Vibravoid interview with Christian
- January 2009 -
Germany’s Vibravoid have been producing their
electric mind poison for the whole of the 21st century
and the band has been one of my absolute favorites since their
debut album. Love Is Freedom must be the only double vinyl release
in the world where the second disc contains exactly the same music
as the first one, but the groove must be played backwards: from the
inner side towards the edge of the record… Vibravoid really
is a true gift from the gods, since they have kept the soul and
nucleus of the original, 60’s psychedelic rock alive while
adding some elements of kraut rock and Spacemen 3 into it. The band
is coming for their first ever trip to Finland in late February, so
the time definitely was right to ask some questions from the
band’s leading figure, guitarist/singer Christian Koch though
1. When did you first get interested in music and
I am quite sure it’s because of these old
science fiction TV or movie soundtracks, when I was pretty young,
all these kind of tape echo effects and stuff really turned me
I just wanted to put all these way out sounds into
my own music, it’s just the movie has to be made….
2. When did you start playing and was guitar your
No, my very, very first instrument was an ultra
cool small Bontempi electric organ, my father bought in the
1970’s for Christmas to play stupid Christmas songs, the rest
of the year I kept experimenting with the sounds… probably
another thing that got me into music. It’s so sad this one
got lost. My first real group (apart from that posing in front of a
mirror, does anyone else do this?) was the Motley Motion, I think
about 1990 or 1989, this one was really cool.
3. Who were your first musical influences?
Astronomy Dominé was an intro for a German TV show,
this always scared me to death when I heard it as a child, so how
cool to discover this as Pink Floyd when I was a teenager, Piper at
the Gates blew me away, well Syd obviously is a very strong
influence. The Shaggs – probably – are a key influence
to everything I do.
4. Tell us something about your first bands and
This all can be found on the “Turned on
Acid” album. So everyone can make up his own mind about it. I
still like all the things I have done with these groups. It was a
very important experience to make the Vibravoid.
5. How did Vibravoid start off?
Through the demise of the predecessor, in fact the
Void Forum, this was a nice group, with the guys from Assassin
(Thrash Metal band from Düsseldorf) totally turned on acid and
digging 60’s psychedelic music. This was a very funny time
but sadly the other members started withdrawing their interests. I
ended in a studio recording the first album – with a lot of
friends helping – that is how it started somehow.
6. Is it okay to say that Vibravoid is your
No, actually I am Vibravoid or Vibravoid is me, the
group is just me and a couple of dudes playing the other
instruments, everything is quite loose. Vibravoid is more than just
the music; it is a way of live. Like everyone could be Vibravoid or
something else that is cool.
Vibravoid is set to blow your mind away and as a
band it works this way live on stage, but that does not matter at
all. Vibravoid is how to see things, how to see politics, to search
the truth and deny the lies – it is up to you, can you be
7. How come you seem to have a lot of line-up
changes? Why don't you have a synth player in the band?
Germany is a wasteland in terms of music,
especially if you play a different, an underground brand of music
– it is very difficult to find people who are able to keep up
to all demands. Anyhow the Vibravoid’s music is not popular
at all here, do you know any other group like Vibravoid from
Germany still existing and playing, and please don’t name the
other two that I also know and that are not psychedelic at all.
Well, we needed some money, so we sold all our
synths, our Depeche Mode LPs and the one who played it to those
guys at the corner at my street. It was quite a good deal.
8. You are on Nasoni Records, Berlin. How did you
get signed with them? How has it been collaborating with
By a phone call – more or less... Hans is a
nice dude; he is the only one doing what he does in a serious and
independent way. He is doing all that kind of gimmick and extra
vinyl editions. It is really cool.
9. What is the music scene in Düsseldorf like at the
What scene? Die Toten Hosen (in case you know
them), Frank Popp, that’s all.
