The sound of metal
At his day job, he ensures that medium-wide steel strip coils are always ready for loading in Hagen. But when Konrad “Bobby” Schottkowski goes on tour with his band, the world-famous heavy metal drummer shows the audience what thrash is really all about.
Actually I wound up at Hoesch Hohenlimburg by chance. I finished my vocational diploma in Dortmund in the mid-1980s, and I was looking for a summer job to earn a little cash. I was lucky. They hired me in shipping in Hagen right away. I figured I would just temp there for a while and see what would come next. But then I said to myself, “Why not stick around for a bit?” And, well, I’m still here today, 31 years later. Still in the same department, too. In shipping. What can I say? I really love my job.
I started out as a simple loader. Today, I’m a foreman responsible for 50 employees – those two jobs are obviously worlds apart. My job requires responsibility, and it offers a lot of variety. Every day is different. Still, everything has to run smoothly, in the truest sense of the word, and that’s my responsibility. I’m a fast thinker, and I’m good at
getting things done in a practical way. But I get out a lot, too. I’m in constant contact with the employees. You might say I have the last word before our material leaves the plant on trains or trucks.
Laid-back, but demanding
Everyone knows my expectations: All our products have to be flawless, in terms of both quality and safety, when they’re shipped out to the customer. I’m a laid-back guy. I’m always willing to listen, and I’m usually pretty understanding when there’s an issue. But when it comes to safety, I’m really no-nonsense. I want all my coworkers to get home in one piece every night, and I don’t want anyone on the street getting hit by a coil rolling off a truck, either – that would be unacceptable.
I spend at least half of my work day at the computer – coordinating, verifying, and organizing are all important parts of my job. At the moment, I’m a key user for the
implementation of SAP in our department, and I’m responsible for training my employees. I was destined for this kind of work, though. I’ve always been kind of a
nerd at heart. I mean, I enjoy reading books and newspapers, but working with computers is something that I really love. This is also tied to my hobby, because computers provide musicians with unlimited possibilities for composition and arrangement.
Drumming has been my passion since I was 13 years old. I spend all of my free time pursuing that passion, and I’ve been a metalhead since the early days of the scene. I’m self-taught, so I worked hard for my success, and I’m pretty well known in the metal world. I’ve played with a lot of famous bands in the genre, and I’ve performed around the world. At the moment, I’m the drummer for the British band Tank.
A real team player
I’ve always saved up all my yearly vacation days for my live tours; I’ve been around the world at least five times on tour, and I’ve seen so many incredible things that have had a real impact on me. I’ve played Wacken, 70,000 Tons of Metal, and shows for thousands of fans in South America, New Zealand, Japan, Europe – that’s what my life outside of work is all about. I operate best when I’m challenged, focused, and get along well with my coworkers; that’s true on the stage and at work. I’m a real team player. Good communication and networking are important to me. If I have those things, I’m not easily rattled.
It’s true that I sometimes live in two different worlds – my work, and my music. But that’s what defines me. The discipline and normalcy of the working world keep me grounded, while music inspires me. I wouldn’t want to do without either one.