Interview with All For Metal members Tim “Tetzel” Wagner, Antonio Calanna and Jasmin Pabst

Date: August 14, 2023
Interviewer: Olivier
Photos: Photos by JspicsJõrg Schnebele
Band Websites: Official Website, Facebook, YouTube (AFM Records), Spotify, Instagram


Sleaze Roxx: I heard a couple of your songs and thought, “Wow! This is so good!’ so I really wanted to chat with you. So let’s get started. How did the band get started in the first place because I see you have members from Italy and you have members from Germany. So how does the band get started?

Antonio Calanna: We have members from Germany and Italia for now. I think that the last time that we made this type of alliance, it was a good one!

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] That’s right!

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: So basically, I’ve been working with AFM Records for a couple of years with my other band so that’s why the head of AFM Records already knew me. And I started to go take singing lessons to get [to be] a singer in the first place because usually, I just growl and scream, and I wanted to sing clean vocals as well. We kind of had this idea to use this as well in a band and then I reached out to Antonio because he’s such an amazing singer and performer. He’s absolutely crushing it. His vocals are from another planet. We talked about a lot of stuff — singing practice and some vocal exercises and stuff — so we got in contact through that. And we said, ‘Let’s figure out if we can start a band together.’ We pitched the idea to AFM Records and as it stands, we were really, really lucky [laughs] that they wanted us and also that they found this contrast to be very interesting and pretty unique — like having two male singers with different sorts of spectrum. We met in the studio in November ’20…

Antonio Calanna: ’21.

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: Yes, ’21 [laughs]. Getting confused! 2021. We tried some stuff out and immediately, it really clicked and we started working on the album [laughs].

All For Metal‘s “Hear The Drum” video:

Sleaze Roxx: What about the other members because you mentioned the both of you but there are many other members of the band so how did the rest of the band get on board?

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: So yeah, it started out with us but then, we started to reach out to other musicians of course because we needed to find someone. The good thing already was that since the way we met each other, we knew we’re not going to be a band that’s in the rehearsal room every week because we are not even living close together. So it was for us, an opportunity, a chance to get people in the band that really want to commit themselves, that really want to play with us, and it’s not such a matter of being locally together. So you’re not stuck with someone that’s living next door basically, which was really, really great. We reached out to a couple of musicians and basically, we’re very lucky through friends, mutual partners through the music industry, we got to know a couple of people, and then one by one, we got the guys ands girls to join our band and we’re really, really happy to have them of course. Jassy [Jasmin Pabst] for example, who is really committed, she’s a great guitarist and of course, she’s pretty renowned for her play through videos and stuff like that. It’s a really great dynamic and I’m really glad where we are right now.

Sleaze Roxx: Jassy — how did you end up joining the band and what did you think of the idea?

Jasmin Pabst: Actually, it was someone who I know. It was Jen Majura who is also good friends with Johan and she was knowing that All For Metal was going to search for a guitar player. Preferably for a girl guitarist because it’s something very, very much important nowadays I think to signalize that metal is not just a male dominated scene. Indeed, us girls can contribute to something bigger, something awesome. Actually it was Jen asking me, ‘Hey, I know this band is searching for a guitarist. They’re searching for musicians to join Antonio and Tetzel. What about you? Are you open for a new band project?’ And since I always wanted to play [in a] very much fun, crazy, cool band, I was like, ‘OK, I am listening to the stuff if I like it or not.’ Because the songs were pretty much produced when I got the message. I am very much into enjoyable guitar riffs, catchy licks, hook lines, guitar solos — something that is just fun to play where you can connect with your instrument and where you are like, ‘Yeah, I want to play this.’ It really clicked with this song because I’m a really big sucker for tasty guitar riffs. Yeah, I eventually messaged them and we got to meet at Metal In Paradise where my old band performed and she was watching the show because she also wanted to be secure that I’m not just an internet…

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]

Jasmin Pabst: That I can indeed play and so we got to chat. Also, she was giving me more details, background information, how Antonio and Tetzel met, what their vision is and how we wanted or they wanted the band to be like, with all the performers, with all the costumes, etc. And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I am digging that idea so if you want, we can do a meet up.’ We did this meet up back in November [2022] already right? We were just checking whether this would resonate with everyone. The first meet up was in January [2023]. We met in the rehearsal room and I think it immediately clicked.

