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18 2021

Interview with Lord Of The Lost

Why would I care?

Lord Of The Lost is probably one of the most productive German bands. Releasing album after album practically every year, these guys manage to find time and opportunities for many collaborations, cover songs, tours and concerts. Ignoring frequent comparisons to such masters of the scene as Rammstein and HIM, the musicians continue to stubbornly bend their creative line, playing with the visual style and the style of sound design. Lord Of The Lost frontman, Chris Harms, was kind enough to take the time to answer our questions that have been piling up over the year, despite his busy schedule, tour with Iron Maiden, and non-stop releases of new EPs.

  Lord Of The Lost

It's been a year since the release of your last album Judas. Would you say the album has changed anything in your life or in your approach to creativity?

Chris: Yes and no. “Yes”, because everything one does or does not changes something. And creating a record with such an extensive and expensive production does something with you. Letting out creativity, bringing a vision to life with zero compromises, 100% dedicated and passionate, it is indeed liberating and stimulating for an artists. But “no”, because somehow it felt the same with every record. You have a vision, you bring it to life, you feel the magic... but it did not change major things in my life or my general approach to creativity. It was just one step. One step of many.

Did the album live up to your expectations?

Chris: The album came out to be exactly as or even better as expected. So, we totally fulfilled our own expectations. About all expectations from others: I don't care. And I say that in the most positive way: we do what we do to make ourselves happy no compromises, no blurred lines, no decisions because of business reasons. So, not caring what others think is the only way to stay authentic.

Did any songs emerge that became hits?

Chris: If you mean a genuine hit, a real hit: We never had a hit and probably will never have one. We never tried that, we just did what we liked. If you mean “LOTL hits” amongst our own songs: time will tell. None of our songs was a record-breaker from the beginning they all came through on the long run.

How do you think this record will become one of your most famous, recognizable, or "classic" records in the future?

Chris: I am not sure. Parts of it might be to “artsy” and not enough “stump is trump”. Also the length of 24 songs makes it a hard pill to swallow for fans that prefer a rough quickie. But I know that it will always have a very special position.

Were there any mistakes you made in the planning of the release that could have affected the popularity of the record?

Chris: Not as far as I know. Everything worked out the way we wanted. We are happy, our label is happy, all good. But I am sure there are lots of “professionals” out there that see that differently. That's okay.

If your social media doesn't lie, you promise to release another new album next year. You chose Finland to work on it. Why Finland? Does it inspire you so much? Is it one of your place of power?

Chris: Let's keep it that way. We have an album ready. We have just finished it. We could release it right now, today. But we have to wait until it makes sense. “Judas” its still fresh and we feel like that we at least have to surf on the Judas wave on a real tour, playing it live, before we are ready to show the public our re-invented selves. The reason why we have done this so early: If all live shows happen this year and early next year, then we wouldn't have time to record a new album until April 2023. So we did it right away. We started writing songs in June 2021and this creative process went on until we went to Helsinki in March this year. We were so hooked by these new songs, so high on fire, that we wanted to record this album while we were still feeling this energy. So, there we are with a new album in our hands, ready to put it out when the time is right. Helsinki is one of my favorite places on this planet. It's a city I would live in, one of the very few. We have so many great memories from Finland, especially form Helsinki. It just felt like the right place to go to. We wanted to record the album away from home so we'd only have ourselves, no daily grind, no workplaces we are used to.

A huge team of professionals was assembled to work on your new album. How did you deal with the egos of each member?

Chris: We don't. We just don't. If you have an ego that needs to be dealt with, you can't work for us. If you're happy to be one part of a big machine, putting your ego aside, welcome to the team! And apart from that: many jobs do not even come with egos. For this new record we booked Gas Lipstick as a drum tech in the studio. His job was to tune the drums, before each new song and sometimes in between. To make sure that the drums sound killer all the time so Nik only has to focus on his drumming. Being a drum tech is not a job that would normally come with an ego, it's a pure service job. And it needs to be pointed out that Gas is just a lovely guy to hang out with, we had such a great time in the studio.

Have the current situation in the world and some political statements had any effect on the new album you are going to present in 2023 or on your creativity at this stage?

Chris: The album indeed is very political. But the decision to go that way was made in Spring 2021, way before the Russian war against Ukraine.

  Lord Of The Lost

Some music fans say that "a band that not many people knew a couple of years ago" and "a band that represents far from the first cohort of the metal scene" should have kept their opinions to themselves. Some fans think you're just trying to create PR for yourself on hot topics. Do you have anything to say to that?

Chris: I will never stop being fascinated by the destructive nature of humanity.

