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Newsclick Interview with Dero

On May 18th Oomph!, the Gothic Band from Wolfsburg, begin their tour at Braunschweig’s Jolly Joker. But already weeks before the concert the electro-rockers Dero, Flux, and Crap are stuck with a lot of troubles. Their new song “God ist ein Popstar” was felt to be religiously offensive. Harald Likus spoke about it with the singer and writer of the lyrics, Dero.

For a short, sweet starting question: What exactly is god?

Well, god is something special. For some he’s a fantasy, for others he’s the most important thing. It’s a flexible notion, I would say.

Of course I wanted to bring up the question of the trouble that the song “Gott ist ein Popstar” has brought you. Did you regret writing the lyrics, or does the rule hold that nothing is more beneficial than a little bit of a scandal?

I don’t regret the lyrics at all. Provocation is legitimate. I find the man-made hype dangerous. The Christian culture sort of seems to have wobbled backwards in the direction of the Middle Ages.

Where does all the fear come from? I thought we were a secularly enlightened society. But I detect that it’s getting more and more puritanical, more and more American here. Yeah, it’s exactly this duplicity from America: on one hand the amount of sex and violence on television, and on the other hand hyper-sensitivity when it concerns religion.

Doesn’t that go well with the being dis-invited from ECHO by RTL, a station famous for being straight-laced?

Yeah, that’s the height of it. Our appearance there had been planned for two weeks, forty dancers had been hired. I don’t accept the RTL people’s explanation for the cancellation. “Gott ist ein Popstar” is actually a clear criticism of “Germany is looking for a Superstar” and the whole casting fuss. It’s ridiculous that we’ve been charged with indecent behavior against the church because of that.

But the trouble has helped made the song famous, right?

Well, yes. First we got death threats from a few fundamentalist Christians. Then there came the radio boycott. I’d like to point out: the public networks don’t play us anymore, that’s harsh. I find it remarkable that the album “GlaubeLiebeTod” has climbed from zero to number five – not as a result, but in spite of it.

Such a history can bring problems into a band’s framework. Could it emerge in you guys, like the legendary feud with Depeche Mode or The Ramones?

No, I don’t think so. Of course with us there’s also friction, we have no boss. But it’s always clear to us how lucky we are to be able to do our hobby as a career, and not go to an office every morning or stand in an assembly line – not to insult those jobs or anything.

You’re beginning your tour at the Jolly Joker. Do any memories from your youth play a roll there?

Yeah, of course. I was there for the first time when I was 15. They played the music that I wanted to hear: Sisters of Mercy, Soft Cell, The Cure…I’m pretty happy to be standing on the stage now.

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