There is now sense to introduce to the noble audience Tilo Wolff, one of the most outstanding and talented persons on the nowadays world wide scene. Every metalhead (and not only!) must know this name and pay a merited attention to this exceptional figure. Tilo Wolff is an art generator and idea engineer of the famous gothic-metal band LACRIMOSA, the legendary group, that became a musical icon of the 90-th. But Tillo doesn’t hurry to rest on the throne of his marvelous glory: he is continuing to work like a real creator and musician. The second skin, a new being with an old heart – SNAKESKIN! A new album just before his official release was fulfilled with expectations about something special. And, as always, Tillo didn’t bamboozle his fans. To prove it, I decided to take an interview from Tilo Wolff, with the help of Irond Promo Group. So, let’s just go ahead this telephone conversation in the way it was spoken.
Good afternoon, Tilo!
TILO WOLFF: Hi!
I’d like to start with a question, which you maybe have already accustomed to – why have you created SNAKESKIN? Were there any reasons?
TILO WOLFF: Surely they were. You know, the heart and the main idea of LACRIMOSA is, that every composition is based on poetry. This concept was exactly the right thing at that time and still is the right thing to this day! And so that nothing will change this in future, I had to create a new frame for compositions which aren’t the result of the inspiration matured from the word but tell a story on their own. So SNAKESKIN was born. The second skin. This second skin represents another surface now, just like SNAKESKIN’s musical surface – the arrangement and production – is different from LACRIMOSA’s. But underneath this skin, there is the same heart beating. And if I would decide to make this change in the body of LACRIMOSA, many of our fans may not understand this rapid transformation. Many of them may dislike it. That’s why I just changed the face, and under the name of SNAKESKIN continued to work in the same focus.
And what about the other artists? Have you felt any vibes or influences from their side when you were working on this album?
TILO WOLFF: Oh, you know the first band I have to mention is DEPECHE MODE. I was always fond of electronic music, not only of gothic metal and metal itself. I was interested, how is it to interpret guitar music and riffs into electronic sound and on the contrary. I never wished to be bound by any stylistic borders, so my music is a kind of inspiration and reflection of my inside world.
And another one question. You know, when I’ve loaded some samples from your official site and listened to them, I’ve realized that your music is not a “metal” in a very sense of this word. It was sounding like atmospheric ambient-gothic music with a light vibe of industrial.
TILO WOLFF: Yes, it’s right. On my new work I’ve created something wider than simple metal – you can mention some elements of classics and industrial influence. The main characteristics of metal – guitars, drums and so on – are also presented on “Canta’Tronic”. But I think that the main word to determine the composition of the album is “atmosphere”, because just atmosphere creates the right perception of music.
So, you presume, that atmosphere is the main feature of good music?
TILO WOLFF: Of course it is, but not only. When I hear bad arranged and composed music, played in tremendous muddle-headed way, I certainly won’t like it. The atmosphere simply makes the very essence of music clearer and deeper. But it doesn’t mean that you must not be able to play. (laugh)
On your official web-site I’ve read, that you have pointed your new album as “conceptual”. Can you explain, what does it mean?
TILO WOLFF: (laugh) You know, all our works are conceptual, whenever it is said about LACRIMOSA or SNAKESKIN. I always tried to guide one focus – heading for the main essence of music; my texts are always the reflection, the mirror of my soul. But changes, certainly, must touch the emotions and thoughts according to the time we live in. I always tried to pay attention to the very matter of the soul and to carry out the connection of soul and mind. Well, you cannot every day stay in the same state of mind, some changes are inevitable. And I would try to feel and carry this vibe in the future. SNAKESKIN and LACRIMOSA have a different history and musical direction, but the same roots.
I know that you have visited Moscow during your World tour in 2006. Do you have any plans to visit Russia again?
TILO WOLFF: You know, our Moscow concert was really magnificent. We liked Moscow and Russian fans very much, and because of this the whole tour seemed amazing! We hope to visit Russia again. Well, next time we are also eager to visit St.-Petersburg, because your so-called northern capital is wide known as an underground cultural center. So happened, that first time we visited Moscow in 2005 on our promo-tour for “Lichtgestalt”. I read a lot about Russian culture and was seized by idea of visiting Russia and having a chance to meet with famous Russian culture by my own.
And now a question, which I have to ask because of my ethnical and civil belonging – what do you know about Belarus, do you have any connection to it and do you have any forthseeing of visiting it?
TILO WOLFF: (laugh) I’ve caught it – the number is not Russian! Certainly I know! What about our concerts in Belarus – you know, there were no offers till that time.
(laugh) I see!
TILO WOLFF: So, when we were working on “Lichtgestalt”, we were recording some orchestral parts in Belarus with help of Victor Smolsky (he also helped us with orchestral arrangements). Then he came to Hamburg, were we continued further recording and producing. So, in this way we have definite dial with Belarus. But even now we hope to visit it one day. Hi to all our fans in Belarus!
And in the end of the interview I would like to ask my favorite familiar question – what would you recommend to the young bands, who are eager to reach the highest tops in the metal music world?
TILO WOLFF: Never listen to anybody! (laugh) Just remember, what for you have started to pick up your instruments and lead your tendency.
Thank you for the interview, Tilo! I hope, we’ll meet again beneath the stage.
TILO WOLFF: Thank you too. It was rather pretty conversation. Good bye!
Good bye, Tilo!
November, 2006, MetalKings.com, Nicolai Andreyev
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