Following the first relaxation of the lockdown rules stemming from the 2020 pandemic, SODOM immediately returned to working creatively, which is one of the reasons why Genesis XIX has turned into precisely what the musicians had in mind. I had a chat with Frank Blackfire about the new album, the state of the music industry and a large pizza with a side of tzatziki.
1. Frank’s TED TALK
YOU HAVE PURSUED VARIOUS EXPERIMENTAL MUSICAL STYLES IN YOUR CAREER AND YOU ARE ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL GUITARISTS TODAY. YOUR AREA OF EXPERTISE HAS A VERY WIDE RANGE. IF YOU HAD TO GIVE A TED TALK TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
First of all, I started playing the guitar and I was very passionate about my first guitar. I was 14 years old. It was right before Christmas and I was so fascinated by this guitar. It was what made me never stop playing. I practised and this guitar what like the holy grail for me.
I was dreaming of being a musician, being on stage, playing live in front of people. Also, I had a regular job, but I knew I wanted to be a musician, and at the age of 20 I joined SODOM, and that’s how my professional career started.
I never gave up, that’s another thing that’s important. Never give up, ever, ever!
That’s what my Ted talk would be about.
How it’s not easy to be a professional musician, especially if you have a regular job, and it’s always a big step when you turn your career around and earn your money form music. There are ups and downs. You earn money, you don’t ear money, you have good times, and you have bad times…Nothing is certain, nothing is safe.
YOU AND YORCK SEGATZ ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT TYPES OF MUSICIANS. WHAT’S THE DYNAMIC BETWEEN YOU TWO?
Oh, we get along pretty good! Yorck is younger than me, he is an active guy, he is practicing a lot, he is listening to a lot of metal, he knows metal more that I do, he is the metal Wikipedia, he knows so may metal bands that I never heard before, so he has all those influences in music. I have my style, people pretty much know what I do, they know what to expect.
So it worked out really well with Yorck, especially live, with two guitars. It’s more powerful. As brutal as possible, not too much harmonies, not too much melodies, just a little bit here and there, taking the old-school sounds and trying to make them more powerful and add a little bit here and there.
LET’S TALK ABOUT GENESIS. TO ME, IT’S AN ALBUM THAT CARRIES ALL THE HISTORY OF THE BAND ALONG WITH NEWLY INTRODUCED ELEMENTS. HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO MERGE THE PAST WITH THE FUTURE SO SEAMLESSLY?
My process of writing music and composing music was always like this, we wanted to capture the 80’s feeling, with the technology of 2020, bring them both together. You know how the new bands sound different today, but we are SODOM and we have our own style. And we try to combine the old vibes with the modern mixing techniques and capture this together and I think it came out pretty good!
4.THE MUSIC INDUSTRY TODAY
IF YOU WERE IN POWER FOR A DAY, HOW WOULD YOU TRY AND IMPROVE THE STATE OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY TODAY?
The music industry has always been tough.
For bands to get a record deal, nothing is easy. With the internet coming up and bands not being able to sell vinyl or CD’s it’s pretty hard to keep the sales up and nowadays you don’t earn that much anymore. And there are deals with labels that get 50% of your earnings and that’s just not fair.
Maybe the only good thing is that the bands get a good promotion, they put them on tours, they let them play and if they are good they rise up. So, it’s getting harder and harder for so many bands to survive.
Even for us, it’s hard, but we do our thing and the rest does not matter. And the business is getting tougher and tougher and you have to do everything by yourself and that especially harder for new bands. That definitely needs improvement.
SO, I WAS SNOOPING AROUND YOUR INSTAGRAM AND I CAME ACROSS A FOOD POST, I THINK IT WAS LASAGNA AL FORNO. IF YOU WERE ON DEATH ROW, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR LAST EVER MEAL?
Oh! I would order a nice big pizza, maybe lasagna and something like Indian or Thai curry, very spicy and hot! Maybe a little tzatziki too!
But I stopped eating meat, and I’m vegan now. So, I stopped eating meat for almost 4 years now and I feel pretty good!
STREAM GENESIS XIX by Sodom IN FULL AT THIS LOCATION.
My interview originally appeared on MHF magazine.
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Until we meet again,