First of all, want to apologize about the delay in getting this interview posted. Its been a hectic last couple of weeks, but you can all expect the interviews to get posted in faster succession from now on. A special thanks goes out to Georg and Olly of SPV Records, as well as Mr. Angelripper himself for giving me time to interview him.
Introduction: For nearly 30 years, Tom Angelripper and his main band, Sodom have been spreading their evil and brutal metal to all four corners of the globe. One of the primary influences on the extreme metal scene, Sodom burst forth in the mid eighties, with albums such as Under the Sign of Evil, and Agent Orange. I recently caught up with Tom, who with Sodom has been working on a new album.
Mattowarrior: So what's new on the horizon for Tom Angelripper?
Tom: Working on a new album. We have a new producer, Waldemar Sorychta of Grip Incorporated. He's like a fourth band member- I told him I wanted Sodom to go back to our roots, and its important to create an album with an old sound. I don't like productions where the bands sound like all the others. He has many ideas on how to arrange the album, and vocal lines, etc.
Mattowarrior: So who is in the current lineup of Sodom?
Tom: Pretty much the (same) lineup of 15 years ago. I think it is our strongest lineup ever. I don't want to kick anyone out of the band.
Mattowarrior: So what do you think of the "Big Four" tour that recently happened in Europe?
Tom: I saw Slayer recently. I think it is a very good package. I am not sure about Metallica though. I think the (three) would be enough- Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer. I think Metallica is a bit commercial nowadays. If I find the time, I'll see this tour if it happens again. Slayer is (always) my most important band to see. I was a Metallica fan in the eighties but its a different band now though they are still a good band.
Mattowarrior: Any chance of a "Teutonic Three" tour featuring Sodom, Kreator and Destruction any time soon?
Tom: Haha! People ask me about this tour, but there's all sorts of business involved, different record companies and publishers have their own interests. We have to find a good point to do it. They (the bands) all go their own way; it would be great to see the three bands for a low cost ticket. It is a dream, but business is (always) king.
Mattowarrior: Any chances of a Sodom or Onkel Tom U.S tour?
Tom: We have to promote over there, it didn't work for us (last time) because of our working papers (visas). We had trouble at the border. I want to start a new tour next year with the new album. Its always fucking business to get the chance to tour. We have to get the working papers. We need the chance to come back next year. As for Onkel Tom, it has German lyrics. We never really play outside of Europe.
So tell me the origins of the Desperados project. Are you still involved in that at all and what inspired it?
Tom: Its something I helped start in 1995 but I haven't had the time since Sodom is my main project. I left the band since its hard to have three bands. I was very interested in U.S western history, gunfighter legends, (etc). I read a lot of books from America, and was a Wyatt Earp fan. Arizona is a historical place for me. Alex (from Desperados) is a wonderful musician and had an idea for a Western style. For me it was too much to do all at the same time.
Mattowarrior: What do you think of this current "retro thrash" scene?
Tom: In America and Europe you have many new thrash bands coming out. I can't explain it. Many of the bands have a metalcore influence. You cannot repeat it - the music was the music from that time - you cannot bring the spirit of the eighties to this time. Like with us- Sodom were never interested in what other bands were doing- Sodom were "do what you want" without the commercialism. If you have a new band, try to create something new.
Mattowarrior: Where do you think the metal scene is headed?
Tom: Its getting really big. In the summer here you have all these big festivals. In some ways its getting too big, too many bands. When I started in the eighties, it was something special, but now everyone is listening to heavy metal!
Mattowarrior: What new bands do you like?
Tom: I just like my old school stuff, not much stuff coming out. I am a big Slayer and Venom fan. I am an old time old school fan, and just like to listen to my old cds and records. There is too much stuff coming out (to keep track).
Mattowarrior: What do you think of Metalcore?
Tom: Some of the bands are very good musicians, but you cannot compare it to thrash metal. Its watered down. Its not really thrash metal, its a completely different style of music.
Mattowarrior: Well thanks for your time and the interview.
Tom: Yes, thank you. We will try to come out (to the U.S) next year. We feel really sorry about the situation.