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Assassin's Jürgen "Scholli" Scholz: "…that is the way music business works! Assassin rises up and Tom Angelripper throws out his members, takes Frank and the kicked off musicians take Ingo. But both still stay in Assassin…"

Interview with Jürgen "Scholli" Scholz, Ingo Bajonczak & Joachim Kremer from Assassin
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 20 February 2020, 11:39 PM

Like doing a soul searching, yet not being ready to find something evil lurking inside, the potential of being a threat, a menace of society, a cause of oblivion and destruction. Every one of us has it in him/her, like a smart bomb waiting to explode. However, most of us have been able to subdue the beastly nature, making us rightful persons and good people. Assassin, the veteran Thrash Metal band from Germany, showed that a darker path is in our midst and being careful is means to set things right. Steinmetal had a talk with Jürgen "Scholli" Scholz, Ingo Bajonczak & Joachim Kremer about the roughness of the album's context, musical development of the band and how to share band members with others.

Greetings Jurgen, it is a pleasure of mine to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing lately sir?

Hey man, all the best for Metal Temple. I did the answer for a lot of your questions but the first questions Ingo and Joachim wanted to answer as well.
So here we go :-)

Leaving the putrid realms of “Combat Cathedral”, Assassin decided to kick it up a notch, put things into a higher gear, and it is officially revealed within the brand new “Bestia Immundis”. The level of musical extremity, within Thrash Metal, is elevated alright and we will discuss about it later, yet also a certain measure of fear of what is to become of mankind in the coming future, being worse than any beast. What is your perception of that?

Ingo: We all live in difficult times today and especially when you have kids at home it makes you wonder what the world will be like in 20 years from now. We will they be lucky like our generation not facing a war, or an economic crisis, or is the environment still intact? What kind of social system do they have to deal with, and is hatred, racism and oppression still an issue of mankind? Of course people have been dealing with these questions throughout time, but in our perception mankind never has been closer to its own extinction than in this time period… We shall evolve humanity to a better future - but in fact step back to medieval values in some perspectives - and therefore open all gates to become the "Bestia Immundis"!

It has been known through various sources, whether religious or historical, that man is by nature a source of evil. The way I see it, man doesn’t encounter and practice evil only after he or she takes an example from someone else, influence if you may. How do you relate to the evil that men do and the source of that evil?

Ingo: In my opinion every human being carries the potential to evolve and release his own personal evilness inside! Whether it is lived out in words and deeds and therefore affects others or it appears to stay in mind and will ex or implode someday, depends on so many different influences - there is no certain way or path to a side - we are all asked to find our own path in life!!! No safety net or any halos for granted here - sorry folks! But - the evil that men do has always demanded a freedom of choice towards it, I guess…

The theme of forms of evil within mankind has been discussed throughout countless of Metal albums, how do you think that Assassin makes a difference with its kind of slap in the face to whoever is sleeping while being awake?

Ingo: I don't know, if we do make a difference - and to be honest - we don't care at all if not! we don't pretend to have invented something new - we only speak out our minds and thoughts! If someone is able to connect and can get what lies in between the lines of some lyrics - that's fine! if not - it's ok as well - we are just a Thrash Metal Band - no preachers or lectors to a greater truth (if there is one!). At least we try to entertain, and not to preach - although it is a nice thought that we may bring some people to think over changing some of their mislead ways…

I can only assume that the aggression of the music, which is no doubt gruesome in comparison to the past, is idly connected to the lyrical connect. What is your take on that connection? Do you think that Assassin found its right angle on how to be angry with its musical direction?

Joachim: On this album it was not like in the past as "Scholli" wrote nearly all of the songs. I also put in a lot of my ideas and as a result we had got 4 songs of mine on that album. So we had more differences in the song writing to make the new album more colourful, so to say. The different styles in guitar playing to made "Bestia Immundis" more versatile.

Though Thrash Metal hasn’t really changed in the past two decades, other than being more mixed with Death Metal, however, “Bestia Immundis” paints a rather interesting picture of an approach that quite surprised. How do you find Assassin’s musical development, or I might even call it thinking outside the box, on the new album?

Joachim: Thank you very much! Every new album is a learning process. With the last album "Combat Cathedral" we chose a path that led us to the right direction. With the new album "Bestia Immundis" we made the songwriting process a little bit different.

While writing, and arranging, the raw material for the album’s music, what course of events and possibly music in the background, influenced you? How did you find the mojo while writing the riffs?

A lot of bad things happened and that raised up a lot of emotions. So the songs are very aggressive. They are also influenced a little bit more from old Punk style of the 70s and 80s, because I like that stuff. And even more atmospheric and darker components are on this album, because that´s what I like as a contrast.

