My very first phone-interview… Couldn’t imagine someone being so nervous than me, thrown directly in deep water with such a marvellous act as Lacrimosa. Fortunately, band leader Tilo Wolff proves to be an excellent interview partner and offers loads of info on the new releases (reviews of both releases are also found on rockezine).
Why is the new release, “Echos” send to me on a promotional tape instead of a CD?
TILO WOLFF: There were two sorts of copies printed for promotional use: tapes and a version with fade-outs. It seemed that most reporters didn’t like the fade-outs, like we did with “Fassade” and therefore we made tapes, to prevent finding our new songs on the internet before it’s original release date.
How does Nuclear Blast react to these acts?
TILO WOLFF: I can’t quite answer that. We’re signed to Nuclear Blast for two years now, and our contact is mainly via Hall of Sermon, which still distributes our music in most countries. Nuclear Blast is mainly chosen to distribute our music in those countries where Hall of Sermon cannot get it through.
So Lacrimosa are distributed throughout the world? How are the reactions on your band, since 90% of your songs are in German.
TILO WOLFF: Pretty good, actually. In countries like Portugal and Spain, for example, we have a pretty strong fanbase. In France, however, there’s hardly a fanbase. It’s mostly about the languages that people do or do not speak. We have a very strong fanbase in Mexico, how odd it may seem. I think that’s because of the fact that the strength of my music is reflected in both the lyrics as well as the music. It’s not quite so important to speak German to like our music, as long as that music carries out the same feeling as what the lyrics are about. Besides of that, the lyrics are printed in both German and English so people that don’t understand German can get an idea of what my lyrics are about.
I noticed that you’re credited for writing the songs, text, the arrangements and the production of “Echos”. Are you such a perfectionist?
TILO WOLFF: Hahaha, I wouldn’t call myself a perfectionist, but I think I am the only one who exactly knows what I want to do with a song, what a song is about. You can pass a song to others, but I might not get the result I want to get at that specific point. I also think it’s more personal when it’s certain that only Lacrimosa itself (which, btw, exists of only two members; TiloWollf and Anne Nurmi) have had influences on the music.
There are, of course, a lot of musicians that help us along with recording, since I don’t play most instruments myself, but me and Anne are the only ones that know exactly what I want to do with my music and the others of course, have some idea, but I think the best result is when you make it yourself
Album opener “Kyrie” lasts almost 13 minutes. How do you come up with songs of such immense lengths? Do you realize your music gets labelled inaccessible when you place only 8 songs in 65 minutes?
TILO WOLFF: Well, before I start to write a song, I have absolutely no idea of how long it will take until I finished writing. You see, during the writing process, there are certain feelings that I want to express in the music as well as in the lyrics. With “Kyrie”, I just had the need to add an extra bit more and that’s how I came at 13 minutes. It’s mainly because, when I write a song and there is a passage that can be seen through different angles, I try to repeat the chorus and use complete different instruments for example. Just to express that there are more ways to look at a certain topic.
Yes, but it wouldn’t provide you much air time at radio stations.
TILO WOLFF: The thing that’s happening to the music scene lately is that bands decide to write short songs, since radio stations refuse to play long songs. It’s too risky for a label not to hear their bands on radio and TV so they decide to give that message along to bands.
The music industry has lowered itself to a certain form of commercialism, everyone is trying to make a profit out of it. Whilst music, music is art. Not a form of a commercial. I just want to express my emotions and I can’t do that in a 3-minute song. And, as long as there are more people out there that share this opinion, it’s fine by me.
The new album, then. The single “DurchNacht und Flut” has been chosen to announce a new album, my personal favouriteof the album. What’s your favourite song of the new album?
TILO WOLFF: First I’d like to say you’re the first person that thinks this is the best song. I’ve been doing quite some interviews lately and you’re really the first person that thinks “DurchNacht und Flut” is the best song. Pretty funny actually, since I’m not quite satisfied with it myself. It’s difficult for me to pick the best song, but if I really, really have to pick a song to the famous “lonely island”, I’d say “Die SchreiesindVerstummt”, the last song of the album.
