Interview With Tom Angelripper Such of Sodom
Band Photo: Sodom (?)
One of the most infamous thrash bands is Sodom if you didn't already know. And they've just unleashed fresh hell in the form of "In War and Pieces" released on January 13th in the US. Sodom will be heading out for the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise this weekend, then embarking on a European tour before rocking some festivals. I caught up with frontman Tom Angelripper to discuss the new album, a future US tour, and what he thinks about Tom Warrior's dislike of his new music.
Buick Mckane: How are you doing today?
Tom Angelripper: Oh, I have a lot of U.S. promo activities. You know the album came out two days ago, so it’s time for US promotions. And, yeah, I like to do it.
Buick: And that album “In War and Pieces” came out in the U.S. just a few days ago, and has gotten really great reviews so far. How has it been received in Europe so far where it’s been out for a few months.
Angelripper: We got a lot of wonderful reviews in magazines, you know, and I got a lot of reactions from the fans who bought it, you know. The record company is very satisfied. It could be Germany, it could be the best album of the last year so I’m really satisfied, you know.
Buick: And just out of curiosity, why was there such a long delay in the U.S. release?
Angelripper: I think that that something that the record company has to decide. I heard that they had to find a new promoter over there, for a US company, who were going to bring it out. It looks like to me that they had a lot of problems last year; economic problems, financial problems. So now they [have to] restart. I don’t know why it took so long to bring it out in U.S. America, it’s a bad situation. But that’s not my decision, you know, that’s the record company.
Buick: Well as long as it’s out now, and we can all enjoy it.
Angelripper: Yeah, yeah I hope that you can. It’s just two days out. We’ll see when we go out at the end of the month for the metal cruise, and we’ll talk to the fans and see what they think about it, you know. I think that the German fans and European fans like it very much, you know. It’s a mixture between old school Sodom and modern sound, you know. What we want to do is write better songs, and have a better sound. And when we found a producer, Waldemar Sorychta, he did a really good job, you know. And he did exactly what we wanted for the new album.
Buick: Do you think you’ll use him again to produce your albums?
Angelripper: I think so, yeah. Because you never change a winning team. This was our first time to work with him, and we will see. We have a new drummer these days. And we’re rehearsing for the next European tour. And I think we start writing songs after the European tour with the new drummer. Yes, I think Waldemar did a really good job, you know. And I think it’s better to spend the money in a very expensive studio where we pay 800…1000 Euros a day, so we can spend the money on a producer and we can work on it until everyone is satisfied with the result, you know. But that was very important this time.
Buick: And you mentioned the metal cruise you’re going on in just a few days, and yall have been playing a lot of festivals like Bloodstock, Wacken, and Summerbreeze. When are yall going to come to the U.S. for a full tour?
Angelripper: We were supposed to do a U.S. tour last year, but we had some problems with the local promoters over there. But if you’re a European or German that goes to U.S. America, you need papers, you need working permission; you cannot go as tourists, you know. That’s too dangerous, you know. So I hope that we find a chance at the end of next year to start a U.S. tour with a good promoter and do more shows over there. It’s very sad that we couldn’t play the shows last year. And we’re sitting at home waiting for offers waiting to go. The promoters have to do their job too, you know. So we don’t want to have any problems, we don’t need any trouble if we start a tour in U.S. America. But I know we have fans waiting so long, for a long time. And playing on the metal [festival] tours…. it’s better to do intimate shows. It’s not a tour. So we do the European tour in February and then we try to plan at the end of the year to go to U.S. America.
Buick: And we can’t wait for yall. It’s going to be a great show.
Angelripper: We’ve been wanting to do a U.S. tour so much. We’ve done a few dates the last few years, but we want to do more. That’s our profession, that’s what we want to do, you know. We are musicians, we want to make music, we want to. We enjoy being onstage worldwide.
Buick: And this album wasn’t the only thing you did this year. Yall released the “Lords of Depravity Part II” DVD this summer. And how have people liked that?
