Bang Your Head 2005 Music Festival

By David Iozzia

Listen up metalheads! This isn’t the Headbangers Ball, it’s where headbangers go to have a ball. Bang Your Head 2005 is the 10th anniversary of the German open air festival, and it takes place in Balingen, Germany on June 24 and 25. All of the bands performing were selected as favorites from past festivals, a "best of Bang Your Head." According to singer Rob Rock, "this is the premier summer festival in Germany." Some of the best metal bands in the world are playing, and over 20,000 metal fans each day clad in black from head to toe, will be sweating and thrashing in the hot sun. One stage, over twenty confirmed bands, more surprise appearances to be announced soon, open space, a great atmosphere, and a lot of food and beer! Need I say more? If you love metal, you’ll love Bang Your Head. Jag Panzer’s Mark Briody calls it "metal history in the making."

A few of this year’s bands checked in to tell you what to expect from their performances. Twisted Sister is one of this year’s headliners and guitarist JJ French offered "We want to perform the whole "Stay Hungry" album for the first time because it’s the 20th anniversary of its release." Vicious Rumors guitarist Geoff Thorpe stated "We’re coming with all guns loaded! Expect us to give everything we have… like a war on stage. Then we’ll drink and party with you… maybe even stay at your house and change your life forever." Gerre, the lead singer from Tankard, warns us "to expect the wildest sex show ever from the ugliest band on the whole planet."

Some of this year’s performers and past performers offered their opinions as to what playing Bang Your Head means to them and their bands. Steve Blaze, the lead guitarist from Lillian Axe, said "It was important to play Bang your Head 2004 to let the European fans know we were still alive and well. Also, it was an honor to play with many of the bands there who we are fans of. It was a great festival." Primal Fear also played Bang Your Head 2004, and bass player Matt Sinner attends every year as a fan when he’s not playing. He offered "It’s the most relaxed festival over all, great bands, very peaceful and friendly fans. To play there is even more exciting. We always got a fantastic response from the fans!" Twisted Sister’s Eddie "Fingers" Ojeda says "It’s one of the greatest festivals and an honor to play. The audience is one of the best I have ever played for in the entire world." Virgin Steele is making their third appearance (1997, 2000) at Bang Your Head and their singer/keyboard player David DeFeis tells us "It is one of the best best-run festivals going and the line up is stellar! It is always a great experience to play for the German audience, which is loud, proud, powerful, demonstrative and very, very receptive. It is always incredible to be there! I believe that if one takes part in the festival and also explores the surrounding area and its rich history, they will come away knowing that they have had a rare, one-of-a-kind experience."

The organizers of Bang Your Head 2005 give many reasons why fans should consider attending this unforgettable event. There is a chance to meet your idols due to the relaxed atmosphere. Also, there is just one main stage where all the action takes place. Fans have the chance to watch every band and the ticket prices are moderate. Need more reasons to attend? When past performers were asked why metalheads should attend Bang Your Head 2005, the feedback was all positive. Steve Blaze (Lillian Axe/ANGEL) offered "This festival has so many great bands that it would be insane not to be there. Bang Your Head 2004 was run very efficiently, very smoothly, and very professionally. There were virtually no problems whatsoever with fights or drunken stupidity. The crowd was awesome and well-behaved. The venue and stage were beautiful as well." Ex-Lillian Axe singer Ron Taylor added "The atmosphere was very friendly and there was so much more to do than just watch the bands play." Metal Mike Chlasciak rocked at Bang Your Head in 2002 (Halford) and in 2004 (Testament) and he says "Just GO. Support the true metal music that shines each year at the festival. American fans who are tired of the new wave of shit, should especially go. I highly recommend it to all. It’s a blast." Queensryche played Bang Your Head 2004 and drummer Scott Rockenfield states "You won't want to miss it...!! It’s two days filled with great music and entertainment...!! I hope to be able to be a part of it again sometime." Morgana Lefay rocked at Bang Your Head 2000 and returns this year. Drummer Robin Engstrom added "I hope to see ya'll there, it's a festival, it's metal, it's a party...need I say more?" Be there, or be square, but most of all, BE METAL!