with Chris Harms (vocals, guitar, cello) from Lord of the Lost
Chris Harms: “I really do not care about being famous or not famous as long as I can touch people with the music.”
This winter, LORD OF THE LOST started their “Raining Stars” tour in Russia. The Russian audience was privileged to be the first one to see the performance of the songs from the new album ‘Empyrean’, which was released in July 2016. LORD OF THE LOST is known to be one of the most hardworking metal groups from Germany since they were on an “endless tour” with the first album ‘Fears’ back in 2010. At the moment, their fans are waiting for them in many countries around the world, including Russia. We met frontman Chris Harms before the concert in Saint-Petersburg to ask him about the band's tour life, their new video, and other interesting things such as “TV of the Lost”, tattoos, and Chris' greatest achievement in life.
Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: You played in Moscow yesterday; did you like it?
Chris: It was really good. I think, it was our third or fourth time in Moscow. It was a sold out, many people, we really liked it. And the good thing was that by now boys also came to the show! When we came to Moscow for the first time, I think there were only two males in the audience. It doesn't mean that we don't like girls, but it's always good when it's mixed up.
RoD: But it's rather hard music, boys should love it!
Chris: Yeah, I don't know, maybe the Russian boys don't really appreciate our kind of look or whatever, maybe it's too much make up or too gay for them, I don't know. Russian girls seem to like it, Russian boys... maybe they are jealous because their girls like it. (laughs)
RoD: Jealousy is the reason! How do you usually spend your time on tour?
Chris: Most people who aren't part of this Rock’n’Roll circus, think that touring is a big party all day, but that's not true! Being on tour is a lot of work, now it's five o'clock already and all we've done today was: arriving here at ten, we had the night train from Moscow, after that there was the photo shoot until half past one, then we checked in the hotel, then we got here for sound-check, and now we're having this interview; after that will be meeting the fans, then we'll have dinner and play the show; we'll take a shower about midnight, and the same tomorrow. Of course, we do party, whenever we can we have a good time. We know a lot of people in so different cities: boys and girls, a lot of colleagues from the other bands and business partners, so that's always a reason to drink together and have fun. But most of the time we don't have time for it. It's a lot of work.
RoD: You and the other guys are side by side for long time during the tour; don't you get tired of each other?
Chris: Not really, no.
RoD: And you have the YouTube channel, “TV of the Lost”. There're a lot of funny stories of your touring and the other stuff. Which one is the funniest from your point of view?
Chris: Not really... When I've counted all my concerts with all of the bands I had, I understood I've played about one thousand concerts and it all becomes a big punch of one big memory. For me it's sometimes hard to make a difference: I remember I was in Moscow, but I don't remember the club and backstage or whatever, it's all melts together. I can't really recall the funniest moments, but for us it's cool. Actually, we do the “TV of the Lost” for our fans but meanwhile we've also recognized we do it for ourselves. It's always memories, you know, like watching photo albums, this kinda keeps our memories alive and helps us to remember certain things. I can't tell you the funniest, sorry, because there's always a lot of funny stuff all the time.
RoD: I think, the funniest was you playing with COMBICHRIST on stage, then Claas was almost undressed.
Chris: I was drumming, right? Let me try to remember... I think it was in Copenhagen, Denmark, I was on COMBICHRIST's stage a lot of times, actually every night (laughs)... but I'm pretty sure that you mean the gig in Copenhagen. It was very good times. COMBICHRIST and LORD OF THE LOST is always a very evil explosive mixture of party material. You know, partying with Joe Letz is the best, I love him.
RoD: Do you remember your first song? When did you write it?
Chris: I tried some stuff then I was eleven or twelve years old, but the first complete song is called ‘Heavens Holds a Place’. I wrote it when I was sixteen years old. I used maybe 90% of its music years later for the LORD OF THE LOST song ‘From Venus to Mars’, which is on the ‘Die Tomorrow’ album, I think.
RoD: What was your greatest victory?
Chris: Maybe victory is the wrong word for it, but I think the best thing I've ever achieved, have done or created was my son! (laughs) It's the best thing that ever happened to me and I'm responsible for it, I made it. Of course, it's the best.
RoD: You music video of ‘Raining Stars’ was released several days before this date. It has a very interesting subject. How do you think, can our world become as strange as in your video?