Sleaze Roxx: Oh, that’s great! Antonio — did you and Tetzel know each other before he reached out to you?

Antonio Calanna: No. We did not know each other. He’s really known as a strongman [laughs]. I also do a little bit of gym but just to look nice. I am always looking out for people like him that are doing that as a professional so at some point, we would have met through social media [laughs]. Now we are talking but when we started the band, it was almost two years ago and we were talking about all these things that looked like ages ago because we’ve evolved as a band so much since the very first idea that we had. I am thinking when I met Tetzel for the first time, when we had this music with Jassy, it feels like ages ago now.

Sleaze Roxx: What about the Viking theme? I’ll call it the ‘Viking theme’ for your look. How did you decide on that?

Antonio Calanna: Actually, it’s not Viking. It’s fantasy theme. I think it’s even cooler because with Viking, this was actually talked [about] with the label because the first two songs that we recorded were “Born In Valhalla” and “Raise Your Hammer” which are more folk songs. And then, we said, ‘Maybe we should expand our vision and not just focus on folk metal and we could go towards fantasy metal — a fantasy world where we can create our own characters and we’re not restrained to stay in one form of metal music, which is folk. We can talk about Thor, Valhalla — we can talk about “Mountain of Power” [with] Tetzel here, “Legends Never Die”, “The Days of Hammerfall” — everything we want, that we have with this image, it’s our own creativity because we can be everything.

All For Metal‘s “Born In Valhalla” video:

All For Metal‘s “Raise Your Hammer” video:

Sleaze Roxx: Cool! I also noticed that you have dancers [Christina Schulz and Luisa] — I’ll call them dancers — in terms of your two ladies that are onstage. Why did you decide to do that?

Antonio Calanna: You can call them dancers because they are dancers. They are actually really, really trained. The idea was that we want to build something and we want to be many people on stage. My girlfriend is a dancer — the blonde dancer. So she asked, ‘What do you think? Do you think that we can make something out of it?’ So we were like, ‘Yeah, let’s try [it] out.’ So in February, we talked with the label. The label was happy to bring a big show, even a bigger show on stage. We took them in February to try out where we were just putting everything together — music, show and performers — and here we are! Actually, at the end of the day, even if the metal business is a male world, our band — it’s half-half with four girls and four guys. So we find it really, really cool and it feels like a super quality end production. It doesn’t feel like it’s just men forced to be together. It’s something really special that we have.

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: Also, behind the scenes, we have of course our crew. There are a couple of guys but also we have a number of people including Emily, our production assistant, and our production manager so we have a lot of people working on All For Metal already. So as Antonio said, we are trying to create a show — something memorable, something big, something unique in a way. I mean, nobody can invent the wheel anew but kind of catch that spirit of rock n’ roll, of metal in the early days — to be pompous, to be big — it’s about escapism, to do something that people enjoy and remember, and you always have to kind of give a little bit more to receive a little bit more. And that’s kind of the vision for All For Metal — to not just play catchy songs and have a nice outfit — but to add something to every song that’s memorable, that’s unique and just makes the experience a little bit bigger.

Sleaze Roxx: That’s cool. Who came up with the band name All For Metal?

