GumoManiacs - Teutonic Thrash Metal
- the history so far -
The early years – surviving the 90s
Already during his tender teenage years Daniel "Gumo" Reiss (born Jan 1980 in Regensburg,
Germany) starts to develop a great passion for the legendary Thrash Metal heroes of the 80s – but
that's in the middle of the 90s – a decade where Thrash Metal is declared dead and acts like
Nirvana and Soundgarden dominate TV screens and magazine covers…
Gumo's very frst band, a Blackened Thrash outft called Thargos starts in 1995 and remains
totally unimpressed with the music culture of the current decade. His interest for acts like
Destruction or Sodom also makes him a musical misft at school, since most of his friends prefer
crossover giants like Dog Eat Dog or are hailing the Scandinavian Black Metal movement at
that time. Nevertheless Classic Thrash Metal was always what Gumo preferred and therefore
Thargos is able to build an 11-year long career, before it comes to an end in 2006 after 2 albums
and 1 single.
2007 - The birth of GumoManiacs
After a short excursion to melodic rock territories and playing in a Scorpions coverband for less
than a year, Gumo quickly decides to rebuild a much heavier band that would exactly suit his
preferences. Straight from the begnning the musical direction is clear:
Teutonic Thrash Metal!
It is the birth of GumoManiacs. A frst demo called "Metal Mafa" is recorded in Jan 2007
and besides a drum machine, only Gumo himself can be heard on all instruments and vocals.
While searching for musicians in the following period, he first gets in contact with the Mexican
label Blower Records, but it would take almost another year until the band's first record deal is
Live debut and line-up issues
On Feb 28th, 2008 the 3-piece band from Regensburg plays its very first show at Skullcrusher
Club in Dresden, whereupon a couple of record labels (some of them quite well-known) show
interest in the band. The band's line-up at that time is extremely unstable and the never ever
released demo recordings of that period have to suffer from that fact. Therefore "the big deal" does
not happen yet. Few years later it ultimately would, but until then Gumo tries to re-connect with
independent label Blower Records via social media network MySpace.
The interest of Blower Records is still unbroken and also the German underground cult
label G.U.C. offers the option to release an album on vinyl. Looking for stable band members
during 2008, Gumo fnally comes across the brothers Robert "Hubi" Hofmann (Bass) and
Michael "Air" Hofmann (Drums), who should build the new rhythm section while Gumo
himself concentrates on guitar and vocals. Without any chance to grow together, the debut album
"Priest Of Lucifer" is recorded DIY and released in Dec 2008/Feb 2009 gaining very good
reaction from the press – typical Thrash Metal, musically diversified, handy riffs and outstanding
guitar solos (partly contributed by later member Michael "Fuck" Pusch).
Playing many concerts in Germany, e.g. the Chronical Moshers Open Air or
supporting Blaze Bayley (Ex-Iron Maiden), the line-up becomes a strong and stable unity. In
Dec 2009 the band is heading to Mexico for their first international tour, which becomes a
big highlight in their early history.
Everything is running smoothly and the band thinks about making bigger steps, but having found
some kind of comfort zone, they decide to wait and stay within the given structures for a while: In
Sep/Dec 2010 it is again Blower Records and G.U.C. who release the 2nd album
"PsychoMania", an album where the amount of input by the Hofmann brothers is getting
noticeably bigger and the newly recruited 4th band member Michael "Fuck" Pusch (2nd guitar)
causes quite a stir with his towering guitar solos. "PsychoMania" becomes the fastest and most
aggressive album of the South German Thrashers up to date and it bursts with self-confdence as it
leads to another tour in Mexico in Aug 2011.
After successfully following the same concept of a CD/Vinyl release combined with a tour abroad,
the wish for "something bigger" is growing.
The "major label" years – Part 1
It is no other than GoldenCore Records (ZYX Music) who recognize the capability of Gumo's
young and ambitious Thrash Metal band and sign them straight away in Jan 2012. After the
signing however the record label completely stops communicating with the band for unknown
reasons. A neverending struggle of phone calls, emails and weird notifcations about changing
contract terms begins.
An already fully scheduled studio session for the 3rd full-length album is cancelled because the
producers never gets paid and is not willing to work with GoldenCore without advance payment
"due to bad expereriences with the label".
Instead of just waiting, the band decides to create a smaller interim release to calm themselves down
as well as their fans, who are asking sceptical questions about why there is so much silence around
this once so energetic band.
The AntiSinner EP
"The AntiSinner" EP is released DIY in Oct 2012 as a bridge-over to the record label chaos.
Besides one original composition from the old Thargos days also two cover versions are
recorded. Always following the will to do something "new" and "different", the band decides not to
do the "hits" from the scene's famous big players, but instead choose two songs of befriended but
comparatively unknown underground bands AntiPeeWee and Stahlhelmverbot.
The "major label" years – Part 2
The reasons for the torturing silence ultimately caused by the responsible A&R manager remain a
complete mystery until today. What makes these events even more bizarre is that the band
miraculously and out of nowhere gets the "go" in late 2012 and fnally starts to record their 3rd fulllength
album "Out Of Disorder" at DreamSound Studios in Munich in Winter 2012. The
band finds a fnal reason to believe that things might actually be okay in the end. They would be
Out Of Disorder
Having finished the recordings in early 2013, another long and exhausting year begins, stamped by
attmepts to reach out to the very record company that has the contract rights over the band but is
just not willing to communicate. Dreamsound Studios are rightfully not willing to hand out the
recordings since they are not getting paid by the label. After more than a full year of silence,
attempted phone calls, emails and senseless waiting around with no rights to release the album, the
moment of the notifcation that the payment was finally fulflled and that the album can finally be
released seems like a miracle at that point. However, a miracle the band is willing to embrace: the
3rd album "Out Of Disorder" is released via GoldenCore Records (ZYX Music) in May
2014, two and a half years later than initially planned.
