Well, we couldn't believe it ourselves. One fine day an idea to do an interview with Sabina Classen of Holy Moses came to our minds, and in just one week she was calling us from Germany! The reason for this miracle is that Holy Moses were just about to release their new CD "Disorder Of The Order", their first full-length album in eight years, and the promotion campaign was in full swing. Unlike her singing on the records suggests (she is referred to as "Vocalbeast" in the press release for the "Disorder Of The Order" CD), in the regular life Sabina has a very nice voice, as well as a nice command of English, a fantastic sense of humor and a lot of stories to tell. We surely had one hell of a good time during the conversation, and we hope you will enjoy this interview (and the album) as well.
MetalKings.com: Hi Sabina, we are very glad to hear you, we just checked out "Disorder Of The Order" yesterday, and we must say that it's great! You now have a new line-up, and your brother Andy is producing once again. But why isn't he playing guitar any longer?
Sabina (laughs): The problem is that Andy is now a really huge producer in Europe. He is the producer of Tankard, Krisiun, Ryker's, Dew-Scented and a lot of other bands. He has no time to rock with us together live on stage, because then he has to leave his studio alone. He's a real quiet boy, he's not the guy who likes to stand in the front, and so we decided that he rests in the studio and he's something like the sixth member of the band, but he's not going with us on stage.
MetalKings.com: Can you tell us a little bit about your current line-up? I have to admit that I don't know where your current band members played before joining Holy Moses.
Sabina: OK. Since the "Master Of Disaster" EP we only changed the bass player because Jochen (Fuenders) has a family and a kid, he's working as a designer, and he didn't have enough time to rehearse with us and go on tour because of his family. So we decided to recruit a new bass player, his name is Andreas Libera, he comes from a doom metal band called Cold Embrace based here in Hamburg, but he's a long-time Holy Moses fan and an old thrash fan too. He heard that we are looking for a new bass player and came to an audition to us, and he already could play all Holy Moses songs, so that was really amazing! He's a really nice guy with a long black hair and a really crazy one. We rehearsed for a few days with him and then we said, "Yes, he's the right man!" Because the old members are all in families and things like that or playing in other bands, I recruited a new line-up for the "Master Of Disaster" EP. Franky (Brotz) is on the rhythm guitar, he was playing in unknown thrash metal bands in the south of Germany, he's a really old thrash fan too. He plays guitar nearly like Andy Classen, so it was really good that I have somebody in the band who really can take parts from Andy. Julien (Schmidt) is on drums, he was playing with me already in the end of Temple Of The Absurd. He reminds me a lot of Uli Kusch when Uli was really young. It's really nice when I'm on stage to look around and see this man behind the drums who really reminds me of a young Uli Kusch, that's a really great feeling, because he's playing like a drum machine and Holy Moses really needs a cool rhythm section. On solo guitars is Joern Schubert, who was playing in Dark Age before, that's a dark black metal band from Hamburg, and… yeah, that's the band! (laughs)
MetalKings.com: Is it true that Jochen Fuenders was actually the founder of Holy Moses?
Sabina: Yes, together with Raymond (Brusseler). Roland was the bass player at that time, and Jochen was the singer and the guitar player, but he left the band half a year after founding Holy Moses. Instead of Jochen, Andy came on the guitar and me on vocals.
MetalKings.com: What was Jochen doing after leaving the band and until 1999 when you put Holy Moses back together?
Sabina: He was in a company making guitar amps, and then he studied to become a teacher of the German language, I think (laughs). Then he was playing in some smaller bands around Germany, and then he stopped playing music. I met him on a festival where he was doing lights for other bands, and he heard that I wanna build up Holy Moses again and I wanna play live. But he didn't play on "Master Of Disaster", he was only there for live shows. The problem was his time, he couldn't really come to the rehearsals, so we had to replace him.
MetalKings.com: At the moment we only have the promo version of your latest CD. Can you tell us what the new lyrics are about?
