Are the doctors in advertisements really doctors

The doctors with their new album "Hell": "There really is a longing for death of the doctors fan!"

With "Hell" the doctors deliver their first new album in eight years. Before that, there was a long period of breakup rumors and conflicts within the band. In an interview, Bela B, Farin and Rod tell how close the band was to the abyss.

They are "the best band in the world" and come from Berlin: after eight years full of conflicts and rumors of separation, the doctors have recorded an album again. It is already crowned with success: With the second advance single "True Romance" they recently conquered number one in the singles charts for the fifth time in their career. On the next record "Hell", the cult trio with the musicians Farin Urlaub (56), Bela B (57) and Rodrigo González (52) present a colorful bouquet of topics: from shifting to the right to conspiracy theories to boredom - everything included the typical silliness and lightness of doctors. In the interview they also tell us how difficult the phase after the last record was and that in the meantime there was little to say to each other.

prisma: How does it feel to release a new medical record after eight years?

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Bela B: We are happy about our work. It is a higher form of happiness than what we have already experienced. We would not have expected that two years ago.

Farin Urlaub: There are records where the collaboration is more of a technical nature: everyone presents their songs and the three of us decide: Okay, we do this one, we don't like that one. Then you pick up, then you part. And then there are doctors records where more happens - where that magic touch is a little bigger. And this record was one of those again.

Farin: On the one hand because of the long break, on the other hand because we were able to take the energy of the club tour with us. But it is certainly also related to the fact that we value each other even more as we get older, which this time expressed itself in a more loving and enjoyable relationship. We have a lot of other great music projects and other things, but you can tell that the doctors are something special.

prisma: With the songs "Abschied" and "Zurück", Die Ärzte recently created a lot of tension and excitement. A fan asked on Facebook: "How hyped are you?"

Farin: Hello? We ourselves are so hyped! I don't want to let the imaginary artist hang out - or maybe it is: It's not a normal album, is it? We dared ourselves even more. Each of us writes songs that the other two would never write. But as a band you can't say: in 2020 we'll be extremely creative. That doesn't work, you never know beforehand. If we play our demos and the other two say, "Let's get started, you nut," then the time is right.

prisma: Do you amuse yourself when people ponder letter puzzles on the doctors' homepage and think that the band is about to break up?

Bela: The confusion that reigns out there, that builds up from the smallest spark we let off - of course, we think that's funny. But we don't encourage that ourselves at all. In some cases, of course, we want to reach the irritation. But the idea, for example, of using our very first punk EP with Soilent Grün as the cover for the first single from this album, arose naturally in the conversation between Farin and me. We then got the okay from Rod.

Farin: We didn't have the ulterior motive that everyone should now think that this would close the circle and herald the farewell of the doctors. When this reaction came, it was more like asking ourselves, "What are you coming up with now?" Even on the club tour it was said that we were only in such a good mood because it was going to be our last tour. There really is a doctor fan's longing for death! According to the motto: This time it's really over. But that has been it again and again since 1996.

prisma: After every album, are you sure that there will be a next one?

Farin: No, on the contrary. It's the same with us as it is with Depeche Mode.

Bela: When we founded our own record company for the 13th record (1998, editor's note), we said: "Okay, we will do more than one album with this company." But otherwise we had known since the 2000s that every album could be the last. It's actually quite healthy to approach it with an attitude like that, because then you'll try harder because it could be the Legacy.

prisma: How close were you to throwing in the towel after the "Auch" record from 2012?

Bela: Something went wrong with our collaboration back then. In the next two years, whether we were doing promo, shooting videos or touring, there was always some animosity, something stood between us. As mysterious as we are and as little as we let people from outside participate in certain insiders and also in the emotional world in the band, we were just as unable to hide our displeasure from one another. It had to be let out. And maybe we weren't used to that at all. The album before that was the most successful record of our career and, from my point of view, it received totally positive reactions. It left me at a loss as to why there was suddenly such a gloomy mood on the follow-up album.

Farin: The chemistry wasn't right. Sometimes it's just that the air is out, that's why we had this very long break, which wasn't planned as a long break, but rather had something of: Yes, that's probably it now.

prisma: How much contact did you have with each other during this break?

Farin: We actually had two years of radio silence.

