I had the great honour of being able to interview Dero. The lead singer from Oomph! Along with Jeremy Williams from MusikNews.info we had a 17 minute (although it felt like a lifetime) interview. We were able to video tape the interview and will be posting a link to that later. For the time being. Here is the Transcript: Joe 1/04
DML: So... first question and its a good one because everyone does it differently. How do you pronounce the bandís name?
Dero: Oomph! (umff) I know that there are many people, especially Germany and Eastern Europe who say Omph (omff)... But no, no, its Oomph! (umff) like sex appeal and enthusiasm. I know that thereís, uh, the word isnít very common in English. Iíve heard that.
DML: Is it like "Give it a little oomph..."?
Dero: Ok. Like Marilyn Manroe wants to oomph!
DML: Ok... And how did you come up with the name?
Dero: Because it was so strange to see that the name like that is existing. You know, with the two "o"s and the exclemation mark at the end. It was strange, you know, the visual aspect and pronounciation. And, you know, its always good to have a name where somebody is like "What was that?" You know, if your band name is like, I dunno, "Toilet 2, 3, 4" its, its, I dunno... Your name has to be special. And this is a special name, definately.
DML: Its different.
Dero: Yeah, thatís right!
DML: "What the hell was that?!?! Oomph!!! Ungh!!"
Dero: I heard that many people think that its like the sound that you get when somebody kicks you in the stomach.
DML: Yeah, definately. Ok. And... Why did you decide to switch from Virgin Records to Gun Records?
Dero: Because the work together with Virgin didnít turn out that well. Because, in Germany, it was pretty okay. But, Eurowide it was kinda like a mess because we toured two times with huge bands like Skunk Anasie and Hirou(???) all over Europe and nearly no one from Virgin was there to see us or to say, you know, "Ok, weíre going to release your records in each country." And it was very disappointing to see. So, uh, the contract ran out and it was a good point in time for us to look for a new label. It wasnít so that we were dropped or had been dropped by Virgin. It was just time. It ran out. The contract ran out.
DML: Do you know if there will be any kind of US distribution this time? ĎCause I know Virgin there was a big thing where the just wouldnít give you US distribution.
Dero: Thatís right. Weíre, right now weíre looking for a new partner there and hopefully there gonna be one. But, you never know. We donít want it to be on the independant level. So, its hard to find, kinda like a major there. But I think it works out if you are, if you, if you can sign with a label, a major label there. Its better than Metropolis Records or something. Because we could sign with Metropolis right now, but I think its too small.
DML: Its too small and there are too many bands.
Dero: Thatís right.
DML: Nobody cares. Ok.. umm... A friend of mine heard that there was, uh, taped albums released in Spain.
Dero: Yeah. That was, uh, right in the beginning. It was right in the beginning of Oomph! and we were kinda like doing vacations in Spain. Spending a long time there. And, so for us it was kinda like a good way to find out which music we wanna do. So we tried out and had some rehearsals and sessions and stuff like that. And, it was kinda like an electronic, avantguard stuff that we made then.
DML: Similar to the first album?
Dero: Thatís right. Like that stuff. But its really hard to get. We had just about 500 copies or something like that. Nearly everything is sold in Spain
DML: Now, uh, is it going to be released ever again? Like re-released? Or have they become songs that we are already familiar with?
Dero: I dunno, because its too... I dunno.. Its too much far away from what we are now.
DML: Its not Oomph!
Dero: Thatís right, thatís right.
DML: Ok... Are there any plans to release a live DVD, or a DVD which contains live footage (and music videos) or something in the future?
Dero: We would. We would, of course. But, if we will, it has to be a good one. It has to be good quality stuff. So we have to plan. We have to do it very properly, so it takes time and we have to see how it all works out with Gun, our new label. So, hopefully, time will show. Weíll see.
DML: On the new album that youíre working on...
Dero: Weíre nearly finished!
DML: Iíve heard two titles, "Wahrheit oder Pflicht" or "Tausend neue LŁgen". Which one is correct?
Dero: "Wahrheit oder Pflicht".
DML: Okay. I wasnít sure. I saw both and I wasnít sure.
Dero: Thatís right. "Tausend neue LŁgen" was a working title until the point of time we switched the title with "Wahrheit oder Pflicht".
DML: And umm... A lot of fans are wondering if "Dein Feuer" will be released on the next album. If not are there any plans with this song?
Dero: Yeah, it will be on the new album. But, it wonít be a single or something. But it will be on the next album. But there are some special tracks that will only be on the new EP.So.. "Dein Feuer" will be on the new album.
DML: Okay... Some more different questions. Where do you see Oomph! in five years from now?
DML: Yeah, itís a hard one.
Dero: Yeah, I dunno. I dunno... Hopefully not at a funny farm!! I dunno... But I believe, hopefully, still on stage, still in the studio, still releasing some stuff. Still being on Gun Records. Hopefully kinda like that.
DML: Yeah... So, since I have been here in Germany Iíve noticed a lot of Rap & Pop music on the TV. Like MTV and Viva. Except for your video ("Augen auf"), which, by the way, is awesome!
Dero: Thank you very much!
DML: And, what do you think about the music scene here in Germany?
Dero: Ahh... itís a very, very difficult thing, you know? Its all very, very mainstream. In America its different because you are lucky to have, kinda like, that college radio scene which pushes and promotes really different stuff. And, in Germany, it isnít anything like that, you know? So, youíre all... youíre nearly always have the major stuff. The Pop stuff. The flat stuff. For us its always very, very good that we can... (short interuption)... for us its very satisfying to see that we can place our videos on those music channels. But its very disappointing to see which music is playing besides ours.