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: That’s actually a huge team effort as well because we were throwing back and forth a lot of ideas. The band was kind of unnamed at first and then we were trying to find topics that we wanted to sing about. Then there was some stuff pitched back and forth. In the end, it was actually the boss of AFM Records. He said, ‘Guys, we do it All For Metal. Let’s make All For Metal.’ It kind of clicked with everybody. Like, “Yeah! Fuck yeah! Let’s do it! All For Metal! It’s cliché, it’s over the top, it’s everything we are… Let’s just do it.’ It’s a name that is as sticky as gum in your hair [laughs].

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: You gotta remember. We’re all for metal and it’s metal for all. It’s the perfect match.

All For Metal‘s “All For Metal” video:

Sleaze Roxx So what about the songwriting process? I think Jassy mentioned that a lot of the songs were already written by the time that she joined the band so who wrote the songs? It’s obviously very different Tetzel from the songs that you have played in the past and as well, Antonio with DeVicious.

Antonio Calanna: We have a team — the best producer in the world — Hardy Krech. He has produced Beyond The Black, Santiano, Kissin’ Dynamite — a lot of big names — and through him, we were able to express our vision and what we wanted to bring on stage. Going into the studio, you take the idea and form it into reality.

Sleaze Roxx: Cool! So who wrote the songs? Is it the producer? Is it you guys?

Antonio Calanna: The producer Hardy Krech.

Sleaze Roxx: Oh! Interesting. In terms of the singing style — Antonio and Tetzel — you are very different but complement each other very well. How did it work in the beginning because you obviously had to try it out and how has it morphed to the point that it is right now?

Antonio Calanna: Well, All For Metal is based on two worlds where me and Tetzel belong. So there’s a tenor, which is mine, and then there is Tetzel’s voice which is the dark side of things. Like ying and yang, we complement each other and we are known to know what the other person is doing so we were capable of creating this dynamic. When I sing, he counters me. When he sings, I counter him, and then, we complete a huge range of possibilities that one singer cannot have.

Sleaze Roxx: Right. I was actually really surprised when I saw that your first gig was at a festival [Metalfest Open Air Plzeň in Czech Republic] and I think that the Wacken Open [Air] festival was your third gig! So it seems that you’ve had the chance to play really big shows really early on. So how did this come about because there’s lot of other bands out there but you seem to be having a huge start by playing all these big festivals right away. So how does that happen?

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: Yeah, this is kind of a leap forward — like a 10 year time machine leap for All For Metal — because we are working with some of the best names in the business. Basically, our booking agency was able to place us with a lot of confidence to these new festivals because they knew obviously that we’re a new band but no one of us is a new musician. We are not like a teenage band coming out of school and playing their first gigs. Everyone of us has a lot of stage experience. Antonio is a professional artist and a professional musical singer. Jassy of course, and all the other guys as well, had bands in the past or are active in other bands. So everyone of us has a lot of stage experience and we were able to put that together and create something bigger. So yeah, Mike, our booker was able to pitch us to the big festivals and it’s quite something to play the first show in front of about 10,000 people [at Metalfest Open Air Plzeň in Czech Republic] and then we went to Rockharz [Open Air in Germany] which is 25,000 [laughs] and the third stage was Wacken [in Germany]. Yeah, So it’s really, really something special as well for us as musicians as for the people hopefully in front of the stage. We started strong and we’re continuing on that path. The second coming is basically the European tour, the big tour with Windrose, and it’s selling out quite nicely right now. We have sold out — I think it’s like six shows.

Jasmin Pabst: Seven now with Vienna.

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: Yeah, like six or seven — whatever. I mean [laughs] let’s hope in a few weeks, it’s all of them!

