German thrash metallers SODOM celebrate their 40th Anniversary. Due to that, they are releasing compilation album 40 YEARS OF SODOM. THE GREATEST HELL OF SODOM and we´ve spoken with Tom Angelripper about the album, new song 1982 and the fact it all should look a bit different …
You are releasing compilation album called 40 YEARS AT WAR. THE GREATEST HELL OF SODOM. How was the idea to do so born?
Originally we had planned a live album for our anniversary. But it was not possible to do suitable shows due to Corona. So we came up with the idea of choosing a title from each album and then re-recording it. Our record company also liked this idea very much and so we went back to the old material. We recorded all the songs in our rehearsal room. We set up a small studio there in recent years. Our drummer Toni is very familiar with the technology and recorded everything. Toni also produced our last studio album. We started recording last year. Before that we had to familiarize ourselves with all the old stuff again. It was like time travel, but awesome. So many memories came back to me. But all the effort was worth it and we are currently considering incorporating one or the other song from the album into the live setlist, which will definitely be very exciting.
There is one song from each album. Who was picking the songs?
Each band member could pick his favorites, and we decided on that together. After all, it wouldn't make sense to only play the well-known and title songs from each album. That would be too easy.
How hard was it to pick only one song from each album?
It was important to us not only to make the popular titles, but also songs that are supposedly less well known or underrated. However, we tried to retain the rawness and brutality of the originals. But of course recorded more precisely. I think the spirit of the old days is still there.
Other than old songs, there is one new piece – „1982“ – can you tell us background of the song?
The song is reminiscent of the old days. The text is about our beginnings. It was a revolution. We wanted to be hated. We were against our teachers, trainers and uncomprehending parents. At the time, we wanted to show that we were different and not system-compatible. The music itself is written in a typical 80's style and embodies the spirit of the good old days. The album consists only of songs that we had already written, so to speak as an overview of what we have done in the last 40 years.
There definitely are some songs you could not put on the album due to the concept of the compilation album. What are those and why?
We do not have that. Each album represents the time in which it was created. I stand behind every release 100% and would do it all over again if I could.
Why? We could have taken any song. There is no concept for the album. It's just meant to be a retrospective of the past four decades.
All songs are re-recorded. What changes were done in arranges of the songs during the process?
We left everything as it was. Arrangements and lyrics have remained. Played with a little more accuracy and precision here and there, but the magic and enchantment of the old days is more or less retained.
All the bands have album you can call “black sheep”, album you are not particularly proud of after all those years. Which one is the one for you?
We do not have that. Each album represents the time in which it was created. I stand behind every release 100% and would do it all over again if I could...
This album is a bit of a tribute to recently passed ex-band member Uwe Christophers and passed Christian Dudek and Dirk Strahlmeier who left the band in past 11 years. What are your best memories on those guys?
They were all good friends of mine. I miss em very much. All three had massive problems with alcohol and drugs by the time they died. There was still so much They could have accomplished, but the demons were stronger. Too bad. They all shaped our music and our sound and I'm still very proud of what they did for us. But that's the way things go. We keep them in our memories and in our hearts
I suppose there would be tour supporting the album. Can you tell us any news regarding of that? What special are you planning to bring to the fans?
We don't have anything special planned. We keep doing our shows. The anniversary will soon be over. For us it's just a number and we're looking ahead. We are currently working on songs for the new album and planning a couple of shows and tours.
What changes in music industry have you noticed after whole pandemics?
Many workers in the music industry have looked for new jobs that are currently lacking. It's getting harder and harder to get a consistent crew together. The prices have also risen extremely. Unfortunately they didn't. Many smaller concert organizers had to give up and file for bankruptcy. Hope it recovers soon and we can get back to normality.
COVID pandemic showed a lot of people positive features of modern technology, social media, Youtube and stuff like that. How has your view on this whole digital world changed during past few years?
I wish it were different. People should remember what real life means and not stay in a digital illusory world. We want to play live concerts and not digital concerts. It's all going in the wrong direction. The only positive thing about the crisis was that we had more time to produce our last studio album.
If there is anything you want to add but wasn´t mentioned in previous lines, here is your space to do so. I could add question to your answer or somehow “introduce” it ;)
Like I said, 40 is just a number. We are looking ahead and have many projects in the pipeline. At this point I would like to thank our loyal fans, without whom I probably would not have written these lines. Stay healthy and sound and above all stay sodomized.