R.U.Dead? are dead

interview with R.U.Dead?

R.U.Dead? formed in 1989 by Gero (guitar) and Uli (guitar). Soon the line-up was completed by Rüdiger (drums), Chris (vocals) and MAD (bass). In 1990 the first demo was recorded under the title “...Simply Dead”. The band starts doing live shows and support acts fro Napalm Death and Fleshcrawl. The second demo “...Individual Horror” was recorded and more gigs followed with bands like Asphyx and Dead.In 1992 after recording a promo tape/7’, failed contract Gero leaves the band to join Fleshcrawl. R.U.Dead? split up due to personal problems. In 1994 the band reanimated with a new line-up and recorded in 1995 a mini-CD. In 1996 the band records another EP and in 1997 released as a 12’ EP by Majestic Union Records with highly aggressive and diverse thrash/death in the vein of Slayer with totally extreme vocals and a very compact production. In 1998 Rüdiger leaves the band and leads to the final split up of R.U.Dead?

interview with Uli on 07-02-2002

Please give us a short introduction of yourself!
Please see band bio (on CD cover)

You started in 1989. Any bands as an example to form a band yourself?
R.U. DEAD? really started as a follow-up to POISON (West Germany) which played Death Metal from ’84-’87; when that band started, the main inspiration were bands like VENOM/SLAYER/BLACK SABBATH/ TROUBLE etc. With the formation of R.U. DEAD?, some “newer“ influences were added like VOIVOD/CORONER/DEATH/ PESTILENCE.

What do you think of the scene in those days?
I’m gonna give you some short lines on that:
-there’s far too many bands out there
-most of them don’t seem to have any ideas of their own
-alot of them doesn’t even want to include originality, they’re just happy ripping off their idols
-alot of people into Black(/Death Metal seem to have forgotten that there`s also other good music in existence without which the whole scene of today wouldn’t exist
-many of those people (at least in Germany) have a very conservative (if not even “right-wing“) attitude which makes me wanna puke and which doesn’t have anything to do with my ideas of “Metal“

Do you think the scene has changed over the years?
Well, in the 80’s (and early 90’s) it was basically a real UNCOOL thing and almost “commercial suicide“ to play Death/Black Metal, where as now it seems really hip with 12-year-old girls running around in “Black Metal fashion“ and Death/Black Metal records being available in every record store – I really have the impression that a lot of it is nothing more than part of the pop music industry and - as such - more about looking cool and making money instead of creating exciting music.

Are you doing something these days with your guitar?
I’ve been doing quite some home recording during the last two years and, of course, there’s a lot of guitar on those tracks, but the approach is quite different from that of R.U. DEAD? (or POISON) as it’s mostly very slow (+ doomy) sutff, pretty basic and not really “true Metal“.

Ever tried to put a cat in a fridge?
Ever tried to make a bracelet out of cockroaches?

Your favourite bands in the beginning and the end of R.U.DEAD?
In the 80’s I was listening mostly to Metal and my favourite bands included VENOM/SLYERS/EXODUS/MERCYFUL FATE/TROUBLE/BLACK SABBATH/SAINT VITUS; now I’d say I’m listening to everything interesting; my favourites include EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN/DEAD CAN DANCE/KRAFTWERK as well as ATOMIC ROOSTER/NECROMANDUS/CAPTAIN BEYOND; some old Metal favourites like MORBID ANGEL/VENOM (still GODS!)/ENTOMBED and a lot more...I also have to admit that I`ve actually started collecting KISS-Bootleg-Videos 2 years ago and now I’m really addicted to the stuff although I never really liked the music too much.

Did you learn something from the first split up?
When the band split up for the first time, I largely buried my ambitions to some sort of “career“ with the band ’cause I had really worked my ass off only to learn that half of the band wasn’t really into it 100% and wanted to stay “hobby-musicians“. So when we “united“ again it was quite clear that it would be alot less serious – amazingly enough, the music we recorded then was the best we ever did, but of course it didn’t really build up anymore from there...

Why was the split up final after Rüdiger left the band?
We couldn’t find a proper replacement and I was really tired of the whole story and deciced to quit after 15 years of playing DEATH METAL...

Why did you cut off your long hair?
Well – most of it went out the natural way, and so I decided to cut off the rest, too – I’ve been a “baldy“ for 7 years now and I really like it!

Did you find your lyrics important? And why?
Of course the music was a lot more important than the lyrics (you could perhaps say 80% music; 20% words), but we always tried to write at least stuff with some sense behind it instead of just doing the usual “blood and guts“ stuff or childish tries to appear “evil“ – we just wanted to probe that it’s possible to wirte dark and heavy stuff without being stupid.

What is your profession?
I’m a social worker specialized in people which are mentally retarded or psychically ill (which inspired some of my lyrics, I guess...).

Do you remember the names of your groupies?
The few ones that were interested were really to ugly to remember – but there was this one chick named “Gaby“ that always appeared at our local shows, got trashed and in the end threatend to kill herself ’cause nobody wanted to love her...

Do you use the internet to get more attention to R.U. Dead?
Not really. I know that Almir (ex-guitarrist) who lives in Vienna now and has a band called MONOLITH did build up a homepage for R.U. DEAD? but the fact that I actually forgot the address shows you how important this is for me. MAJESTIC UNION are doing some internet promotion, nevertheless...

Do you support some upcoming local bands?
I really don’t know because ALL bands from this area I’ve ever heard sounded either boring or ridiculous to me - you have to understand that the “Heavy Metal scene“ in Ulm ceased to exist some 10 years ago; there are no cool bars or clubs for that type of music and so it never interested me.

Do you listen to your own music nowadays?
I do; from time to time, and I have to admit that some of the stuff sounds really crude to me now, but there’s also a lot of songs/recordings I really still love.

House music makes you...?

Tell something shocking about yourself?
I’m actually a fan of CRADLE OF FILTH, is that shocking enough for you?

Your average beer consumption?
When I still drank I used to have 5-6 big beers, then about 1 litre of wine and finally some longdrinks or Tequilas – but it got all too much for my health and so I stopped drinking about 2 years ago and now I’m only smoking weed.

Last rites?
Thanx for the interview, good luck to you! KEEP THRASHING! (or whatever you do)
Interviewer: twansibon
Feb 7, 2002

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