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Interview with

Johan van Roy from Suicide Commando

You all might have read my review about the Suicide Commando Vintage Show in Oberhausen, which took place at May 1st. The day after this concert Johan played in Mannheim and had to stop performing. We wanted to know what was wrong, what happened and when he will be returning. So check out this short interview!

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: Hey Johan, how are you today and what was wrong when playing Mannheim by the beginning of March? What happened that you had to stop the show? I mean you looked quite healthy the day before in Oberhausen…
Johan: I'm doing all right I guess. Well, unfortunately I had to stop in the middle of our show in Mannheim as the pain in my knee suddenly returned after a few songs. It was the first time since my knee accident and surgery exactly one year ago that we had to do 2 shows in a row and I guess my knee was not up to it yet. I already felt some pain during the first show the day before in Oberhausen, but that's nothing unusual since my surgery. But I fear my knee wasn't recovered from that show, so after about three songs in Mannheim I got heavier and severe pain in my knee.

RoD: This sounds not that good. Do you think you will be as healthy as before the injury last year?
Johan: I was promised that after nine months my knee would be fully recovered, but meanwhile we're almost a year further and my knee still hurts at times and I still can't stretch my leg completely, so I fear my knee will never be like before again.

RoD: I really hope you will feel better and your knee will work as good as before your injury. For all the people who don't know what's wrong with you: What happened to your knee?
Johan: Well, exactly one year ago we were touring the USA and during the 2nd show of our tour in Los Angeles, I somehow twisted my knee while jumping back on stage. I already felt something was wrong at that time, but the adrenaline made me ignore and so I climbed on Mario's drum set and jumped back down, I guess that wasn't really clever as it was the end of our show and me ending up in hospital as I couldn't even walk anymore. Since we were in the US at that time and still had to do three more shows, I decided to do these three shows not knowing the exact diagnose at that time. When I returned to Belgium after this tour it turned out I torn my ligaments in my knee and also torn my meniscus. So the verdict was pretty hard and surgery was inevitable. It still took over six weeks before I got final surgery end of June, and many months of rehab afterwards.

RoD: You should definitely take more care of yourself. Is it hard for you that you want to play but now can't do it that much and often since you got hurt?
Johan: Sure it's hard. My music is my passion and life, I just can't imagine living without it, and doing live shows is a big part of that passion. Of course making music at home is also great, but not being able to do live shows, not being able to get in touch with your fans... really hurts and is frustrating. So you can't imagine how frustrating it was to stop our show in Mannheim. I can understand that our fans were disappointed, but believe me I was as disappointed as they were, if not even more.

RoD: Ok, let’s think about some happier things than injuries and hospitals: When will you return to Mannheim to play the "rest" of your show?
Johan: We're already checking dates, so it looks we already will return before the end of the year, but an exact date is not set yet.

RoD: So, what's more fun: playing a vintage set or the "normal" setlist?
Johan: Both are different, but both are fun. I really like the combination and I do believe it's better to separate the vintage sets from the normal set, as these old songs are so different from what I'm doing in the last years.

RoD: Why were Mario and Torben not on stage during the vintage shows?
Johan: This was intentional from the very first vintage show we did few years ago. I wanted to make these vintage shows different from the regular shows and since Gert was my live keyboarder many years before Torben and later Mario joined me, I wanted to do these vintage shows in the most "vintage" possible line-up, so with Gert instead of Mario and Torben.

RoD: Last question for today: Will there ever be a wish-list show, where fans can vote what songs they'd like to hear.
Johan: I actually planned on doing this at our scheduled show at the Blackfield Festival last year (since we couldn't use our regular video projection for that show, it would have made sense to do some other songs again), but since I had to cancel that one because of my knee surgery, it never happened and so the idea ended up in the fridge again. But never say never!

RoD: Thank you for answering all of those questions and I hope you feel better soon!

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