Sabina: The lyrics are about the things going around in the world. The title is "Disorder Of The Order" and all the lyrics are about that too. The whole world is in disorder. Just look back on what had happened on the 11th on September. And we ask ourselves - why are the people always at war? Why can't they all live together and enjoy the life? Everybody is at war or staging terror acts, but why? Everybody should have his own religion, his own political ideas, that's OK and that's fine, but we all have to live together and that makes life a lot easier. So my lyrics are going around this theme - look more into yourself, be happy and don't make war. There will be a comic in the booklet that explains the cover and the lyrics. What I say is that guns and weapons are not the solution for political things, we all should live in peace and freedom together, it makes life nicer and happier (laughs). On the other side, my own life was in disorder too. I split up with my boyfriend, I had been with him for more than seven years. So the lyrics are a cool mix between the personal things that were going on in my life and the political things. And so, disorder of the order.
MetalKings.com: For the first time in the history of Holy Moses you have a song in German. Why?
Sabina: It's a funny story. I was in a techno disco, some friends of mine took me there and I hate techno music. People were running around me and they were all looking really crazy because they were on drugs and stuff like that, and I was really not feeling good in that situation! (laughs) So I came home and I couldn't sleep. "Verfolgungswahn" means that people are going around you and coming behind you, and you don't feel good. All the visions I had during the time I was in the techno disco are in the lyrics. It was stupid to translate it. First I was thinking about doing it in English, but I was writing the lyrics that night in German. So for me the idea behind the lyrics was more vivid in German than in English.
MetalKings.com: On "Disorder Of The Order" you collaborate with Rod GonZalez from Die Arzte. How did you meet him and why did you decide to do a song together?
Sabina: But do they know Die Arzte in Russia?
MetalKings.com: Yes, sure! (some of they do - ed.)
Sabina: Great! They are really famous in Germany. I met Rob because he produced a punk band in the studio that is directly next to the door of my apartment! I met him and we were sitting together in my garden in the sun and we were doing a small barbecue together, and so we were talking. And then he said he's a real huge Holy Moses fan. I didn't know that, I had no idea that he loves heavy metal and particularly Holy Moses, that he knows me since I did the TV show "Mosh" and all these things and that he knows my whole life! (laughs) And so he asked me if we could do a song together. And I said, "Oh yeah, I'd love to do that!" So he was writing the intro together with me, he was playing the keyboards and piano and he was doing with me the song "Heaven Vs. Hell" and he's singing on that song! I think his voice is really sounding like mine! He is singing the main vocals and in the chorus we are together, but it really sounds like I'm singing all vocals. It's really funny, he's really singing like me and it was a lot of fun to be with him in the studio. He also played the guitars on that song.
MetalKings.com: There is one more very interesting person that contributed to "Disorder Of The Order", that is comic artist Stephen Hagenow. Why did you decide to invite him?
Sabine: He found me on the Internet. Stephen Hagenow is a really famous comic artist, but he's also a really old Holy Moses fan. I told him the story from "Disorder Of The Order", and he said that he had the same idea in one of his comics! It was unbelievable that we both had the same idea about the war, the 11th of September, and we both thought that all the political people are something like rats. That is the idea behind the cover - I'm fighting a rat. The political people behave like rats, like mutants, like future animals. He has the same ideas about the future and about what can happen. So I decided to take him as a cover painter and as painter for the comic.
MetalKings.com: Do you mind if we ask some questions about the history of Holy Moses? There is very little information available about that over here.
Sabina: Yeah, that's fine.
MetalKings.com: When and how did you join Holy Moses?
