When the call for this fan interview went out, I was in no way prepared for the huge response - and the number of questions sent in. I'm still overwhelmed, and I thank everyone who took the trouble to send me their questions. I have now selected a reasonably manageable number from over 600 questions - also from the point of view of selecting questions that I have not already answered countless times elsewhere over the years.


And now I hope you enjoy reading!







1. How would you introduce yourself to someone who doesn't know you at all?


I'm Christian Dörge; I'm a singer and musician, I write songs, produce records, I'm an author of books, I'm an actor and director, and I spend a lot time on the road.




2. Are you a follower or a leader?


A leader. Otherwise I wouldn't have survived in this job.




3. What are you most afraid of on stage?


My bass player. But I love her anyway.




4. What is the secret of your success?


I'm not sure if it's really a secret; but my advantage is doubtless that I'm very flexible, well-disciplined, that I'm able to consciously develop myself artistically, to move towards the future, and that I'm able to make my own decisions.




5. What gives you a sense of real achievement?


The moment when a song is mixed and an album is mastered, when a book is published or when the silence sets in after a concert; so when a work is completed and I have to stand by it artistically.




6. Who was the most influential person in your life?


My father.




7. Are you a bad loser?


No, only on Tuesdays.




8. Who would you like to stand next to in the Hall of Fame?


Sonny Crockett and James Joyce. If read correctly, I think that would be pretty funny.




9. How strong is your will power?


Strong enough to meet everything that lies beyond the Karlsbrücke.




10. Do you secretly think you are better than some other people?


Secretly, yes. Don't tell anyone.




11. Who do you envy?


In the negative sense of the word: nobody. In the positive sense of the word: anyone who can do something better than me and anyone who is a better person than me.




12. Have you ever been to a fortune teller?


No. There's nothing written about me in those runes.




13. Name three of your superstitions.


I'm too pragmatic to afford superstitions.




14. If you were a ghost, who would you haunt?


Oh, I don't believe in that kind of ghosts. And I have no ambition to be anyone's nightmare.




15. How cynical are you?


Cynical enough to use certain aspects of my experience to protect myself.




16. Name three things about being you.


Performing, writing, and recording.




17. How optimistic are you about the future of the world?


I live in the shadow of the future; consequently, optimism is not an option.




18. If you met God, what would you ask?


How did you do that?




19. What is your vision of hell?


The absence of time, dimension, reason.




20. Which religion is closest to you?


Not a religion as a whole, but certainly the moment of the Sermon on the Mount.




21. Which is your best album?


Probably the latest one.




22. Which is your favourite city?






23. Who's your favourite cartoon character?


I'm not a cartoon guy at all, but I liked Sven Glückspilz back in the day.




24. Who's your favourite guitar player?


Neil 'Spyder' Giraldo. I really like what he did on SEVEN THE HARD WAY.




25. What's your favourite book?


NEUROMANCER by William Gibson.




26. How do you like to spend your Sundays?


Reading. Sitting at the piano. Deep in the forest. With the damned phone nailed to the wall.




27. What did you dream about as a child?


To quote Dr Theopolis: I'm sure you don't want to know.




28. How old do you feel?


Old enough to realise - artistically - exactly what I am currently doing.




29. What makes you cringe about your past?


The path from life to death and the step back to life.




30. What nicknames do you have?


My producer calls me El Supremo (usually when I'm way off the mark again).




31. If you were to meet your younger self (e.g. at the age of 20), what advice would you give him?


Never trust her.




32. Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?


In Lisbon, listening to AZTEC CAMERA.




33. What is your earliest memory?


I was in a park (probably in the Schlosspark in Hannover) and fed ducklings with my wonderful father.




34. To what extend do you plan your future?


As far as running as a Cylon who desperately needs a vacation.




35. Which feelings are the most difficult for you to display?


The ones I never felt.




36. How much do you love yourself?


Not enough, I have to admit. Which doesn't make things easier, but always more challenging and gloomy.




37. How many hearts have you broken?


Literary hearts included? Too many, too few, always with an open visor and never intentional. No, not entirely true. Once... I intentionally broke a heart. And I deeply regret that to this day.




38. Are you romantic?


Yes. There's always fog and fallen leaves around me.




