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sobota 26. ledna 2019

Home » » Interview - S.D.I. - With the humorlessness we lose the most important thing we’ve got - freedom.

Interview - S.D.I. - With the humorlessness we lose the most important thing we’ve got - freedom.


Interview with legendary thrash metal band S.D.I. from Germany.

Answered Reinhard Kruse.

Translated by Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Photos - Phoca gallery: http://www.phoca.cz/phocagallery

Ave S.D.I.! Hi Reinhard, I would like to start our conversation a little untraditionally. When I was about fifteen in the 1990s, a friend brought me from the Polish exchange market your album "Sign of the Wicked" on a tape. We were thrashers and we buying everything with an interesting cover. For us, this album became something like an anthem, we were singing the lyrics on our ways from the pub and we really want to go out for your concert. Unfortunately, we never did it (we were too young and parents did not let us go). I have to say -Thank you to you and all S.D.I. very much. How did you live in the 1990s? Could you say that you have been famous in Germany? And what about other countries? 

I don’t think, german metal musicians have been “really” famous. Heavy Metal was much more “underground “ in these days and – besides Doro Pesch, because she’s cute – no german heavy metal musician has ever been seen in television shows or anything else regulary in the 80ies. MTV played heavy metal only late at night. Sabina Claasen of Holy moses had a small number of Late-night-TV-episodes with a show called “mosh” on RTL-Network, that’s all. 

Church officials tried to stop the AC/DC Hells Bells Tour in 1981 because of the “satanistic lyrics” of “Highway to hell”. Now they are playing this song on altar boys parties. Completely different times! 

All the big festivals (Rock in Park/Rock am Ring, Wacken, Keep it true), that featured also german bands, started in the 90s or later. The “monsters of rock” festivals of the late eighties were dominated by english and american hardrock bands like Deep Purple and Dio. Maybe the fans knew a few german bands, but hardly the musicians. It became more popular when the “Metal Hammer” and other fanzines came out in the late eighties. Maybe it’s been different in Czechoslovakia and Hungary. We only toured once in both countries, so I don’t really know. In 1990 we toured in hungary and there has been a guy following us in Budapest when we had a sightseeing walk in the city. I think, it was because he recognised my face from the cover of the Sotw-Album. When we asked him why he’s following us (we thought of robbery and homicide), he cowedly asked for an autograph:)). Such things never happened in Germany.


What actually happened that you stopped playing for so long? For me and my friends you were (same as PROTECTOR) already cult. Does the question itself coming why you did not actually become "more famous"? Your music is not only quick, but also memorable and capable to catch crowds. I read something about problems with label, is that true? 

It is true that Gama-records weren’t supportive as they could have been. They were Swabian businessmen. We had already produced three albums before one of them came to see us playing live (1990 in Milano, Italy). We’ve been working together for already 4 years at that point of time! To them it was a business. Nothing else. But I’m not angry about that. They’ve always been fair to us and never promised things they couldn’t keep, like so much other record companies did in those times. In 1992 I was working with Frank Dostal im Hamburg. He produced three of the demos that finally appeared on the re-issued CDs in 2005 by battlecry records. We became good friends and he tried to get us a serious international deal. He had a real good network at the time and knew all the important people in the record business. But even he couldn’t sell a heavy metal deal in 1992 because heavy metal was dead. Even the big bands had great difficulties in times of grunge, techno and Europop. So I had to realise that SDI is not a way to get my rent paid and I decided to stop it (for a while). 

I had a friend who loved the cover for the album "Sign of the Wicked," and even once in the pub he pulled out the razor blade, and he would feel like carving your logo to his shoulder. But it was just „strong talk“, we were young. After the first cut, he ran to the toilet and screaming in pain. Somewhere I read an interview that you only used the red color instead of the blood than you make a photo of that cover. I wonder how it really was like? 

I hope he survived that! Of course I scratched the logo into my arm deep down to the bone:)). The rest is defamation (kind of). 