That single features, among two normal versions, 3 remixes of songs. What were the reactions on, for example, the “Secret Discovery” remix of the song “Komet”?
TILO WOLFF: There’s a love/hate affair on that song. Some people hate it, because they prefer the original version, but some people love it because it’s more of a dance song and thus better danceable. I’m glad there are so many artists that remix Lacrimosa, I see it as a positive thing. Zeromancer, for example, I heard of them through the remix of “DurchNacht und Flut”, and I think it’s nice to see there are more ways to interpreted a song.
How do you write songs? From what occasions do you get your influences?
TILO WOLFF: Well, before I started writing music, I already wrote short stories and poems, and now I write a song that accompanies the lyrics it’s no different, actually. In fact, my lyrics are to be seen as a conversation. That’s it, yes, a conversation with a person in my mind. I don’t plan to write them like this or that, it can go either way and I think that should be seen reflected in the music itself too. When I’m sitting behind the piano when I write the right musical tone, I see that it has to be like this or like that. The piano or keyboard reflects my thoughts, which I sincerely relate to the lyrics.
It might be nice to mention, that because of this way of writing I hardly have any left-overs of Lacrimosa. Most bands write songs that come with a certain melody and write the lyrics around a song. That’s maybe why a band goes in the studio and records somewhat like 20 or even 30 songs and have so many leftovers. With Lacrimosa, I havn’t got left-overs, I think 99% of the songs I write, are being published. In the whole history Lacrimosa, might have 5 or 6 songs that aren’t published.
Can you tell me something about a general theme of the album?
TILO WOLFF: Well, very roughly, it’s about development. About modern society being a product of their country, of their families. As with most Lacrimosa albums, it fits in with the previous album, which was “Fassade”. It dealt with the influences of modern society on humanity, and “Echos” shows these influences are constantly returned, as an echo. Things get changed, and changed again over and over, so oftenly that it can be seen as an echo, that’s constantly travelling back in time.
What are your musical influences for the songs?
TILO WOLFF: It’s Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that’s a big favourite of mine, Pink Floyd, Joy Division, Bauhaus and I’m a big van of David Bowie. But it’s like a movie, it’s not about the story it tells, not the music itself these people write, but the feeling you get while you listen to it. That is the biggest influence I got. Books aren’tfavourite, since I have got little time to read.
Obviously, there’s a new album. You lacked to tour festivals during the “Fassade”-era. This album is placed perfectly to promote it on the big festivals of 2003.
TILO WOLFF: I’m sorry, but no. There won’t be a tour to coincide with the release of “Echos”. We’ve been touring non-stop the last 2 year and started writing the new album a year ago, with hardly time to breathe in-between. Now, we decided to have some rest and start writing again after a certain period. We might do some club gigs, but not too much, if we go at all. Sorry.
That’s actually a not-so-nice announcement. Not only because I don’t get the chance to see you live, but also that I’m out of questions. Sure you don’t come over?
TILO WOLFF: Yes.. I’d love to come to Holland again, we were welcomed with open arms the last time, although the venue wasn’t sold out or so. There was a nice sphere and I’d love to come again, but no, not in the next period.
Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?
TILO WOLFF: Well, no, not really. Oh, yes. A thing that I like pretty much is knowing something about the country I’d like to visit, and listening to some of the local artists. On our gig in Holland, I stumbled upon Anouk, she’s a Dutch singer. Are you familiar with her?
Yes, I am. She’s selling quite some records here.
TILO WOLFF: Ah, good. I like her music. Do you like her? Have any records?
(Interviewer gets interviewed) No, I don’t have any records of her. She has had some hitsingles in Holland here though, her new album has just been released.
TILO WOLFF: Well, if you ought to buy one, you should buy an album called “Urban Solitude” and especially a song called “It Wasn’t Me” is worthy. That’s actually about it, though. I’d like to say “thanks” to our Dutch fans for welcoming us!
2003 (с) Rockezine.com, Eelco
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