39. Are you 'goth'?


Funny, people have been asking me that for over thirty years. And no, I doubt being 'goth'; I don't like to feel comfortable in seemingly unfathomable places or to listen to music that puts me in a bad mood.




40. What makes you feel vulnerable?


My daughter.




41. What turns you on?


Turning the pages of a (very specific) beautiful woman's book.




42. What was the reason you became an artist?


From a very early age, I differentiated myself from everyone around me, both intellectually and in terms of ambitions. Combine this with the shadow that lies over me, there has never been and will never be any other way out than - art. Anything else would be Machiavellianism.




43. When did you make the decision to record your music?


In 1991. But it wasn't my idea. To be honest, I have no idea whose idea it was.




44. Why did your first album remain unreleased initially?


Lack of courage from my record company at the time. However, this error was quickly recognized there.




45. What gave you the idea to record LYCIA - and why with this very special line-up?


The idea was to record an album like a stage play - with appropriately cast roles; this is how the line-up came about. However, I underestimated how misleading this line-up would ultimately be, and to this day an incredible number of people consider LYCIA to be a gothic album.




46. Do you still follow what the artists involved in LYCIA are doing artistically today?


Not consciously, not regularly; not because of any negative feelings, but because it just doesn't happen. I don't know what Tilo is doing today - maybe I should browse occasionally through his music box -, but I recently listened to a digital album by Oswald and I really liked it.




47. Why was there never a LYCIA II?


Why should there have been an album like this? In terms of content, the project was complete, no one needs another album like this.




48. What do you think of Tilo Wolff and Oswald Henke today?


Both are still there, both are doing their jobs; I have no bad feelings, no bad vibrations; I wouldn't cross the street if I ran into them.




49. When did you form your band SYRIA?


In November 1993.




50. Why this band name?


At first the band was called SILVER MACHINE, which I found pretty funny - but my record company wasn't particularly enthusiastic about the name. So back then they sent me a fax with various, astonishingly stupid suggestions for a band name (one of them was BLACK RUSSIA, if I remember correctly...), all of which I rejected. I ended up choosing the name SYRIA because I had written a song with the same title; this name suited the first album OZYMANDIAS OF EGYPT pretty well, and the name was also great to work with graphically. And then... it stayed that way.


Looking back, I'm still amazed that I let the record company talk me into the band name. This was probably the first and only time that I seriously weighed the opinion of a record company.






51. OZYMANDIAS OF EGYPT is fundamentally different from LYCIA. Wouldn't it have been easier to continue on the path taken with LYCIA?


LYCIA always felt a bit strange to me in terms of artistic results, so it was only logical that I would have to completely reinvent myself musically in order to justify my existence as a musician. A second LYCIA album would certainly have been the easier route, but... I would have been terribly bored. I also wanted to play concerts, and for that I needed the right songs and the right musical identity. And OZYMANDIAS OF EGYPT definitely went in the direction I wanted, and the overwhelming success of the album proved me right.




52. Is ANTIPHON a kind of sequel to LYCIA?


No. What both albums have in common is that they are based on my literary work, but they differ significantly from each other; ANTIPHON is a much more self-confident album, a very creative and at the same time very disciplined album. And I have played songs like ZERBRECHLICH and IM CAFÉ live again and again over the decades, therefore ANTIPHON is an organic part of my musical catalog, LYCIA is more of a distant relative.




53. What French films did you love when you recorded the FRANZÖSISCHE FILMSZENEN tracks from the ANTIPHON album?


The lyrics are significantly older than the songs - I wrote the lyrics around 1991, ANTIPHON was recorded in the summer of 1995; the music was written with a certain distance, which also had an impact on the content. I probably had different French films in mind in 1995 than I did in 1991, but to be honest, I don't remember exactly those films.




54. With NEVERLAND THINGS and A GIFT FROM CULTURE, SYRIA became more commercial and accessible in terms of sound and songwriting. Would you agree with that?