Farin: But there were always small contacts. Bela once received a text message that said: "I have to send you something, because there are certain jokes that I can only share with you." I just thought: haha, right, but you're still an ass. It was such an in-between phase. The relationship between Rod and me is very different. We'll see each other outside of the band, too, if not that often. We don't live far from each other. Then we don't talk about music at all, not even about Die Ärzte, but maybe about motorcycles.

Rod González: Most of the time we talk about Beatles.

Bela: Very difficult topic! I think I'll go out there.

Rod: That's how animosities usually begin (laughter).

prisma: Is the song "Achtung: Bielefeld" from the new album a plea for more idleness?

Bela: At the moment it would be good for the whole world to stop and shift down a gear. And perhaps not seeing boredom as boredom, but as a gift, because you can relax from certain things. That's why it was so important to me to have the mother from Aleppo, who longs for boredom, in the song. I also see a positive symbol in the mask that you wear to protect other people. That is why I am so annoyed by this whining of the so-called hygiene fighters.

prisma: There is also the conspiracy ballad "Fexxo Cigol" on the album. How worrisome do you find it that a lot of esotericists are currently running for the right?

Farin: It is often forgotten that the Nazis were extreme esotericists. Aside from all that racial shit, they believed in things that weren't far from conspiracy theories. I don't want to say that all esotericists are racists and fascists, but there are obviously more points of contact than one might think.

Bela: The word conventional medicine was coined by the Nazis in order to discredit supposedly Jewish conventional medicine in favor of esoteric healing practice. The Nazis forced that. And the conspiracy theories that revolve around vaccination find their way straight into right-wing ideologies.

Farin: They all have in common that they have the simplest answer in a complex world that is completely overwhelming. And then they are also happy when they have this simple answer to themselves. When I arrive and say, "But that's not the case," it says: "You just don't know. I have esoteric knowledge and a head start on you." This is not our world.

Bela: I used to love conspiracy theories. I read the Illuminati when I was 18 or 19 years old, an LSD-soaked nonsense literature. Robert Anton Wilson, one of the authors, later published an encyclopedia on conspiracy theories that I recommend to everyone as toilet literature. There are short paragraphs in it about the most absurd ideas. I am a member of two fantasy sects myself, Orchard and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and I can only say that it is sometimes fun and sometimes comforting to allow thought games like "what if". But that is very far from suddenly rejecting any logic.

prisma: How politically correct is your song "Woodburger"?

Bela: The song uses the word "gay" in a striking way and is anything but homophobic or politically incorrect. He's crazy. So I want to meet someone who feels offended by this, someone would have to explain that to me. I think Farin handled the subject extremely well. And I think it's cool that a musician of older age whispers "super gay" into the microphone again at the end. When we made our last record in 2012, the AfD was not yet an issue. In the end it is a song against right thought.

prisma: The video "Children react to the doctors" has been circulating on the internet for some time. The first notes of "Schrei nach Liebe" sound and the kids go crazy in a positive sense and even know that this is a song against Nazis. Did you know that children are so jumpy on your music?

Farin: On my website I occasionally received guest book entries from teachers abroad. They wrote that our songs would be great for German lessons. Sometimes there are also videos to prove it: There is a school in Namibia where the students sang a song from the Farin Urlaub Racing Team after they had just learned the words. Something like that is really nice. I believe that our music is just so simple that children can understand it, but also so complex that, as they get older, they still have something to discover. That doesn't stop there, as I think with "A little man stands in the forest". They still grow a little with the doctors.

Bela: It is almost standard that people speak to me on the street and tell me enthusiastically that they learned German through our music. That makes me very proud and confirms that our almost meticulous handling of the German language has made sense over the years.

prisma: Abitur certificates with top marks in Brandenburg adorned a quote from the medical song "Deine Schuld" from 2003 in 2018. Would you have ever dreamed of being classified as educationally valuable by teachers?

Bela: When we started in the 80s, there was always this fundamental question: Tote Hosen or Die Ärzte? Back then, Campino actually referred to the pants in a punk fanzine as a terrace rock band who would like to play for the people and for football prolls in the stadiums. It was different for us: there were many women, high school students and high school graduates. So the academics of tomorrow had decided on Die Ärzte, if they wanted to choose one of the two bands at all. And this elite of people today is writing testimonies or working in the media. Bad luck, pants!


Source: teleschau - der mediendienst GmbH