Capital Chaos TV – This week is Halloween in America, and I believe in Germany. It’s, All Hallows Eve, is that correct?
Tom Angelripper – Yes, but all this activities getting cancelled, you know, because we have a next, like, lock down here in Germany. You know, all the bars are closed. And, it’s a very bad situation for everybody.
Capital Chaos TV – Yeah. It’s been like, what, nine months now of, uh, this corona Covid pandemic disaster.
Tom Angelripper – Oh, yeah, but, we got a new drummer in the beginning of this year. And then we start rehearsing for this upcoming shows and the set lists to do and all the stuff. And all the shows get cancelled step by step or postponed to next year. That was a shame, but we spent more time writing the songs and also we got the album finished in this year and that’s the only positive. But it’s a very bad situation for all the artists, musicians, you know, and, uh, Germany in world wide. I think you know, we’ll see what happens next year. I don’t know.
Capital Chaos TV – Talk a little bit about where you are from, where you spend most of your life and what’s kept you there?
Tom Angelripper – I live in Gelsenkirchen. It’s called Ruhr Valley. You know, with all the coal mines. All the coal mines are gone nowadays, you know. But in these times, when I was growing up here, there was a lot of coal mines and steel factories, you know? And what can I tell you? That’s my home town, you know, and I don’t want to leave here, you know, I want to stay here until the rest of my life and all, because here’s my friends. You know, here is my family and all the stuff. My band is coming from the same area, you know, we’re doing music and all.
Capital Chaos TV – In the eighties. Did you cross paths with Slayer. Was there a friendly competition among bands back then?
Tom Angelripper – When Slayer played here in Germany. We’ve been there, you know. And we got back stage passes, and we can talk a little bit to them, there was a friendship. But the the best friendship was between the bands from this local area. We’ve been good friends with Kreator, with Destruction, Tankard, Darkness, all the bands coming from Germany and when Destruction played a show we would be there and when we would play a show Destruction would be there, we’re still good friends. But we never get in contact with Slayer. So personally, get some beers in the backstage. And that it was.
Capital Chaos TV – That’s the way people are on tour, you show up, do soundcheck, perform, party then leave.
Tom Angelripper – Yeah, that’s the way on the tour. But the last tour, it was last year with Exodus and Death Angel, a small European tour. Yeah, that was amazing and all that, but it’s every day the same. You wake up and doing the soundcheck, drinking some beers during the show and going back to the bus, sometimes it’s gonna be boring. I enjoy every minute on stage. But I personally hate traveling or living in the bus in the Nightliner or whatever. But being on the stage, that’s that is my profession. That’s my life, you know.
Capital Chaos TV – What got you into becoming a performer?
I think the band Sodom is around nearly 40 years, you know, and all the the 40 years running, running so fast. It’s big experience to be musicians, to be a part of the international metal scene, because we are able to to travel around the world. You know, we’ve been everywhere in this world, you know? And that is really something special. We get to see other countries meet so many people. I think, to be a musician or professional musician, make your living just from the music , it’s the best could happen in my life. You know, the whole trip after 40 years was big experience.
Capital Chaos TV – Who would we be surprised to hear that you are a fan of?
Tom Angelripper – Venom. (laughs) I’m still a metal fan. You know, I never accept any other music next to heavy metal, you know, I’m a metal fan since I was a kid, you know. And when I start listening to this kind of music, my my older sister listen to bands like Slade or Sweet, you know? And then I came up with the first album which I bought from my own money was Rainbows Rising, you know, and I’m still in to metal nowadays. You know, when I listen to metal, I get my Venom albums or Tank or Motorhead and stuff, you know, And, um so if you’re a metal fan, you never changed anything. You know, that’s that’s my music. And that’s my profession.
Capital Chaos TV – What is the most difficult thing about being a band leader?
Tom Angelripper – I think the difficult thing is I have to make some decisions, I’m the bandleader right now. When you when have a new line up like, the new line up with Frank Blackfire back on the guitars, Yorck on the guitars and Toni on the drums and all. You know, we are a democracy. We’re gonna talk about everything you know, and we’re gonna write all the songs together. But sometimes I have to decide what’s what’s wrong or right, that is really heavy sometimes, but I have to take care of my musicians. In this band, I am the grandfather, you know, because Yorck is a very young man and Toni is young drummer, I am the father in the band and its my band. But it’s not just me, you know, it’s a whole project, its the musicians who helped me to get an album finished or to being on stage. You know, it’s also the business. You know, I’m also managing the band for myself. And then sometimes it’s a you know, the business nowadays is very confused, you know, And I have to take care about my myself and, uh, take care of what my musicians, you know, in this hard times and all that.
