sexta-feira, 23 de abril de 2021

Sodom - Interview With Yorck Segatz: "It's a Great Honour for Me to Be Part of the Band"


The album "Genesis XIX" was very well received by fans and the specialized press, debuting in the studio of the new line-up, marking Sodom's first work as a quartet, now having two guitars, one of them in charge of a old fan acquaintance, Frank Blackfire, who recorded with the band classics like "Persecution Mania" and "Agent Orange", and Yorck Segatz (Beyondition), who had previously worked as a roadie with Angelripper on the Onkel Tom project.

We talked to Yorck to learn more about his career, and of course, his debut in the studio with Sodom, in an album compared to the band's classics, bringing many old school elements, including the praised production using analog equipment. Check it out below:

RtM: Yorck, first of all thank you for taking the time to talk to us about your career! I would like you to start by telling us about your entry into Sodom.

Yorck: Well, it started with me being roadie for Tom’s German side project Onkel Tom, so he new me from before. I sent him a demo tape of my old Death Metal band Beyondition and he seemed to like the crude sound.

I went to an audition and it basically went from there. Tom wanted people from the Ruhr area in order to hang out as a real band does, not like other bands with international line-ups that meet only once in a while, so that was also in my favour. Fun fact: I got the job on the day the news about Fast Eddie Clarke’s death came up.


RtM: Historically, Sodom was never adept at two guitars, but Angelripper made it clear mainly in the "live" item, that many songs made it more difficult to reproduce as a trio. What is it like for you to be part of this new chapter in the history of Sodom?

Yorck: It’s a great honour for me, I do my best to live up to the legacy of the band and carry on the flame of German Thrash Metal. So far we are receiving lots of praise, especially from the oldschool fans, that’s something I appreciate a lot!

RtM: "Genesis XIX" was born as a classic! How important was this record in your career? And regarding your participation in it, did you have the freedom to create your solos or contribute with riffs?

Yorck: Thanks man, appreciate that! It was the first album I recorded and actually saw some money for Hahaha! All jokes aside, the recording process was a great experience, also because we worked with legendary German producer Siggi Bemm, who is responsible for quite a lot of early European Death and Black Metal classics like Unleashed, Morgoth and Samael.

I wrote 7 out of the 11 proper songs, always in close cooperation with Tom, who does the arrangements and contributes a riff every now and then. On my songs I did the solos myself, with the exception of Genesis XIX and Dehumanized. 

On Genesis it’s only Frank, while on Dehumanized, he starts and I take over in best Slayer tradition. That duel was actually added last minute in the studio! Sodom & Gomorrah features some classic Angelripper bass noise, reminiscent of Equinox. As I dedicated that song to Chris Witchhunter and Quorthon, I wanted it as oldschool as possible! Siggi was a bit overwhelmed by a bass wah suddenly popping up! Hahaha


RtM: Tell us a little about this experience of having two guitars at Sodom for the first time, and how do you decide the division of the guitar parts in the songs, both in the new ones and in the old ones in the live versions?

Yorck: Live it’s definitely more brutal, as I can support Frank on rhythm during his extensive trademark solos, i.e. Agent Orange or Persecution Mania. We try to work out 2 guitars for the old songs as we see fit, sometimes one of us will play in another octave or play a chord on a different fretboard position to widen the sound. Frank does his own solos of course, but with the songs after his era I get a few solo spots, too.

The new songs are written with two guitars in mind, but we have to be careful to not go too melodic with twin harmonies. Hahaha!

RtM: What about your influences as a musician and guitarist? Who were your main inspirations and how did you get started in music?

Yorck: AC/DC, quickly followed by Motörhead were my introduction to heavy music. In the beginning my guitar hero was actually Malcolm Young, I wasn’t so much into soloing back then. Nowadays my influences are Trey Azagthoth from Morbid Angel, Olavi Mikkonen of Amon Amarth, Alex Hellid from Entombed, Jeff Hanneman and last but not least J.B. from Grand Magus. If I might ever get bald, I want to look like him :D


RtM: Tell us a little about your other bands, Neck Cemetery and RottenCasket.