10. What kind of music do you listen to
I still keep listening to music that was produced
between 1965 and 1970; I still don’t like the new stuff,
it’s awful. I like Spacemen 3 and their spin offs instead of
Heavy Metal. Actually I only listen to old psychedelic music from
the 60’s, everything else sucks.
11. Are there any new bands that you really
Yeah, as I said I like Spacemen 3’s spin offs
like Spectrum, Spiritualized, Darkside.
12. What do you do when you're not writing music or
playing live or recording?
There is no life outside the Vibravoid. I make
music all the time.
13. How important factor have psychedelic and
psychotropic substances been to the formation of Vibravoid's music
Good question, next one. No comment – I
can’t remember, I think we were always stoned but
14. Have Vibravoid played a lot of gigs outside
The best show was on Saturn, or did I get this one
confused with the question before? I played Denmark in 2002 and
liked it very much, so I am very curious how Finland will be! I
must admit that Greece is quite a winner: they have a lot of people
interested in psychedelic music around and nice girls. I think
anywhere is cooler than Germany.
15. You have recorded your forthcoming album with
Sky Saxon from The Seeds. How did this happen and what was it like
to work with this living legend? Is his brain still functioning
okay or is it just the “love the dogs and wolves and peace
and love etc.” stuff going on and on?
Sky is absolutely great and a brilliant mind. I
think he is one of the very few survivors of the Hippies –
still on a trip. He is constant in music and he still is the Seeds.
He is composing and writing lyrics all the time and has so many
great and fantastic ideas. He is very much in his own world but
this is totally OK – he is very productive and constructive.
Sky is very far from being mental or out of order, he is doing his
own thing and this thing is very cool. Working with him gave me an
impression how it probably was in the 60’s in Los Angeles
making music and hanging around. He is the Jim Morrison who is
still alive. I hope that we can play some more shows this year with
Sky. We will probably have a group called “Thee Superman
Superwomen Band” what is also the name of the group releasing
the record. We also played some live shows with Sky, one of these
tracks will be released on the forthcoming “Triptamine
4” album in February.
16. You are on a secret mission and must take a
spaceship to another galaxy which will take you a long time. You
are only allowed to take five albums with you. What albums would
Oh, I thought you ask what medication I would
Achim Reichel und Maschinen – Die Gruene
Kalachacra – Crawling To Lhasa
Ton Steine Scherben – Macht Kaputt Was Euch Kaputt Macht
Floh De Cologne – Profit Geier
Group 1850 – Paradise Now
17. You are going to play a couple of gigs in
Finland next month. What do you know about Finland and what kind of
experience are you going to give us?
I know like nothing, but I am sure you are all very
rich and we will sell a lot of merchandise, hopefully. I heard
about some fish, where the can is opened under running tap water
because of its odor, is this true?
Well I don’t know what you know about Kraut
Rock, I think we will be the first Kraut band for the last 30 years
to play Finland and we are from Düsseldorf, keep your daughters
locked it will be a party – second to none and a night to
remember!!! Love Parade is coming to town and the Vibravoid is
riding the yellow rocket to get you tripping like you never tripped
before! By the way: Kraut also means herbs…
18. What are your future plans with Vibravoid?
In any case: avoiding this fish! We play Roadburn
Festival in the Netherlands soon and we will have some TV concerts
in fall, I am looking forward to get filmed and have some good
footage of the band. “Triptamine Vol 4” album will be
released right in time we are in Finland so we can promote it
there. We are also working on the “Kraut Rock
Sensation” EP what will be good fun. We play some old
traditional songs from the place we come from, it is Can and
Many thanks for Christian for his funny and colorful
answers! I would like to warmly recommend that if at all possible,
come to see their spectacular gig at the Psychotropic
Caravan Festival at Nosturi, Helsinki, on Saturday the
28th of February. And you shouldn’t forget their
gig at Suisto
Club, Hämeenlinna on the 27th of February with
Octopus Syng Alive, where they will have much more time to blow the
minds of the audience into the many-colored, cosmic paradise!