DML: Or whats being played around your videos. I saw your video and then next came like Snoop Dogg or something like that. It was like, a rock album, and then something completely different.
Dero: But isnít it that way in America?
DML: No, they donít play rock! What rock?
Dero: What about Filter? What about Nine Inch Nails? What about... Marilyn Manson...
DML: Late at night they have some special, like, rock show.
Dero: Its not like during a day show?
DML: Do you have TRL here? Total Request Live?
Dero: I dunno.
DML: Basically its just like that. Everybody requests all these videos and the play like 3 seconds from each. And its all Pop & Rap and stuff.
Dero: So the development is nearly as it is in Germany?
DML: Yeah. This whole "Deutschland sucht den Superstar"!!
Dero: Ah.. yes...
DML: We have the same thing called "American Idol" and thatís huge! Its all Pop music.
Dero: Thatís bullshit! Itís about time kinda like that the Alternative music is coming. Kick them all in the ass or something.
DML: Okay...So, how has Oomph! changed since you started in the very beginning?
Dero: I think, uhh, yeah. Itís a very, very big change that we went through over the last few years. We started very electronical based. And the guitars take place more and more over the years. So, and now we are at a point in time that anything goes with Oomph!, you know? If we have an idea of pure electronic music then we do it. If we have an idea of pure rock music then we do it, you know? Thereís no limitations. Anything goes with Oomph!. So its very good. Its nearly like a total freedom within the band, you know? If thereís kinda like a ballad song, then lets do it. Weíre not afraid of showing emotions.
DML: Yeah. "Das weiŖes Licht" is awesome! I love that song.
Dero: Thatís right. Weíre not a band who are in a certain clichť and fixed in that clichť and are afraid of coming out...
DML: Going somewhere else?
Dero: Thatís right.
DML: Now "Augen auf"... is that kinda the sound we can expect from the new CD? ĎCause coming from Ego and that stuff its kinda different sound.
Dero: Thatís right. I wouldnít say that "Augen auf" is kinda like that song that represents the whole CD.
DML: Now "Dein Feuer" is also a bit off... Its not the same style either.
Dero: Thatís right. And, the other songs are different too, you know? You canít say that its like that or this direction. Its kinda like, maybe, its kinda like all that makes Oomph!, you know? And more hopefully.
DML: So did you get a good mix on it?
Dero: I hope so. But it kicks more ass. Its more rock. Rock stuff. And, umm... its more up-tempo and...
DML: Makes you jump around?
Dero: Thatís right. With the two last albums we showed that we can also reflect emotions and stuff. And now it was about time to show them all that we still can kick ass.
DML: Are there any other German bands that you think stand out as worth recommending?
Dero: You wanna know which German band I would suggest? Kinda like, say that this band...
DML: Are the any that you actually listen to?
Dero: Actually, thatís very hard to say. But, there are a lot of German bands in the past who have kinda like influenced what weíre doing right now. Also, although maybe you canít hear it anymore. But, it was kinda like DAF (Deutsche Amerikanische Freundschaft) or Kraftwerk for sure. EinstŁrzende Neubauten. Right now its very hard. There are some acts that are really interesting. I donít know if you know them, Konsolar (sp?). Its an electronical, kinda like, moody trance stuff. They did some works for BjŲrk. I donít know if you know BjŲrk from Iceland. So its, I dunno, its hard to say, you know... For me it has not to be a German band. I like all those weird stuff from all over the world. I wouldnít consider myself as a German, you know? Iím a world people.
DML: So what would we find in your CD Player at your home? If we opened it, what would we find?
Dero: Oh... thereís Frank Sinatra. Thereís Tool. Thereís Korn. Thereís BjŲrk. There is... umm.. lets see... There is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. There is DAF. There is... what else???
DML: A wide variety. All over the place!
Dero: I dunno. There is everything. I like film, uh, movie soundtracks. Especially "Interview with a Vampire", a couple others with Dracula, or "The Fan" with I think Trent Reznor, or "Natural Born Killers". Thatís a cool one too. The Taratino soundtracks. Stuff like that. Anything, you know?
DML: What do you think of lossy audio, umm, MP3s and stuff?
Dero: The whole industry tries to stop it. I donít know if you really can stop it. You can make it illegal or something like that. But you really canít stop it, you know? Hopefully... I dunno. Iíve got nothing against people who suck something and say, "Ok, I like just 3 songs, so why should I buy the whole CD?" Thatís okay. But if you really like that stuff then you have to buy it. ĎCause you have to support the band, you know? I dunno... I think people whoíve got a certain age reflect those problem really like eligable people, you know? Thereís the small kids, you know, they got not that much money and say, "Okay, I want to consume music. So I suck it and burn it" or something like that. And, I dunno. Hopefully they grow up and they see that you have to support a band if you really like them. But its very sad to see that people at a certain age, when theyíre very young, now-a-days, they have not a really interest for music.
DML: And if they do its not healthy for them.
Dero: No... they consume it pretty much like drugs. You know, they listen to it and throw it away and consume the newest thing then throw it away. Now this, tomorrow that. I dunno... Hopefully that someday there will be a time again where people get into something.
DML: Yeah, listen to a CD more than one week...
Dero: Yeah, thatís right. Like you guys. You know? You have kinda like your direction and youíre really into that and thatís really good to see that thereís people who are like that. Hopefully there is more of them.
DML: So, yeah...
Dero: So, thank you very much. Hope to see you again. Good luck. Greetings to all our American listeners. Thank you.
DML: Thanks. Thank you! More at: