(Conducted by Georg Alexander)
Q: Now, could you tell us about the upcoming Sodom DVD release? What treasures should fans expect to find on the DVD?
A: The DVD release will be in the end of March. It will be a double DVD. The first is a 2 hours Concert movie, which we recorded live in Sofia. A couple of tracks where taken from some german festivals. The second one will be a “History” DVD. We try to put material from about 23 years together to make it complete. I think you will get a total running time about 4 hours SODOM!!!
Q: When is your next studio album coming, and what can listeners expect from Sodom this time around?
A: We go to studio in November and hope to release the new album in July next year. What can you expect? The best Sodom album ever, a really killer!
Q: What do you think about the state of today´┐Żs black metal scene?
A: Its getting more and more commercial. The scene is to big. Hundreds of new bands try to get into the music scene every month. There are just a few bands who try to keep the spirit of the 80th.
Q: More and more young fans are beginning to express their adoration for black metal. What do you personally think of twelve year old boys singing along to Sodomy and Lust?
A: Why not! But they have to try to find an own style, but I know they all are inspired by Sodoms music!
Q: You have only sold about one million records thus far, which really isn´┐Żt a lot for a band that has been in the music world for such a long time. Do you ever feel cheated in some way when looking at other bands, perhaps less worthy of their sales success and considering your own sales figures? Do the members of the band have jobs on the side of their work as musicians to support themselves financially?
A: No! I think that Sodom was successful all over the years and we are still alive. We are not pop Stars, we do the music for ourselves and for our fans. We don’t want to get commercial but if we will find more fans in the future it would be great. Sodom is the only Band worldwide who never chanced their style. It is very difficult to live from the music but its enough to me to give 100% to the music. The other guys still have jobs.
Q: Well, let´┐Żs change the subject and move over to your past. You and some other bands were starting a new scene in the beginning of the early 80s. What was your inspiration in terms of developing a new direction within the metal genre? Was it in any way related to the place you originated from (Gelsenkirchen, a town in the Ruhr area of Germany)?
A: When we founded the Band in 81-82 we just had one aim, to form the heaviest band in the world! Metal was (and is) the most important thing in our live. The whole metal scene was like a big family, there was a spirit that I can’t explain. But I coudn’t realize that the Band will get 23 years old! That´┐Żs unbelievable to me now. Just a handful bands started to change the music world, and we have done. If you grow up in a town like Gelsenkirchen or Essen you just can do Thrash Metal, there is no room for whimpy other styles.
Q: Many people feel that Sodom changed from being a black metal band in the early 80s to being a thrash metal band. Would you agree with that? If yes, why?
A: We just get better musicians and we changed the lyrics. After the release of the single “Expurse of Sodomy” I replaced Satanic songs by political themes based on historical facts, but tried to write it in a lyrically way.
Q: Could you tell us why the band changed line-ups so many times over the years?
A: Chris Witchhunter left the band, because he got to much personal problems, so he couldn’t give 100 % energy to the band. Frank Blackfire left the band 3 month brfore we started the already booked “Agent Orange Tour”, cause he found a new chance with Kreator for the US Tour. Michael Hofmann went to brazil, where he found his love! The other musicians gone in cause of to much personal and musicial differences. But the current line up is very strong so I hope we will stay together for the next ten years. But there is no guarantee!
Q: The cover of “Persecution Mania” looks quite similar to the cover of Metallica´┐Żs “Master of Puppets”. Were you trying to copy or imitate, like many other bands, Metallica at that point of your career?
A: No, we try to copy any other bands. The cover has nothing to do with Metallica’s Master.. we are always 100% original Sodom and never mind what other bands do.
Q: You´┐Żve been touring your ass off during the last twenty years and many fans consider Sodom a brilliant live act, and yet you have only released one official live album. Why did this release come so late in your career?
A: No, that is not true! We relesed the first live album “Mortal way of live” in 88 and the second one in 93 called “Marooned”. It is a tradition to release a live album after the four Studio albums.
Q: Could you tell us about the craziest/strangest thing that has happened to you when touring?
A: Yes, there was something really strange that happened to me. Please try the get an old Copy of the german “Rock Hard” magazine (1990, Nr.43), let translate it, and enjoy. You coudn’t believe it. That was Rock’n'Roll )
Q: What is the one question you have always wanted to be asked in an interview, and yet which no-one has posed?
A: My age…(41)
Q: In some of your songs you use both German and English lyrics, like in “Bombenhagel”. Is there any particular reason for this mix of languages?
A: Just the title is a german word! The lyrics are written in english. But we wrote a couple of other songs with german lyrics. Its always something special for the german fans, why not?
Q: Most people outside of Germany only consider one German Black Metal band and that is usually Sodom. Aren´┐Żt there any others worthy of mention beside the Sodom giant?
A: I don’t know, but we inspired so much Black Metal Bands and that makes me proud.
Q: A question to Tom: What is the Onkel Tom project all about? I was listening to a CD from it lately, but I couldn´┐Żt understand a word of the lyrics because they were in German.
A: It was founded in 1996 after the Sodom release “Masquerade in Blood”. After that I found enough time to create my first Solo Album (Ein sch´┐Żner Tag) with session musicians. But it was getting pretty successful, so I got a deal for 3 fourthcoming Onkel Tom albums (G.U.N. Records). I think its not so important to understand the lyrics. Its just beerdrinking party music for beerdrinking Metal fans. The cast is Alex Kraft on Guitars (he is a band member from the beginning), Sascha Tilger an the drums (He is also playing in a band called “Tyrant eyes), and Sascha Sattler on the Bass.
Q: And our final question: How long will Sodom continue writing and putting out new material, touring, etc. in short, exist as a unified metal band?
A: I don´┐Żt know, but we give our best to stay healthy and doing this music for the next 20 years. We always have so many ideas for forthcoming albums and we love it to be on the stage and on tour
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TW> First of all I’d like to thank you for doing the interview today.
GA> Yeah, no problem.