Angelripper: They like it. But I wanted to do the “Lords of Depravity” before I started recording the new album. But there was a problem with SPV, and I talked to them and said, “I want to do the second part of the DVD now.” And last year I had a lot of work to do; I’ve been in Berlin with my friend starting the DVD for a couple of weeks. Start planning the direction, you know. The second part was a documentary, and I was showing people what happened on tour; it’s not just the band on stage or the band sitting in a bus drinking. So after recording the DVD, I had my hands free for a new album, you know. And that’s exactly what I wanted to do, and I’m so glad that we have everything done and we can move forward.
Buick: And it’s not just Sodom you’re in, devoting all your time to. You have a lot of side bands, don’t you?
Angelripper: Yes, I’m in Uncle Tom. We are in the studio right now, and we want to get the album out in June or July this year, you know. I have a new band; I have a new drummer and a new guitarist. We have plenty of new songs to get out which we’ve recorded already that we’ll start fixing after the tour. Yes, that’s my project, you know, that’s what I want to do. But Sodom is my main project, but Uncle Tom is really something special. It’s not just a metal band being on stage, you know, Uncle Tom is like a party. So I want a chance to play U.S. America. I know you won’t understand the lyrics, but the message is really simple: just have a good time with your friends and drink some beer or whatever.
Buick: Well that’s pretty much how we do it here.
Angelripper: Yeah. We’ve played in Russia and Italy and people like it, you know. People go see Uncle Tom and it’s not just party music, we have death metal elements….we have everything.
Buick: What does that name come from? Why did yall pick Uncle Tom?
Angelripper: Where does that name come from? Tom is my name, and I realized when we did the first Uncle Tom show, back then it was called Tom Angelripper, and when we first started the show people were screaming, “Uncle Tom.” I don’t know where it came from. So the record company wanted to change the name to Uncle Tom instead of Tom Angelripper.
Buick: Wow, that’s pretty interesting. Well, you might not want to answer this question, but recently Tom Warrior of Triptykon said bad things about your new music. Do you have anything to say in response to that?
Angelripper: I know he just heard the one song “Hellfire” and not the whole album. I never mind. I think we deserve Tom’s respect, you know. And he said something about the lyrics, and he compared them to Slayer and whatever. But that is not true, you can’t compare us to Slayer. I think Slayer is the number thrash band, you know. We don’t want to be the second one or the third one. I think that we just do the music we want. I don’t know where it came from. I know years before with Celtic Frost I said in an interview that he’s trying to make money coming back after twenty years. And so we deserve more respect, you know. I don’t know what this guy wants. I never mind, you know, I just saw the review about him and what he said about Sodom, but I never mind, you know. Just from one track, you know.
Buick: I see, do you personally like Triptykon’s albums?
Angelripper: I like them, yes. I’m a big Celtic Frost fan from the beginning. And in the beginning of the 80s Celtic Frost was very big, I liked it very much. And Triptykon…it’s the same music. It’s not typical thrash metal music, and I like it really much. But I respect what they do, you know. And that guy, you know, he created the whole thing, writing lyrics and arranging music. That’s what I respect so much. So I would never say anything bad about his musical career.
Buick: Is there anything else you would like to say?
Angelripper: I know the U.S. fans are waiting so long. And I want to thank the fans and promoter for their support. And I will do everything I can to get down there this year, and hope to see you at the shows.
Buick: And that metal cruise looks pretty fun.
Angelripper: I think we always want to come through for the fans, you know. Other bands do the show, then they go to the hotel. After the stage, we’re doing signing sessions. So I’m really looking forward to the metal cruise. For our new drummer, it’s his first show. And for the band, it’s a kind of holiday, you know. We do our show, and for the rest of the week, we do whatever we want. It’s wonderful.
Buick: Well thank you so much!
Angelripper: Thank you and we hope to see you on tour.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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