Dr. Living Dead is a name probably familiar to quite a few Metal/Crossover fans nowadays. Their self-titled debut album for High Roller Records received fantastic reviews and this summer they took the Rock Hard festival by storm.
Ouijabeard is the name of the side-project of Dr. Ape, the vocalist of Dr. Living Dead. This is how he describes his latest project: “Dr. Living Dead is a band that I am involved in. Yes, that is correct. Dr. Living Dead is very important and so is Ouijabeard. I am Ouijabeard. That is no secret. Ouijabeard is me and a bunch of musicians that I like. This is a serious musical project. It is for real. A band is taking form when the the time is right. 90% of the album has been played by me. That is lead vocals, drums, rhythm guitar, bass and synthesiser. Solos and stuff like that were done by guest musicians.”
So with a little help from his friends, Dr. Ape has completed the first Ouijabeard album entitled "Die and let live", which sounds nothing like his main band at all. Dr. Rad is playing some leads on the album (“he is an amazing guitarist in the vein of Satriani and Vinnie Vincent”) and Mr. Blaze Bayley will have a guest appearance as well. However, musically there is a big contrast between Dr. Living Dead and Ouijabeard: “The big influence for Ouijabeard is Grigorij Rasputin, as well as 'The Elder' by Kiss, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. The main difference is that this record is written and produced by me, it is not Thrash Metal. It is Rock! Basically I wanted to create something I've wanted to do for some time. A 'Space Rock Opera'! Ha ha!”
Dr. Ape has indeed chosen a very interesting topic for his very first “Space Rock Opera”: “Most of the songs are half fiction based stories about the life and death of Grigorij Rasputin. Some people called Rasputin the 'Mad Monk'. He was a Russian mystic who is perceived as having influenced the latter days of the Russian Emperor Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, and their only son Alexei. The myths surrounding Rasputin portrays him as showing indications of supernatural powers throughout his childhood. He later helped to discredit the tsarist government, leading to the fall of the Roman dynasty in 1917.”
Following the release of the album Ouijabeard will also appear live on stage. “As soon as the time is right”, pronounces Dr. Ape.