Sodom Frontman Tom Angelripper Discusses New Album "In War And Pieces"
Band Photo: Sodom (?)
German act Sodom has been thrashing out across the world for nearly a full 30 years now, most recently finishing the "In War and Pieces" album, which is due out January 11th in North American. 2010 was a bit of a tumultous year for the band, seeing the departure of drummer Bobby Schottkowski and the postponing of a scheduled U.S. tour. Sodom Front man Tom Angelripper recently spoke with me about the release of the new album, replacing Bobby with a new drummer, and the band's plans to head back over to North America.
xFiruath: What’s going on with the band as Sodom heads toward its 30 year anniversary?
Tom: We started in ’82 and it’s going to be in 2012, so we’re definitely going to celebrate it. But everything’s fine. It’s been a long time and we have a new drummer now. Our drummer Bobby left the band a few weeks ago because of some personal problems. We have a new drummer for our next tour. We’re just looking forward.
xFiruath: Before we discuss the new album, are you guys working on any other projects?
Tom: Yes, at the time I’m in the studio with another project called Uncle Tom. It’s German lyrics and kind of metal music. We are looking for a new deal at the time. I hope we can bring it out April or May next year.
xFiruath: Tell me about the latest album “In War and Pieces.”
Tom: At the time I’m really satisfied with what’s going on. I’ve got a lot of fair views from magazines and fans who really like it. We started the production with Waldemar Sorychta and I’m so satisfied. We spent the money for a high tech studio and the producer so we could work for a long time to get it finished. In Germany it’s been really successful. I’m so glad it’s out now.
xFiruath: Obviously based on the title the lyrics deal with war, but is there any specific theme between the songs?
Tom: It’s not just about war. I write about all the bad things in the world. When you start looking at the T.V. news and the newspapers, you know. I always get so sad about all these bad things happening, so that’s what I’m going to write about. I think Sodom has to write about these things. I just describe the situation of the world. I cannot change anything, I’m not politically active, but I can scream it out on stage. My dream is to live in a peaceful world and war is going all the time. Nowadays it’s about North Korea and South Korea, and I think this could be the World War III. Other things are economic crises around the world.
xFiruath: Who handled the artwork?
Tom: The artwork was by Eliran Kantor. I worked with him for the first time and I was so satisfied with it. He had the freedom to do what he wanted and he did a great job. It’s a booklet design and people say it looks a little bit like “Agent Orange” or “Persecution Mania” with its colors. I don’t want to compare it though. It’s a brand new album with wonderful new artwork.
xFiruath: Are we going to see any music videos off this album?
Tom: No, no. It’s a lot of money for basically nothing, you know. In Germany there’s no TV show with just heavy metal like in the past. Nowadays there’s nothing. Metal is getting big in Germany, but there’s not really any channels that show metal videos. We can spend the money on more important things.
xFiruath: When are you guys hitting the road to support the album?
Tom: We start the tour in February for three weeks and we go to Poland and Hungary and we’re doing a lot of shows. I hope we get a chance for a U.S. tour at the end of next year. We never get the chance for a big tour and I think the time is right now. I know U.S. fans are waiting for us.
xFiruath: Back in May you guys had to cancel your U.S. tour. What happened with that?
Tom: We had a promoter over there, and I don’t even want to tell you the name. Two weeks before we’re supposed to start the tour I get an email that he forget to get the papers you need to work. We came with the idea that we would have to go as tourists, but that’s very dangerous because the embassies know. If somebody knows your band is Sodom or you are going to play a club you can get in real trouble. It’s pretty expensive too, you need so much money to get the papers. That was the problem and we were so sad. So I hope we can do it in the next year and work it out because people are waiting for us.
xFiruath: What music are you listening to in your spare time?
Tom: I’m an old school metal fan. When I listen to music at home it’s always old school music like Venom and Slayer and all that stuff. I don’t really listen to new metal bands because it’s gotten to be too much. There’s hundreds of new bands coming out every month and I don’t have the time or the money to buy too much. The metal scene in Germany is getting really big and really commercial.
Tom: I want to thank the U.S. people for their support and I hope we can come over next year. That’s very important. I get so many emails wondering when we are coming. We never have problems going to South America or Japan or whatever, but there’s always problems when we go to the U.S. I hope it works next year.
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