Tom Angelripper (SODOM) on Rock Overdose:’ The music scene in generally is getting more obscure and complicated all over the years’

With their new album ''Decision Day'' and with their upcoming appearance in Greece being really close, Sodom is one of the bands intensely discussed lately. Rock Overdose and Dimitris Aloras came in touch with one of his old heroes, who was in a joyful mood because of coming to our country, analyzing us the facts of the new album, the contribution of drummer Makka in the band, the cooperation with Joe Petagno on the cover and his belief in the German scene and the old metal bands.





Rock Overdose: Tom, first of all congratulations for another album which shows you're more than active. Now that ''Epitome Of Torture'' did full circle, how do you see it as an album? As far as I'm concerned, it was one of my favourite Sodom albums and the best you did the last ten years.


Tom Angelripper: Yes, thanx. Oh really? I love that album too, fantastic songs on it but I think it`s got a little bit underrated in some reviews. It`s a complete different production and it reflects the strategy of Waldemar, who did a great job on it.



Rock Overdose: Back to the new album ''Decision Day''. How long did the recordings last and what was the mood during the writing of it? Are you satisfied the way it came out?


Tom Angelripper: We are so happy with the result. We got so much wonderful reviews from all the magazines and awesome fan reactions, it seems they really love it. We had a lot of time to write the songs after ''Εpitome Οf Τorture''.


For ''Decision Day'', we had no release date agreed with the label, so we were able to record the songs in a time period of six month. That was relaxed to work without deadline pressure. So we also had time to do a pre-production and change parts we were not satisfied with.



Rock Overdose: You had your drummer Corny from Onkel Tom as a producer for the new album. Describe us the way he works please and what new he offered to the sound of Sodom and if he gave you some special directions during the production.


Tom Angelripper: He is a big Sodom fan since '86. Before we started the pre- production, we had a lot of discussions about, how we could keep the spirit of the old days. Corny`s studio is near my hometown, so I was able to record some bass or vocal tracks and go home after recording.


We also love Waldemar's recording style as well. He is an outstanding producer, but wanted to try something new. We recorded the drums and instruments with microphones, without any trigger signal or ΜΙDI files. That keeps our typical Sodom sound so organic and straight to the ears. But yes, we recorded digitally, which is usual and payable in these times.


I like old productions with “bigger” drumkits like old Venom, Kiss and ,Motley crue etc….



Rock Overdose: In my opinion, the new album contains many new elements for the band, as it is more multi-dimensional. It's not the typical thrash album people expected from you, but has many great heavy mid-tempo parts and some great guitar and drum fillings in it.

Did you want to offer something different this time compared to the previous album?


Tom Angelripper: No, we never think about, doing something different. Just starting a jam session and try to write a song as good as possible, but we always try to keep the Sodom spirit. I like the combination between melodic guitar part and really heavy drumming and vocals. ''Decision Day'' just reflects our feelings and motivation at that time..



Rock Overdose: We can all hear that your voice remains in perfect shape through the years. How do you manage to keep it fresh and how easy is to correspond to the numerous gigs that follow each other without damaging your vocal chords all these years?


Tom Angelripper: Some of the songs sounded very well with the “sodomy & lust” barking. We went away from that screaming like “tom araya”, that we used on “In War & Pieces” and “Epitome Of Torture”.


These typical Angelripper vocals fits perfect to the new songs. I also want to keep my own identity and my characteristics vocals. But, yes. You are right. It`s hard to keep the voice all over the gigs we did and still do. And I also smoke 40 cigarettes a day. That is not helpful. I just need some breaks between the shows and try to relax as much as possible…



Rock Overdose: There has been an official lyric video for ''Caligula'', one of the best tracks on the album. Is there going to be another video in the future?

How much have lyric videos helped the metal bands the last years?

Is it an easier way to spread the music before an album release in your opinion?


Tom Angelripper: I don`t know. These lyric videos are just a part of the pre promotion to spread a song via youtube. I think it could help to get more attention before release. And ''Caligula'' was the most typical Sodom song on that album and we love it too.



Rock Overdose: It's the second album with Makka on drums, he did a perfect job once again, how easy is it to work with him?

All fans admire his skills and in most Sodomaniacs' opinion, he's a big reason why the band sounds so fresh, especially live.


Tom Angelripper: YES…he is the best drummer in my opinion and a very nice guy. He brought fresh blood into the band. I like the way he is drumming and it fits perfect, especially to the faster songs. He played in countless bands before, but when he joined the band it was a big step forward. He is so glad to be in a band again and he is an important part of the songwriting process also.



Rock Overdose: The German scene seems stronger than ever lately, you and Destruction released albums this year, we have the new Kreator on the way, Rage and Running Wild also came back. Since you've witnessed its birth and its evolution through the years, how much important is to have the great old bands active and how do you see the whole metal scene the last years? More music than ever is released, any new bands that caught your attention? Or do you stick to the old stuff?


Tom Angelripper: The music scene in generally is getting more obscure and complicated all over the years. I lost the control about the new releases. Hundreds of bands urging into the scene every month but just a couple of them will get the chance for a deal. Too many record labels, publishers, merch companies and booking agencies skim the market to sign the bigger bands.


Smaller underground bands stay on the track and get no chance. It is so important not to get monopolized by them. In 82 there were just a handful of bands who did metal, so that was easy to find a label. But we have so many good festivals in Germany, that`s great. But yeah, I listened to the new Destruction, RW and Kreator. And I still love it.


So I will keep to my old school record collection when I find time for listening to music.



Rock Overdose: I can't help but asking, was the new great cover a tribute to Lemmy? We have Joe Petagno on the artwork, the longtime Motorhead illustrator.

Since it's been one year without Lemmy, you're one of the very few than can describe his influence on the whole scene, being one of your main beloved artists.


Tom Angelripper: This has nothing to do with any Motörhead tribute. But it looks a little bit like ''Overkill'' or ''Another Perfect Day''…that's right. But this happened involuntary. It`s just the way Joe designed an artwork. Before we started I just send him an email and ask for a cooperation with us. And he said “yes”. He followed the band all over the years and was very interested in the new songs.


I am so proud that he did the job. He is a great artist and a pioneer of rock and metal covers. When I got in contact with him I was so surprised that he knows the band since beginning and was a follower of our career.



Rock Overdose: Last but not least, we're going to see you in Greece once again. The bond between Greek fans and Sodom is one of the strongest in the universe without a doubt. You were the band that opened the borders for others to come to our country, being the first thrash band to visit us back in the '80s.

What is it that kept this bond so strong all these years and how does it feel playing like being at home when you're so far away from home?


Tom Angelripper: Oh yes. That fact is fantastic. The Greece fans are celebrating the real metal and old school bands and they know exactly where they and we are coming from. Shows in Greece were always full of energy and intense atmosphere. We are looking really forward to see you all again.



Rock Overdose: Thanks for your time in answering these questions, it was a real honour for us. Add anything you'd like for the end.


Tom Angelripper: I am so thankful for you loyal support all over the years…







For Rock Overdose


Dimitris Aloras