Yorck: Well, Neck Cemetery is my „classic Heavy Metal playground“, if you want. I co-founded the band with 2nd guitar player Boris in 2017, but it wasn’t until 2019 that we finally got a steady line-up. I still remember being on the way to our first proper rehearsal in early 2018, when Tom called and I had to confess to the guys that I’m now also in Sodom! Hahaha!

We released our debut album „Born in a Coffin“ in October last year, it was well received even without backing it up with live performances. Our label Reaper Entertainment did a great job here and we are currently negotiating our next release, but I think another album won’t be out until 2022.

Rotten Casket is a different story: The Death Metal band was founded by Frank Berges in 2013, but it went on hiatus for a couple of years due to some members leaving. He revived it last year together with Husky on drums and Patrick van der Beek of Dutch oldschool Crossover legends Disabuse on bass. 

Later on myself and then Martin van Drunen joined. Frank is the main songwriter and an absolute Boss HM2 fanatic ;) We already recorded an EP that will be out on CD via Final Gate Records, tape and vinyl will be released by Lycanthropic Chants.

RtM: We have read many criticisms of the most current recordings of Metal bands, including Thrash Metal albums, mainly regarding the sound, say, "plasticized", that is, not sounding organic and often without punch. How to achieve a balance, to use increasingly modern studio resources, which may reduce time and costs, but without losing the punch?

Yorck: Regarding Genesis XIX, we especially chose Woodhouse Studio for it’s analogue studio console. That’s the key in my opinion: to leave the important steps of producing to analogue equipment. Still can’t beat that!

I think what you call „plasticised“ is a result of many bands using the same plug-ins and presets without trying to find a sound of their own! I must admit I use these tools also, but only for demo recordings to work out my ideas. As soon as it gets serious, it’s real Marshalls and Cosmic Terror Cabs all the way for me ;)

RtM: Still on this issue of recordings, can the same producer producing many bands also be harmful? Can it imply that some albums have a similar sound?

Yorck: Yes, definitely! Especially these days, where most „producers“ only tend to work with their pre-sets and the same lame drum samples over and over! But on the other hand, certain producers are chosen by the bands in order to achieve a classic sound the knob-twiddler stands for. For example: You want classic US Death Metal? Go to Morris Sound Studios!

Another big problem is the fact that lots of bands record their own instrumental tracks and pay a producer only for mixing and mastering. In the golden days of big budget productions the producer had a lot more to add to the sound, as well as the songwriting. Take KISS and Bob Ezrin or Slayer and Rick Rubin, for example. 

I think nowadays many musicians are too arrogant and too greedy to let someone from the outside get involved in the production process. So it’s only natural for producers to pull out a template if there is little money to earn. A well experienced producer can be helpful, but that experience comes at a cost not everybody is willing to pay these days…


RtM: What has this scenario with the pandemic brought and can bring to the question of bands reinventing themselves from now on, in order to seek new alternatives to survive in music business?

Yorck: An easy answer would be: Bands have to re-think their ways to present themselves online. Reality looks pretty different, though. Especially Metal music depends on the live surroundings, you cannot re-create this experience by simply putting a camera in front of you and expect the audience at home to go nuts on their own! It has to be thought through to the last detail. A prime example of how to deal with the current situation is the Hard Rock band Kadavar from Berlin. 

They were one of the very first bands to actually stream a concert from their rehearsal space. It totally worked for them, they made good money out of merchandise sales, allowing them to cover their costs for the cancelled tour. In the aftermath they released a series of recordings called „Isolation Tapes“, which also had a huge impact. I think it’s vital to keep in touch with your fanbase, but don’t get too scroungy!


RtM: Thanks! And hope soon we can see the band here in South America.

Yorck: Thank you for having me on your website! Hail to the Brazilian Hordes - May you revel for eternity in Satanic Lust!

Nuclear Greetings

Interview by: Carlos Garcia and Renato Sanson
Yorck Segatz photos by Mumpi Künster 


Tom Angelripper: bass, vocals
Frank Blackfire: guitars
Yorck Segatz: guitars
Toni Merkel: drums



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