"Out Of Disorder" is not only the preliminary highlight of the band's history, but also an
impressive attestation of the ripening of GumoManiacs. The album stands for professional
songwriting, grown-up lyrics, and a high grade production that at the same time would not miss the
music's rough edges. The love and passion for the genre and the will to search for an own niche
melt together with musical craftsmanship and compositional accuracy. Simply said: "Out Of
Disorder" offers nothing less than Thrash Metal on an international level. And measured by
the evolution of the band from album to album, one could be curious about where the journey leads
from there. The problem is that nobody even knows and that the nightmare is far from being over...
The record label disaster continues
At that point talking to their label is not possible anymore and no one knows if what happened
inside that company during the time will ever come to light. One could wonder why they even
released the album since no reviews and interview requests were coming in after the street date of
"Out Of Disorder". The band tries to fnd out what happened by contacting the media directly.
Being told over and over again by magazines such as Rock Hard or Metal Hammer that the
album would have been featured if anyone had sent any promo copies. GumoManiacs try to
rescue the album as good as they can by releasing a vinyl version of "Out Of Disorder" at their
own cost via Bassist Hubi Hofmann's own label Slash Zero Records in Dec 2015. For the vinyl
release, the first professional music video to "Poetry In Black" is shot. The necessity of selffinancing
all measures on their own leaves the group bankrupt at the beginning of 2016 - a price
Gumo is gladly willing to pay to regain freedom from the ties of the music business.
After what was later know as the "record label disaster", the band tries to find its way back into a
normal band life by finishing the sessions for the 4th album "Damnation" at Slash Zero Studio
Abensberg/South Germany - an album that was also planned to be released by
GoldenCore/ZYX as Out Of Disorder's successor, but which obviously never happened. The
band parts ways with its former label by signing a termination of contract paper with ZYX's lawyers
and starts to search for new partners. None of the opportunities offered to GumoManiacs in 2016
seem satisfying so the band keeps working on new material and composes and records the 5th
album "Demons", even though the 4th album "Damnation" is not even out yet.
In the beginning of 2017, which marks the 10th anniversary of GumoManiacs, the band has
two professional full-length albums recorded and ready to be released, but no record deal.
After the huge disappointment with their last high-end record deal, the band decides to take matters
in their own hands and starts a massive crowdfunding campaign in the beginning of the year to
realize "By Endurance We Conquer – Demons & Damnation" - a double album which is
supposed to unite the 4th album "Damnation" (2014) and the 5th album "Demons" (2016).
Unfortunately the crowdfunding does not succeed and the future is still uncertain...
Meanwhile the band is trying to gain new fans in the Ukraine and is scheduled to a Metal Festival
in May 2017 at Bingo Club in Kiev, which soon becomes another weird spot in the history of
GumoManiacs. Due to visa problems, one band member cannot cross boarders and thus the rest
of the band is not able to perform.
Ghost Town Noize and "By Endurance We Conquer"
2017 also sees Daniel "Gumo" Reiß making contact with Ghost Town Noize - a hometown
based label he could talk to anytime and that appreciated not only the thrashing cover version of
"Space Cock Rocket" (by hometown fellas and future label mates SickSickSick) but also
Gumo's music in general, which then seemed to be the best option after all the confusing business
stuff the years before.
To make this happen though it is still necessary to get a budget together so Gumo decides to sell
some of his studio equipment to keep hope alive. After exhausting weeks of ebay auctions in mid
2017, a 10th anniversary release of the monumental double album "By Endurance We Conquer
– Demons & Damnation" seems to become possible after all.
In August 2017 Ghost Town Noize and GumoManiacs fnally announce their partnership and
the double-album that was supposed to be 2 single albums years before is fnally released on Oct
Priest Of Lucifer X
2018 starts with the release of the digital single "Asmodeus", the GumoManiacs version of a
song of Gumo's side project Domination, who released the track a year earlier on their debut
album "Reunion". Several GumoManiacs live shows follow, one of them again at Bingo Club
in Kiev - this time everyone is on board and the show actually takes place.
In early 2018 the band decides to re-record the debut album "Priest Of Lucifer" from 2008,
and this re-recording is called "Priest Of Lucifer X". Even though the album was very popular
among the listeners of GumoManiacs, the band itself was never really satisfed 100% with the
songwriting and the sound of the old version. 2 more factors popped out that made a re-recording
seem reasonable: one is the fact that 2018 is the 10th anniversay of the record and the other one is
that band does neither have a backup of the master files, nor any physical copies left of this
underground diamond and wants to make it available again at their live shows and through their
online store. The Maniacs take the chance to release the album the way it was always supposed be
released in the frst place and equip the songs with a very old school styled production by Hubi
Hofmann to maintain the original spirit despite some little changes in the songwriting.
"Priest Of Lucifer X" is fnally released on November 9th, 2018 via Slash Zero Records.
Back to the roots!
2019 starts with a line-up change, as the band goes back to their classic 3-piece line-up they started
with back in 2007. While guitarist Michael "Fuck" Pusch is on stand-by, mainly due to
temporary family commitments, the brothers Robert "Hubi" Hofmann on bass and Michael
"Air" Hofmann on drums still stay with Daniel "Gumo" Reiss and start working on the band's
6th studio album, whose tonal atmosphere as well as the lyrical approach will be heavily based on
literary genres of Horror and Dark Fantasy.
To be continued...