Thrash metallers Assassin discusses how they make music, what new music they have in-store, and what plans they have for playing shows, festivals, and touring. Bassist Joachim is the one to talk about all of this and more.
1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Assassin, and how long the band has been together.
Joachim: I am Joachim, the bass player of Assassin. I joined the band in 2009 and recorded the “Breaking the Silence”-album in 2010 and the “Chaos and Live Shots”-DVD in 2013 with the band. I also played
the bonus stuff on the “Chronicles of Resistance” re-releases. The actual line up of Assassin is playing together since the same year I was joining the band.
2. Tell us the brief history of your band.
Joachim: The band was formed in 1982 by Michael Hoffmann and Markus “Lulle” Ludwig two freak out
metal heads from DuesseldorfGermany. After releasing their first demo-tapes in 1985 and 1986 they released their first album “Upcoming Terror” in 1987 with SPV Records/Germany. After some line-up changes they released their next album “Interstellar Experience” a year later. In 1989 Assassin split up and some of the band members followed other projects: Michael Hoffmann played with “Sodom” and Scholli joined “Secret Discovery”, for example. In 2002 the band was re-released. After playing some gigs and tours (like Wacken festival or a tour with Sodom) and some line-up changes, the band was signed by SPV Records again to release their last album “Breaking the Silence” and the live DVD “Chaos and Live Shots”!
3. What type of band are you?
Joachim: We are what you call a Teutonic Thrash Metal band!
4. Why did you want to name the band Assassin? What does it symbolize and represent for the
Joachim: In 1983/1984, Psycho/Danger was the one who first suggested the name Assassin. In AngloAmerican terms, Assassin means a “politically motivated murderer”. The Assassins (arabic
“Hashish consumers”. French = “murderer”) were members of a political, Islamic, Shiite secret
organization in 11A.D. who also acted in their own self interest for power. Disliked kings and
leaders were kidnapped or assassinated and the reward for the “soldiers” was hashish which gave
them a euphoric feeling of paradise which was a strong motivator for each Assassin. The band chose
“Assassin” as it's band name for it's shock value, the threatening nature of the word and it being easy for metalheads to remember. Another good reason was that Assassin starts with “A” so in alphabetically arranged lists, Assassin is always mentioned in the beginning.
5. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Joachim: There are too many to number! My musical influences are bands like AC/DC, Motorhead or
Exodus, to name a few. I find my non-musical influences in literature. I love to read books.
6. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Joachim: The themes in our songs are mostly violent choices. “Breaking the Silence” is a story about the
inner view and feelings of a mass-murderer. “Judas” is a song of the prototype person who is
betraying other people, for example.“Fight to stop the Tyranny” is a song about overcoming a political dictatorship. And guess what! They let us play this song in Beijing without complaining. :-)
7. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
Joachim: Of course I do! The beginning of a song is a simple musical idea. Not to forget it, I found my own strategy to keep it. If I have an idea I record it on my smart phone. I sing a melody or I play a riff with my guitar. This is very easy to do and I can record wherever I am. When I'm back home I put on my computer and record this idea with my instrument into a sequencer program. After this I work on the arrangement. What's the intro, how has the chorus to sound like, when does the solo come and so on. After I finished the song I send it to the band members, what they think about it. If they agree, we gonna play that song in the rehearsal room to check if it works.
8. What's new in the recording of your music?
Joachim: Compared to the old times, the digitally process of recording we are using now made things much
easier. I know there is a fight between people saying the analogue way is the better one and the
others preferring the digital way. We use to record digitally, 'cause it's making things much faster and because of that cheaper as well.
9. What are your dreams and goals?
Joachim: I wish I could work with Rick Rubin one day, but I guess he won't work with me :-)
In case of “goals” it is a big privilege to work with a record company, release own songs and go on
tour worldwide. I'm deeply thankful, destiny was giving me the chance to do that!
10. What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
Joachim: Assassin is a hard rocking Teutonic Thrash Metal band with amazing songs and a pure heavy live
show. If this is your kind of style Assassin is a must see and must have!
11. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
Joachim: You can listen every time you like on our Assassin you tube channel, as you see below:
http://www.youtube.com/user/AGDHQ. The CD's, records and DVD are available in every store like Saturn or any record shop. Online you will get them on Amazon, of course. The same with merchandise.
But you can contact the band personally on facebook or our homepage, if you prefer: www.assassin-online.de or https://www.facebook.com/AssassinOfficial. Feel free to get in contact with us. :-)
12. What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
Joachim: This year we're going to play several live shows in Europe, like the Black'n'Thrash festival in
Germany and Austria. Of course we will release our next studio album coming out in the end of this year.
13. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first
Joachim: I hope they will recognize the pure energy that's sucking in the music of Assassin.
14. Any final words of wisdom?
Joachim: Thanks to all the girls and guys out there listening to Assassin and giving a support. We are nothing without you!