With the release of the new EP “Partisan”, Sodom proved that they are in full force. We seized the occasion to have a chat with a legend like Tom Angelripper about the new effort, Blackfire’s comeback, the early days and also about Onkel Tom. Enjoy!
Hi Tom, I’m Riccardo from Italian webzine MetalPit.it, thank you for your time!
Let’s start wth the new EP, “Partisan”, it sounds really old school and angry, where do you find the ispiration to write music after all these years?
We want to show the people, that we are still alive and we keep on going after this turbulent year. The new songs remark the new musical direction. It was also a good idea to promote the finished HBB tour with the EP. I think that it is very important to stay creative and healthy. This music is my life and I don’t want to think about an end. I have so many plans for Sodom’s future.
This is the first time that the Sodom line-up is composed by four elements, why did you decide to move in this direction?
Now we are able to perform songs which are not working with just one. Even my bass can’t replace a second guitar. The live sound is getting more brutal and dynamic. I thought about a second guitarist years before and I talked to Bernemann about that idea. But he told me that he will never accept a second axeman by his side.
A lot of fans are happy for the return of Blackfire in the line-up, what brought you to play with Frank again?
Oh yes, after splitting up with Berni and Makka, I got in touch with Blackfire to join the band. I knew that he has his own solo project and is also playing with Assassin. He told me that these bands are not so busy at the time and he will spend enough time to join the Sodom for upcoming rehearsal sessions and live shows. That was amazing and it seems like a big chance for him to return into the international metal scene. I was so impresssed when he played some songs during the 35 years anniversary show in Bochum. That was awesome. Later, when we rehearsed “Nuclear Winter“, “Sodomy & Lust“, “Christ Passion” for the first time, I was so astonished that the guitar sound is exactly the same as on “Persecution Mania” or “Agent Orange” album. Now, we are able to reproduce the songs in an original way during the live sets. Frank is still one the coolest guys I ever met.
Let’s talk about your summer show at Italy’s “Rock The Castle”: there were some logistic problems, but it was really intense. Can I ask you what really happened? Why were you forced to play just a few songs?
We had some massive delay at the Düsseldorf airport, so we arrived very late. I took a phone call to the promoter, to find out if there was a chance to get a later set in this billing, but sadly without any positive result for us. All the bands who were planned after our gig didn’t want to change their position to give us the chance for a complete set… very sad, but these things happen in the business.
2019 will mark the “Agent Orange” 30th anniversary, are you planning to do something special to celebrate such an important milestone?
Maybe, we’re thinking about doing some shows with the complete album… that would be great.
Sodom has a long history, they’re one of the most important thrash metal bands worldwide. When did you realize that your music was so important for so many people?
You are right, so let’s get back to the good old days. In ’82 we never thought that the band could be so influencial in the future. Our music was just a revolution against the parents, teachers and establishment and also against posers and poppers, who hate this music. Metal fans were a minority, because music like Deutsche Welle and New Wave was very popular in the beginning of the ’80s. I was in a school class with thirty pupils and I was the only one who listened to metal. That was strange, but we respected each other. But after the first EP “Sodomy and Lust” we got better reviews and fan reaction. Since that time we were a part of the international metal scene. But I also realized that there is a new generation of very young fans growing up, which prefers the older and historical bands.
Can you tell us something about Onkel Tom’s new album, what brought you to split the album in two?
We recorded about twenty songs, so we split up the songs for two different CDs. Berfore we did the mastering, we came up with the idea to put the “drinking” songs on one CD and the more serious titles on the other. But in the end end we are very satisfied with the result. The music combines metal with punk and rock, so there will be songs for every fan.
The first disc could be considered as the “party” one, while the second one is more metal and serious, was this something that you wanted from the beginning or it just happened?
This is something you can’t plan. We wrote about twentyfive songs and in the end we have to choose the tracklist for two different records…
I know it has been a while since the Teutonic Big 4 played together, but I still hope in a tour with you alongside with Kreator, Destruction and Tankard. Do you think it’s something feasible?
I hope we will come together one day, but it’s not so easy, ‘cause of differnet labels, companies, publishers. We are always talking about that tour when I meet the other bands and guys, because we still have a good relationship and are still good friends. So, we will see.
That was the last question, feel free to say whatever you want to our readers!
Thanks for supporting me and my bands so loyally and I hope to see you guys soon on the road. We love you.