Holy Moses Interview 9/5/2008



1. Being in North America we've not so familiar with Holy Moses a band with a long history in Europe tell us about the band if possible.

Sabina: oh, yes it’s a really long story. We were founded in 1980 and I came into the band in 1981. I’ll try to make it short as possible to make a overview about the last 27 years with Holy Moses. Since the formation of the band in the early eighties, we have not only released many convincing albums, but have always been able to prove our commitment on the stage. Touring alongside formations such as Rage, Angel Dust, Steeler, D.R.I., Holy Terror, Sacred Reich or Forbidden, Holy Moses have shaken the walls of many important clubs and venues. In 1989 the band was one of the most important acts at the legendary Dynamo Open Air festival and also a few years later a part of the massive open air festival in South Korea. With the addition of Michael Hankel on guitars to the band in 2002, the band gained another soul mate whose musical spirit fit perfectly with the Holy Moses sound and that would prove to be, along with me, the main driving force behind the band. Also, in 2006 Olli Jaath (Reckless Tide) joined the band as bass player, giving new form to the Holy Moses line-up. In 2005 with the album “Strength Power Will Passion“ Holy Moses once again set new levels of aggression and reached new young fans: Albums such as Queen of Siam (1986), Finished With The Dogs, (1987), The New Machine Of Liechtenstein (1989), World Chaos (1990), Terminal Terror (1991), Reborn Dogs (1992) are milestones of the thrash genre, so since the summer of 2005, to celebrate the band’s 25th anniversary, all of the Holy Moses albums were re-released with added surprises and extras. The re-releases are out now with unreleased bonus tracks, a new and worked over booklet and liner notes originally written by the band ourselves. In 2005 and 2006 Holy Moses did several shows and festivals including the Wacken Open Air Festival (I played all in all 3 times with Temple Of The Absurd / 3 times with Holy Moses at Wacken Open Air). Other festivals played in 2006 were the Headbangers Open Air (Germany), Badia Rocks Festival (Italy), Hall of Metal Festival (Poland). Basin Fire Fest (Czech Republic), Martohell (Spain), Turkey and among others. Also, in August 2006 the band did a killer show with Carnivore in Hamburg at the Wacken Open Air Aftershow Event. In 2007 the band, now with drummer Atomic Steif back in the line-up, did crushing shows in Norway, Germany and also played in the Geiselwind Open Air Festival (Germany), Kaltenbach Open Air Festival (Austria), Jalometalli Festival (Finland) and Metal Female Voices Fest 5 (Belgium). Meanwhile we entered the studio and composed and recorded for our new album that will be entitled "Agony Of Death". A long tour with death metal beasts Obituary and Sweden’s Avatar was done in the first two months of 2008, during our production. And now HOLY MOSES, with the addition of new bass player Thomas Neitsch, played WACKEN OPEN AIR FESTIVAL 2008 and now we are ready to come again on tour, in 2008 and 2009.

2. You Just started working with new label Wacken Records who is partnered with SPV how does that feel to have a massive promotional machine behind you now.

Sabina: hahaha, yes you are right, we are now signed with the great new Wacken Records label and SPV and we really hope we will get this time a massive promotional machine. But also our huge fanclub network is helping us a lot right now. They were founded two years ago and working great for us and we will do our best as the band.

3. I would call your music Thrash metal with a lot of Melodic Death metal feelings. This being your 12th record and me be very new to your music how do the older titles match up to Agony of Death in Sound and Style.

Sabina: When we started up we created our own style and we didn’t know about genres like Thrash or Death. We played our stuff like we wanted to sound. Later on in the mid 80’s, the people called it typical german thrash sound, but also, the people mentioned it with a kind of “death metal vocals” They compared my voice also with Chuck Schuldiner of Death and called me the female Chuck. So always Holy Moses was a kind of mix between both genres, mostly because of my vocal style what is really between thrash and death. I never thought so much about it, it’s my voice still I started up with it in 1981. Agony Of Death now, I think it’s pure Holy Moses style and shows all the sites of Holy Moses in one album. I think this is the reason why the people love the new album so much. It’s really what Holy Moses means and really the first time, we were able to put all our energy, power and aggression so much on point.

4. You know it has to be spoke of even after Ten years. Sabina can sing, growl and scream with the best of them do you feel having a female front person has help or hurt over the years???

Sabina: this is really hard to say by myself, because I am doing it now in this band for 27 years, and I am wondering about that still. I think like always in bands, mostly you find discussions about the vocalists – and I think it should be more about the style and not about male or female. I know, I was the one who started up the female growling scene and it’s great to know it– but I think maybe – it was sometimes because of that, harder for the band. But to be honest with you, we as the band, don’t think so much about that. But maybe it was the reason, why we are still underground……..

5. Will Holy Moses be making any tour stops in the US at all in 2008/2009.

Sabina: yes, I am very happy to say this, we got an offer from Exodus to tour with them in the US in January 2009. I am very glad about that. I know a lot of fans are waiting since a long time in the US to see us live.

6. Being German and I would say your equal in skill, songwriting skill and just damn great songs like Destruction, Kreator, Warlock, Sodom & Rage. Do you feel that Germany over the years have just gotten the Ideal of Thrash down or is it more of just a Germans love of metal music?