Chris: I don't know. In a way, it was like that, many times. Germany between 1933 and 1945 under Hitler; so much art and entertainment was forbidden, people were not allowed to do it. So in a way, all the censorship in art and music is something that repeats itself all the time. Look at Korea or even in Russia when certain things from the West were abandoned. In this video it's, of course, a different thing, it tells the story when some kind of general things happen to whole humanity which makes every sort of arts and entertainment. The message from the video is not a negative thing. For me, it's a positive thing how people can be driven and emotionalized, touched by the feelings that can only be expressed through music. But you can interpret the video in so many ways. We asked our fans to do some interpretations of it and some said that maybe those white-clothed are aliens or those who came to shoot them, you never know. And they came because all humanity is some kind of prisoner to some kind of new alien race. There are so many ways to understand the story of the video and I really like it.
RoD: Can you remember the day when you realized that you were famous?
Chris: I think that day hasn't come yet, I don't see myself in that way. There's no black and white for famous/ not famous. When I played my first concert with the school band in front of ten people, or maybe seven, and when I went on stage I felt that I reached some kind of fame, when I thought in that way. Yesterday in Moscow, we had a sold out show and we were like: “Wow! What the f*ck, so many people, we are fucking famous, man!” I really do not care about being famous or not famous as long as I can touch people with the music, as long as I somehow can make a living from it. Fame for me is when you can do your music and you don't have to do three other jobs to survive. I'm not that kind of bling-bling guy with big cars or whatever, I don't care about that, that's not me.
RoD: You have a lot of tattoos. When did you do your first one?
Chris: I don't really remember, it was short before or after my eighteenth birthday. Tattoos in Germany aren't allowed for people under eighteen, of course, like in most countries. Actually, I wanted a tongue piercing because in the end of the nineties everyone should have it, but I was really afraid of it. Then I wanted a very gay thing: a belly button piercing. But later I told to myself: “Come on, really, you don't need it, maybe you wanna get a tattoo?” And then I remembered, when I was a kid I always liked it when there were a lot of bikers with long beards and tattoos on the streets in summer. I didn't want the beard but a tattoo was such a good idea. My first one was on my left shoulder, just silly tribal stuff, it was 1998 when everyone needed tribal tattoo.
RoD: So do you like it?
Chris: Of course, I like it! (laughs) Otherwise, I wouldn’t do it, it's the only reason. Actually, when people ask me: “Why did you do this, why do you do this kind of music, or why do you wear makeup?”, in 90% it's because we like it. It's very simple. There's not always a message, many things we do because we like it. And we do this kind of music because this is the music we like.
RoD: Now you're young and handsome, can you imagine what kind of person you will be when you will get old?
Chris: I'm 37 already, (laughs) I just have to look at my father, maybe. If I'm gonna be like my father when I'm old, I would be very happy.
RoD: You have amazing parents, by the way. Are they happy you're a rock musician, not a classical one because you're playing the cello?
Chris: You know, I do so many classical things with LORD OF THE LOST. I know that there have been times when my parents were struggling with the way I chose not to be a classical musician and do this kind of metal thing. In the beginning, it must have been hard for my parents: you have this little child and then it grows up and is getting older, at fourteen or fifteen it starts to wear nail polish, eyeliner and white contact lenses at school. I think I made my parents suffer a lot when I was young. Sometimes they didn't really like that I did and I hated them to not liking it. But when a sixteen-year-old kid says: “I hate you!”, it doesn't mean a fucking thing. And for that I respect them and love them so much. And even at times when they hated that I was doing, they were supporting me. They've always helped me and came to every show in Hamburg, whether they liked it or not. Meanwhile, they see that all the things I had done turned out good in the end. Of course, my mother is happy to see me on the cello; she likes it more, she likes the ballet songs much more that all the hard stuff, of course. My mom is 73 she isn't a metal-bitch! (laughs) But my parents are really proud and I'm happy about it. I know musicians from other bands with parents who hate what their kids are doing and don't support them, don't come to the shows or even ignore them. “You brother's a lawyer, why have you decided to become a drummer?” I know so many stories... My parents are just great.
RoD: If your son was to become a rock star, would you be happy?
Chris: I'm happy when he is happy, it doesn't matter. As long as he won't become, I don't know, a Nazi, I'll be happy (laughs). Whatever he wants, a policeman, a lawyer, a construction worker, a dancer in a gay pole dance band, as long as he's happy I don't care.
RoD: Can I ask you about Bo? Will he come back to the band?
Chris: No, he won't. He decided to change his way of life and do some kind of right things, a regular job. He decided that this kind of Rock’n’Roll circus is not for him anymore, and we've accepted it in that way.
All pictures from the show in St. Petersburg by Anastasia Filippova