Sure. When I went into the studio in summer 1995 to record the third SYRIA album, I consciously took the step towards more structured songs - because it was clear that I would be going on tour with this third album and I simply needed songs that could function in a way that I wanted. And I needed a strong single that should precede the album and that should definitely be more rock (in the sense of progressive rock); and NEVERLAND THINGS was the perfect song to show where the musical journey should go in the meantime. In 1995/96 SYRIA became clearer in its contours, there was still a lot of experimentation, but the big picture was clearly defined - and I became more ambitious, certainly in a commercial sense. That worked wonderfully, but at the same time it showed me how far I was willing to go without bending myself artistically.




55. When METROLAND was released in 1999, there hadn't been a new SYRIA album for almost three years. Why this long break?


This long break wasn't really planned, but by 1996 so much had changed. On the one hand, SYRIA became a dynamic, functioning band, we had two veritable hits with NEVERLAND THINGS and VOODOO HIGHWAY, the album A GIFT FROM CULTURE was a huge success, SYRIA became immensely successful, worldwide, our first major tour also went great. On the other hand, after a year of intensive promotional work for A GIFT FROM CULTURE, I noticed that SYRIA was getting too big, so to speak, and that there were aspirations within the band that we should now become pop stars. And I couldn't come to terms with that, especially since it would have resulted in us switching to a major label at the end of 1996 and ultimately becoming much more conventional (musically). You should never fool yourself in this respect.


So at the beginning of 1997 I stopped the train for a while and thought - as responsibly as possible - about how I would now use my success. And I decided to use this success artistically and to try another experiment. The sound of A GIFT FROM CULTURE was sometimes very, very big, it was an album of grand gestures, and that worked brilliantly for this album; but to continue this sound or even make it even bigger seemed absurd to me. So I chose the opposite path and wrote new songs that were arranged in a rather spartan, introspective manner. I still remember playing the first demos to the band members in February 1997 - songs that didn't fit at all with the pop star ambitions of a fraction of the band, so... I halved the band, and what was left was a trio consisting of Kira, Andy Hägler and me. The fact that it ultimately took three years to complete a new album was due to the artistic ambition of the METROLAND project; I wrote and produced around 150 songs for this, and the original plan was actually to release a 4-CD box, which was of course somewhat crazy, which I'm more than willing to admit in retrospect.




56. METROLAND was recorded as a trio. What happened to the band members who still played on A GIFT FROM CULTURE and during the 1996 tour?


Following A GIFT FROM CULTURE we just had to go our separate ways, and that was absolutely fine, without any bad blood; I had to realign SYRIA, because it was and is my band, it's my songs, and anyone who can't or doesn't want to follow the path is no longer part of the deal - a completely natural, sensible process. And I'm still grateful to this day that Kira and Andy went the METROLAND route with me, which required a lot of trust, after all, for a relatively long time, neither of them could estimate what I had in mind and what the artistic result would be after three years in the studio.


In a way, METROLAND is my most uncompromising and idiosyncratic moment (artistically). Of course it was an immense risk, especially from a business perspective, but in the end... success proved me right again.




57. If METROLAND was supposed to be a solo album, does it have any connection to the LYCIA and ANTIPHON albums?


At first it actually looked like METROLAND would be a solo album - simply because it wasn't entirely clear who in the band would give the okay and who would actually 'stick around' for over three years; it wasn't a self-evidence that I would be able to keep the core of the band together. I even considered forming some kind of new band for METROLAND for a while, but ultimately METROLAND contained a lot of what made SYRIA unique and successful, so it made sense to keep the name and offer the fans a new, a different perspective. As a result, what really mattered was that we as a band believed in METROLAND, that the record company played along (also because of the very, very high budget), and to this day METROLAND is the SYRIA album for which I worked the hardest and for which I did promotion for a long time without touring with the album (and this was the most important and consequential factor). And there are actually overlaps with ANTIPHON, especially in terms of songs like DAS BLUT VON WIEN and in the way the album was produced.




58. Was METROLAND II released on CD and were there any plans to release METROLAND III and METROLAND IV if so many songs were recorded? Did the remaining songs go on other albums?


METROLAND II was released as a CD in 2002, but plans for albums III and IV were cancelled, simply because I was already working on a new album, which differed considerably from METROLAND. In 2009 the double album METROLAND - THE COMPLETE PICTURE was released, which focussed on the really relevant songs of the whole project - so in a way I disciplined myself.