Sabina: wauh, this is a great and difficult question. I think – metal is a kind of religion and the love for metal is maybe the reason, to create the songwriting skill. And I am very happy, that we all, also my friends like you mentioned in your questions of Destruction, Kreator, Doro, Sodom, Rage et. – got back this skill for the music we love. We all had difficult times in the 90’s, but it seems, we are all coming back more intense than ever before.

7. To the question above what to you think of those bands and have you gotten any time to find out how they like about Holy Moses.

Sabina: They are all good friends of mine since a lot of years. Yes, they all like Holy Moses very much. Schmier of Destruction was singing on the album one track with me, on “In the Cave”, and last Sunday I was in the studio, singing a song for the new doro pesch single. With tom angelripper of Sodom I was doing several projects together, also Mille and Peavy are great friends of mine. Peavy of Rage was my first vocal teacher, back in 1987….

8. You Holy Moses thoughts on the digital music age with Myspace, Mp3's , sat radio and the internet in general are you for the new media or do you miss tape trading , vinyl and going to do radio interviews.

Sabina: I am myself a total computer maniac and I can’t live without my MacBook, Iphone and Ipod. I am in contact with such a lot of friends via myspace, email – but on the other side, I am coming from the 80’s, and I am missing the black/white fanzines, working with fax machines and even with letters, and also missing tape trading and vinyl. Everything goes so fast right now, and you have no time to think…but we have to look forward….this is life right now but I am very happy, that I am born in a time, to live with the evolution. I can see both sites – but – with the new album I did one thing - we will release the new album – back to the roots also as a double vinyl special edition……

9. Agony of Death is such a power record and just kicked my ass when I heard it . This there a running theme or is it just a collection of mind-blowing aggressive thrash soon to be classics.

Sabina: Agony Of Death, is the medical term for the death struggle and common denominator of the recording’s lyrics. “Amazingly, our band has been around for more than twenty years, which means that Holy Moses has been doomed for over two decades, but we’ve persevered. Life is a fight against death from the first moment. Some people are subjected to violence and abuse even in their childhood and experience this fight from an early age, while for others it may start later, but is no less traumatic. These considerations are reflected in the lyrics on Agony Of Death. Be it in terms of ambivalent suicidal reflections (‘World In Darkness’), disturbances of memory and blackouts (‘The Cave’), or amnesia (‘Dissociative Disorder’). Musically, Agony Of Death features a red-hot thrash metal, in a trademark of typical Holy Moses aggression, expression, power, technique, shouts, and even occasional melody. And I hope these new songs will soon be classics…but these are your words J

10. I know members are in other projects if you would tell us how they differ to Holy Moses I would thank you greatly.

Sabina: Michael and me, we have no other projects in bands, Atomic Steiff our drummer has a hobby band next to Holy Moses called Strahltraeger, but they are without a record deal, only for fun. Olly is playing also guitar in Reckless Tide. They are right now also without a record deal, but having fun together. And Thomas our bass player is playing in a thrash band called Desilence from Berlin. The just got a small label deal and will release their first album soon.

11. Does Holy Moses like to play Big fests or the smaller venues as a support or headliner?

Sabina: I prefer playing in smaller venues, to have more contact to the fans, I can act a lot better than on bigger stages with no contact to the fans. I don’t care about support or headlining, I like more supporting because as headliners sometimes you are playing totally in the night and all people are drunk, hahahahaha. But I also enjoy playing festivals like Wacken Open Air, because you have the chance to present your music to a lot of young fans which don’t know about Holy Moses and it’s a great chance to expose more people to our sound. But all in all, I feel better myself in venues between 500 and 1000 people and having a great party with them and everybody is going crazy.

12. Are there any bands that are lesser known or need to be spotlighted to the American crowd you would like to tell us about. I like to give bands to talk about friends music that the world should know about as well

Sabina: yeah for example the great thrash band mortal sin from Australia and also great thrash band Torture Squad from brazil, both are also label mates of ours on Wacken Records and I think they should be also spotlighted to the American crowd.

13. At this point in your career can Holy Moses support you all without other employment or after 25 yrs its still mission of love with day jobs?

Sabina: no, I am not missing a day job, I love traveling around and meeting people all over the world. I could not love a regular job from 9 to 5. I think I would go crazy after a time. Maybe in the first moment it sounds great to know when you have holiday and knowing at 5 you can start your hobby, but we made or hobby to our life and that is a wonderful feeling.

14. Your website is very impressive tell us a bit about holymoses.de . You have a myspace page as well I see.

Sabina: yes, the Myspace Site is done by our wonderful fanclub head fede in Argentina, also all the other different MySpace Sites are done by our fanclub network worldwide, the Bloodbound alliance. And the Holy Moses.de is done by Thomas our bass player. He takes care to do all the things on it and I am helping writing stuff and email him always links and reviews etc., but Thomas is the guy who is the webpage maniac.

15. thank you for the time any closing thought's please place here.

Sabina: thanks for the wonderful interview and I hope we will be in the US touring. Thanks so much for all your support and waiting such a long time for us in the US, I hope my dream will come true and we are in January touring the US. Take care, take no drugs!

Yours Sabina

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