Sabina: Oh, that is funny too! Holy Moses was something like a school band in our high school, and I was like 16 years when I heard that Jochen, the guitar player and singer of Holy Moses, quits the band. I was playing together with Andy, my brother, in a band called Disaster, and Holy Moses asked Andy to join Holy Moses. And I was really pissed off! (laughs) I was really angry at Holy Moses because they took my guitar player. (laughs) After two or three months of rehearsing they decided to take a new singer, and I they asked me if I would like to sing in Holy Moses, and I said, "NO! I like to play bass and I'm not a singer." And I did a really deep cry to show Holy Moses that I can't sing! (laughs) But they liked it so much that they said, "This is what we wanna have! You are now the singer of Holy Moses!" It was in the year of '81 and I was like 16 years old. (laughs)
MetalKings.com: When Holy Moses started no women used to sing like you. What made you choose this type of vocals?
Sabina: I don't know. It was coming out of me like that. I never said I wanna sing in that deep voice. When I started to sing my voice was sounding like that, I was wondering myself, and I was shocked about my voice. But then I rehearsed and rehearsed more and I got used to it. I the beginning I was really like, "Oh my God, what kind of voice I have!? I'd like more to sing like Doro or something like that!" And then I was really happy and proud that I have that voice and nobody else!
MetalKings.com: An Internet page containing info on Holy Moses says that you released as many as eight demo tapes before the first album "Queen Of Siam". Is that true?
Sabina: I don't know, it was something like eight demos, but there were only three official ones and five non-official ones, more like rehearsing tapes, but they were also going around. There were only three official ones, the first one was "Black Metal Masters", the second was "The Bitch" and the third I think was "Walpurgius Night". It was the last one, after that we got a record deal. Between these we had rehearsal tapes with new songs going around and people were taping it live and things like that. So we had eight tapes, but there were three official ones.
MetalKings.com: Is it true that "Queen Of Siam" has never been released on CD?
Sabina: Yes, that's right!
MetalKings.com: But why?
Sabina: Oh, there was a problem because of the record company. First, at that time (1986) only vinyl was famous. In a time when we released "Finished With The Dogs" (1987) the CD came on the market. But then the record company split up. So "Queen Of Siam" was never coming out on CD, but now we are planning to re-release it together with the "Finished With The Dogs" album on CD. We're putting it out and hopefully this will be happening when we are going on a European tour in the end of August until September.
MetalKings.com: Great! And how did you meet Ralf Hubert, owner of Aaarrg! Records (and also the mastermind of Mekong Delta)?
Sabina: He was our first producer. We were sending around tapes and he was the owner of a record company. He got one of our demo tapes and he found us because he liked the music and our kind of playing, and so he asked us to join his record company. It was a call from him and we got in contact with him.
MetalKings.com: Did Ralf influence the music of Holy Moses in any way?
Sabina: Not so much, I think he influenced us in the way that he was a really good musician himself, a really good bass player, and under his influence we were going more and more technical, we were becoming better musicians. He was forcing us to play real good and do more technical things, and I think he made a really huge impact on the music of Holy Moses in that way.
MetalKings.com: Do you know what Ralf is doing at present?
Sabina: I think he got married (laughs) and has kids. He's not working as a musician or producer anymore, I heard that he got a studio again, but I met him last time six or seven years ago.
MetalKings.com: Is he still living in Germany?
Sabina: He was living somewhere in the Ruhr district, but I don't know where he is living now. I have no contact with him anymore.
MetalKings.com: You know, I heard that he has moved to Turkey.
Sabina: That's possible, I don't know.
MetalKings.com: What is the meaning of the song "Military Service" from the album "Finished With The Dogs"?
Sabina: "Military Service" is against the military. In Germany we don't have the professional military, and all men have to go to the military no matter if they want it or not. They can do another social thing, that's fine, but in the time when I was writing the song "Military Service" a lot of my friends who didn't want to go to the military had to go there, they had to cut their hair, and I said that this is not fair. Both boys and girls should go to the military, not only the boys! And they should not cut their hair! (laughs) It's a really hard thing when you have to use weapons. You have to be born a soldier. If you're not you should not go to the military service, because in this case you have to murder people, this is the intention of the military. I think everybody should decide himself if he wants to do the military service or not.