With the market being infested by a vast measure of albums, even within the spectrum of Thrash Metal, how do you think that an album such “Bestia Immundis” can survive the test of time?

The new album included a little bit more styles and as a result it is more varied. 2 songs are faster than anyone before, other songs are a little bit darker, atmospheric or more Punk-influenced. For me it is the most diversified album of Assassin, but still in frame of Speed-Thrash-Metal as ever!!

 “Bestia Immundis” displays your new guitarist, which is certainly not new to the Metal scene, Frank Blackfire (Sodom / ex-Kreator). How do you find Blackfire’s contribution to the final result of the album? Do you believe that in Assassin, in comparison to Sodom and Kreator, Frank is bound to make his true mark?

Scholli: As you know Frank returned to Sodom. And as the music business works he did songwriting for new Sodom songs. We are glad that he still stays at Assassin because he is a nice guy, we have a lot of fun and also he is a very good guitarist. But all songs of the new album are written by me and our bassist Joachim Kremer and are produced by our drummer “Burn” Sondermann. A little bit like "Combat Cathedral" was done.

In regards to Frank Blackfire, and I will add to the mix also your stellar vocalist, Ingo Bajonczak, how are both able to handle the schedule of Assassin, especially with the current need to start supporting the new album? Frank being with Sodom and Ingo got nabbed by the rising Bonded

Scholli: “Nabbed” is the right word! And this is one of the worst experience I´ve got in music business but that is the way music business works! Assassin rises up and Tom Angelripper throws out his members, takes Frank and the kicked off musicians take Ingo. But both still stay in Assassin. This includes some conflicts especially time scheduling.

Talking about Ingo Bajonczak, I believe that with “Bestia Immundis” he became an absolute monster. It is like having yourself a Chuck Billy fronting Assassin, simply glorious. How do you find Ingo’s development as a vocalist and also as a lyricist?
Scholli: Ingo is a very good singer and his lyrics are also very good and meaningful with important and interesting themes.

When I first listened to the “Shark Attack”, it was like going back in time to the late 80s. The chorus sent me to the bewildered Sodom Punkish hit “Ausgebombt”. The track is more than mere Thrash, it is Hardcore and spewing Punk. Was this song your way to feel a sort of release from it all, simply attack of pure aggressive manner?

Scholli: I wrote this song with a feeling full of aggression in course of bad things happened before. As a result it is one of the fastest songs of Assassin with a little bit Motorhead-touch J I told Ingo that I need a simple refrain with max 2 words. He did it with shark attack. The lyrics did not include anything of the bad experiences, but that is ok.

“War Song” appeared at first as yet another generic anti-war kind of song, however, it rapidly created an undeniable a flaming whirlwind, which paved a dramatic course with an extreme point of view. How do you find the integration of strong emotions with the extreme meets classic Metal layout of this song?

Ingo: I guess that refers to the situation that the whole production of "Bestia Immundis", it was not that easy and well going for we had to face and solve a lot of bullshit, problems and issues during that time. That made us even fight harder to set and reach our goal of creating another crushing and persuading thrash metal album! Sometimes it really became a struggle and a battle among us, how to settle the right way to follow - and for sure that specific emotions also became a part of the music and lyrics!!! It was a fight - but it led to a strong, dark and nevertheless vivid outcome!!! after all the band Assassin is very proud on "Bestia Immundis"

And there is “Chemtrails (Part 1)”, a haunting untypical Assassin instrumental, needless to say tune. A kind of experimentation that I never thought you would actually go through with, yet I was really glad that you did. From where did this prospect come from? Will there be further examples later on?

Scholli: I wrote this song because I wanted to show that Assassin could be more varied than others believe. I heard and played a lot of more atmospheric sounds all the time but it is not easy to put it into Speed and Thrash Metal. It is continuation from "Red Alert" from "Combat Cathedral". A little more examples of that you can hear on the songs "The Wall" (at the end) and Hell´s work is done and also on some guitar solo of mine. Probably on the next album some examples of that style will be included but that depends on the songs we will write.

For “Bestia Immundis” you signed with your local Massacre Records, after being a part of a larger label, Steamhammer Records. Why the sudden change after all those years, did you feel the necessity to pursue due to need of not getting enough attention or simply to change environment?

Our contract with SPV Steamhammer ran out. So we looked for a new partner and we found it in Massacre Records. This relationship is more personally and that´s the kind I like.

What are your plans to support the new albums? Where will you be journeying this time around?

We will be more present on the online-base and will do a lot of shows all over.

Guys, it has been a pleasure, many thanks for your time for this interview. I wish you guys all the best and keep it up with breaking skulls. Cheers.

Thanks a lot also, have a good time and keep on banging! All the best, Scholli


 



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