Eventually, some METROLAND outtakes were released in 2010 on the SYRIA double album THE BOHEMIAN SKY - A COLLECTION.




59. Why does the METROLAND – THE COMPLETE PICTURE reissue have some pop intro at the beginning of the track JOKERTOWN?


This little intro is linked to me and Kira; I inserted it for both of us, and only we both understand this reason.




60. The video clip on the track JOKERTOWN is my favourite, all this smoking girls in black-white. Why didn't you made a video clip for your cover version of FIRST WE TAKE MANHATTAN?


It was - as far as I remember - never planned to produce a clip for FIRST WE TAKE MANHATTAN as well; the reason why JOKERTOWN was finally chosen is probably because JOKERTOWN was supposed to be released as a single, but it wasn't until 2001 that two vinyl maxi versions of JOKERTOWN were finally released.




61. There was a very long break of four years between METROLAND (1999) and SLOW NIGHT (2003), which is unusual for this industry. What was the reason for this long silence?


Well, in the year 2000 my (private) life changed fundamentally (in a positive sense); this was accompanied by my desire to free myself from the record labels and publishers contracts to which I was bound until then, which required a certain amount of time.


But objectively speaking, these four years have not been a real break; a lot has happened, especially with regard to SYRIA: I signed a new record deal with Radio Etienne at the beginning of 2001, various vinyl maxis were released and in 2002 the single NEVER AGAIN (with two new songs and various remixes) and the double album YESTERDAYS WITH LOGICAL VISITORS - BEST OF 1993 - 2000 were released.


And we were also very active live during this period, for example we played a very successful England tour.




62. On SLOW NIGHT you recorded all the instruments and sang all the songs yourself - typical characteristics of a solo album. Why was it still released as a SYRIA album?


SLOW NIGHT is - to date - my most personal and, above all, lyrically my most open album; and in a certain way it's my pop album - basically SLOW NIGHT was exactly the album that my record company would have wanted in 1997, but... I wasn't willing to write/produce this specific kind of album at the time.


From this very personal background, from the sound of the album and also bearing in mind the fact that only I can be heard on this album as a singer and musician, you can easily see the obvious desire to release SLOW NIGHT as a solo album. But from the start SLOW NIGHT was intended as a SYRIA album, an album I wanted to go on tour with again - and with this album I had the absolute intention of wanting to develop SYRIA further: towards a kind of pop-sound, a positive, less darker sound. And on the two singles that came out of it - MEANWHILE and DRIVING MUSIC - I 'flirted' with the remix culture for the first time, so I had my songs remixed by other artists, which led to some pretty interesting results.




63. SYRIA underwent numerous line-up changes in the 90s in particular. Are there specific reasons for this?


In the 90s, SYRIA as a band was constantly in turmoil. What can I say? We were young, and when you're young you're sometimes more ambitious or stubborn than is probably reasonable, and you don't necessarily talk to each other at the right times. In addition: SYRIA is my band, it's all about my songs, and it's obvious that not every musician can come to terms with this clear and rather inflexible line. Then there is a dispute about - well - creative sovereignty, there are different opinions about artistic and business aspects, and in the worst case scenario... differences of opinion end up in a dispute and then you have to go your own way. But after 2000... SYRIA calmed down and stabilized. Since then it's been more fun to be in the band.




64. Are you still in contact with the SYRIA members?


Partially, yes. I still have friendly contact with Andy Hägler and Ulrich Kaon, both of whom are still very active musicians (Ulrich recently released a single digitally). I have known Andy and Ulrich for many, many years, we have come a long way together, and I'm really happy and grateful that I can call them friends.


What happened to the others? I honestly do not know. Sometimes I miss Patrick Sayer, who is a really good guy, and I would like to know if Kira is okay and what she's up to. But... at the end of the day you have to let go of the past.




65. Reading interviews with you from the 90s, you seem to have had a special relationship with singer Kira that went beyond the professional/artistic. Would you like to say something about that?


Kira and I, well... we were actually quite close, on several levels. We met at a time, which were extremely difficult for both of us privately; we were like two dark, lost souls who accompanied each other part of the way. There's also a very nice (and meaningful) promotional photo from that time that shows how we felt about things and how we related to each other: I protected her, she protected me.