MetalKings.com: I must tell you that we have the same situation in Russia and that was the reason why I asked this question.
Sabina: Oh yeah! (laughs)
MetalKings.com: In 1987 you released a single called "Road Crew". What songs were on that single?
Sabina: I think there were "Finished With The Dogs" and "Life's Destroyer", and it was a picture disc.
MetalKings.com: And who is singing on the song "Road Crew"?
Sabina: It is Andy.
MetalKings.com: Is it true that Holy Moses broke up for a while after "The New Machine Of Liechtenstein" (1989)?
Sabina: No, no! We broke up in 1994 during the "No Matter What's The Cause" era, but not in the time of "…Liechtenstein". One year after that the "World Chaos" album came out, so we never broke up until 1994.
MetalKings.com: "The New Machine Of Liechtenstein" is a concept album, right?
Sabina: Yeah, this is right. Its story is similar to the one that we have now on "Disorder Of The Order". "The New Machine Of Liechtenstein" is about a machine going by itself, a mechanical machine, and it's a future story about political things, too. I like this kind of stories because I'm looking into the future a lot and I'm really a fan of things like "Star Wars".
MetalKings.com: I heard that in the 1980s you did a TV show about a Russian metal band called Kruiz. How did you meet them?
Sabina: At that time Kruiz was signed at Warner Brothers like Holy Moses, and we did some shows together with Kruiz. It was a really nice band with really nice bandmembers. I met the guitar player (Valery Gaina) a few years later, like in 1992, in Los Angeles. (laughs) We had a lot of fun with Kruiz and I think they were really huge in Russia, is that true?
MetalKings.com: Yeah, that's true, but they broke up shortly after returning from Germany.
Sabina: Oh, I see. I think Kruiz was a really great band!
MetalKings.com: I think so too. Russia had a lot of great metal bands at that time. By the way, you mentioned the "No Matter What's The Cause" album, who's singing on it? Is that Andy again?
Sabina: Yeah, that's Andy.
MetalKings.com: Did Andy approve of your decision to reunite Holy Moses?
Sabina: Yeah. You know, I was always feeling like Sabina of Holy Moses. After a hard accident with my motorbike I decided to go back to Holy Moses, because I saw that life can really be short. I was nearly dead after that accident. And I talked to Andy and he was fully with me when I said, "I wanna do Holy Moses again." He really supported me when I decided to do it.
MetalKings.com: And why did you leave Holy Moses in 1994?
Sabina: For me the problem was that the sound was Holy Moses was changing a bit. To me, "No Matter What's The Cause" was not really sounding like Holy Moses, it was too much hardcore-influenced for my ears. I was not really satisfied with the production. There were really problems in the band because we didn't know in which direction we should go. I thought that we should always keep the typical sound of Holy Moses and I think it was really good to do this break so that everybody could go back into his heart. And in the end of 2000 I decided to come back with the band because I was feeling refreshed and for my heart it was clear that I wanted to do what Holy Moses did forever. Andy was with me and it was a really good sign for me so we had Holy Moses back.
MetalKings.com: Who is the girl on the cover of the "Too Drunk To Fuck" compilation (1993)?
Sabina: That's me. (everybody laughs)
MetalKings.com: Another question of this kind: what do you say in the intro to the song "Nothing For My Mom"?
Sabina: It's not me, it's the fanclub leader Diana and her real mother. It's a situation when the mother is saying, "Put the music down, it's too loud." And Diana says, "Close the door mom". That's it! (laughs) And it's a real situation, we recorded it in the studio, but it's what really happened to our fanclub leader and her mom.
MetalKings.com: Why don't Holy Moses have any live albums?
Sabina: Oh, we never recorded one! (cracks) We never had a chance to do it in a really good way live, to record really good live, but we wanna do it now. We are going on tour in the end of August and I think we will record some of the shows and release a live album in the upcoming year, I think so.
