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I always wanted to play the guitar but finally had the chance with the age of 13

Interview with Uwe Groebel.
Rising from the tomb of German doomsters Naevus, Voodoo Shock are a new black star in doom's cold, dark sky. This riffing doom juggernaut combines the best of old-school Trouble, Spirit Caravan, Obsessed, Sabbath, and Cathedral to craft their own unique brand of trad doom. Guitarist/Singer Uwe Groebel recently took time out to answer a few questions.

Lets get the obvious background information out of the way. Can you tell us about your previous band, Naevus? For the benefit of those that haven't heard them, what did they sound like and why did they split up?

"Naevus was some kind of heavy midtempo doom-metal influenced by bands like Sabbath, Cathedral, Trouble, the Obsessed and Pentagram. Two guitars found the way to a two melody technique, like used in Thin Lizzy, always searching for a good groove and a melody to stick in your ear.

Naevus split in may 1999 and I steadily wrote new songs already. That time we wanted to enter studio for a new recording. As Sven (bass) left the band I didn't have enough energy to restart it all. Playing new songs and rehearsing old ones again with a new bass player and everything. One year before I moved to a new town which was one hour driving away from the others and it simply cost too much energy."

Naevus' last recording was 'Lost Confidence' for the 'I Am Vengeance' soundtrack. What did you think of the record, and have you seen any cuts from the movie?

"Never seen any cuts of the movie. The record is okay but I don't have any vision what for the songs are. I don't have any picture so I can't imagine the movies' character. Of course it's a horror flick but I don't have a real combination."

How did Voodoo Shock come together, and how did you pick the name?

"I started with new songs with drummer Gunnar from Mirror Of Deception. We had a few sessions, playing 4 or 5 songs (all new). Due to lack of time of his studying and his other band it didn't work out very well. So in 2000 I started again, this time with drummer Mathias Siffermann from End Of Green, on bass Oliver Merkle (also End Of Green, guitar). With those two guys I recorded the demo with 4 songs, originally started because of the long awaited Vitus tribute. We did Petra. We didn't want to release the songs it officially but it turned out excellent, so we decided to send it around. Though I parted ways with both at the end of 2001. As I had so many songs I decided to search two guys only to work with for recording. With Michael on bass (former Windfall and ex-Phased 40F). Known him for a long time as we both played in our bands together at the legendary Doom in Bloom Festival. He knew some drummers to check out and we landed with Specky. The rest is history... :)

The name originally came from the Jemes Bond movie "Live and Let Die" with Roger Moore. He went into two Voodoo Shop's in the movie - Gunnar had the idea to change it into Shock - that's all."

Tell us about the other members of Voodoo Shock.

"Michi (Michael Greilinger) is a hell of a bass player - he's totally into thick bassplaying like Geezer did and he plays with fingers, he likes the sound of Electric Wizard and the likes, Paul Chain, Mercyful Fate, just to name a few. A cvery reliable and honest person. It's great to work with him musically and to share a good friendship.

Specki (Christian Specker) is a powerful drummer. He can play all types of drumming. He's in maybe 5 bands steadily at the moment and has various projects going around. He played with Michael in some sessions and we found out we have the same musical background, an excellent base to work together."

Voodoo Shock is clearly influenced by the old school of Maryland doom. Have you heard some of the lesser-known bands in the genre, such as Orodruin and Life Beyond, and if so what do you think of them? Do you have any recommendations regarding new doom groups?

"Yes I just listened to the Orodruin sound yesterday and I like it a lot. Haven't heard Life Beyond yet For me the Hellhound bands are my favourites. I'm not too much into Solitude Aeturnus or Solstice. I prefer the more rock'n roll, 70's variations. Other new bands are Thee Plague Of Gentleman (Belgium), Tollwuet (Switzerland, also Michi and Specki on bass and drums), Wall Of Sleep (Hungary, with ex-Mood members)."

Voodoo Shock has a fat, early 70s-style guitar sound. How important is equipment to the group?

"It needs to sound natural. We don't have digital effects and we love old drum sets and guitars."

Voodoo Shock is the first release on Mark Hegedus' PsycheDOOMelic label. What was it like working with Mark, and how is the album selling?

"As I know Mark for quite a while now we decided to do all the things together. He wanted to do a label and I had the band. We got response from various labels but nothing seriously. And maybe PsycheDOOMelic is good to start from for a bigger label with a wider distribution, to have the CDs in normal record shops. We never signed any contracts, it's a totally friendship based work.

We sold 700 copies in the first 3 months over the internet."

The group did an excellent doomy cover of the Moody Blues' 'Nights in White Satin.' How did you choose to cover that particular song?

"I had the song in my mind since I once drove home on a rainy day and listened to this song on the radio. I couldn't get ot off my head. As we started the recording weekend we said we wanted to do a cover version when we have enough time. I just did it as a suggestion and we choose it. We bought the Moody Blues singles collection, listened carefully and found out the chords and lyrics. As we recorded the version you hear on the album we maybe played it only for the fourth or fifth time."

Is that a quote from Earthride's Dave Sherman at the end of the record?

"Yes it is ;)."

You recently played at the Doom Shall Rise festival. Tell us your impressions of the show. Was it a good one for Voodoo Shock? What other bands played?

"I was very excited to have te chance to play there. I was impressed playing in front of all the people who are into this kind of music 100 percent, and so many people had the album already. It felt so good. Our show as good, although Michi and Specki both had to fight with a cold and diarrhea. Other bands where Doomshine; Dreaming; Forsaken; Mirror Of Deception; Semlah; Thunderstorm; Tollwuet; Weed In The Head; Wytchcraft; Dawn of Winter; Officium Triste; Well Of Souls; Subversion; Revernd Bizarre and Revelation."

What was your favorite gig with Voodoo Shock?

"We only played two - and they were both excellent!"

If you could come up with two other bands to play with, past or present, who would you pick to create a "dream bill?"

"The Obsessed, Cathedral, Voodoo Shock."

What made you decide to start playing guitar?

"I always wanted to play the guitar but finally had the chance with the age of 13. Before that I played with the tennis-racket...I was impressed by any guitar playing hero, posing on stage as I did in front of the mirror."

Thanks for taking time out, Uwe. Any last words?

"Anyone who reads this, please buy our album, a 7" is coming up next with Iron Kind (split release on Game Two Records and PsycheDOOMelic Records), and we have shirts for sale in L and XL. Just visit www.voodooshock.de or email me info@voodooshock.de. Thanks for your support Kevin."

Interviewed on 2003-04-19 by Kevin.
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