Christine Carney of MP3.com recently conducted an interview with SODOM frontman Thomas "Tom Angelripper" Such. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
MP3.com: I see that one of the tracks [on the new SODOM album], "Axis of Evil", is kind of a commentary on our American president here, George Bush.
Tom: "Maybe. It's nothing against the Americans, you know. I just use words like 'axis of evil,' when George Bush is going to tell the axis of evil is going transatlantic. Germans never want to support the war, you know. For me, as a songwriter and writing lyrics, it's a good inspiration, you know. It's a good song title. It's also like 'Buried in the Justice Ground' or 'Bibles and Guns'. All what the American needs is a Bible and a gun. For me, it's stupid, you know. But as for me as a songwriter, it's a good inspiration, you know. I always write about the bad things in the world, you know. I don't want say that that George W. Bush is a bad man in the world, but he always tries to split the world in the good one and the evil one, you know, and that's stupid, in my opinion. You never find any political opinion in the lyrics, but, for me, it's a good idea to write a song title, you know. I always try to describe the bad things in the world, you know. When it happened to the World Trade Center at 9/ll, I was really shocked, you know. And one day later, I started lyrics about it because it's really...I think it's good for a metal band or a thrash metal band to write about the bad things in the world, you know. I cannot change anything. I'm not politically active or whatever, you know, but I try. [Being] the singer in a thrash metal band, you know, gives me the chance to scream it out, you know. And the message is always really simple: Stop the war and want to live in a peaceful world, you know."
MP3.com: Given that and the fact that I would agree as a fan that this album is very true to SODOM and SODOM's style and the style of thrash metal or German thrash metal, I've read recently in some statements that you've made about some of your contemporaries' recent albums after kind of a long downtime — and that would be VENOM and CELTIC FROST. Do you feel a sense of responsibility to the music that you helped pioneer? I guess my question is that versus your opinion on the newest VENOM and CELTIC FROST records.
Tom: "Yeah, but I never told that they are making a reunion just to make money. That's not true, you know, because I'm a big VENOM and CELTIC FROST fan, you know. If I'm going to tell something it's because I'm a metal fan, not a musician, you know. I was a little bit disappointed of the new VENOM album because it's not...like [their] comeback, you know. You cannot compare it to 'Black Metal' or 'Possessed' or 'Welcome to Hell', which is my favourite album ever. And I was a little bit disappointed when I listened to the new one but just as a metal fan, you know. And also CELTIC FROST, I was a big CELTIC FROST fan from the beginning, and the band is coming back after 16 years, you know. I never mind because I don't have to buy this album, you know. I get it for free, but I was a little bit disappointed. It's no more the CELTIC FROST I remember back, you know, in the '80s, you know. But that's just my opinion as a metal fan, you know. If you talk to a metal fan — to any other metal fans — they like it or they like it not, you know. I'm never going to tell something about that [being] a reason to make money or whatever, you know. I think this band is getting really supported now and it's OK. But I want to get more respect from the magazines in Germany and from the promoters, whatever, because SODOM is a band who is still alive after 25 years, you know, and never stopped doing music. So, I want to have more respect from the music business, you know. In Germany that's a problem. The metal scene is getting really big and really commercial, you know. They push a lot of other bands, which are not really metal bands, like RAMMSTEIN. You see a lot of type of stories in metal magazines, with these kind of bands on the cover. These bands are not really metal bands, you know. I just need more respect from the scene, you know, because SODOM never stopped doing the music."
MP3.com: I think the scene does respect you. So, a job well done. Is this just what flows from you naturally there's no problem trying to stay true to who SODOM is to people?
Tom: "Yes, we cannot do other music, you know. We never get any inspiration from the music scene, what other bands do, and I can't explain it because we never think about what we're going to do the next time in the rehearsal room. We just go to the rehearsal room making sessions, drinking some beer, and all talk about everything and just start writing songs, you know. And there is no special idea how you can write new songs, you know. We always try to get better from album to album. But we never want to change our style, you know. I don't want to have any SODOM fans disappointed about a new SODOM. We have to try to get more melodic, better songs, you know, but stay aggressive and keep the revolution — what metal means, you know. It's very difficult to explain in English, but we never mind. We just do what we want. That is our secret, and SODOM is also a band who has always tried to get in contact with the fans, you know. After the show, we go from the stage, going to the fans, making signing sessions, whatever. We are no rock stars, you know. We are not a band going back to the hotel or going back home after the show. We always want to be with the fans and that's what the fans like. You know, we are just metal fans making music for one hour on the stage. That is the difference. That is a big difference to SODOM and all the other bands in the world."