MetalKings.com: Wow, that would be great! As far as I know, Cronos from Venom is singing on your version of "Black Metal" (a track off "Too Drunk To Fuck"). How did you get to know him?
Sabina: Oh, that was another funny story! I met his manager in the south of France, on a music convention in Cannes. I asked him if Cronos would like to do something like that, and he said, "Yes, Cronos is a huge Holy Moses fan, he knows you!" And I was totally happy because Cronos is a great influence on me. Two days later I came back from Cannes and I had Conrad Lant (true name of Cronos - ed.) on my phone. (laughs) A few days after that he took a plane and came over to me to our studio and we were singing "Black Metal" together.
MetalKings.com: Another very famous musician who was playing with Holy Moses is Dan Lilker (Anthrax, S.O.D., Nuclear Assault). Is he also a Holy Moses fan?
Sabina: Yes! I met him in New York where I was doing something and we really liked each other right there, we were having a lot of beers together over there. Then we lost our bass player because he was going to Canada to join another band. I asked Danny if he wants to play in Holy Moses, and he liked the music and said "yes" at once.
MetalKings.com: How many videos have Holy Moses made? I've seen only one.
Sabina: We did two. For the "Finished With The Dogs" album we did the "Life's Destroyer" video for a TV show in Germany, and we did the "Panic" video for "The New Machine Of Liechtenstein" album. And we have another video recording, we played in a crime story called "Ein Zwei Fur Zwei" (sorry, not sure about the title - ed.) where we are doing the song "Near Dark". So we had two official videos and the third one was in a normal movie.
MetalKings.com: You played at Wacken Open Air last year. What are your impressions about that gig?
Sabina: Oh, Wacken last year was so amazing. It was really great to see the fans that are still behind Holy Moses, nobody forgot us! And it was a really crazy and great feeling for me to be onstage back with Holy Moses and see all the crazy friends.
MetalKings.com: What are the band's immediate plans, I mean, for the rest of the year?
Sabina: We will start playing some shows, some festivals in Holland with Paul Di Anno, and we're doing some headliner shows at festivals and some smaller ones. On the 3rd of August we're starting our European headlining tour until the end of September, we go to Hungary, Poland, Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, France, Italy and Germany. Then we will go back to Japan and Korea, then to the United States, and I really hope that we come to Russia this year or in the beginning of next year. That's a really big wish of mine. I hope it is possible to come to Russia this year.
MetalKings.com: What kind of music do you listen to at home?
Sabina: I still listen to a lot of metal at home too. OK, I like other things like Madonna or Kylie Minogue, but on the other hand I listen to metal a lot. My favorite bands are still Slayer and Venom, I like Helloween, I listen a lot to Helloween and things like that, Yes, and the old stuff like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and things like that.
MetalKings.com: How do you choose what to play live these days? You know, Holy Moses have so many albums and so many great songs!
Sabina: You know, it's really hard to make the decision. Last year we arranged a vote on our Internet site (www.holymoses.de) and we let the fans decide which songs they wanna hear. So there will be a mix of songs out of every album, but it's really hard because there are so many songs, and so we leave the decision to the fans (laughs).
MetalKings.com: Well, that's it. Thank you very much for calling us, it was a great pleasure to talk to you!
Sabina: Thank you!
MetalKings.com: But before we finish, can you tell a few words to your Russian audience, to the people who still remember Holy Moses and listen to it?
Sabina: Yeah, I wanna thank all the Russian fans for being behind Holy Moses, I'm getting a lot of e-mails from Russia, and I wanna thank everybody. To the Russian fans willing to e-mail me: do that, my address is firstname.lastname@example.org, it's really easy. You will all get an answer by e-mail directly. I really hope to see all the Russian fans of Holy Moses live this year. I wish you all the best and hope that we can come to your country and play live after all these years. Thanks to everybody in Russia who's buying Holy Moses!
Queen Of Siam
(Aaarrg! Records, 1986)
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