Talented people are talented in everything. The German band «Oomph» easily combines gothic and a classical orchestra. Approbation of this format took place in Russia in St.Petersburg and Moscow with great success. On the eve of the St. Petersburg grandiose concert, we talked the band about upcoming performance, the new album and many more.
Your gig is special today, so why did you decide to go and play with an orchestra?
Dero: It is not the first time actually, we have made some gigs with a classical orchestra. It was during the “Pop meets Classic” in Braunschweig with Braunschweig Staatsorchester. Then “Gothic meets Klassic” in Leipzig. So we decided ‘ Why don’t we do it in Russia?”
Was it hard to organize such a complicated show, like choosing a Russian orchestra?
Robert: No, not at all. One of our requirements was that the orchestra needed to have experience with rock bands. Not like ‘oh my! Why is their making frumps out there so loud!!” So these guys played with Aria and they know what to expect.
Insider: Was it hard to rehearse on such a distance?
Robert: No. They are musicians and they can read the music from the notes like from the book. And so the only thing we had to arrange is how they should read it – like should we play it ‘robotic way’, or the ‘smooth way’. So all went well.
Do you have any plans for the new album?
Dero: Yeah, we have recorded it already, I think the release will be in January 2019. We still need to complete the mastering though. It will be something totally different of course! And we are happy that we can make an official release in Russia this time. Our new record label has made arrangements with ‘Soyuz’.
Oh, that is cool! We heard that you changed the label. Did everything go smoothly there?
Dero: Yeah, our previous contract has just expired and we were looking for what new opportunities we could get as a band.
You’ve been around for so long, so what is the secret of staying together as a band for so long?
Dero: Sex of course! Sometimes we say that if you want to fight us, we say that we do it the ‘bonobo way’ * you know. And then everybody suddenly says ‘eh, maybe we agree without the fighting part somehow’.
Have you ever had to sacrifice other dreams or ambitions to stay in the band?
Dero: Yeah, you have to collaborate. There is no leader in this band, no someone who says that this should be so. So we always are looking for some decisions.
All musicians always consider their latest album to be “the best stuff which they have ever recorded”. What do you can say about it?
Dero: Yeah, this is a natural thing! So why should you put so much work for two or three years in a record, in your new baby that you say in the end ‘oh no, this is shit’. Why should we release it then, if we don’t believe in it and feel that we did really good work? If it is not good enough we would try again and again and again until we feel it is good enough.
Sure, but maybe they are all special in some ways.
Robert: Maybe when you look back after years and listen to the album again, you can decide something, that this one is better than we did before. But when you release it – it’s the best.
Dero: As long as you wish to develop and evolve you try and learn from your mistakes and everybody does mistakes. So as we grew as personalities, as human beings, our music also developed and evolved and changed, so it’s a good thing. I mean there are already too many bands that are still doing what they always did. It’s boring. On the one hand they know that their fans are conservative and don’t want any changes but artistically seen it’s like death. If you don’t develop, you are dead and that’s the thing. Yeah, if you look back you think ‘okay. I was young, I did it that way’ and it is like a momentarily snapshot. It can’t be the same as now. It’s impossible. But it’s good to see the development and it would be disappointing to see that each album would sound completely the same.
Do you keep any of the old stuff from the early days like early recordings and things like that?
Robert: Too long ago too many drugs. I don’t remember. It’s like the answer of Keith Richards.
Dero: No. It was great. It were the times like pioneer vibes, because we did so many things autodidactically, just ‘trial and error’ you know. And it was cool, it was spirit of youth. Just do it, don’t think too much what will happen. Yeah, it was a great thing! You can still feel that spirit. It was far away from being perfect what we did then, but it’s a certain spirit of youth and now we hopefully got wiser approach on music. It will be cool if you could hear that.
Is there anything you haven’t done yet, being in a band, that you hope you get to do before you retire?
Robert: I would love to tour in Japan and in South America, which is on my list of what we are not able to do now. Maybe when we go on Russian tour (which will be maybe autumn next year) we could go more to the east, more like to Vladivostok, and then there’s short way to Japan. This time the record will be released in Japan. And it will be one of my dreams. I have never been there, but Ithink it would be like being on another planet, not being able to read any signs and all.
Andreas: Some dreams could come true, and when we go to Vladivostok Iwould like to go there by train, by Transsib. One of the dreams that came true for me is to play with the orchestra like this. And next one is to play in England and that’s in the next tour we’re doing.
If you could create a dream gig, to be a part of or to just attend, what bands would be on that bill?
Dero: I think it should be as versatile as possible. Maybe Slayer, Justin Bieber, ..
Robert: John Lennon, we’re talking about dreams.
Dero: We would need to revive him.
Robert: In the dream everything is possible.
Dero: John Lennon, yeah, cool. Frank Sinatra. What else? Napalm Death, Pink Floyd, Modern Talking, Scooter. Scorpions.
Andreas: Is there any big Russian band we should include. We have the question – which Russian band we should listen to? I have to admit I don’t know many Russian bands. I know only ‘Aria’ and I see a lot of music videos and I see that there are so many Russian artists.
Robert: I think Arkona maybe? They seem to be the most famous metal band you know worldwide.
Dero: And there seem to be some Russian bands who play worldwide who play for people who live now in those countries. They’re touring in the US but they have only Russian expat audience there.
With every album and gig you keep inspiring your fans and maybe you want to say something to them, especially to those who have not yet seen you live?
Dero: Thank you very much for your faith, for your patience, for your energy, for your believe in Oomph! and for your support and for spreading the Oomph!-virus in your country. Thank you!
Thank you for the interview!
Interview and photos: Julia Andreeva and Varja Murasheva
* they probably mean Bonobo apes where aggressions are resolved by having sex, the ed.