66. How did Kira join the band? What was it like working with her? When and why did you end the collaboration with her?


At the end of 1995/beginning of 1996 I put together a live band - at the same time I reassembled the band in order to produce the third SYRIA album in the way I had in mind. And because I had sacked Cat Nemeth almost two years earlier, I was looking for a female singer with whom I intended to work as long-term as possible. There were three basic requirements for this: 1. I had to get along as well as possible with this singer, and 2. this singer had to be able to perform such different songs like (for example) WAKE THE KINGS and BACK FROM DIASPORA on stage, and 3. this singer's voice must be compatible with my voice.


Eventually, dozens of auditions were held in January/February 1996, but I didn't really click with any of the singers.


Sometime at the end of February 1996 I was sent a cassette containing some recordings of a female singer who was completely unknown to me up to that point. And when I listened to these recordings, and above all: when I heard that voice, I knew I had (technically) found the absolutely right singer.


We met each other a short time later, we sort of recognized each other, and that was the beginning of almost four years of collaboration.


Working with Kira in the studio and on stage was - easy. She had easy access to the songs on the previous SYRIA albums, and she became part of the new songs (on the albums A GIFT FROM CULTURE and METROLAND) in an almost intuitive way. The collaboration was trusting, reliable, extremely creative... satisfactory in every respect. Kira also had a significant influence on me and therefore on the band - by becoming part of the band and part of my life, SYRIA became more open, more communicative, and not just inward-looking. When Kira joined the band, SYRIA went from a solo project to a project that I shared with her emotionally and spiritually. Until then, I had considered something similar to be completely out of the question. I owe her a lot, and I'm not sure I've ever made that clear to her.


The collaboration with Kira ended in January 2000 – like a fracture, unexpectedly, and I actually don't remember exactly what the reasons were. Somehow... our journey together came to a natural end at a certain point. She had her part in a lot during these four years, we shared a lot, we depended on each other during this time, and I have no reason to hold any grudge against her.




67. The album THE RETURN OF SATURN featured Stina Suntland and Zasu Menil for the first time. You described this SYRIA line-up as 'perfect' back then. Why did it take over ten years to find this perfect line-up?


When Stina joined the band in 2005, it was an incredible coincidence (although I would prefer to call it fate...). She came out of nowhere, and she was absolutely perfect, both personally and artistically; I had never heard a voice like that before, and never before had I had such joy in recording a voice, in working creatively with a voice. And Stina and I... we understood each other in the studio without words, looks and small gestures were enough.


Around the same time (a few weeks later, if my memory doesn't fail me...), and although I didn't really need two female singers in the band, Zasu was also like a gift - with her darker voice she provided an artificially very interesting contrast to Stina's voice, and both voices matched mine perfectly. So I was able to write and produce songs as flexibly as possible between 2005 and 2012 (the years we worked together as a trio), and some of the greatest, most extraordinary songs come from that time. Honestly, I started writing songs to hear Stina and Zasu sing.


Why did it take so long to find such a perfect and harmonious line-up? I don't know. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was getting older, more relaxed, and it was no longer quite so difficult to work with me.




68. How would you describe the collaboration with Stina Suntland and Zasu Menil?


This collaboration was - in short - wonderful, incredibly creative, and it significantly expanded my horizon as a songwriter and producer. And: We laughed a lot in the studio, the atmosphere was always pleasant, and we enjoyed spending time together. And we knew how good we were as a trio. Those were definitely the glorious years, and I owe them to these exceptional, beautiful and clever ladies.




69. You mentioned in an interview that SIXTIES ALIEN LOVE STORY (2009) and AMERICAN GOTHIC (2010) were the highlights for SYRIA. Can you explain this in more detail?


We were at our best as a band during this period - both technically and personally. Never before or since has it been more fun to be in this band, everything almost ran itself. Both albums were immensely successful, and each of the three of us gave it our all artistically.




70. You didn't play any concerts between 2013 and 2023. Why this long absence from the stage?


It just didn't materialise. And when the corona years came along, the cards were reshuffled worldwide anyway.




71. At the two concerts in autumn 2023, a conspicuous number of SYRIA songs from the 90s were played. Was there a particular reason for that?


