This interview with the guitarist Hamid Haghgu of The Company was done through e-mail in June 2002.

Hello, how are you doing?
Thank you very much, we´re good!

Your new album "Awaking Under Dogs" has just been released by System Shock, are you happy with the result?
There are always things which could have been improved but all in all we are very happy and proud of this album!

You have released two albums before this, could you please tell us about them and compare them to your new material?
The previous albums were basically influenced by the Bay-Area Thrash. We weren´t really glad with the sound of the old material. We wanted the music sound more modern and more explosive and so we decided to use the most modern studio-technique such as Soundscape HD recording and Computer sounds etc. Moreover, the emphasis on the new Cd was basically on the groove of the songs. Many critics considered our new stuff as more American.

The last album was released on High Gain Records in Europe, what happened with that deal?
The label went bankrupt!

As I understand your self-titled debut album was only released in Japan, how come? Do you have a lot of fans there?
At that time, I wasn´t in the band but as far as I know, there was no distributor for Europe but the record sold 8000 copies in Japan which means that there are some people who like our music.

Doug Piercy, the former Heathen guitarist, was one of the founding members of the band, how did you get in touch with him? Do you know what he has been doing since he left The Company?
Again, I can only tell you from the others. Doug moved to Germany because he has a girl-friend here and he planned a new band and he listened to a Demo tape from Guido, our singer, which he really liked. And Ingo (Bass) and Peter (Drums) were friends of Guido´s and so the jammed together one day and founded The Company. I don´t know anything about Doug at present.

Your two "new" guitarists Markus Rhodmann and Hamid Haghgu are unknown to me, what did they do prior to joining the band? [Editor's note: I didn't know who I was going to interview]
Markus played in a group that was very famous in our region, Crazy Crawlers and I played in Testicle Disease who became quite popular in the German Underground and I played in Kerosene, a regional project of locally popular musicians.

The album title and cover is both humoristic and cryptic, what does it mean?
The album is called "Awaking under Dogs". This either means something like waking up among dogs or on the other hand Underdogs with a new spirit of life. Both is true for us, we were fucked up by many "important" people. That brought us down ! But now THE COMPANY, the Underdogs are back to kick ass! The dog on the album cover is a symbol for our intention.

There are not that many bands today playing old-style thrash metal like you do, what do you think of the modern metal scene?
I personally like the New Metal scene. There are good and there are bad bands but the best are American Head Charge. I would love to play with them some shows! I also like Linkin Park, Papa Roach and Slipknot but they are not my favourites. The scene will change again! I believe in the Return of Glam Rock!!!

What are your top five albums ever?
1. Machine Head the first album, I forgot the name :-)
2. Suicidal Tendencies / Lights Camera Revolution
3. Slayer / Decade of Aggression
4. Metallica on MP3 ( Killém all, Ride the lightning, Master of Puppets, Justice, Black)
5. Faith No More / The real thing

Are you happy with the support from your new label so far?
They are very reliable and the communication is very good. Of course, we don´t expect to be treated like superstars, we try to organize gigs and tours ourselves, too. Everything costs a lot of money and especially Metal is very expensive!!! :-).

Now to my own and brand new right or wrong section. You are just going to tell us whether you think the following acts would be right or wrong:

a) If someone killed Hitler prior to his mass murder campaigns.
history cannot be changed

b) To burn down a church because it's "evil".

c) To burn down a church because it represents oppression.

d) Sado-masochism.
If you like it, go ahead

e) Death penalty.

f) To lie if it will be of benefit to yourself.

g) Censorship.
of what???

h) Religion.

i) Communism.

Any final words for the fans?
Support the Underground, there are so many good bands!!!

Links of interest:

The Company
System Shock / KMG Music