ASSASSIN – I Like Cola
ASSASSIN is a German thrash metal bands I personally liked back in the 90‘s. With the albums "The Upcoming Terror" and "Interstellar Experience" they delivered a fierce thrash metal that drew a smile to the listener. Then they disappeared before they appeared on Metal Merchants in 2009 and I started to pull out those old records again. The reunion album "The Club" didn’t give me anything but when the new album "Breaking the Silence" came to my attention, I once again sort of woke up. Contact with the original guitarist and one of the band founder Michael "Micha" Hoffmann was quickly established and the interview agreed. The topics Reunion, Thrash Metal and last album "Breaking the Silence" was our main topics.
Your equipment was stolen and it eventually led to that you broke up in 1989. Do you have the equipment in a safer place today so that you avoid that it will happen again?
Yeah, the whole area is now observed by cameras and there is also a paranoid nervous fingered security guy with a .45 automatic running around.
Was the equipment ever found?
No. The worse thing is, that these donks have stolen my very first guitar. It was just kind of a cheap sunburst Strat copy, you know, but I really miss it.
If we ignore the most obvious as new people, a few extra pounds here and there and families to consider, what is different about Assassin today in relation to the early days?
I guess, that experience is the main difference. Nowadays we know how to play our instruments and we even know how to play our old material today. Not bad, huh?
Is it as fun to play thrash metal and playing in a band today as it was when you first started
We wouldn’t be playing together if its not for fun, you know. We started as band because we wanted to play thrash metal and that is exact the same reason why we still playing this aggro style of music today.
Thrash metal today versus the eighties and nineties. What do you think of the scene today? Is it correct to say that the scene today is more productive and more organized than it was in the 80’s and 90’s?
Absolutely. Back in the days people were trading tapes and magazines that were copied by hand. Today we have the internet as an information pool and computers help a lot with producing, layout and also promotion. Some people think that, with this help it is easy to produce a thrilling album, but in the end you still need good songs that doesn’t come out of a computer.
What do you think was the cause (s) why people almost stopped listening to thrash metal in the early 90’s? Thrash was fun and it was awesome. Did people get tired of it? Was it perhaps so that most of the bands took wrong musical choices as they would evolve? Did the thrash metal fan out grow it?
I guess, that there was indeed a lack of good thrash albums in that time, that lead to this situation.
Today thrash metal isn’t dead at all and it came back stronger than ever. Many of the bands who have returned have found back to the golden recipe from their best years, and then you can easily think that it was the wrong musical choices that might have been the main reason that the scene died out a little for about 20 years ago. What are your thoughts on this?
I agree completely.
3 of you (Robert, Scholli & Micha) was probably a little rusty when you entered the studio when you were recording "Breaking the Silence ". Did it take long before the riff, screams, solos etc ended up as you wanted it?
When we recorded "Breaking the Silence" we weren’t rusty at all. We did a lot of rehearsals and we were playing many shows. I guess, Assassin is in a very good shape now. I hope we have a chance to prove it in Norway this year.
The riffs on this album impresses me, it’s a good thing "old" musicians still know how, hehe.
Thanks Rune. I hope that a lot of the thrashers out there feel the same when listening to our new album.
What are the main differences and similarities between "Breaking the Silence" and "The Upcoming Terror" / "Interstellar Experience"?
To me every Assassin album stand for itself. There are more differences than similarities on every album, that it is not easy to compare them.
What about "Breaking the Silence" and "The Club"?
Like I said. Every album represents Assassin in that very time. "Breaking the Silence" is Assassin 2011.
"I Like Cola" sound like it was written at the same time as "Baka", hehe. Where did that tune come from?
In that tape trading time, we got this tape which was called "Antichrist". It had two songs on it and one of them was called "I like Cola". We couldn’t stop listening to that song for weeks. I even recorded a tape with one side full of only this one song. Later we found out, that this was recorded by a Japanese hardcore band called "Outo" and when we played these shows in Japan we thought it was a good idea to play this old classic for the Japanese crowd. Later in the studio the song came up again.
Your first 2 albums were released on Steamhammer, while the reunion album "The Club" came out on AGD Records. But with "Breaking the Silence" are you guys back on the Steam Hammer again. How does it feel?
Staff at SPV has changed completely. There is no CD Hartdegen (R.I.P.) or Manfred Schütz anymore, so its not like meeting old friends or something like that.
Anyway, SPV offered us the maximum support and we are now happy with the situation.
Last year you played at a festival called Metal Merchants here in Norway along with other veterans like Hirax, Artillery, Mekong Delta and Beehler. What do you think of these old school festivals like Metal Merchants and Keep it True compared to the more modern and bigger ones like Roskilde, Summer Breeze, Wacken and Hellfest?
We enjoy playing on stage and we don’t give a fuck about wether it is a so called "Old School" festival or "Modern" or whatever.