|AN UPLIFTING PICTURE OF DOOM|
“Omnipotent amplitudes coupled with hope
lower, sharpened with yearning
a blackened warped picture…..”
Guitarist Jochen Fopp comes across as an active and dedicated doommonger. He co-founded MIRROR OF DECEPTION around 1990 in a german town close to Stuttgart. His ‘role’ within the doom metal scene is not limited to M.O.D. however. In fact he was one of the brains behind what was probably rock history’s first doom metal festival - now approaching its third chapter.
Here follows an interview with Jochen exclusively for MaximumMetal.com. For clarity’s sake, the reason that Jochen mentions Malta could be explained by the fact that this is the country the interviewer is based in.
Could you describe MOD’s new album, “Foregone” for those who haven’t yet heard it?
It`s heavy, melodic and dark Doom Metal with an own identity. We have been influenced by bands like Candlemass, Solitude Aeternus, Solstice, Count Raven, Black Sabbath and those roots are always present but we are also listen to other metal styles and music genres and try to do our own thing.
Who writes M.O.D.’s lyrics and what are they inspired by?
In the past it has been mainly me and Michael and our former vocalist Markus, but on Foregone every band member has contributed lyrics. Inspirations come from our own thoughts and experiences, books, movies.
Lyrics of Doom bands tend to look inside a person while lyrics of bands playing Black Metal, Power Metal, Punk, etc…..tend to look at the world, i.e. outside a person. Do you agree?
Definitely, Doom bands seem to be more self-reflecting. We prefer to sing about things we can identify ourselves with. We’re not that much into talking about politics, religion or fantasy stories in our music. Our own little micro cosmos is closer to us.
There seems to be a tendency for Doom bands to be very enduring in time but paradoxically having relatively few releases (M.O.D. maybe being one such example). How would you explain this?
Well, I can only speak for ourselves here. We have taken the time to develop our style until we felt we are ready to release a proper album. We`ve put out 3 demos and a MCD between 1993 and 1997, so that’s not that bad I guess. When we thought our time had come and finally got a deal there were circumstances beyond our control that delayed our debut album “Mirrorsoil” for more than 3 years. Since then we have tried to settle for a more regular release schedule and with the current line-up the future looks brighter than before.
Do you consider Doom mainstream or underground?
Underground and it will always remain that. Apart from a few bands (Candlemass for example) most Doom bands never get the coverage and attention they’d deserve and hardly anyone outside Doom circles knows about their existence. If more people would know about it more would enjoy it I am pretty sure. On the other hand I like it that the relationship between bands and fans in the Doom scene has sort of a family vibe. It’s no trendy scene and making quick money won’t work here. So those who are involved are dedicated people.
THIS IS JOCHEN FOPP
|"Doom bands never get the coverage and attention they’d deserve"|
Besides with M.O.D., you are also very active in the Doom scene as a promoter. Why was the DOOM SHALL RISE Festival conceived?
There was no other festival exclusively dedicated to Doom Metal and you hardly ever see Doom bands being able to play for more than maybe 50-100 people or at festivals. So we thought we should give it a try and set something up and the response we got from bands, fans and press topped all of our expectations.
What was the greatest satisfaction/s you got from the first 2 editions of D.S.R., and what would you like to improve on?
It was very satisfying to do something for our favourite bands, to get bands to Germany for the very first we have been in touch with for years (Forsaken is one example). My personal highlight has been having the re-united Count Raven playing their first gig in my hometown in front of a huge enthusiastic crowd. That memory will remain forever!
What are your plans for this festival now? Who would you like to be in the next billing?
The billing for DSR III has almost been completed meanwhile. We are in negotiation with some more bands but we can’t reveal too much yet. Have a look on the website www.doomshallrise.de for updates.
BEYOND FOREGONE HORIZONS
What plans are there for MIRROR OF DECEPTION in the immediate future?
We have started to work on new songs now and hope to play some more shows abroad next year, like Italy, Ireland, Scandinavia. And it would be great to make it to Malta one day. ;-)
Please list: 5 albums (any style) essential for any serous record collector + any upcoming band/s you’d advise metal fans to check out……
Very tough to go with only five. Well, these are the ones I would take to the infamous deserted island as they have it all. Great songs, stunning performance, an original style and sheer brilliance.
Rainbow - Rising
Bathory – Twilight of the Gods
Candlemass – Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
Primordial – Spirit the Earth Aflame
The Tea Party – Transmission
Best new bands I heard lately are Doomshine, The Doomsday Cult and Isole.
I leave it up to you, Mr. Fopp, to conclude this interview……
Thanks a lot for this interview and your support. Metal fans from Malta have always been very supportive so we hope to pay that back one day! Doom metal lives!
Chris Galea [aka MetalKnight] – firstname.lastname@example.org
MIRROR OF DECEPTION Line-up:
Jochen Fopp - guitar
Michael Sifferman - guitar / vocals
Andreas Taller - bass
Jochen Muller - drums / vocals
Official band web-site:
Doom Shall Rise Festival:
“Mirrorsoil” (2001, The Miskatonic Foundation)
“Foregone” (2004, Final Chapter)
(for full discography please refer to band website)