Guitarist/vocalist Kavus Torabi has played a big part in the success of the new gong record. He is now the bandleader and also feels very comfortable in this role. He is one of the most sought-after guitarists of the English music scene. In 2014 he joined Gong, where he initially replaced Daevid Allen, who had cancer, on tour. But the musician with Persian roots could not have dreamed that he would lead the band soon afterwards. The re-strengthened gong line-up can be heard on "Rejoice! I'm Dead! in impressive form - a work of which Torabi can be justifiably proud.
eclipsed: The past two years have been quite exhausting for Gong and her followers: Daevid Allen passed away in March 2015, and last August band co-founder Gilli Smyth followed. What role did they play in your musical development?
Kavus Torabi: When they came into my life with Gong, they were just the right band at the right time. They were pretty wacky and built a bridge to jazz and eastern music at the same time. But they didn't do it like they did in fusion, and that was very inspiring - I hadn't heard anything like that in rock music before. I was also fascinated by the whole counterculture. Later I moved to London with my band Cardiacs, and the parallels to Gong were amazing, even though we were less chaotic.
eclipsed: The album title "Rejoice! I'm Dead!" I'm dead!) may sound very flapsy or even disrespectful to the ears of some fans. But he actually goes very well with Daevid's humor...
Torabi: Absolutely! The title even comes from one of his poems. Originally we wanted to set Daevid's poems to music, but then we refrained from doing so. When we hit the line "Rejoice! I'm Dead!", we knew immediately: That's it! After that I knew that I wanted to write about Daevid and his death.