I've always liked you very much, how you made fun of everything. Most bands were terribly serious about all those pentagrams, graves, corpses, violence, and you came up with a song about booze and women. How did you perceive the metal scene? Did someone have problem about it? When I see, for example, some Black Metallers and their approach, so I have to laugh. I also have to say that the joke and exaggeration in the last years at metal bands and even fans is decrease a lot. 

This whole scene has suffers from a great lack of humour, that’s clear. But in these days we have to learn that facts aren’t as important as feelings. 

I mean: The dead come out of their graves. An arian hero fights against the hordes of barbarians that try to conquer our country – with nothing on his anabolic contaminated body as a loincloth, an evil look and a sword as big as a house. And if you growl it: Aaaaarrrrrghhööööüüüüihhrreaääääfffhhhg!!!!

Bullshit!!!

That has nothing to do with my life, with my experiences, with my truth, with my life. And the worst thing is that with this humorlessness we lose the most important thing we’ve got: freedom. Poland and Hungary are currently showing us where this leads to. And in Turkey or Russia you can see where it ends.

I explain it to me that way: When you’re normal, you work hard, you care of your family and your belongings. 73 years without a war. The shops are overflowing. It seems to be too good or too save to be real for the most of us. We all have much to lose. And then … we get scared. We’re looking for somebody who takes everything away. So we try to be a part of a larger group. We’re looking for something that makes us bigger, more secure or sometimes more individual than the others. And we have to take that serious, of course. We feel threatened and get more and more radical:

– As a citizen, you become a patriot 
– As a religious person, you become a preacher – As a conservative or anxious type, you become a foreigners hater
– As an asshole, you become Donald Trump 

I say: Calm down, relax, have a drink. Keep smiling. This is not half as important as you think! They are all not half as interesting as they pretend to be.


I read that you were sick in 2013, and then you decided to come back. Which kind of feelings did you have about it? One thing is to go back and play a nostalgic string, but keep the attention today and attract people is much different than it used to be. I have seen you since your return 4 times. For the first time in Prague in 2015, then in Sušice at Metal Madness, in Pilsen and now again in Prague before ANTHRAX. Every time, despite the different set, you were great! I personally thing your comeback was successful, I checked it personally in a crowd of fans! 

Thank you! Personally I think that the first 2 years were “Comeback”-years. It was the original line-up and we just wanted to have fun with the fans. It was meant to play for two years and that’s it. Ralf, our drummer, has a very demanding job in the food industry. He spent all his holidays on touring with SDI and we agreed that he couldn’t do the live gigs anymore. So Ralf played his last show in our hometown Osnabrück in September 2016. 

Christoph already played most of the gigs in 2016 (Metal madness in Sušice for instance) and became the live drummer again, like he’s already been in 1990 when we toured in Czechoslovakia. In 2016 we received very interesting invitations, for instance to play shows in Japan and at the Extreme Obscene festival. But you can’t play a reunion tour forever. So we not only went on playing, I started to write SDI-songs again. 


When I saw you last year in Pilsen, you got on the podium in the new line up. Respectfully, Christoph, who played with you on drums in the 1990s, returned and the new guitarist is Daniel. Why does not Reiner actually play with you? And how did you get together with Daniel?

Unfortunately our guitar-player Rage became sick. He said that he can’t play at this speed anymore and that he needs a rest. He played his last gig in Sofia (Bulgaria) in October 2017. We found Daniel to take his place. We have placed ads in several musician forums and fanzines. In the auditions it came out that Daniel not only has been a fan in the 80s but fits best to the band. We started rehearsing and he played his first gig in December 2017. Last year he already appeared in all our videos we shot for promoting the songs of the ballrun-demo and played all our live-shows.. 


In Prague before ANTHRAX you played one new song. It fits exactly the style you played. I liked it. What about new album? I admit that I'm very curious. 

