HOLY MOSES – Sabina Classen – EN

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HOLY MOSES – The Swan Song


In this interview with Sabina Classen, I had what we might call one last chance. I had already had the opportunity to talk with her some time ago, but this looks like it will be the real last time. You will read more below about why Holy Moses disbanded and left the scene for good. We will, of course, talk about “The Invisible Queen,” the latest effort by the German thrashers, as well as also about things past and a truly touching experience with Brazilian soccer legend, Pelè. So good reading to all, as always.

Hey Sabina – let’s start from the end… I read that 2023 will mark the final chapter in the long history of Germany’s legendary Thrash Metal act HOLY MOSES – are you going to retire then? Will be this your last album ever?

I decided this before the pandemic. First we had the idea to stop in our 40 year anniversary in 2021 because I am really thankfull to what I really could do with the band. We started up as a school band and we toured the whole world. We released so many albums and it was a wonderful time. I said to myself that I want to stop when I can decide for myself. Now I am full of energy and so I want to stop when I still feel to be on a good level. I want to look back and say “this was a fantastic time of my life”. You can take it like a chewing gum and continue by playing on an on but to be honest I am going to be 60 and this is also a special anniversary for me. I have lot of hobbies and a really cool job. It’s always a pleasure when you play in a band but you have to rehearse a lot as music of Holy Moses is not that easy and so I decided to close after 43 years. I feel it’s really time to stop and last day will be on the 27th of december for my birthday when we will release a huge party in Hamburg at the Market Hall for our last show. There will be guests and other bands playing with us.

Near to 10 years passed by last album – what did you do in this last decade apart from the pandemic time?

We played a lot of time live and we already started to write new songs. When we had the idea to release the album this strange virus arrived in the whole world. We had a kind of depression at that time and we couldn’t expect it. Nobody knew when bands could come back playing live at festivals or if the world was really changing, but then we rehearsed at our home studios. It was really fun to release some songs on skype. Than we had new forces to come back on writing a new album, by know that for sure it would be the last one.

This album is totally different from all the others. We have a lot of technic, progressive sessions and also your vocals turned sometimes to scream and not just growling. I thought you were going to close more classical… why this choice?

This is a really good question but for me it is difficult to answer it because we did it from our energy with a lot of aggressive power and freedom as we never did any compromises or never followed any trend. That was just the feeling we had in that moment so guys wrote the sons and I sang really free and I was feeling like I was 25. Sabina in authentic way. Thomas and the bands are here for 15 years since 2008 and they are the same guys. We are a real team and they feel Holy Moses so much and this album came really from our heart.

Line up in Holy Moses has been always a big turnover so may we state that this is always been a Sabina Classen project?

I can say it can be me, but I always thought that it is important really to have a real band and what we are now doing since 15 years together with Thomas and Peter and Gerd it’s really a team work. We are so much democratic in what we do and everybody has something to say. I am not the one who is deciding everything. I am really a team player and this is important. We changed many musicians as we started up really young and many of the guys found a family or they had other important things as we couldn’t live only by music. It was hard to build up a band in a semi-professional way and also working and having a family. I don’t have a family apart my horses and dogs but I have no husband or kids, so I am more free than many other people and I could do this all the time. A lot of musicians came in Holy Moses but now with these guys we are a real team and we found how to work out together in a really great way.

Who is in charge to create the music and set the words?

Most of the music is by Pete and Thomas. Gerd then add all the drums and he is the man for the production and mastering and all the technical things in Holy Moses. He is also our tour manager. The words is a work make most of all by Pete and me as I have some ideas but I have to put them on a point but it is difficult sometimes to fit it with the music. Pete is in charge to fix lyrics for the music. A real team work, a real band.

So as you’re not the only composer, we can say that the music in Holy Moses changed also because of the members were joing in?

In the beginning all the albums were by Andy Classen, Uli Kusch and me and in the 90ies it was a difficult time. Andy was with us until Order of Disorder album and he was writing everything. Than Michael Hankel joined in 2002 and he also wrote a lot of things in those times. Now I think Pete, Thomas and Gerd bringed more technical stuff than in the past.

Who is the invisible queen and why you came up with this title?