We played about 80 songs during the rehearsals, tried out all sorts of things and finally decided on a set list that is actually a pretty balanced representation of what SYRIA is all about; with QUEEN CITY JAZZ we even played a song that we've never performed live in all these years.


During rehearsals I sort of 'rediscovered' some SYRIA songs from the 90s and remembered the beautiful melodies - and how important songs like WAKE THE KINGS or VISIONS OF THE SEA are to me. In total, we've had about ten of my songs from the 90s in the set, and it was really fun to play them and experience the euphoric reaction from the audience. Those were two remarkable, unforgettable concerts.




72. Will there be a new SYRIA album? Will Stina Suntland and Zasu Menil be on this album?


There will definitely be a new SYRIA album - I can't say yet what the line-up will be like. The last SYRIA album was released in 2012, a lot has happened since then, a lot has changed. I would be very happy if Stina and Zasu were in the studio with me again, simply because we are really good together and because it would be a good thing to record a great and artistically relevant album again.


Anyone who listens carefully will have heard Stina on my albums KAFKALAND and HALBES SUPEREGO... so I'll just wait and see what the future brings.




73. If you had to choose ten favourite songs from those you have written yourself, what would they be?


With a catalog of appr. 500 published songs, that's a real challenge, but I'll give it a try:


1. Dancing In Berlin


2. When Night Is Falling


3. The Return Of Saturn


4. Lunching With Doc Orient


5. Vision Of The Sea


6. Snow, Apple, Glass


7. Black Coffee Logic


8. White I


9. Short Syntax


10. Description De L'Egypte




74. You didn't release any new music between 2016 and 2023; you seemed to have completely disappeared - musically speaking. What happened?


In the years since 2013, the number of global pirate copies of my albums had reached absurdly high levels, and this state of affairs was deeply frustrating and angered me in many ways. Mass piracy is the most counterproductive thing imaginable in this business. And I did what I don't normally do - I acted impulsively: I canceled all record and distribution contracts, had my entire CD catalog taken off the market, and for a long time I had no motivation to change anything about this situation. However - impulsive actions are rarely a good guide, I should have reacted more soberly and more offensively. Instead... being a musician became strange to me, I alienated myself from something that I had enjoyed doing for decades: releasing albums.


On the other hand, a massive break was also quite good. However, looking back, I have to say that I could have used this break much more virtuously and more in my favour.




75. In 2023, you virtually reappeared out of nowhere - with the re-release of parts of your back catalogue and the album KAFKALAND. How did that come about?


Since early 2021, I've been negotiating a new record deal with various potential record labels; as expected, the negotiations dragged on, as the industry had changed almost completely since 2016 - especially due to streaming services. The question was whether I would be able to adapt myself and whether I would find the right partner. Both of these issues were resolved at some point, and I signed a new record deal in December 2022.


In the summer of the same year, I was already preparing (cautiously, without a doubt) to write new songs, which was an unexpectedly tedious process at first; the reasons are manifold, emotional aspects had to be taken into account as well as technical and artistic ones. I had to ask myself: What kind of album should I record? Did I still have anything artistically significant to say in 2022? Anyway, It took almost half a year before I actually went into the studio, and amazingly, the production of KAFKALAND - and the associated single DANCING IN BERLIN - took just four weeks. The knot had obviously burst.




76. Since 2023, you have been releasing your albums almost exclusively digitally. What are the reasons for this? What do you think of streaming services and music downloads in general?


As I said, the world has changed, and the industry has changed as well; and the music industry has undoubtedly been permanently damaged by the consequences of the Corona years. Earning real money with physical albums and having complete artistic freedom at the same time... is de facto impossible. So I've chosen a kind of way 'between the chairs', which - and this answers the last part of the question - has a lot of good things, but also a lot of uncomfortable things.




77. The albums KAFKALAND and HALBES SUPEREGO are musically and lyrically very different from LYCIA and ANTIPHON. Would you agree with that?


Yes, sure. However, it would be worrying if the changes were not so significant, because there are at least 28 years between ANTIPHON and KAFKALAND!




78. Since 2023, you seem to be bursting with creativity musically - you've released four new albums plus various singles within a single year. How do you explain this creative urge?


