Dero & Flux from Oomph!
On 18th May, the 11. album ‘Des Wahnsinns fette Beute’ by OOMPH! was released. Since about eight years the release of every album is a little scandal among the fans. Everybody’s waiting for something. But in the middle on their musical carrier the band started surprise and disappoint its fans. In just one moment their CDs became a pearl of the pop-rock shelves in musical shops, in stead of Industrial/EBM section. And even if it happened already in the end of 90-s, some fans still remember and waiting for the “old kind” OOMPH!
Their first concerts as support to the new album the band played in Russia, in Moscow and St.-Petersburg. Their first concert in Moscow was back 2007, and since then (this time it was the third Moscow concert) their show in the city is the special event. For the amount of visitors OOMPH! are hanging between RAMMSTEIN and modern MEGAHERZ, not so big for a stadium, but great enough to act on the stage of one of the biggest Moscow clubs. A half an hour before the concert the organizer invites journalists to the dressing room. There are just ten minutes to talk to the band. Leo is busy with his cell phone in the corridor. Dero and Flux relaxing on the coach and are excited being in Moscow again.
The album ‘Des Wahnsinns fette Beute’ shocked even more people, than any of the previous albums. There was nobody who would laugh at the band’s self-irony. The grey-haired hardcore fans, who are always surprised by the big amount of young people at the concerts, should just give up waiting for the new ‘Der neue Gott’. OOMPH! transformed themselves so much, that even the most faithful fans can hardly recognize the band. Most of people blame the band in being commercial, what is supposed to sound offensive even to a popular underground band. But having not that big commercial success the musicians turned this failure to be a helper. Dero explains what “commercial” should mean: “Commercial is something what you can sell well. Metallica, Marylin Manson, Rammstein are commercial. Comparing to them we are quite independent”. The terms “pop” and “popular” Dero connects also to “ being commercial”.
Flux explains the evolution of the band: “We’re doing the music we like, and this is exactly the record, which should be at this moment. There already were ballads and pop-songs on previous albums, like ‘EGO’ and ‘Plastik’. In the beginning of 2000-s albums were very pop, influenced by Depeche Mode. We have already released some heavy albums, like ‘Unrein’ or ‘Wunschkind’, and EBM-albums. And all of this is just evolution-stages. On this album there are pop-ballads and heavy songs, and songs, which were inspired by the 60-s, for example ‘Zwei Schritte Vor’. We try a lot of things, which we like, with which we have fun. We listen to different music: electro, dance, jazz, classic, everywhere there is great music to discover, and we want it to influence us. We never planed to release such a hard album, so everybody says “OOMPH! are the hardest!” We just doing the music we like, and we hope that our fans love music as much, as we do.” Even if exactly the hard-to-recognize-the-difference tactic brought success to a lot of bands, among them the musicians call AC/DC and MOTÖRHEAD, they still don’t see it as their thing. And this is the way, which Dero call the most un-commercial way, it could be: “To stay the same would be the surest way, you just release all the time the same album and that’s it. But in this case, you’re just a slave of your fans. We don’t really think, what fans want, because we want to be faithful for ourselves. We can lose money, but not freedom.”
It has almost no sense to compare the album to the previous ones. Hip-Hop elements, hysterical irony and jokes songs, absolutely terrific videos make the album, as well as fans, totally crazy. Who take themselves too seriously would never appreciate it. Even the image of the band has been changed a lot. Dero did the new hair and covered up his tattoos. Now he wears a hat all the time, his hands are decorated with big beautiful silver rings. Through the brown sunglasses two wide opened brown eyes outlined bold with black watch directly. There is the impression, that he can’t relax, he’s ready to fight for his ‘child’-band every minute. The parent-instinct is strong as never. The explanations about doing the music as they want to and self-irony-theory sound prepared and it is possible to find these words in every interview now. “Isn’t it cool, when a band laughs at itself? We just want to laugh at ourselves first,” Dero says.
Although somebody would say that OOMPH! came too far with laughing at themselves, according to the new videos, for example. Flux insists, that this is the logical continuation of the band’s philosophy: “Our thing is to try every time something new, to make something, what is interesting for us, and we have fun doing it! We have fun writing texts and even with our image, you can see it in last photo sessions and videos. Earlier we were more serious, we wanted to hide a message in the album. Today of course there are still some important topics or problems, which touch us, but we try to watch at them from the different point of view.” Supporting his words, Dero adds, that their evolution is natural and explains it with psychological complexes: “Men can’t give birth to a child, and we want to compensate it. We compensate it with songs. But even with kids, you want them to be different, you don’t want to have six clones. Our songs are 100% natural and 100% biological.”
Sometimes the evolution of the band seems to be quite chaotic and every album reminds more on a revolution. But the thing is, that despite of fans’ hopes on a new “OOMPH!-like” album, OOMPH! did never had their style. From the beginning there were no limits. Flux doesn’t afraid of this uncertainty: “This is exactly the concept.” Dero doesn’t appreciate it having the same line through all the way, like a “rolling R” or melodic romantic melodies, which all sound the same. But late OOMPH! albums sound revolutionary not just because they are so different to each other, but because of no concept on it. Sometimes it seems, that the band just tries to figure out what they didn’t do yet, to implement this thing in the next song. “We’d like every single song on the album to have it’s own world,” Flux refers.
Before the release of the album, the band announced they recorded 60 songs. So what will happen to the rest? Dero jokes: “The rest we gave Rammstein.” And seriously the musicians already shared their plans for future. The rest of the songs is going to be released on the next album. That much songs will be enough for three more albums, but the only hope for now, that since the songs are already there, we won’t have to wait for the new release long enough. Talking about it Dero gets excited like a child: “The next album will be that hard… hey, isn’t it a great target: to create such a hard album, that nobody can stand!” His eyes are shining, and the fans, standing all this time in front of the stage and waiting for the concert to begin, already counting altogether the final countdown before the concert. The show must go on!