Chris Harms (Vocals, guitar, cello) and π “Pi” Stoffers (guitar) from Lord Of The Lost
On May 17, German band LORD OF THE LOST gave their first and long-awaited show in Kyiv, and we were lucky enough to talk with Chris Harms and Pi Stoffers about some serious and not very serious things. We are happy to share this interview with you!
Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: You’re for the first time in Ukraine, from the 2nd try but you made it! Welcome! How was the first show?
Chris: Crazy! The place we played, it was one of those dirty Rock’n’Roll places in the city we’ve never heard about. Half of the stuff there was broken and the backstage was dirty. We had a really bad mood all day. But we always say and we know that if the mood is right, everything will turn out just fine. In the end, it was one of the greatest shows, so energetic, there was so much love, so much passion, commitment, and it didn’t matter that the place was fucked up.
RoD: I checked your Instagram after the show in Kharkiv, there were no pics, and I thought “Is everything fine?”
Pi: We were totally fine.
Chris: Wi-Fi was broken as well, so we couldn’t post pictures and all that stuff.
Pi: Actually, a few people asked “There are no pre-show pictures. Is everybody fine? Are you okay?” Somebody asked Klaas: “Are you ok, Klaas?”
Chris: I got a lot of messages like that. Yeah, you know, Ukraine, and those political problems and blah, blah, blah, but it was very nice and caring.
Pi: Yeah. And, as you said, we are here for the first time, and when we usually go to the country we have never been before, we try not to expect anything, if you have expectations, you can get disappointed. You will be surprised either way. We had a lot of good surprises, that night was great in terms of the concert.
Chris: It was 100% a nice surprise. We didn't have enough time to see the city and we didn’t see anything, except for a taxi drive. And Kyiv, it’s a beautiful place. But what we saw of Kharkiv was a fucked up fairground thing, the carousel, and rollercoaster as in American movies.
Pi: Creepy vibes…
Chris: It looked like a weird scene from the American Horror Story. That was so crazy. We thought we need to shoot a music video there.
Pi: There were signs about how much it would cost to use those things, I think they were not even broken, and we asked one of the locals if this park was used. He said like: “Yes, it was used 20 years ago”. But people are still working there.
Chris: Maybe, they were zombies.
RoD: Well, I hope Kyiv and Lviv will surprise you in a good way.
Pi: I was in Lviv once and it was really nice. I think it’s a cool city.
Chris: Have you been there before?
Pi: In Lviv, yeah.
Chris: I didn’t know that. You didn’t tell me.
Pi: I did tell you. You don’t listen. YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME!
RoD: At the end of the year you will celebrate 10 years as a band, but it’s like 12, no?
Chris: No, it’s actually ten. I started LORD OF THE LOST alone, so in 2007 it was only me, and in 2008 it was me collecting guys to play music with, but what you listen to on the first songs we got out on ‘Fears’ and before ‘Fears’ it was all me. So, we count the band since our first concert, which was in January 2009. We feel like the band since the moment we've played together.
RoD: You will have four shows in the home city. Will they be different? Can you tell us a bit more?
Chris: There will be two loud shows, two rock shows, and two shows with an orchestra. Orchestra shows will be the same, and the loud shows… one show will be with many guests from other bands for special songs. And the other one will consist of songs from fan wish list, we’ll let people vote in late summer or fall on Facebook on what songs they wanna hear and then we’ll pick the top 20. So, we’ll play something like a hit list on the radio. Like Life hit list.
Pi: I’m, actually, excited for the rehearsals.
Chris: Yeah, because, maybe, there will be songs we have never played before. We will give people nearly all the songs we have in our catalog, which, I don’t know… 220? With bonus tracks and stuff. Maybe, 150. Just whole lotta songs. Just way too many.
RoD: Tour with AESTHETIC PERFECTION - is it a joke or it can be real?
Chris: No, it’s a…
Chris: It’s a wish, it’s something we would love to do, but it does not always work out. So many things have to come together, but both bands like each other. I’ve been friends with Joey for 13 years now, I met him in 2006. We were on tour together before LORD OF THE LOST when I had my electro band UNTERART and I was on tour with COMBICHRIST. And Elliot, he is a crew member of COMBICHRIST.
Pi: And these guys, apart from being one of the nicest bands we know, they are just so funny. If you’ve seen TV of the Lost, we combined it with AESTHETIC PERFECTION.
RoD: By the way, congratulations on winning the gold medal in the challenge (LOTLAPcrowdpicDANCEOFF challenge)! That was intense! Let’s go back in time. Can you think of very-very first songs you’ve ever composed?
Chris: Yes, I remember I was 16, and I composed a song that later became the basis of the song ‘From Venus To Mars’, which is on the ‘Die Tomorrow’ album. And for the 10 years thing, we will release the ‘Best of’ CD, and, on the bonus CD, somewhere, there will be some old demos, which I recorded when I was 16-17-18-19. Which is a little embarrassing when I think about people listening to it.
RoD: Now, let’s talk about your latest album ‘Thornstar’. It is so massive! Huge work was done. What marked this course?
Chris: I don’t know, it just came naturally, piece by piece.
Pi: Our approach - always to do something new, something we’ve never done before.