Capital Chaos TV – Has the German government stepped up and helped out the struggling artists and venues during this hard time?
Tom Angelripper – No, not really. You get some money and all, but it’s nothing. We have to cancel about twenty shows just of the Corona crisis, and we lose a lot of money, and you don’t get the money back. I know so many artists, actors and musicians around who are living in a really bad situation, because there is no future because they also say the next years, you know, there will be no more shows. I think a big festival like Wacken for example, 80,000 people go there. You know, that will be impossible for the next years, you know. I know that our government are gonna help Lufthansa (German Airlines) and other big companies. But they never mind what you do with the musicians do. That is a shame. And that’s a really bad situation for us all here.
They’re gonna tell it’s your problem. You know we’re gonna do a lock down. You know, we we there is no more shows. All the other concert promoters, you know, they are in the same situation. All the people working on a stage or the back liners. And it’s it’s unbelievable, you know? And then we never had a situation like this now. It’s really it’s really a big problem for all of us.
Capital Chaos TV – Talk a little bit about your relationship with Steamhammer/SPV . As you have been with them, it looks like almost your entire career?
Tom Angelripper – Yeah, we we started with Steamhammer and then we had a break. We had a couple of albums out with Gun Records and Drakkar Records and coming back to Steamhammer/SPV in 2001 with the M – 16 album and all. It’s the best company for us, I’m so glad they do a really good job. And, they do a really good promotions for the band. And this new album is the last album with Steamhammer/SPV because the contract is gone , we have to talk about the next contract we can do is Steamhammer/SPV or other companies, but I’m personally, I wanna stay with SPV, it’s a good company and the records will be released worldwide. You know, that is very important nowadays. So the band Sodom and Steamhammer/SPV . It’s like a family, you know.
Capital Chaos TV – Lets talk a little about the new album Genesis XIX?
Tom Angelripper – Genesis XIX is a chapter from the bible. Where God destroyed the sinful city Sodom and Gomorrah and two songs on the new album, Genesis XIX and Sodom & Gomorrah , which is the first song on the album talking about this shit, you know. But in my opinion, there is no God to destroy the cities and when I talked to Joe Petagno, he did the cover design. We talked about the song title and he told me that Genesis XIX is a perfect song title, and it’s perfect for creating a cover for Sodom and the other songs are more political. You know, there was about everything I wrote about the situation we are living in, it’s not only about the Corona crisis it’s everything. Everything is running out of control in Germany , Europe and the world. And this is something I’m gonna write down, you know, and write lyrics about it, you know? But just this two titles Sodom & Gomorrah & Genesis XIX it’s not just about the Bible scenes, you know?
Capital Chaos TV – Does the world still look to America for leadership?
Tom Angelripper – Yes, I will see what happens if Trump will be the next one or Biden I don’t know. It’s hard to choose for you Americans. I don’t know. You know, I’m not a big, you know. If I would choose I think a Republican president will be perfect, but it’s not, but it’s in my opinion. It’s not really Trump, you know, but it’s I don’t know what it’s what’s the best for America for the situation in America, I don’t know, but I’m looking really forward for the next president.
Capital Chaos TV – You have a new drummer. That’s always an exciting thing. Faster, harder, right?
Tom Angelripper – Yes. Tony is, in my opinion, he’s the best drummer in Germany. And he’s also playing in the death metal band called Sabiendas, which is the local death metal band around here . And he told me he’s really interested in Witchhunter’s drumming, and he studies all the video clips he found on YouTube, you know, as Witchhunter on the drums, you know, and he told me that that he cannot replace a man like Witchhunter . But you can try to keep Witchhunter’s spirits and bring it back, bring it to the new songs, you know, but more in a technical perfect way. And, um, I’m so glad that we have him in the band, he also was able to do blast beat songs and he’s also help arranging the songs and recording the songs and all. And he producing bands, other bands and that helps in my band. But it’s a shame that he never could play live with Sodom. We have to wait for next year.
Capital Chaos TV – I appreciate the older thrash bands like Sodom who use blast beats because most of the 80’s thrash bands that are still around won’t go there.
