TOM - WHEN WE HAD STARTED THE BAND WE HAD NO IDEA THAT WE ARE STILL ALIVE AFTER 35 YEARS. IN THE BEGINNING OUR MUSICAL ATTITUDES WERE JUST FOR FUN. BUT THE BAND VENOM WAS THE REASON TO FORM A BAND. WHEN THEIR FIRST ALBUM CAME OUT, MY WORLD HAS CHANGED. BUT ALSO RAVEN AND TANK AND FOR SURE, MOTÖRHEAD WERE OUR GREAT HEROES. SO WE TOOK THE DECISION, TO FORM AN OWN BAND, THAT SHOULD SOUND HEAVIER THAN VENOM AND FASTER THAN METALLICA. THAT WAS OUR SLOGAN ,)) BUT WE CREATED A BRAND-NEW AND OWN STYLE, CALLED “WITCHING METAL” SO WE WANT GET SEPARATED FROM ALL THE OTHER BANDS AROUND US IN THAT TIMES. IT ALSO WAS A LITTLE REVOLUTION TO US BECAUSE OUR PARENTS, TEACHERS AND ENVIRONMENT HATE THAT MUSIC. BUT WE COULD STAND THIS SITUATION. WE GOT OUR FIRST DEAL ALREADY IN 84. THAT WAS AMAZING…RECORDING IN A PROFESSIONAL STUDIO FOR THE FIRST TIME. WE WERE SO LUCKY, THAT STEAMHAMMER BELIEVED IN US. BUT BEING ALIVE AFTER SO MANY YEARS IS A RESULT OF HARD WORKING MEN AND THE LOYAL SUPPORT OF OUR FANS.
I JUST LOVE WHAT I DO. THAT`S MOTIVATION ENOUGH. AS LONG AS I STAY HEALTHY AND CREATIVE I WILL DO IT.
Reckless Ronny - For new metal bands just starting out, what life lessons would you be able to share with them about the music industry and your bands longevity.?
TOM - MANY YOUNG BANDS AND MUSICIANS ASK ME WHAT TO DO, TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN. WHAT CAN I REPLY? NEVER QUIT YOUR JOB, STUDY, OR SCHOOL AND START DOING THE MUSIC JUST FOR YOUR OWN. TRY TO FIND HELP IN SERIOUS MANAGERS AND LAWYERS TO HELP CHECKING OFFERED CONTRACTS. TRY TO SEPARATE FROM OTHER BANDS AND CREATE AN OWN STYLE. ORIGINALITY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WHEN YOU REALIZE HOW MUCH NEW BANDS COMING OUT EVERY MONTH.
Reckless Ronny - Which do you prefer most, creating music in the studio or performing live on tour(s).?
TOM - LIKE BOTH. WORKING IN A STUDIO AND PERFORMING ON STAGE. BUT I HATE TRAVELING, AIRPORTS, TRAIN STATIONS AND HOTELS ,)) I LIKE TO GET IN CONTACT TO THE FANS AFTER THE SHOW. WE WANT TO SUPPORT OUR FANS, LIKE THEY SUPPORTED US AND WE WANT TO GIVE SOMETHING BACK. PLAYING LIVE BRINGS ALWAYS NEW EXPERIENCES….BUT STUDIO RECORDING MAKES IT POSSIBLE.
ReckLess Ronny - When on long tour runs, how do you pass your free time? Do you write any music while on the road and are you an avid reader , if so what books do you gravitate to?
TOM - I JUST RELAX. I CAN`T WRITE SONGS AND I CAN`T BE CREATIVE. BUT I THINK IT IS WASTED TIME, SITTING IN THE BUS, DOING NOTHING AND WAITING FOR THE SHOW. THIS IS THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MEDAL. BUT THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO HANDLE A LONGER TOUR. BUT ON TOUR I HAVE MORE TIME TO HANG OUT WITH THE BAND AND CREW. AND WE OFTEN DISCUSS THE DIRECTION FOR ALL THE UPCOMING ACTIVITES…
Reckless Ronny - With your fifteenth studio release “Decision Day “ (August 26 2016) can you tell us the album’s themes and how the recording process in the studio went.?
