Early this year Soul Doctor toured with Kingdom Come, at that time their debut wasn't released.... Now it's in the stores and time to talk to Tommy Heart, the singer of Soul Doctor.
How do you got together? Who initially started the band?
We both, Jörg and I, haven't been very happy with the situation in the bands we played at that time. Sabu was founded as a band, but was more a project, coz they never played live. I always fight for Fair Warning to be a band, at least when Andy Maleck (guitars) left, I realzied that it was an illusion. A few years ago when drummer CC Behrens left, I felt kinda unhappy. I realized when Andy left that it won't make sense to fight any longer for this band. Also I missed playing live, we didn't toured enough in my eyes and I couldn't contribute my ideas for songs during the songwriting. I met Jörg on tour 1993 when Victory / Bonfire & Fair Warning toured together. We became friends. Afterwards we talked on the phone and visited each other. At one of our meetings we found out that we both aren't happy with the situation we are in our bands. We talked and thought about starting a band together. Something we never talked about before. A little later we started jamming old rock classics and writing songs with our guitarist Chris Lyne. Years ago I played in Heartlyne a Berlin-based band together with Chris. And out of this jams Soul Doctor was born!
What's the meaning of Soul Doctor for you? Why do you chose that name?
The name is a kind of program for us. In the past after all the bad experiences we all kinda needed a psychiatrist and so we choose Soul Doctor to name the band. We were at our rehearsal room and played this old, almost unknown Foreigner songs and thought that this is the kind of music we wanted to do. Later we found out that the song is more than just a cover version for us and that it perfectly fit to the situation we were in. And so we found our name!
Was Soul Doctor the possibility for you to realize what you haven't found / had in your bands before?
Actually we didn't started with a special program. We had no plan about how we wanna sound. It just happens.... Developed.... But it's right that it wasn't really me in Fair Warning, coz the songs were written by Ule and Helge and so I had to sing what fit to their music. With Soul Doctor it's different, we all are involved in the songwriting and so we all can realize our musical ideas. We share the same musical taste and vision.
What’s the difference in working with Soul Doctor compared to your former bands?
It is the way we treat each other. The Soul Doctor philosophy is friendship and that's what the band is based on. We all invest a lot and we all get the same reward, we are a family! Also the songs been developed together, we jam and everybody contribute something. Even the lyrics are co-operation. We get a helping hand from Steve Plunkett who many will know from his days in Autograph. There is no band leader, no mainman! We all have the same rights. No ego-trips! Everybody can contribute to the songwriting and it really works great! We also work with the same people, the same road crew and so on. But they are not just working for us, they are friends and we all try to make it together. We are the Soul Doctor clan!
You have been on tour even before your debut was in the stores. How does it work out for you?
The tour was fantastic! We could proof that we are a band! Lenny Wolf has his reputation and he tried to play his game with us, but we just did our own stuff and finally he had to learn that he didn't succeed in his own game. We really wanted to play this tour, even if no one knew us. In my opinion the most important thing for a rock band is to play live, to be on stage! We wanted to impress the people, even if they never heard of us before. It was an important experience for us as a band. This experience get us even closer together. We are family.
How you got the deal with Massacre Records?
The guys of Massacre heard our album and were blown away by the band and the songs. So they offered us a deal which we accepted. The react very fast and finally they made it.
Who had the idea for the cover? Does the sign have a special meaning?
This "t" is from our logo and we thought that it is a good trademark. So we blow it up and it became our cover.
Your debut is released in Europe. What about Japan, USA and South America?
In Japan the album was released late April, about a month before the release in Europe. We been to Japan for a week doing promotion and played a showcase in Tokyo. At the moment we are into negotiation about a deal for the US and South America. At the moment I can't give any details.
Have you got any reactions for media or fans yet?
Actually the response from the media is really good, some are very euphoric and so we are really satisfied. Even during the tour with Kingdom Come fans came to us and surprised us with their positive reactions! Also the mails we get and the guest book proofs it.
You will play at Wacken. What can the fans expect? What do you expect?
The fans can expect 45 min. of pure rock'n'roll! Just good time rock'n'roll in Soul Doctor's manner! What we hope? We hope that the fans have a good time and have fun. Let's have a rock'n'roll party!
What's next for Soul Doctor? Another tour?
We just want to play live, being on the road. It doesn't matter, if we support or play in small clubs. We want to work for it! We will do it the hard way, playing live again and again! At the moment we work on more shows.... Perhaps as support or small clubs. In July we play some shows in France and we will return to France in September / October for some more shows. Beside that we already started writing new songs! We want to release our next album in summer 2002!
Your website is not complete yet... What can the fans expect to find there?
Actually our website is completed! It's www.souldoctorrocks.com! (Okay, but when I prepared this, it was under construction... CE) Fans will latest news of Soul Doctor, sound files and biographies of the band members. Also tons of photos and info about merchandise. Everybody who wants to learn more about Soul Doctor, shall visit our site and drop a note in our guest book!
Now you know what to expect and where you can get information about Soul Doctor. So, you just have to check them out live! See you at Wacken..... Others might have to wait for another chance....