A couple of days ago you released some cover songs of Lady Gaga, Iron Maiden and the song from the movie Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Did the musicians react somehow to your versions of their songs? This is not the first time you've done a cover of Lady Gaga, is this your way of getting through to your secret love?

Chris: Oh, that love is not a secret. She knows. But no, we did not get any direct reactions thus far. And we do not expect any. These covers are not a cry for attention.

You chose to cover songs from the movie Hedwig and the Angry Inch because you are in some way close to the personality and story of the main character? I see that you often support the LGBT community. Do you feel like that this topic and their problems are still not covered enough?

Chris: No, in no way I have never fought the fight, or something comparable, that Hedwig has to fight in that story. But still I can totally feel him, or rather her. Even as a heterosexual cis male I never felt like being a part of all those “real men” around me. Not now, and also not back then, in school, or even before. There might be no place for me within the rainbow flag or I am still searching for it. But I have never experienced and gender identification problems. Apart from that I do have many friends that are part of the LGBTQ+ community and I feel very close to them. And no, this topic and its “problems” are not covered enough as long as it is still a topic. The goal is, that it is something that does not even need to be protested for. The day the rainbow flag becomes useless because all love, sexes and genders and everything in between are as normal as breathing, on THAT day the topic is covered enough. Even your question about it is a clear sign that it is not covered enough. Especially in a country like Russia. Our last show in Moscow was accompanied by the police that told us before the show, if our make up would be too gay, whatever that means, we'd go to jail. So yes, there's a hell lot to do left.

Why did you choose "The heartbeat of the Devil" as the title song of the EP? Does this song stand out for you technically or emotionally?

Chris: “The Heartbeat Of The Devil” is the perfect transition into our next musical steps. It kind of fades into our new era. The decision was logical.

You're going on tour with Iron Maiden very soon. Would you be afraid to fly on a plane flown by Mr. Bruce Dickinson?

Chris: After reading his autobiography I can say with 100% certainty: This man seems to be one of the most focused, smart and motivated and motivating people I have ever seen. So, long story short: no, I would not be afraid.

Judging by the comments on social media, Iron Maiden fans have not received you very positively. How do you plan to win their love and respect? Do you think that part of this fan camp can migrate to your community as well? Have you figured out what you will do if you are booed by the fans at an Iron Maiden show?

Chris: I have not seen any comments like these. And to be honest, I don't care. Iron Maiden invited us to play before them. That's enough for me to be happy and proud about. And I know that support bands might be hated, some more, some less. That's the game. We will do our thing, 100%. Some will like it, some won't. Fine with me.

  Lord Of The Lost

Have you already learned a couple of songs from the iron maiden classic repertoire in case any of the musicians pull you on stage during the show?

Chris: That won't happen.

As far as I know, you have had some difficulty in the past in obtaining a visa for a show in the U.S. According to rumors in the tabloids, some of your jokes about the U.S. government led to these consequences. Since the US government has changed, are you planning any shows in the states in the near future and what prospects do you see for this market?

Chris: The US is our biggest international market, in terms of numbers, so there might be a future. We will try to go back there, it's worth a try. And if no one shows up, we will have had a hell of a great roadtrip.

Would you call some of your songs political or critical, like for example "Schwarz Tot Gold"? Music fans sometimes say that music should be "out of politics".

Chris: Yes, some songs are very political. And there will be more like these in the future. And I am sick of even trying to discuss if musicians should be political or not. I don't get the mindset of people who think that EVERY person, no matter which job they have, are allowed to give political statements. But musicians, actors, artists, they are only allowed to look pretty and do their art? As I said, I'm not even discussing that. The only thing that I have recognized is, that most people that complain about musicians being political, are right wing extremists, or at least right-wingers. I have NEVER heard a statement like that from liberal or left-wing people. So, if you're not happy about me being political, I'm sure you'll find other bands to listen to. All the best to you, bye.

During the pandemic you did podcasts on YouTube where you often answered fan questions and discussed different topics. it was a special idea to pass the time during the endless lockdowns, or you trying to find a format of interaction with the audience that would bring more feedback, views and popularity?

Chris: I missed being interactive with our fans. That's it.

Have you ever gotten a question from a fan or journalist that made you think of something or inspired you to write a song or make a video or something like that?

Chris: Yes. But going to detail here would be too personal.

Some of your fans call you a "typical boy band". So the question is: should we expect a full cover version of some Backstreet Boys song? I noticed that you like a lot of pop songs...

Chris: Typical boy band? Backstreet Boys, Take That, One Direction, Lord Of The Lost? Yeah, that adds up.

So, and a couple of words or a some wish for the music fans...

Chris: The future is in your hands. Don't throw it away.

Jenet Bonishi

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