Sodom – Triumphant Thrash TortureSunday, 26th May 2013
Dead Rhetoric: With the two Lords of Depravity DVD documentaries, Sodom set a high standard of quality with the depth of history you cover, all the extensive interviews with current and past members, plus the enormous live footage. Did you know going into it that it would be a two-part process, and are you satisfied with the feedback you’ve received from these documentaries from the press and fans?
Angelripper: I think so- Sodom was one of the first bands to do a full documentary like this. In the beginning we just wanted to record a show at Wacken Open Air festival and do some backstage interview and put it on a DVD. The director convinced me that Sodom is a band with a lot of history, and that we had to do more. So we got ex-members to do some interviews – which was very hard for some of the members, like Witchhunter. I’m so proud and glad that we did it, and more bands decided to do the same thing as a result. This is a timeless documentary – we had a low budget and we tried to do the best with it.
I would like to see other documentaries from other bands – I’m a big Motorhead fan and it would be very interesting to see a look into the band from all aspects with the other members. It’s like sitting in a time machine looking back at the history. We plan on bringing cameras with us on this next tour, we want to record some footage in South America and maybe we can do a third one. The first DVD was the best one, the historical background, the interviews, the 80’s- you can’t repeat a DVD like this again.
Dead Rhetoric: Any possible North American festival/ tour dates on the horizon in support of the new record? A particular dream of a lot of thrash fans would be a triple threat German package with Destruction, Kreator, and yourselves that you’ve been able to achieve in Europe…
Angelripper: I hope so, a Sodom show is very rare in the US. We’ve had a couple of chances, one or two years ago we were supposed to play the Maryland Death festival, but the promoter didn’t help us to get over there. You need to pay for a working license for musicians to get over there – he told us that we could just come over as tourists. We are a band, we want to play with our instruments. We are going to play South America, and we have no problems.
It’s a good question for us – we have a festival in Germany in two weeks with Tankard, Destruction, and Kreator, and we should be able to do this for a couple of shows around the world. What I don’t want it to tour for eight weeks in a row, I want to hit the bigger cities and it could be a good package for two-three places. We have to find a much more serious promoter for this to happen in the United States. We have too many fans that are disappointed about the situation of us not playing, it’s really sad.
Dead Rhetoric: What do you see as the pluses and minuses of Sodom as a trio?
Angelripper: I don’t know, I like it. Sometimes I miss a second guitarist when we are recording. When there is a solo you sometimes miss that second guitar when there’s only a bass in the background. It’s the spirit of it, I can’t explain. I like the old Tank, Motorhead, Venom – it’s more powerful. I know you end up putting the bass guitar up louder.
Dead Rhetoric: Being involved in the metal scene now for over four decades, do you see any major differences in the younger bands versus the veteran acts when it comes to musical ability and/ or their professionalism on and off stage?
Angelripper: I think nowadays it’s very hard for new bands. In Germany, for example, there are hundreds of new bands coming out with releases, I don’t know as fans who has the money to buy all of this stuff or the time to listen to it all. There’s a new generation of fans growing up, and they will never get the chance to hear music the way we did growing up. Back in the early days there were a handful of bands doing this music. I try to help younger bands, I am not a manager but I do try to help them – they have to try to create something new.
The bands sometimes try to copy us or Kreator, but you can’t repeat the history, that was the 80’s, and even Tom can’t keep up the spirit of the 80’s. If you go to Wacken which is the biggest festival in Europe, you have 200-300 bands playing in one weekend, it’s unbelievable. It’s hard for a lot of these new bands to get a record contract, find a good record company to help them find a publisher and proper booking agency. What will happen though once the big bands are gone, you know? That is the big question.
Dead Rhetoric: Was it a surprise to you to have such a major breakthrough with your album Agent Orange hitting the charts and selling over 100,000 copies?
Angelripper: Yes, it was a major surprise, we couldn’t believe it you know. The first band like that to get in the charts – we weren’t interested in becoming rock stars or anything. When we got our money we found that we could do this for a living and make better songs, continue writing good music. I’m also surprised that our new album came in the charts at number 32, which is better than that album. Agent Orange is the best-selling album in my career for me – I was able to stop my other job as a coal miner and just concentrate on the music.
Dead Rhetoric: What worries you most about the world we live in today?
Angelripper: I think the economic situation in Germany and Europe…everywhere really. I’m so scared of it – a lot of friends of mine are unemployed nowadays and there are fans sitting on the street, wondering how they are going to get money. I don’t know if it’s really going to get better in the next 10 or 20 years. I have my small house and I can make my music, I have two kids at home, I’m healthy and creative, but I know a lot of people are very poor and don’t know what to do to get themselves out of this.
Dead Rhetoric: As a bass player name some of the players you admire through the years? Where do you see your own bass playing development from your early years to today?
Angelripper: I think Cronos [Venom] was my biggest inspirations, he was one of the first bass players that got me. Lemmy is not a typical bass player, Algy Ward from Tank is not a typical bassist, I love his bass sound. Cronos though, the bass is very raw, very rough, very dirty you know. It’s not very accurate when you look at the current times but I love it. I created an odd style and my own style, I am not these bassist players. Last year I got some new equipment to make my bass sound a little bit louder, and that helps us at the shows.
Dead Rhetoric: Looking back at the history of music, what are certain riffs or songs that you love that you wish you had a hand in creating yourself?
Angelripper: I like all the Slayer riffs, but my favorite thrash riff is from Exodus – “Bonded By Blood.” That’s the perfect thrash riff. There are so many bands who inspired me to create Sodom songs. The last album I listened to is Raven – Rock Until You Drop. I haven’t bought a CD since 2001.
Dead Rhetoric: Finally what’s on the agenda for Sodom for the next 12 months?
Angelripper: We don’t have any tours lined up yet, but we will do a lot of shows. My dream is perform more Teutonic Four shows with Tankard, Destruction, Kreator, and ourselves. The problem is there are different companies, agencies, and publishers who want to make money. I talked to Mille [Petrozza] from Kreator when we played together on a cruise a couple of weeks ago and he knows this is something special for the fans. I am going to start writing songs for Onkel Tom which is my side project, and we have a lot of festivals to play – Mexico for two shows, Finland… we have a lot of shows coming up. Plus we will write more material for the next Sodom album.
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