I had to learn that the music business has completely changed since we played in the late 80ies, of course. The ballrun demo was a conventional try to look for serious partners and to find a way back into business. A demo with 3 songs, like making an offer or an invitation. Two songs of the ballrun-demo are now fixed part of the show. In Pilsen we played “I hate” you and in Prague the set featured “Let the ball run” from the ballrun-demo. All I can say for the near future is, that I already wrote a dozen of new songs and we are currently preparing for recordings. 

I always take every band as a whole. Not only their music, but their performances, how they behave to the fans. To be honest, the band can play as gods, but when they come to the concert and they are arrogant, they are finished for me. On S.D.I. I've always liked you have been very civilian, cool, heartguys, who always going straight. I will never forget when I was headbanging with Reiner in Sušice on one Slovak thrash metal band (ACID FORCE) under the podium! How do you feel about your fans? It seems to me that you enjoy every performance. Am I right? 

Of course you are. I mean, they are the people that make it possible to play and to have fun with that music. It’s not only respect but dedication. We like that style of music and we love playing live. That’s perfect! I gave up becoming a rock star sometime way back in the 80ies. 


How do you feel about contemporary metal? Do you have any favorite bands? Seems to me that everyone is playing faster and crazier, more incomprehensible. The man stays under the podium, headbanging his head for a while, worshiping them as a great musicians, and then he does not remember anything. Then goes home and rather play old good Saxon. 

Or SDI:))! You’re right. To me it’s just like you said. Good musicians, versed instrumentalists, with professional equipment, playing as hard and fast as they can. Shouters in the front, growling their vocal cords out of their heads. No-one, besides the hardcore fans of that particular band can follow them, can even differ one band from the other, not even song from the other. To me it has the same attitude like free jazz which only university music students can follow. That is why I do not like growling at all. Sometimes it need two or three songs to even find out the language I have been yelled at. That has nothing to do with Rock’n’roll. I need a singing voice, I need a singing melody to remind a song, I need melody solos or impressing guitar-moves to remind a solo in a song. I believe in songs with structure, with refrains I can sing along. I believe in guitar riffs. Do not get me wrong: in most cases these musicians are really nice guys, good people. I really like them. But I don’t get what they are doing, Maybe I’m too old (but I don’t think so). 

You are a veteran today. Time has changed a lot since the 1980s. You are in a way a legendary band, you have a lot of fans, they invite you to concerts. But still is there a lot of differences. Today you have internet, new technologies, lots of people listen to music in style - download, listen and then forget or delete. Do you act as a very positive person, how do you see the future? Will metal be only for old people? And how do you perceive changes as a musician? Where is S.D.I. now heading? 

To be honest: I don’t take all that too seriously. I nearly died in 2013 and that changed a lot. I’ve got a good-looking wife, a family, a home, friends and a full fridge. I’m pretty healthy now. Everything is fine. Success is only the icing on the cake. We are having fun. We write and record new songs and play live music for the friends that join us on our concerts. Isn’t that great? I’m not heading to become a pop or rock star anymore.

If metal is only for old people? I don’t think so. Most of the people on our concerts or festivals are young. Much younger than me, of course. Rock music is only one branch of the tree named popular music. And a small but obstinately branch of that branch is heavy metal. I think it’ll stay for a long time.


All of them would be interested what S.D.I. Planning for the upcoming months? 

First of all: Our albums “Satans Defloration Incorporated” and “Sign of the wicked” are republished as vinyl. The vinyl’s of our albums are sold out since the 80s and we are very proud that High Roller records are presenting these albums in high quality with the original covers and new desingned inner sleeves with lyrics, original photos and stuff. They should be available very soon. 

As I said we are preparing new recordings that should be presentable by April 2019. New songs, videos. 

We will be playing a lot of shows in Spain, Portugal, Sweden and of course in the Czech republic. Watch out for SDI on 


Thank you very much for the interview. You do not even know what it means to me. Nothing to do, you were and you always will our „heart band“! I wish you a lot of sold out concerts, the best sales and I will look forward to see you again somewhere under the podium. All good to whatever you do in your personal life! 

It’s been a pleasure! Thank you very much!


about S.D.l. on DEADLY STORM:






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