eclipsed: What do you mean by the programmatic title "Wake Up Before You Die"?
Doctor: As the title suggests, you have to wake up before you die. There's a life before death. Many people don't seem to know that yet, because they are in a kind of sleep state: social, political and spiritual. How bad is our existence supposed to get? Do we need more terror? More exploitation? More environmental degradation? We think all this bullshit is enough!
eclipsed: Have your numerous live, retrospective and remaster activities stopped you?
Doctor: Well, somehow I do. But above all the long pressing times today for vinyl. At just under six months, everything takes longer somehow. But vinyl is still extremely important to us, so we simply accept these times.
eclipsed: How are new pieces created? How do you inspire each other?
Doctor: New songs are created at the moment they are created - the circumstances are of secondary importance. It is the idea that prevails in the end, the inspiration. Since everything is inspiring, new songs are constantly being created. Some of them remain, others are only momentary ideas.
eclipsed: On some tracks like "Shadows Of Reflections" you can hear the early, still herbaceous Kraftwerk. "Rheinflow" also contains an allusion to the Düsseldorf electronic sound. How strong is the home reference with you?
Doctor: Hard to say, I don't hear these influences at all, probably because I'm from Düsseldorf. I grew up in a time when Kraftwerk was very active, but I put these influences into practice differently because I belong to a different generation. Today Düsseldorf is a very boring city with a lack of cultural offerings. That was always the motivation to leave the city and go on tour with the band.
eclipsed: You covered some songs from the Monkees, Traffic and Seeds. How did you choose these pieces?
Doktor: These are just incredibly good songs that nobody can do today, "Just Let Go" is of course a homage to Sky Saxon.
eclipsed: Besides 60s pop, early psychedelic rock, sitar and fuzz tone guitars there are some new influences on the album. The title track is unexpectedly dark, almost a gothic track. How did this happen?
Doctor: I can't quite understand that. That's actually minimalist psychedelic rock in MC5-/Stooges slomo style and in the statement pure protest music - when I listen to the band effects on my voice alone, more than 60s psych and LSD doesn't work at all. It's very funny how in recent years the last Metal, Stoner, Indie and Gothic grits have been sold as psychedelic by industry experts, and if something is really completely psychedelic then it's suddenly gothic sound. I really can't follow that anymore.
eclipsed: Your range of styles and instruments from 60s pop, early psychedelic rock, sitar, fuzz tone guitars is still intact. Are you always looking for new sounds?
Doctor: I think we just record things, and then the phase always begins for me where I go crazy, because in the end it doesn't sound the way I imagine it will, and I try everything I can to make it sound the way it should at some point. But I'm never really satisfied, which is why something new has to be done so that it has the chance to be better.
eclipsed: You're first and foremost a live band. Surely you'll be expanding some of the new songs on stage?
Doktor: The new record actually only consists of rather short songs, because we wanted to do something new and don't just want to offer this rumbling - we just wanted to have some ass kicking songs for the shows, which really bang.
eclipsed: Apropos Live: What was your most extraordinary gig this year?
Doctor: Certainly at the sugar festival in Offenbach. Somehow everything got a bit out of control, and at the end we had an eight-year-old boy sitting at the drums who could play a bit. With him we played "Mother Sky", that was really funny, and the audience really loved us for it.
eclipsed: Which projects are in the pipeline at Vibravoid?
Doctor: I think we will soon re-release "Gravity Zero" on CD in extended form, then our complete catalogue will be available on CD about Stoned Karma.
eclipsed: Do you also observe the international psychedelic rock scene?
Doctor: You slowly realize that people understand that Stoner- or Indierock isn't a psychedelic after all and that everything is a little bit in a state of dissolution - it was really a bit too much of a good thing when I think of such grandiose creations as "Stoner-Psych-Rock-Blues-Doom" - what should you be told? With the very young bands it is noticeable that there is just such a trend towards 60s Garage/Psychedelic Pop, everything a bit more song oriented and just no Metal, Hard- or 80s Indierock. Maybe we did leave traces after all.
* * * Interview: Walter Sehrer