Well, obviously I missed the high level of artistry and the fan feedback more than I expected... the satisfaction of creating something meaningful, of just being the artist that I am again. And I've been more musically creative than ever before over the past two years, and I take note of that with satisfaction.




79. With MEIN KÖRPER IST KAFKAESK you have released a music theatre piece. How did this unusual project come about?


The idea of a musical theater piece has been floating around in my head for many years, but the external circumstances were never there, and I also wanted to wait for the right moment until I was good enough for such an ambitious project. At the end of 2023, the individual pieces fell into place, and so I stood on stage for two months to appropriately stage MEIN KÖRPER IST KAFKAESK. This album is of the utmost importance to me, I'm glad that it turned out so well. It's more of a statement than just an album.




80. Will there be future concerts focussing on the DÖRGE albums?


The possibility exists; there have been corresponding considerations for some time. But even for something like this, the external conditions have to be right.




81. In 2023 you released a completely new interpretation of your classic LYCIA album under the title LYCIA, SICH ENTFERNEN. What was the reason for revisiting this topic?


Following the release of KAFKALAND, my record company approached me with the request to present this album live, and in this context the songs from the albums LYCIA and ANTIPHON also became part of a - possible - stage scenario.


So I tried out the old songs on the piano, and I didn't feel comfortable with the LYCIA songs in particular; I also noticed that I didn't have much desire to play songs from 1993 that didn't fit the songs of 2023 in their entirety.


Nevertheless, the LYCIA songs awakened a certain ambition in me, and I decided to set the lyrics to music once again, with today's knowledge, with a (gracious) look from the present into the past. That's how I succeeded making the songs my own again, and that's how I was able to compose and produce a lot of things as planned in 1992/92 (and which wasn't possible for a variety of reasons back then). Thus LYCIA has arrived artistically in my catalog of works, and I can also play these songs live, without disruptions, without discomfort.




82. Your musical career spans more than thirty years. Looking back, would you rather have done things differently, both artistically and personally?


Artistically I did everything right and I would do it the same way again. Maybe I should have at least considered my record company's advice on occasion, but... who knows?


I always did my best as a person, but bands are a very special biotope - with their own laws and dynamics. Undoubtedly I could have behaved differently or more confidently at this or that moment over the past thirty years... although I don't know if I could have really behaved better, although the thought is more than obvious; after all, I'm also a human being with mistakes, flaws and moods. Especially in the 90s, I was primarily 'the boss', I had to make all the artistic and business decisions, and no one wanted to share particularly the business risks with me. Naturally, I couldn't be everyone's friend.


What I could have done better in retrospect: I should have said thank you more clearly to the right people at the right moments. So, folks, if you're reading this: thank you all, thank you for what you've contributed to SYRIA; there are none better than you!




83. What were your most beautiful or exciting moments in your career as a musician so far?


Oh, there are so many... it's incredibly difficult to single out anything here. I think it's the looks you give someone when something has worked particularly well in the studio, that intimacy, that feeling that WE REALLY DID IT. I like to remember these wordless similarities between me and Andy, the very own communication with Stina in the studio, such wonderful song moments like VISIONS OF THE SEA, SWEETEST SMILE, YOUR GHOST, THE RETURN OF SATURN or Zasu's certain shyness as she looked into the control room after recording her vocals for the song DARK WATER. And I like to remember how really good and consistent this band has been for 23 years, how well things are going. Back in the 90s I had to learn that this is anything but self-evident.




84. How has communication with your fans changed for you in the digital age - especially in the age of social media?


Communication has of course become more direct, less agitated in parts and freed from one or another aura. I don't expose myself too much in this social media world, I don't have to constantly take photos of everything and I don't have to post videos about every unimportant thing online. Especially as an artist, you shouldn't take yourself too seriously; I keep anyone who is interested up to date with what I do as an artist, but I differentiate - perhaps more drastically than others - between what needs to be depicted and what doesn't need to be depicted at all.




85. Is it true that you wrote songs for Samantha Fox?


No. And I have no idea where this rumour comes from and why it keeps popping up so persistently.




86. You've published so many detective novels. Didn't you want to write a book


about the making of all your albums?


This is actually in the pipeline, but - like so many things - it takes time.



© 2024 by Christian Dörge/Nordwasser-Records.