Tom Angelripper – Yeah, but you have to find a drummer who’s was able to do it. You know, I remember our ex drummer Husky, which was a good drummer for Sodom and all. He couldn’t play it so fast, he couldn’t play the blast beat on time. That’s with the timing problems. But Tony ,he’s brilliant, if you’re gonna see him sitting on the drums playing, it’s awesome. You know, we never had a drummer before. Maybe you can talk about Atomic Steif. He played the same style, you know but, Tony, it’s the best one you can find in Germany, And I’m so glad to get him in the band.
Capital Chaos TV – He sounds great. A great addition to the band.
Tom Angelripper – Yeah, the sound. You know, you have to talk to tell you that we recording all the songs, uh, in the computer, in a rehearsal room, But we’re gonna go to a professional studio with an analog mixing desk, you know, to mix all the songs, you know, And that was a special effect to the sounds, you know? And, you know, I like I like, um, the sounds from the eighties, like Kiss albums and Venom. And they all had a bigger drum sound. You know, nowadays, most bands use the same software, the same drum samples. So that’s all the same drum sound, you know, that’s what I don’t want, you know, I want to record it because with microphones. Most bands are using Kemper, which is a brand new amplification, digital amps for guitars which I don’t like. So it’s important, that Sodom always have a special sound.
Capital Chaos TV – What do you like and hate the most about touring?
Tom Angelripper – I hate the traveling. I hate sitting in airplanes, because I’m a smoker. I hate waiting at airports and train station’s. I hate being at hotels. I hate sleeping in a bus. I like the one or two hours on the stage, you know, that is my job to do. But sometimes you are traveling maybe four or five days just to do one show. That is what I really hate, but there is no other chance to go on tour, if you tour for weeks, you have to sit and you have to sleep in the nightliner on the bus, with all the other bands and members and crew and techs and all this stuff and all, there is no more personality. You cannot take a shit whenever you want. You cannot eat your food what you like, You know, being on tour. It’s really hard to me.
Capital Chaos TV – What’s been your most difficult tour as an opener?
Tom Angelripper – I think that most of our tours have been headlining tours. But we did, remember that in the 90’s we had a tour with Motorhead. And we were just a supporting band, that was really hard, because we got suppressed by the band and the crew. We get less lights. We got a bad sound quality, that’s what I don’t like. So the next time I’m gonna be on tour, I will do it headlining tour, because I want to do my own sound check. And I want to do my own lights show and everything. Being a support band of a bigger band it’s really hard, it’s not the thing I want to do in the next time.
Capital Chaos TV – As a headliner, have you been restrictive to opening bands?
Tom Angelripper – No, no, we have opening bands. They get the same sound quality like we are. They can use lights they can use, the amplification, the drum kits. I want to support the local bands. I want to support my support bands and all. I always give everything to that they have a good sound, and they feel comfortable to be on tour with Sodom, I never mind if we are headlining band or not. I think it’s a band, have to get the the best sound as possible.
Capital Chaos TV – That’s awesome. Metal family, right?
Tom Angelripper – Yes, we are metal family. But if you go with a bigger band like Motorhead or Slayer, you get pissed off sometimes and all, but Sodom is in the situation that we can do our own headlining so we never talk about supporting a bigger band.
Capital Chaos TV – What is your favorite thrash metal band of all time?
Tom Angelripper – My all time favorite thrash metal band is Slayer. You know, I’m a big Slayer fan from the beginning and it’s a shame that they stopped doing the music and stopped touring. What is a typical thrash band, You know, I think Venom is not a thrash band. I think also Sodom is not thrash metal. But I’m a big Slayer fan, its my favorite all time band, you know.
SODOM, will release their new studio album, Genesis XIX, on November 27th via Entertainment One (“eOne”) in North America and Steamhammer/SPV in Europe.
Genesis XIX — recorded by Siggi Bemm and mastered by Patrick W. Engel — comes shrouded in the cover art of Joe Petagno of Motörhead fame. The record will be released as a CD digipak, exclusive 2xLP (on translucent orange w/ opaque silver swirls – an eOne store exclusive), and digitally. For preorders, go to THIS LOCATION.
Genesis XIX Track Listing:
1. Blind Superstition
2. Sodom & Gomorrah
4. Genesis XIX
5. Nicht mehr mein Land
6. Glock N‘ Roll
7. The Harponeer
9. Occult Perpetrator
10. Waldo & Pigpen
12. Friendly Fire