Uh.. ahah this is really a good question. I told to myself that for this album I wanted to make myself invisible. Lot of people as my friends, the lable and the band asked me not to be so shy and they told me that I am the queen of thrash and death metal, the first woman singing this way and the one who opened this world to other girls. The first album was called The Queen Of Siam so Pete told me that for him and probably many other people I was the queen of thrash and death metal. So as now I am invisible, he told me that I am like an invisible queen. Sure I couldn’t write a song talking about myself so he wrote lyrics about me. And this was also perfect title. The queen of the beginning and the one here in the end described all the decades of Holy Moses.

The Machine, Chaos, The Queen.. all these things belongs to your past? How and why you decided to insert all this in this last album?

It’s funny because you know it and you see it but it was not by purpouse. We just realized how these elements came back again to us not intentionally. We didn’t plan anything so all what you noticed arrived by our minds for a case and it’s amazing it happened like that.

You realized a comics based on the lyrics of the songs for The New Machine Of Liechtenstein – which are linked by a single concept based on the events caused by a machine with its own will. Do you want to tell me more about this machine and why you “destroy” a car in last video?! Is there a connection within?

Well… destroying this car it’s like a picture. In the beginning we had the idea to write more lyrics about The New Machine Of Liechtenstein but with this pandemic we thought how humanity was in a really dark time and who knows.. maybe it was this machine that made this chaos. So we felt like the need to destroy everything exactly in the end, in our last album so this car for us is a picture of our machine. All humans can go out of this depressive times after this.

Did you had fun on destroying it?

It was fun yes.. I never did something like that and I am a psychotherapist so I felt a little bit guilty doing it while we were recording the video. I really need to focus myself and convince myself that it was a bad machine and we needed to destroy it. So really not easy. At first I wasn’t in the mood to doing it but then I made up my mind that I needed to destroy this virus inside the machine and energy came out immediately.

You will be in many festivals but no headline tour yet? Not any project for a final big tour?

We have a lot of shows also. The situation now it’s not so easy and we can afford concerts only during the weekends. In october and november we will have lots of club shows to play in cities where we have a connection. Our booking agent should release all the tour very soon. Festivals in summer and last shows from october to december.

I saw pictures with you and Pelè online when you was very young and so you met him in real life and you was very touched in feelings with his death. Can you explain me which relation you had with such a legend?

In my young years I was playing soccer and my dad was coach. My younger brother also use to play. In my surrounding I was the only girl and I won a competition and I could go in 1979 to the Pelè and Franz Beckenbauer soccer football camp in New Jersey. So I was trained by Pelè also. And I have a good musical memory also with him as he was singing and playing guitar with us around the fire. He was really good and it was a real amazing time when I still was thinking about to be a professional football player but I was really young and missing my family I decided to come back to Germany. I was only 15 and I was the girlfriend of Andy Classen, I wanted to finish my school. My plans were different. I had the chance but when I came back to became the singer of Holy Moses.

Let’s go little bit romantic and tell me about feelings and emotions about how was life when you started with Holy Moses?

Well.. as I came back to Germany after the football camp in New Jersey as I told I became the singer of Holy Moses, but it came by accident as I used to sing just at rehearsal of the band and they kicked out the male singer to allowed me to try. I showed that I couldn’t sing but just trying more, I realized that I could do it. And this is how the story begun. It was 1981. I can’t describe how was amazing to play the first shows and seeing that people liked and I saw the first stage divers already in 1982. I was really amazed by what was going on. I was the only girl and for me it was kinda normal, but I was really the only one in the scene. Then I met people like Tom from Sodom or Bobby from Overkill and everyone was telling me that it was something really special to have a girl doing what it was normal to me. Then I met Doro Pesch and even if the music was different we became friends immediately. Finally another girl in the scene. I always has been thankfull to had the chance by doing all this.We are there since the beginning and it was 1980 even before the word death or thrash metal came around. They called just hard rock and in the beginning nobody knew how to call this sound.

Which has been your worst time in music business?

Worst time probably it was in the 90ties when the grunge arrived and thrash metal didn’t know how to go on. We managed it all later on and this music, this scene changed again and all came back with a review energy. This has been probably the worst time.

Last words.. what do you want to tell you to all your italian fans before to leave the scenes?

Thank you so much for all these years supporting us. I love Italy and italian fans. My horse Capitano is my connection to Italy as it is where it come from. Many times I go back to Gargano and I have Italy in my heart. Hope to see you everyone on tour for last greetings and to enjoy with you our last swan song.

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