All For Metal’s upcoming tour dates:

20.9.2023🇩🇪MUNICH Backstage ➕️
21.9.2023🇦🇹VIENNA Szene ‼️
22.9.2023🇨🇿ZLIN Masters of Rock Cafe
23.9.2023🇭🇺BUDAPEST Analog Music Hall ‼️
24.9.2023🇵🇱KRAKOW Kwadrat
26.9.2023🇩🇪FRANKFURT Batschkapp
27.9.2023🇩🇪BERLIN Orwo Haus
28.9.2023🇩🇪HAMBURG Markthalle
29.9.2023🇩🇪GEISELWIND MusicHall
30.9.2023🇩🇪LEIPZIG Hellraiser
1.10.2023🇩🇪BOCHUM Zeche 🚫
2.10.2023🇩🇪STUTTGART Im Wizemann ‼️
3.10.2023🇨🇭ZURICH Dynamo
4.10.2023🇫🇷PARIS Glazart 🚫
5.10.2023🇬🇧LONDON 229 🚫
6.10.2023🇧🇪ANTWERP Kavka 🚫
7.10.2023🇳🇱AMSTELVEEN P60 🚫

Sleaze Roxx: Right [laughs].

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: Yeah, we’re trying to continue on with that path and just as play as much as possible of course.

All For Metal‘s First Time Playing Wacken video (from JJ’s One Girl Band‘s YouTube page):

Sleaze Roxx: You’ve mentioned that each of you were in other bands. is this the only band that you are in or do you have other projects as well for each of you?

Jasmin Pabst: For me, I was for the longest time open but now, I have founded a whole new project with local people to chill out with as this is also something I like. I have like two sides inside of me. I really like the classic metal stuff that we are doing with All For Metal but I also like — I am sucker for — melodic death metal so I started such a band project too. I think that Tetzel can probably say the same about him. My band is just fresh and was founded in June so I can’t say that much about it. We are currently writings songs so yeah, let’s see how this is doing but All For Metal is currently my only active band so to speak.

Sleaze Roxx: Cool! And what about you Antonio and Tetzel?

Antonio Calanna: I think I’m the pop guy of the band.

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]

Antonio Calanna: I used to play in other bands but when I started with All For Metal, besides my job because I am a singer for a living, so I have to sing. In any case [laughs], for me, All For Metal is the band. For me, that’s just the one band where I feel like I belong to and I’m not going to get any other bands right now or projects. This is already a lot to take and the future is going to be even bigger — in the next future, in the really close future [laughs].

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] Cool! And Tetzel?

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: For me, it’s going to be interesting spread, an interesting split [laughs], because my other band [Asenblut] that I have been with for the last 15 years is active. Asenblut is my death melodic band. We also right now are in the process of writing the new album and currently writing the lyrics for that. It’s going to come out next year, probably very close to the second [chuckle] All For Metal album.

Sleaze Roxx: Oh wow!

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: We are also planning our live shows and our tour. Let’s see — I hope that I’ll be able to manage everything and get the timing right so there won’t be too many clashes. For now. I am in two active bands and both are high priority in general and I am really looking forward to that. Melodic death metal, extreme metal, in general is a little bit more niche so I don’t expect to overtake All For Metal in the time consumed, consumption, basically but of course, it’s still a lot of effort. It’s a passion in any case.

Sleaze Roxx: Right. You’ve released six videos for the debut album and they’re all visually a lot of fun to watch. So what was the idea behind the videos and are you releasing any more?

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: [Laughs] Yeah, so there’s actually seven already.

Sleaze Roxx: Oh! Seven!

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: Yes. More is coming. We just wanted to basically get our music out there and I think nowadays, it’s something really important for people to connect, to feel something and also experience. Like I said, All For Metal , we always try to take a step bigger. It’s a show, it’s a world, it’s something to build upon and we try to take as many people as we can with us to enjoy the ride, to enjoy the journey, and through the music, we are able to express what we feel and want to show with the songs. We committed a lot of work and of course [laughs] a lot of money to producing that many music videos so that people can enjoy it. They can watch it on TV, on their phone, whatever — not just listen to it. Of course, at the end, it’s the music but I think it’s a good vehicle to get the music to the people, and to also visually connect with us. We are in the process right now of basically cutting new material for new videos and also we have one more feature video coming for the current album still. it’s something that’s not usually done — a video coming out after the album has already been released but we’re going to do that and we’re planning on releasing more videos in the near future for the next album that we are already working on.

