• Steeler Strike Force -
    official fansite

1982 - 2017


LINE UP from left to right:
Axel Rudi Pell (guitar), Jan Yildiral (drums), Roland Hag (bass), Peter Bur
tz (vocals). Tom Eder (guitar)

STEELER emerged during a particularly golden period in the history of german metal and
would provide a worthy legacy of some finely crafted metal albums
in best period of NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal). Their distance to most of known german metal bands and their own style and sound are characterizing. STEELER took place in a small time slot but have influenced docends of bands until now. Their abstinence and the surrounding secrecy made them even more special and wanted by their fans.

The band was founded by first two band members Axel Rudi Pell (guitar) and Volker Krawczak (bass) in 1982
in the industrial area of Bochum/germany. The fledgling group recorded their first demo during 1982, utilizing the services of vocalist Karl Holthaus, on loan from local act NEMO.
STEELER took the first demos to SCORPIONS producer Dieter Dierks who chose not to pursue his
original interest in the band, although there must have been more interest in the tape that fell
into the hands of Accept who were having problems with Udo Dirkschneider at that time and
were covertly auditioning possible replacements. Accept auditioned Holthaus, but eventually
settled their differences with Dirkschneider without the press getting wind of the original problem.
The '82 Demo containig the songs 'Love For Sale' and 'Call Her Princess' almost got huge radio-airplay and was also played in Tony Jaspers legendary BBC-"HM"-Show - a real honour in that time. Being noticed around many rockmusic mags in europe the band continues to work hard for recognition. Prior to that time the band had been
called `Sinner` but was quickly changed into `Steeler` later on after Yngwie Malmsteen`s similar US-formation had split up. In 1983 the new band members Peter Burtz (vocals) who was known of other local heavy metal bands and Tom Eder (guitar) of `Fallen Angel` joined the band. Peter and Tom were close friends and knew each other very well since they went to school together. Peter was a young outstanding frontman and singer with extraordinary mental talents in motivation and management. Soon he was covered as the bands leader and voice in lots of directions. Tom grew up - guitar under his pillow in the nighttime and on his neck in the daytime - doing playalongs and compositions all the time. A matter that should prove very worthy later on. He is said to be `Mr. Jukebox` for playing any song you like by heart. The fact that there had been no good drummer within the formation at that time had been stopped when former `Avenger` Drummer Jan Yildiral (drums) who already was well known in that time for playing several rock and metal bands was invited to join the band in 1983. Peter and Jan had already recorded some demo tapes together with german heavy band Avenger (which is RAGE nowadays) who were looking for a solo singer in 1983. Jan as a foundation member of Avenger who was also known for his similarity to Iron Maiden`s drummer Clive Burr, wasn`t easy to get at first when he was offered to join the band. He started drumming at age 7 being very inspired by his father a professional percussionist and early drummers such as John Bonham or Carmine Appice. After first auditions he was convinced especially with axeman Axel Rudi Pell`s outstanding rhythm guitar and heavy riffing. The complete first line-up was found and after refitting songs and arrangements there were lots of offers concerning record companies and editors on the new demo material.

The first record contract was signed at the legendary european recordlabel `Earthshaker Records`. Axel Thubeauville was the producer of the first STEELER album in 1984 who was also the editor of german chapter of Aardschok Magazine in that time. The first record had been recorded in STEELER`s hometown Bochum at Studio Wahn in hands of soundengineer Ralph Hubert with small budget but nevertheless engagement and passion. The composition material was fantastic and can even be felt through the poor production circumstances. The good songwriting and hooklines were soon (dis)covered by others. You can simply find elements that are very close to STEELER songs on records of other metal bands. A promiscous example for which it is said to be plagiated by another famous german metal band is the STEELER song `Hydrophobia`. These first songs headed to be real live-shooters exciting the crowd whenever presented. Although recording, production, sound and distribution of this first album hadn`t gone too well it became a desired classic album which found a lot of positively astonished fans and listeners. During that time the first gigs took place and the STEELER guillotine-logo is created. It originally looked very sharp and deep as first promo-pic but isn`t really visible on the printed covers later on. One of the best concerts in 1984 took place at Stadthalle Bochum-Wattenscheid/Germany together with former Dieter Dierks (Scorpions) favourite new band `Bullet` in early 1984 when the smashing new german heavy metal sound of STEELER hit the crowd with premium-metal livesongs like `call her princess` and `love for sale`. The Top act `Bullet` wasn`t very enthusiastic of their support act doing and performing so well smashing the 3000 people crowd in excitement and headed up to bad manners when they cut off stage lights and sound during `Steeler`s famous song `Chains are broken`. There was definetely a little bang after the show when Tom Eder hit a `Bullet` responsible for this. This little incident has never been forgotten at all for being an absolutely premium example for that kind of topact behavior. You can find something about this cheek as a running gag on all following Steeler album thanx lists.

