MIRROR OF DECEPTION – Picking up the Shards with Jochen Fopp
A Doom Metal musician will agree in that less is more. That is what music is all about. When you come to think of it, on the one hand there are many bands who play as many notes as fast as they are able to hurtling to the end, and on the other hand there are bands – such as Mirror Of Deception – who put their efforts in their compositions and the process of creating moods and strong vibes that will last. Mirror Of Deception's last release proves to be a masterpiece and thus hail to the world of greatness. And not to forget, because Jochen Fopp is a thought mingling festival doomster, it is time to remember the festivals you went to last summer and maybe think of this summer's festivals.
ET – Hi Fopp. How are things with you and the rest of the band?
FOPP – We're doing fine. The new album has received a great response and we're finally getting interviewed by a Norwegian magazine.
ET – October saw the release of a new album, "Shards". How do you think of it when you hear it?
FOPP – I think we did a good job and delivered a heavy, diverse, powerful and soulful Doom Metal album.
ET – The album certainly does take a little time to get under the skin. Was it the intention to make it sound difficult to approach?
FOPP – No, that's just the way we write songs. I guess it's because we get influenced by a lot of different music. We don't want to limit ourselves to permanent slow motion or being just a retro/ tribute band. We write and record songs that satisfy and sound interesting to us. It might demand a few spins until it clicks, but it's worth it.
ET – What is the meaning behind the album title?
FOPP – Shards as a title is a symbol for shattered human existences or their remains.
ET – Is there a concept to this album?
FOPP – A very loose concept, a sort of thin red line connecting the lyrics. Most songs are about souls that got out of balance.
ET – How long did you work with the lyrics and the music before you went into the studio to record the new album?
FOPP – Hard to say exactly as some ideas date back to the time before we started recording the previous album. The most intense songwriting phase was the last 4-5 months before we entered the studio. Some lyrics were finished only minutes before they were recorded.
ET – The album, more than the previous record, has a real feel of mournful melancholy about it and a more Doom vibe of the previous record?
FOPP – I see it the same way but some people found it to be more cheerful and positive, maybe due to some more up-tempo parts. Some of the lyrics, like "The Eruption" or "Dead Pledge" are some of the darkest ones we had so far. The atmosphere might be different compared to our previous releases but that's what we aim for with every new recording.
ET – There has been some changes in the line-up along the career, why?
FOPP – Several changes; this is the third rhythm group since we started and our original vocalist quit in 2002. Reasons? Mostly job or family related lack of time, sometimes lack of dedication. The current line-up has been together since 2003.
ET – The album was recorded at Soundmann studio. How long were you in studio?
FOPP – About 2 1/2 weeks.
ET – The three albums have been released by three different labels. Why is that?
FOPP – They've all done their best for us, but sometimes it was time to move on. The previous label Final Chapter went out of business, so we had to find a new home. It seems as we'll stay at Cyclone Empire for at least one more album though. We're very happy with them and they have their office in our area.
ET – Do you have a single from "Shards" to break the charts in Europe?
FOPP – Sure, we've had 4 triple-platinum hit singles in 18 European countries so far – except Norway. Well, actually we don't care about the charts and focus on full albums. Apart from that there are hardly ever any metal singles in the German charts anyway.
ET – What plans have the band to tour in support of the album?
FOPP – We'll play a few shows in Ireland in February, Doom Shall Rise V in April and then we'll see what is possible. Hopefully we can come to Scandinavia at some point. We almost got the support slot for the European TROUBLE tour, but unfortunately it didn't work out in the end.
ET – How do you feel about playing live? Do you prefer small or large gigs – clubs or festivals?
FOPP – Playing live is essential, it would bore me to do Mirror of Deception only as a studio project. We are not very picky, so we'll play where we can and the conditions are fair. Of course it's great to play in front of larger crowds but sometimes a smaller audience that is really into it can be more intense.
ET – Do you have a story about a memorable gig?
FOPP – There have been many memorable moments throughout the years. We played in Finland in May 2005 with Count Raven and Reverend Bizarre. The audience in a town called Karjaa was really mad and enthusiastic and the stage (well, actually the little corner in the basement bar) was tiny. So I managed to step on my guitar lead twice and pulled down the Marshall amp to the floor. Fortunately it still worked even after the second crash. Our drummer sang my guitar parts so we managed to continue without breaks. Another thing I remember: we played in a small village in Germany once. There has been a wedding somewhere near and it's an old tradition that some guests kidnap the bride and the bride groom has to search for her in several bars and pay everyone a shot of Jägermeister or something. While we played the bride and her kidnappers entered and shortly after the bride groom found her. That guy seemed pretty pissed off and looked like a butcher. So we tried to calm him down by trying to play some sort of wedding march, but we failed miserably and didn't get anything to drink from him.
ET – Doom Metal appears to be in somewhat of resurgence in popularity. Why do you think it's coming back?
FOPP – It's not really coming back, because it never went away. There have always been bands and fans into this kind of music since the 70s. It's just the media attention that comes and goes in waves. But there is a lot more activity going on compared to 5 or 10 years ago. A couple of festivals like Doom Shall Rise, Low Frequency Assault, Dutch Doom Day, Belgian Doom Night, Doom or be doomed in the US are happening. More labels are releasing Doom too and there are a lot of young promising bands.
ET – Do you consider MIRROR OF DECEPTION´s music to fall into the Doom genre?
FOPP – Absolutely! As long as we play music under that name it will always be Doom Metal.
ET – Would you want Doom to go main stream so it would be more prevalent and easier to access?
FOPP – As much as I wish many bands (ourselves included) more success I don't want Doom to become a shallow mainstream trend. But it won't happen anyway. Most Doom is too deep and demanding for average radio listeners. You need a certain mindset to understand and appreciate this kind of music.
ET – Any final words for all the MIRROR OF DECEPTION fans out there?
FOPP – Thanks for reading all this and feel free to check us out! Our websites: www.mirrorofdeception.de and www.myspace.com/mirrorofdeception