TOM - WE WORKED THE SONGS OUT WITHOUT ANY PRESSURE AND WE NEVER TALKED ABOUT A RELEASE
DATE WITH THE LABEL UNTIL THE SONGS ARE WRITTEN. THAT WAS A RELAXED PROCEDURE. WE RECORDED IN DIFFERENT STUDIOS AND REHEARSAL ROOMS. EACH SONG WAS PRE PRODUCED AND THAT GAVE US THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHANGE SOMETHING IF IT WAS NECESSARY. THE PRODUCERS (CORNY) STUDIO IS LOCATED NEAR MY HOMETOWN. THAT IS ALSO A BIG ADVANTAGE IN THE RECORDING PROCESS. CORNY IS AN OLDSCHOOL SODOM FAN AND KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT TO DO TO GET THE TYPICAL ORGANIC SODOM SOUND. THE MAIN TOPIC DESCRIBES THE CURRENT STATE OF OUR WORLD. BAD NEWS EVERY DAY.
ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU CONSIDER HOW MUCH THE WORLD HAS CHANGED SINCE THE LAST ALBUM. SECTARIAN KILLING, COLD WAR, NUCLEAR ARMAMENT, ABOLITION OF DEMOCRACY IN MANY COUNTRIES, STARVATION AND ALL THE DESTRUCTIVE …THAT INSPIRED MY LYRICAL MINDSET AND FITS SO PERFECT TO OUR MUSIC. THAT IS SAD BUT TRUE.
Reckless Ronny - With choosing set lists, how much new material do you usually perform live and what’s your mindset like when you play a new song(s) to a different audience each night. Do you feel that fans react differently from country to country?
TOM - OH YES. IT`S ALWAYS A HARD DECISION TO DO THE SET LIST. FOR THE UPCOMING SHOWS WE WANT
INTEGRATE A COUPLE OF NEW SONGS CAUSE WE ALSO HAVE TO PROMOTE THE NEW ALBUM, BUT PEOPLE LIKE TO HEAR THE OLD TIME CLASSICS AND SOME OF THE DIE HARD SODOM FANS WISH MORE RARITIES. BUT ON SOME FESTIVALS YOU JUST HAVE 45 OR 60 MINUTES RUNNING TIME, SO ITS NOT EASY TO CHOOSE THE SONGS. BUT WE ARE ABLE TO CHANGE FROM SHOW TO SHOW.
Reckless Ronny - After basically witnessing the creation of thrash metal in the 80s, did you think back then that this
genre of metal would have such a lasting endurance and why do you think that is so today?
TOM - IT`S UNBELIEVABLE, THAT THRASH METAT IS STILL SO POPULAR WORLDWIDE. BUT THIS IS THE PUREST AND HARD LINED FORM OF HEAVY METAL. THINK ALSO THAT MORE FANS GET INTERESTED IN HISTORICAL BANDS, IT`S LIKE A NOSTALGIC WAVE….
Reckless Ronny - Out of your entire career what was your worst experience at a venue and what was your most cherished concert/event.
TOM - I THINK IT`S TEN YEARS AGO, WHEN I FELL FROM THE STAGE DURING AN ONKEL TOM SHOW IN GERMANY. WHEN I CAME BACK FROM THE HOSPITAL WITH A BROKEN NOSE AND A DAMAGED FACE I ENTERED THE STAGE AGAIN TO FINISH THE GIG. BUT THE BEST WAS OUR FIRST SHOW BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN IN BULGARIA/SOFIA IN 1991. THAT WAS AMAZING AND WE DID NOT EXPECT ABOUT 20 000 PEOPLE, WAITING JUST FOR SODOM. THIS IS SOMETHING I WILL NEVER FORGET….
Reckless Ronny - What plans does Sodom have for the rest of 2016 and into next year?
TOM - WE HAVE SOME FESTIVALS AROUND THIS LATE SUMMER AND SOME DATES IN RUSSIA. NOW WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE NEW RELEASE AND WAITING FOR SOME OFFERS FROM LIVE PROMOTERS. WE ALSO START WRITING NEW SONGS, A NEW ALBUM IS PLANNED FOR 2018 ,))
I’d like to thank you for taking time to do this interview and wish you continued success for years to come.
THANX FOR SUPPORTING US. HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL SOON