Chris: This whole topic was fascinating for me for a long time. It felt like we wanted to do something more than just an album, we wanted to do a real story, and we wanted to do some kind of sequel to ‘Empyrean’. About mankind that has moved out from the Earth to another planet to build a new society; we realized it might be boring, because you always have the resemblance to ‘Empyrean’. You always have to compare everything with life as we know it on Earth. So, we thought it might be more interesting to take the time before our times, which is the same thing: building a new society with all the values, religion, and morals, and ethics, but everything before Christianity, and other religions we have now. So, it’s a sequel to ‘Empyrean’, but back in time.
RoD: ‘Swan Songs’ is the result of your passion for classical music, your version of YMCA is your passion for experiments, I believe?
Chris: No. We just want to be rich.
Pi: Yeah, we want money.
Chris: We want to quit the band.
RoD: At first, it was the Rap song, then this one.
Chris: The rap song didn’t succeed, so we had to do something else. Our version of VILLAGE PEOPLE didn’t succeed as well, so have to look for something new. Until we find something new, we’ll continue with LORD OF THE LOST.
RoD: My friend believed your joke about Rap, she asked me: “What about the concert?!”
Pi: Really? It wasn’t THAT bad.
Chris: That’s funny, because there was no rap in the Rap.
Pi: It was just weird moves and 10-minute beat.
RoD: A lot of bands have a special name for their fans. Have thought about it?
Chris: We have a name, but I won’t tell you. I can’t. It’s a secret.
Pi: It’s our internal name.
Chris: We won’t tell you. Sorry.
RoD: Shit! I was hoping to find out! Do you think you’re influenced by living in St. Pauli?
Chris: I think that every single moment is influenced by everything. So, yes, of course. But I can't tell you which influences because I can’t compare.
RoD: Some people consider you as a gothic band, do you think you need to fight this cliché, or you like it, take advantage of it?
Chris: I don’t know what “Goth” is.
RoD: No one knows.
Chris: You ask some people, and they are like “Okay, THE CURE is Goth”, and some people “No, they are not!” and Blah, blah, blah. Or THE SISTERS OF MERCY. I believe, that scene shouldn’t define the music, it’s the music that defines the scene. So, if metal and gothic people like what we do, we are Goth without knowing what Goth is, without trying to define it. But we definitely are not trying to sound like THE CURE or THE SISTERS OF MERCY. On the other hand, I love clichés. When I write a love song I want people to cry. I’m not afraid of playing with clichés. When you watch Gladiator movie and someone dies on the battlefield, you want that kind of reaction. I don’t want to write a song and think: “Oh, I want to make something artsy and special”, sometimes it has to be this simple king of feeling. Yes, I like clichés. Sometimes, but not always. That’s why we have very different songs. Maybe, we are a Goth band, or a rock band, Rock’n’Roll, and Metal band, Pop band, and…
Pi: If you want to consider us a Jazz band, feel free to do so.
Chris: Yeah, I don’t see the point, but if you want…
RoD: Your band is really into collaboration. Do you intend to do a new one? Or did someone ask you to become a part of some project?
Chris: We do it all the time.
RoD: Have you ever declined some offers?
Chris: Many times. I’m asked to do vocal features about 30 times a year, I have to say no many times, even if I like it, because it doesn’t make sense. If every second band has Chris Harms vocals, it won’t be interesting. Sometimes, I feel really sorry when I say no to some small band I like because I have three features this year and it doesn’t feel right to do more.
RoD: I have some nerdy questions. Where is Christal?
Chris: She died.
Pi: A long time ago.
Chris: She died from herpes a few years ago. Sorry. But she might come back as a zombie. I really don’t know because we never were in the same room together. Except for the last time we had sex, that’s how she got herpes.
RoD: Last song you listened to?
Pi: Actually, it was ‘Full Metal Whore’ because we played it at sound check.
Chris: The last song I listened to was the song from the production, my studio sent it to me for the review. But the last song I listened to privately during our showering was ‘Ov Fire And The Void’ by BEHEMOTH.
Pi: On the train here I listened to ‘ihateit’ by UNDEROATH.
RoD: The last nerdy question. Did you found the bride for your new video?
Chris and Pi:Yes!
Chris: And she is from Russia.
RoD: What do you like more: club shows or festivals?
Chris: I like both.
Pi: Both. I wouldn’t go without one of them.
Chris: Club shows and festival shows are so different, I really can’t say. We have festivals we are looking forward to. Like M’era Luna - it’s always so impressive. But I can’t really compare. It wouldn’t be fair.
RoD: Tomorrow you will finish the tour, then you’ll have summer festivals. What do you plan to do after them? Rehearsing?
Chris: We never rehearse, only before the tour. We don’t meet like a school band in the rehearsal room for a jam. We book a tour or a festival, then we meet once and rehearse. What will we do? We are in the middle of preparing for upcoming productions; there might be «Swan Songs III», maybe. This decision is not final. Then, we have a whole lotta new tour dates that will take place in January and February next year. Also, we have more videos to shoot for ‘Thornstar’, even if it’s stupid.
RoD: And the very last question from me. Tomorrow you will play the last show in Lviv. Are you prepared for pranks?
Chris: Always! But for such a small tour it doesn’t really feel like a fool’s day. If you go on a long tour with one band, as we did with HELL BOULEVARD, after 10, 12 or 13 shows, you feel like you need to make a fool’s day. But now it’s just us on the road with bands we don’t know. But, we are always prepared for pranks. We’ll see! Maybe, you know something?
RoD: We’ll see!
Pictures by Iryna Kalenska (https://www.facebook.com/kalenska.iryna)
Russian version of the article: https://gothic.com.ua/Interviews/4224.html