Antonio Calanna: Basically, we need songs to do music videos so we need them as soon as possible.

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] Right.

Antonio Calanna: [Joking] If you have any songs, throw them on us and we’ll do music videos.

All For Metal‘s “Legends Never Die” video:

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] What’s the status of the second album and when can we expect to have that released?

Tim “Tetzel’ Wagner: So there is no set date yet but the second half of 2024.

Sleaze Roxx: OK. Will it be similar in sound to the first album or have you progressed in some ways? How is it going to sound?

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: We don’t want to spoil too much here.

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]

Antonio Calanna: I think we can say that it’s going to be an evolution like always.

Sleaze Roxx: Now Tetzel, I know that you are also considered a strongman in Germany. What’s your background in that regard and do you actually do competitions and things like that?

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: Yes. Right now, I am kind of in a hiatus from strongman competitions because of too many things to do with music. I am a very competitive athlete. I have been training for more than 12 years. This Saturday [August 12, 2023], I just did an arm wrestling competition — a pretty big competition with 18 people from 18 nations around Europe. But as a strongman competitor, I haven’t competed since 2021 when I became the 5th Strongest Man in Germany. I was three times [in the] Top Six in Germany. I have done also a couple of international competitions from the Champions League and stuff. But right now, I am not competing because the Strongman [Competitions] need a lot of dedication as well and I need about six to eight weeks to really prepare for tournament competition and there is no six to eight week where I don’t have musical appointments, which as I said, are very high priority so right now, I am not competing but never say never [laughs] because I love my sport and I am very dedicated to that as well. So for now, I am not currently competing in Strongman [Competitions] but I would love to get back to that as well. For now, I want to look good on stage. I want to be a little bit lighter. I feel much better when I am a little bit below 300 lbs. I’m just about 260-280 [lbs] which looks better on stage.

Sleaze Roxx: And Antonio, one thing that I noticed from your e-mail is that you have “Dr.” in front of your name. So you must have some sort of doctorate or something.

Antonio Calanna: Aaaah, when I was studying music, after high school, I went directly to music professional school — like university — and parallel to these studies, I also went to university because I always wanted to have to some sort of graduation or Bachelor, something that wasn’t music or art in general. So I was learning in my 20s both ways and then I can say that I graduated just for hobby because so far, I haven’t used my titles. So far, it’s going to stay in my e-mails because we say in Germany [Antonio said something in German] so “big pants”.

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]

Jasmin Pabst: [Laughs]

Antonio Calanna: Really, it’s a little bit cocky. Fortunately, if things in the future are going to continue like this, I’ll just need to sing to bring my money home so I’ll never need my titles.

Sleaze Roxx: Cool. Jassy — what’s your background music wise? When did you start playing guitar and stuff like that?

Jasmin Pabst: I play guitar now for 13 years. I am completely self-taught. I started when I was still in school. Actually, it’s kind of a sad story how it all got. I’ve always listened to music since I was a little child. My parents never wanted to give me a guitar but I fought for it. And then there was the issue that no bands in my small hometown that [wanted] a girl would join. It was overly male people who wanted to write heavy music and who was I to join? It was very much a sad city. It was very much conservative and such so I just kept playing on my own. I started my YouTube channel where I was just showing my skills, where I was capturing my progress on guitar. Eventually, you can see everything from my first video where I couldn’t play a single song [laughs] till now.

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]

Jasmin Pabst playing guitar to Iron Maiden‘s “Aces High” video:

Jasmin Pabst: Eventually, that got me the opportunity to finally find some musicians to play with and my background has always been producing videos on YouTube because no one wanted me sadly [laughs]. I’m sorry.

Antonio Calanna: We want you! We want you so badly!

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] There you go.

