Lacrimosa’s uncommon blend of varied musical genres has allowed them to create an unique style of their own. The lush orchestral arrangements of Classical nature are sheltered by Metallic guitars and drums and Gothic Rock imagery and spirit. Shortly after the release of “Stille”, the band’s fifth full length album, and after the German tour to promote it, I had a word with Anne Nurmi to find out more about the new album and the duo’s plans for the future.
It seems that Tilo has started to compose music when he was still quite young (17, if my calculations are correct), how does he feel about those early compositions these days and how did the opportunity to create something like Lacrimosa came up, especially since he started out all alone?
ANNE NURMI: Yes, Tilo Wolff was about seventeen when his first songs came into daylight. His first idea was to “paint” music around the lyrics that he had been writing since he was very young. His first try at grounding a band was to write lyrics together with a friend and later make songs out of them, but shortly after they ended up in a small battle and separated without composing anything ready together. Being fascinated by the thought of being able to create music, Tilo didn’t give up, but continued alone expressing his emotions with the help of different instruments. Especially the old recordings are very close to his heart as the experience of making music in the beginning was so strong.
Although perhaps most of the people into Lacrimosa come from the Goth/Dark Wave scene, the music itself is quite varied and full of other influences. What can you tell us about your personal tastes and musical education throughout your life? How do you feed off both in order to create your music?
ANNE NURMI: Our music is capturing influences from everything we do and listen to. It’s happening unconsciously, it’s like getting nourished without getting full. We listen to different kinds of music all the time, from Classical composers to Metal and really nearly everything in between. Lyrics are born in the most variable situations and as soon as the lyrics are ready, our mind and heart long to make songs to the lyrics. We both grew into music from very small on already so there is a very close connection. I guess we both couldn’t survive without doing music.
“Stille”, your latest album, is already Lacrimosa 5th full-length release. What would you say are the main differences musically between this work and the previous ones? How would you characterize the evolution of Lacrimosa?
ANNE NURMI: The earlier albums were darker and more pessimistic minded. It’s normal to change your interests as you grow older and develop as a human. As Tilo was getting older and gathered more experience, the music was also developing with him. Situations were seen in a more positive light. The music is actually the best mirror to take a look into the past and the different situations that Tilo, and on the last two albums we together, were in. Nowadays the music has been getting quite varied like the whole surrounding system, we are into many thing at the same time but nowadays we see the light at the end of the tunnel and can take many things in a different way than what we did in the earlier days. We have learned to survive.
Much of the ‘richness’ on “Stille” comes from the arrangements and orchestral additions. How was the work on those arrangements done and how does the writing process in Lacrimosa takes place when it comes to that? Do you have things worked out before you go into studio or is that bit dependent on studio experimentation?
ANNE NURMI: The song writing process takes a lot of time as we are mainly spending 80% of our time taking care of the label, so there’s very little time to concentrate in composing, which is sad. First we always do lyrics and later we compose the songs around them when we really feel like it. It’s not that we would take time just to get songs, otherwise our music wouldn’t be honest any more. We compose when the inspiration comes, may it be in the middle of the night or after watching an impressing movie, etc.
The songs are always completely ready when we go to the studio, we don’t compose any more in the studio. Of course it sometimes happens that we still change some arrangements, but basically everything has been composed from the first instrument, the drums to the orchestral parts. On “Stille” we were recording together with choir singers and a small orchestra (especially intensive with single players) and it was really fascinating to hear the music come alive through the players and the singers (It should be, that really shows on the album! – Ed.).
Especially real instruments like trumpets and violin can change the whole atmosphere when they are real. Of course that it all takes a lot more time than just programming them on keyboard, but what can you do when we are perfectionists..
Is the music of Lacrimosa directed to any particular goal? What leads you to create music and how would you like people to think of it? Should they simply enjoy the music or should they seek for a deeper meaning in it?
ANNE NURMI: We are actually not thinking that far, we do music because we have an inner need for getting our emotions and experiences out in a creative way. We are not having the commercial thought behind making music in order to get rich. Our music is honest and as long as it gives us something we will continue to do it. We hope that it also gives as many people as possible a positive kick and makes them think or gives them hope to continue in desperate times, when they are more into melancholic music. That has also happened quite many times already as we get a lot of letters from that kind of experiences. And of course it also makes us happy if people just simply enjoy the music, though I don’t know anyone who could just listen to our music on the background without really concentrating.
1997 (c) Dark Oath Magazine
The original author’s parlance has been left intact
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