"Music cannot be understood without a historical and political context": Dero Goi [OOMPH!]


Oomph! It is a regular band in my playlist for many years, so having the opportunity to interview them - for the second time - is something special. Known to be the founding fathers of the movement known as Neue Deutsche Härte [or simply NDH] where gangs like the arsonists Rammstein, Eisbrecher, Megaherz, Stahlmann, Unheilig, among many others, the gang consisting of Dero Goi, Robert Flux and Andreas Crap It tries to renew itself again with the release of 'XXV', their new studio album, with which they also celebrate a quarter century of existence.

Again, I have the pleasure of chatting with Dero, who, with his particular style, talks to me about his opinions on the current European crisis, the desire of the band to finally reach America -and Mexico of course-, in addition to the process they go through to gather the inspiration necessary to create a new album.


Over 25 years of Oomph! It is easy to say, but it is not. How do you feel when you think about all the time and the things that have happened throughout all this time?

I am very proud that we continue to exist as a band and more with the original lineup, after all this time, including the ups and downs. Life is a roller coaster and we continue to have fun on it. It is very good to look back and see the constant change that your work has undergone. We have always had personalities prone to - and willing to change - and we like to explore new dimensions within our private lives. You need to have the guts to reflect those changes in your music career. In my eyes, there are a lot of bands that are self-plagiarizing, repeating themselves over and over again for simple commercial reasons. In fact, those bands start lying just to satisfy their fans, the press, or whatever. It is their way of achieving great sales, since they know that the vast majority of their fans are very conservative, they seem English and their tea time! In Oomph! We never worry about what fans or the media might think of our new album or if they will like it or hate it. We continue to make music for ourselves and we continue to risk losing followers because of our desire to evolve and our ability to surprise from disc to disc. That is what keeps us fresh and free thinkers as artists.

11701013_933257056735071_6252189078162506307_nDoes the relationship between the permanent members of the bands continue as well as at the beginning? Almost 3 decades have passed ...

Well, look, this is like a marriage ... but without sex! [laughs] Over the years, we have become more relaxed and know each other's strengths and weaknesses; so we try to focus on the positive side of ourselves. For now, there are many more things that keep us together than those that separate us.

At the beginning of your career as a band, you used to experiment with EBM sounds, do you still like the scene? 

When we founded the band, we were impressed by the electronic sound of bands like DAF and Kraftwerk; but on the other hand we also loved the power of HardRock and Metal from bands like Motörhead and AC / DC. Back then, these two worlds were totally separate: Those who were on the wave of metal and rock, hated the subjects who made electronic music and vice versa, all those who made electro hated anything related to guitars and long hair. We thought that was quite embarrassing and pathetic. We wanted to mix both worlds, and that is why we are happy and proud to be called “the inventors of the Neue Deutsche Härte”. All those bands like Rammstein, Unheilig, Eisbrecher or Megaherz have been influenced by us.

'XXV' -your new album- represents for you a whole series of changes. New label, new management team, our producer [Simon Michael from Subway to Sally]. Where do you want to take the band now?

The objective is, initially, to keep our composition, production and mixing process as fresh as possible. As I was saying, we don't want to repeat ourselves or produce music that is easily anticipatable. I explain more or less, we make our albums in three different phases: First, each one of us begins to write individually and compose small parts in our personal studies in our homes, and then we meet to see ideas. Secondly, the three of us leave and we compose together. As a last phase, we invited some of our friends musicians for an “open session”. This time it was Bodenski and Simon Michael from Subway to Sally, whom we have known for the past 20 years. It was great to see how it worked almost immediately.

How have fans of the band reacted to this new album?

So far they have been overwhelming! We are very happy that our fans liked the album. You never know how people are going to react when you release a new album, but luckily, this time the reaction has been great.

As you have mentioned many times, Oomph! is a band that likes diversity. How to maintain inspiration?

I think that happens by pure instinct. We are very curious people, we are walking through life with our eyes wide open. This world always gives you new things to inspire you with.

Unlike your first albums, 'XXV' does not contain any song in English…

Yes. Even long ago we stopped doing it. 'Monster', 'GlaubeLiebeTod' and 'Wahnsinn Fette Beute' don't have any either - song in English. I have realized over the years that I can express myself much more intensely in my native language.

When you look back, do you feel full with what you have achieved during these 26 years of career with Oomph or do you regret something?

No. I am fully satisfied with what we have done, with everything we have developed. There would be nothing more depressing than turning and realizing that all of our records sound exactly the same. Music should only be a pleasure for a moment and cannot be understood without prior knowledge of a context - obviously - musical, historical and political.

Oomph! does it have an expiration date as a band?

Well, you see ... as Albert Einstein said, "There is nothing eternal except the universe and human stupidity and I'm not sure about the former" [laughs]

tumblr_lym7cmbiti1qdgz0to1_400Being a band that has limited itself to the European market, is it a goal for you to reach and conquer the American market?

It is important to us in the sense that it allows us to survive and carry on with our music. Especially now that it becomes more and more difficult to get money in this beautiful profession and have a decent life. We don't need to become millionaires as musicians, but we are happy to enter any market that can be explored. Our music is our language and we have no borders, but it is very difficult to enter the American market because you have to give many concerts over a long period of time. We all have families and friends, so it is dangerous to lose your entire social environment if you go on tour for a whole year to the United States. I would like to do some shows in clubs in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, Austin and so on. Maybe 10 0 12 concerts ... but for now, I'm happy that our album is finally available for legal download on iTunes.

Speaking of which, I know that they have several offers to come to Mexico, now if or what?

[Laughter] We would very much like to play in Mexico! I assure you that we are working hard to make it happen as soon as possible ...

What previous opinion do you have of our country?

I love its food, its climate, the friendly people, its beautiful beaches ...

Okay. And moving on to less friendly topics, Europe - and the world in general - are not having their best time, with the issue of the crisis in Greece and others. How much has it hit Germany?

Well ... Germany is the European country that benefits the most from the products of the crisis itself, so I suppose it is fair that we pay most of the reparations for system defects.

Has it hit you and the music industry?

Clear. There are countries that have suffered a lot, such as Greece, Spain, Portugal, the Baltic region or Slovenia. Of course, in these places it has become much more difficult to make a living from music, sell an album or go on tour. First you are going to spend your money to have something to eat, especially if you have less and less ... Culture has become a luxury object.

You have an alternate project called What About Bill. What is it about?

Well, I love Jazz and the Swing style of the 30s, 40s and 50s and I put all that in one package in What About Bill ?. It is only a way to satisfy my need to make a kind of trip to those times. I have never understood why other musicians have that complex of making alternate projects that end up sounding just like their main bands. This had to be different from the moment I founded it with my friend Chris Wolff. It is also fully self-financed and without ties to any record label.

Well, Dero, to finish send a message to your fans in Mexico.

Thank you all so much for your faith, your support and most of all, for your patience. Wait, we will go with you one of these days [wink]


Listen to Oomph's new album, 'XXV', through Apple Music: https://itun.es/mx/Y6Vr9