on social media?
Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @ntribeband
Check out the soundbites at ntribe.dk
Follow me on Facebook @Henrik.Brockmann
Give our new songs a spin: really hope to see you all “live” someday. All the best