Jasmin Pabst: It wasn’t like that at the beginning which is the reason I fought for everything. After five or six years, eventually it got to a point where people were also taking girls more serious in the scene. Where I am coming from, I got my first band to jam with and so with every video, with every song we released, I guess it just happened. There is no structured background for me. I was just doing all the time. I was pushing myself to get better, to achieve more on guitar playing, to play the songs I loved, to create songs I like and to be part of bands that were just there creating music together, to deliver something for the people. I don’t have a music degree. I studied math and physics. I am a math and physics teacher, and the guitar thing has always accompanied me on all phases of my life. Now, I am self-employed since August last year so it’s my one year anniversary of officially being a musician who doesn’t have any degree like Antonio.

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] That’s cool. Antonio — you were in a band called DeVicious that Sleaze Roxx would cover. The melodic death metal stuff — usually Sleaze Roxx would not cover that. So tell me about your time in DeVicious and how come you ended up not being in the band anymore?

Antonio Calanna: OK, I try to make it really, really short. I am Italian and now I live in Germany since 2016. In Italia, I really tried so hard to make a singer out of me, to make a living. It was impossible. Italy is the asshole of Europe….

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]

Antonio Calanna: … so I am not surprised.

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: That’s what he said. That’s what he said [laughs].

Antonio Calanna: I am not so patriotic and also, my bandmates didn’t understand. I was lucky that I got into musicals in Germany because my professional studies after high school were musicals so I kept pushing it. Then, when I moved to Germany, I wasn’t able to speak German and also, my English was really, really bad. It did get better with time. At that time, it was really, really bad. Then when I got to the German structure which is a little more working, I put myself again in my old shoes. So I took back my microphone and I’m like, ‘Now I want to play in a band.’ So in 2018-2019, I just answered to an ad. DeVicious were looking for a singer. Then eventually I joined and then my career started more or less because we recorded a first album in the beginning of 2020 and then we were playing a lot of stuff. Then Corona [Covid pandemic] came and then I stopped with them unfortunately. I had a tour last year but then that was also when All For Metal was coming. And then they already knew that they would lose me. So I was like, ‘OK, let’s try to move on.’ And then we just went in separate ways but in a very specific way.

DeVicious‘ “Heroines” video (from Black Heart album):

Sleaze Roxx: Cool. So actually I have to bring this to an end. Do you have anything that you’d like to add that we haven’t covered or haven’t mentioned?

Antonio Calanna: Buy the album! Buy the album!

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]

Jasmin Pabst: Join the tour.

Antonio Calanna: Join the tour but you’re from Canada, are you?

Sleaze Roxx: Yeah, I’m in Canada so it’s hard to see the tour. I’ll have to wait until you come to Canada or North America.

Antonio Calanna: Stream on Spotify, watch the videos a thousand times, support us because it’s really important. A band without fans or without people that enjoy the music, it’s nothing.

Sleaze Roxx: Cool! And Tetzel, Jassy — any last words?

Tim “Tetzel” Wagner: Thank you so much for taking an interest in All For Metal. Obviously, we are really humbled and honoured. As we’ve said, we’ve been in bands and playing for a couple of years — 15 years for me — and it’s great to have a lot of people that are also interested in the stories behind everything and just try to reach out to us, get to know us and have fun with the music. It’s all for metal and metal for all!

Sleaze Roxx: Cool! And Jassy?

Jasmin Pabst: We’re always covering fantasy themes. I just wanted to hear from you. What do you think we should be entering as the next fantasy world?

[Interviewer’s note: I was not expecting to answer any questions myself so tried to duck the question]

Sleaze Roxx: Oh God [laughs]. I don’t know.

Jasmin Pabst: [Laughs]

Sleaze Roxx: You know what, I don’t know what that would be and I would rather be surprised where you are going to go but it’s really cool. Thank you very much for all the time that you have taken.

All For Metal‘s “Fury of The Gods” video:

All For Metal‘s “Mountain of Power” video: