– Hello Tom, thank you so much for taking the time. How is everything doing right now with ONKEL TOM prior to the release of your new album?

Yes, thanx. We want to release in September and start all the promo activities right now.

– First off, how did ONKEL TOM born? How did the idea of forming a band like this arise? Because you’ve been around for a long time know, but it’s a quite original project, as back in the day you mostly covered German schlager songs.

That idea was born in 95 when my sodoms guitarplayer Strahli and drummer Steif left the band. Doing german traditionall songs in Metal and punk style was something new….so we started to arrange the songs and got a record deal with gun records.


– And what are the members that are playing with you in the band right now?

Alex left the band last year, so we got Klaus Nicodem (ex Japanische Kampfhörspiele) on the guitar. Second guitarist is Celly (Crossplane), Marc on Bass (The very end) and Corny on drums (Eat my body)


– You will soon release your new album, «H.E.L.D». What are your expectations on it? After so many years and so many albums, do you feel like it’s just another album or is there still some kind of excitement?

Its the first album without any cover song. I am looking really forward, how the fans react, when they listen to it. But believe me, in my opinion its the best rock/metal album with german lyrics ever released ,)


– Starting to dig into this opus; what meaning does its title hold?

It describes our music in 4 words:

Hart – hard

Ehrlich – honest

Laut – loud

Durstig – thirsty


– The cover artwork is at the band’s tradition but, what does it represent? Is it linked to any of the songs in the album?

It represents the absurdity of life and the illusory world we are living in. You just see the facade of a man, but never his inner attitudes and desires.


– This album will be released via SPV/Steamhammer, with whom you signed some months ago. How did you hook up with them? I guess as it has been the label of SODOM since the beginning made it a natural move.

I`ve signed with sodom at spv since 84! And they did a great job. Why not with OT? Think, that was a good decision to sign up with them. They also have a lot of german bands in their backcatalogue and they know how to promote this stuff…


– Musically you are a Thrash Metal band but with a lot of Rock elements and even some Punk nuances I could say. Is ONKEL TOM some kind of outlet where you can let go everything that you like and has inspired you musically?

We have no other musically inspiration. Its the variety that makes it so different from other so called “Deutschrock Bands”. But you are right, our roots came from the punk and metal scene, that is the music we love and perform.


– In fact I think this new «H.E.L.D.» is your most diverse opus to date. How important is for you, as composers and musicians, to keep things varied and entertaining?

Very important. We dont want to copy ourselve or get inspired by other bands. We created something new, which you can`t compare with any other german stuff.


– And was this diversity something you were aiming for or did it just come out naturally? Talking about such, how was the songwriting process for the album? Was the whole band involved?

Yes, the whole band was involved. We try to rehearse two times a week. Yery oldschool!!!!! Dont like it to arrange songs by Mp3 trading. We start jamming and put all the ideas together to get results which each member approved.


– As I said earlier, there are some Punk elements on your music, and I believe on your lyrics there is also some kind of Punk vibe but, as they are in German, would you mind to comment a little bit what do some of the lyrics on this record deal with?

Just about real life…with all tragic, resentment, jealousy, frienships, fright, drunkness and love.


– In general they are quite aggressive and, unfortunately, nowadays there’s a lot of things going on in the world where you can take inspiration for lyrics full of angst but, are there any specific things that have inspired any of the songs on «H.E.L.D.»?

As i said before, its the real life that feeds us. All the lyrics came straight from our hearts. Look around your enviroment and you will find thousands ideas for lyrics ,)


– All this about «H.E.L.D.» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Authentic, optimistic, revolutionary


– Now going to some more offtopic questions, you are playing in ONKEL TOM and SODOM, two Thrash Metal bands with several things in commong but, what does each of them provide you?

The popularty of Sodom helps in any ways. But, these are two different bands. Being in Sodom give us the respect we deserved and i have so much contact after all the years, especially tourpromoters, labels, publishers abd fans who like both projects.


– With SODOM you recently celebrated your 30th anniversary as a band, and you’ve been around with ONKEL TOM for nearly two decades now. What’s you assessment of these years of career with ONKEL TOM?

Yeah, its a long time. But i never give up to do this music. That is my life and i want to practise a long a possible. OT just started a kind of project…plannes was just one album. At this time i could not realized, that the band is still going 20 years later. That is amazing. I love both bands, and of course, Sodom is my main band. But singing in OT is so funny, don`t want to miss it.


– Your last visit to Spain (with SODOM) was last July at the HOM Festival, a relatively small festival with a lot of Spanish bands at a non-Metal at all part of the country. How was the experience like and what are your feelings on the festival? Any nice memories?

Spain is always a good place to be, not just for tourist. I love the atmosphere and the friendly people and the enthusiastic fan base. Yes, that was great. We have a lot of entusiastic fans in spain, but we hope the get some chances for OT in the near future…and of course, we will return with Sodom ,)


– And finally, what are your near-future plans?

At the time we start writing new songs for the upcoming Sodom album and rehearsing for the next Onkel Tom shows.


– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Thanx for supporting me and my bands for about 32 years. That`s awesome. Hope to see you soon…

Your friend, TOM


Tania Giménez


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