The first album: Steeler/Steeler (1984)
Earthshaker Records ES 4001
01. "Chains Are Broken" 02. "Gonna Find Some Place in Hell" 03. "Heavy Metal Century" 04. "Sent from the Evil" 05.
"Long Way" 06. "Call Her Princess" 07. "Love for Sale" 08. "Hydrophobia" 09. "Fallen Angel"

After releasing the first album Steeler played a lot of shows in and out of germany.
Steeler was in everyone`s mind in that metal-springbreak. Several rock and metal magazines
such as the famous english `Kerrang`, dutch `Aardshock`, german `Bravo`, american `Hitparader` and other early metalmags had started reporting intensively about the new german heavy metal band. Steeler headed towards becoming a real newcomer in european and german metal scene. The tough show and rough sound was very memorable to most of the fans. Pyrobombs and open fire in a massive stage acting and lots of surprises included their shows and were soon covered by others.

The band became a desired german and continental metal-act. Most of club or arenashows were
sold out.
STEELER soon toured benelux and switzerland where they played a lot of shows like famous Dynamo/Eindhoven, Zurich, Groningen or Amsterdam together with other bands of that time like Warlock, the brandnew released Metallica, Helloween, Bullet, Vengeance, Running Wild, Pretty Maids, Stormwitch, Trance or Gravedigger. First big festival gigs were held in 1986. A proposed tour with Doro`s WARLOCK turned into a disaster due to problems with WARLOCK's manager and pretty jealousy existing between the two managements although some band members were good friends often visiting each other in Düsseldorf and Bochum`s local metal clubs. Especially Doro is said to be addicted to STEELER in friendship. Finishing lots of concerts and compositions the band is ready to record a new album, The band's second album 'Rulin' the Earth' took almost 25 days of recording time and was laid down at Horus Sound Studios of `ELOY` owner and singer Frank Bornemann in Hanover. Sound and production had been improved this time. It sold more than 30.000 known copies up to now as the group proceeded to play every 'toilet' and stage they could in a bid for greater recognition. Many small or big shows took place and the band got more and more experienced and professional by the rough life on tour. With the Earthshaker deal now over STEELER signed to SPV record company, although legal problems with Earthshaker would persist for some time afterwards especially concerning the payment of royalties and the old label naturally not being very cooperative.

The 2nd album: Steeler/Ruling the Earth (1985)
Earthshaker Records ES 4009


01. "The Resolution" 02. "Ruling the Earth" 03. "Shellshock" 04. "Let the Blood Run Red" 05. "Heading for the End"
06. "Maniac" 07. "Run with the Pack" 08. "S.F.M. 1" 09. "Turning Wheels"

After 46 Shows in the next 14 month they took a time out and paused unfortunately for other reasons. Having begun working on demo tapes of songs for the proposed third album STEELER parted company with Volker Krawczak. As the subject of the band's image had come up it had been decided that the unfortunate bassist, a big man, did not particularly fit into the scheme of things and the band felt it had no choice but to replace him. This circumstance should prove as a mistake later on especially for the fact that Volker Krawczak was a very honest and mentally good person. For shure he would refuse to speak with his former colleagues for a good three years afterwards. Volker's place was taken by French bassist Herve Rossi, previously with ANTHRACITE and a friend of drummer Jan Yildiral who had been asked by the band to look for a substitute. Anthracite was a heavy band from Frejus/southern France, who were known for their company to guitar-wizard Nono Grieve of french metal band `Trust` who had recently lost their drummer Nicko McBrain to Iron Maiden before this time. Whilst Rossi certainly fitted STEELER's concept on the image front, it was quickly discovered that he was rather lacking in any prowess as a musician. Rossi may have been hired for looking like the renowned Mötley Crüe bassplayer Nikki Sixx, but he didn't manage to cope with the hard and rough bass arrangements that were necessary to hit the feel for the songs. Therefore the job was vacant again soon. The 3rd album was produced by ELOY's Frank Bornemann, although Axel Rudi Pell claims the majority of the work was in effect carried out by Czech born engineer Jan Nemec who was very engaged. A brillant and very innovative sound technician of that time, already adding masterpieces out of early ATARI-STF computer programming, sampling and triggering in his works. He was also known for
his good work with Pretty Maids and Helloween. Ex SCORPIONS axeman ULI JON ROTH was in the same studio at the time and Axel took the opportunity of inviting him to play on a track that appeared on a 'Metal Hammer' compilation album at the time. Having dispatched Rossi back to France STEELER recruited ex AXE VICTIMS rhythm guitarist Roland Hag as the band's new bass player and hit the road, managing to add some shows in Holland and Switzerland to the regular german commitments.

'Strike Back' benefitting from better material, improved musicianship and a polished production,
picked up worldwide sales in the region of respectable 124.000 copies up to now setting up the mood for a big tour together with several opening acts round europe in the time during Decembre 1986 up to Summer 1987. That time can be described as the highlighted part in STEELER`s timeline when they reached the top positions of european metal bands touching german and european charts and were likely offered a lot of different directions concerning management, touring, stagesetting,
music and record company. The ballad `Waitin for a star` and the stamping `Night after Night` gut huge airplay and can be found on separate single and lots of compilation albums like `Metal Ballads`,`Best of metal` and similar releases worldwide. The `Strike Back` Portrait coverwork is done by Julia M.Goode who is also known for her artwork to Ozzy Osbourne`s covers like `Bark at the moon` and `Diary of a madman`. Especially Japan, the US and Asia is a big sale market for this. It hadn`t been mentally easy for the young band mates to make big and right decisions during that period of time being partly unexperienced in business focussing music and lifestyle.

`Strike Back`

The 3rd album: Steeler/Strike Back (1986)

01. Chain Gang 02. Money Doesn't Count 03. Danger Comeback 04. Icecold 05. Messin' Around With Fire
06. Rockin' The City 07. Strike Back 08. Night After Night 09. Waiting For A Star

Despite touring germany with english SAXON after releasing the 4th album `Undercover Animal` in
a co-headlining tour 1988 that is mostly unmentioned by SAXON historians for some reasons
the fourth 88/89 album 'Undercover Animal' which also has been recorded in Hanover under directions of Victory`s Tommy Newton only wound up selling known 64.000 copies. The preproductions and the sound had once more been improved and been well organized but anyhow the powerful STEELER stamina and mind directions had been changed. It would be during the writing of songs for the planned fifth album that AXEL RUDI PELL decided to leave the group, disenchanted at the band's more pop chorus oriented direction, officially departing on November 11 1988. STEELER opted to continue without Pell, hiring a guitarist from the Frankfurt area known as Vic. Before that time in July 88 JAN YILDIRAL left STEELER not satisfied with egocentric situation of some bandmates and more commercial music directions that had turned them back after successful `STRIKE BACK` album. First he played with Udo Dirkschneider`s brother and singer Peter in his new formed band `Venice` the next year after leaving STEELER. Former guitarplayer AXEL RUDI PELL offered him to join his solo project but he wouldn`t at that time for other reasons and refused. Later he joined former tour comrades DARXON with singer Massimo de Matteis and guitar wizard Tom Dielewski reformed band and recorded latest DARXON `Shout`-album in 92. That group tended to be very promising but had just one main show and split up before first touring. Being offered to record with `Blue Velvet`, a german Dokken-like metalband, he`s also playing together with at `Wacken-Open Air` festival in 1995 and joined up for a period. Meanwhile STEELER recorded a three track demo together in with two new band mates Vic(g) and Franco(d) and tried a comeback show at their favourite club Zeche/Bochum without AXEL and JAN in 89, but did not really fit and split up three or four months down the line which is the last official live action of the band.

Wheras Pell chose to pursue what turned out to be a very successful solo career nowadays
(having teamed up with his old pal Volker Krawczak once more and several american musicians like
Malmsteen`s ex-singer Jeff Scott Soto and later on nevertheless Jonny Gioeli(v) or Mike Terrana(d)) his former bandmates have engaged themselves in a variety of other careers. At one time Peter Burtz was the editor of german metal magazine 'Metal Hammer' before taking the opportunity to work in the upper echelons of the EMI record label founding his own very successful production company later on. He is nowadays one of germanys best comedy producers and hosts a lot of different famous artists and comedians. Drummer Jan Yildiral started traveling the world finishing his studies in tourism. He moved to Miami/Florida later on and is now running an international travel and event agency in germany. He is still playing drums in his industrial project `MORGENSTEIN` becoming an industrial metal drummer. Axeman Tom Eder is working for a radio station in Bochum reporting
on events in the local courts playing several bands. Roland is working as an editor of a famous german magazine also returning to his guitar in local bands in his home town Wuppertal and Cologne.

It is often said that if STEELER hadn`t split after 4th album they would still continue and be
one of best and origin german bands nowadays. Several reunion offers for doing some
european metal festival shows in the original line-up had recently been denied.

Nevertheless the stamping STEELER-sound and spectacular powerful metal shows that
can nowadays be compared to german RAMMSTEIN somehow - even if they hadn`t been
that width - will still be unforgotten and a class apart in classic german heavy metal music.


Steeler has done 30th anniversary reunion show at one of germany`s top metal festivals
at Balingen/Germany `Bang Your Head` festival 10-12th July 2014 within 25th anniversary show of hosting Axel Rudi Pell in front of nearly 20.000 people together with bands such as Twisted Sister, Europe, Anthrax, MSG, Exodus and many more.

The whole show has been audio and video recorded in dolby surround quality and will soon be released as DVD/Blueray/Audio and video disc by Axel Rudi Pell in April 2015.

Go for it and enjoy this wonderful event including all original Steeler members and a number of various famous guest artists such as original members of ARP, Dio, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Yngwie Malmsteen, Pretty Maids and many more.

We will keep you up with latest news whenever it is indicated.

Heavy Metal is our passion :-)

The 4th album: Steeler/Undercover Animal (1988)
01. "Hunter or Hunted" 02. "Undercover Animal" 03."Shadow in the Redlight" 04. "Hard Breaks" 05. "Criminal" 06. "Rely on Rock" 07. "Stand Tall" 08. "The Deeper the Night" 08. "Knock Me Out" 09. "Bad to the Bone"

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Credit/s: Garry Sharpe-Young Copyright: © 2001-2006 Musicdetector Websites Last updated: 5 February 2004

4 Albums
/ 1984-1989

Click to listen to STEELER MP3 samples

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