Hall of Sermon Records unleashes superb quality music suitable for epic cinematic presentation and solitary journeys for imaginative souls, such as Tilo Wolff — now calling from Switzerland to unveil more news from Hall of Sermon and Lacrimosa.
When you perform live in cities such as Mexico City, Santiago, and Buenos Aires, how does the audience interact with Lacrimosa?
TILO WOLFF: It’s quite intense, and it’s something we really love. When we go on stage we open ourselves up because the music we do is very emotional. We don’t want to just copy the albums on stage, we want to present our feelings we have in that moment. If the audience is opening up themselves to us as well, and showing us their feelings, it’s something that is very beautiful and it influences the concert quite a lot. Because we start improvising on-stage, and the feelings just coming into our minds are put into music, so we sometimes start singing even though there is nothing to sing, because the song is already over, and so the band must simply play along. It’s very beautiful, especially in the South and Central Americas because the people are open-minded and very thankful, and they know how to party.
What is the scene like down there?
TILO WOLFF: Actually, what I really like also there is that the scene is not so divided. This Gothic scene and this Metal scene are more together. It’s more like it used to be in the 80’s. The ideals of the whole scene and the underground movement, I feel, are sometimes stronger than they are sometimes in Central Europe. So, I think it’s quite an open-minded, and very interesting scene.
What’s the story behind the “Durch Nacht und Flut” single?
TILO WOLFF: It’s basically about a search, and when you start searching for something you first need to know for yourself what you are searching. You need to know which direction you are going to run to, and you need to know what you are going to do if you don’t find what you are looking for. I think many people are, in their lives, looking for something, but they don’t know what they are looking for. So, when you start searching something, and you find it for yourself, then you should start living the life in that sense. And that’s the basic idea of the song.
A painting of a ship at sea covers the Echoes album. What do you call this painting, and which
themes of Lacrimosa do you intend to convey with this artwork and the music?
TILO WOLFF: I didn’t give this painting any name. It’s called Echoes painting. Lacrimosa is based on 3 columns. The first column are the lyrics. The second column is the music, and the third the artwork. It’s very important for the work of Lacrimosa and with every artwork we try to realise the content of an album. With this album is about the echoes from the past, echoes which are actually forming as human beings. We are product of society- we are born into. We are product of things that appeal to us in our lives which made us to what we are today in the present day, and today we decide for the future life we build decisions which are based on what we learned so far. So the echoes from the past are reflective of today’s decisions, and will again be echoes in the future. And will meet up again as echoes from the past.
So this album (this cover) shows a bit this timeline. It’s a ship from time of 1600, 1700 so on. A time when ships were very important because the countries were explored with ships, and with ships the people had connection with different cultures, and they moved a lot of merchandise with the ships. Everything was based on traveling by ships and it was the most important thing that time for human beings. So, this ship on the Echoes album cover is being led by the Harlequin, which appears on every album cover put out by Lacrimosa, and he is seen here as the the captain of the ship. He is sailing the ship through a landscape where such a big ship doesn’t belong. He can’t see where it leads to- if it sails to the open sea, or if it even crashes into the rocks. So, the story of this album coming from the past, traveling to somewhere where we don’t know yet where we are travelling to, because we don’t know how we develop as human beings in our future life, and how society will develop, and we are trying to do the best to sail around all those rocks, and one day, to come to the open sea.
Perhaps Hall of Sermon may be like a ship for Lacrimosa during the past 12 years, and with unknown journeys in the near and distant future?
TILO WOLFF: That’s a very interesting thought. Actually, many things happen unconsciously. So, you are quite right. I sometimes say Lacrimosa and Hall of Serman is like its own world, or an island unto itself, but it could be like a ship travelling through the music business, or society. That’s quite an interesting thought, actually.
Hall of Sermon now focuses exclusively upon Lacrimosa now, is that correct?
TILO WOLFF: We are focusing exclusively on Lacrimosa. We had to decide if we keep up doing the label or if we concentrate more on Lacrimosa, because the time to do 100% both things wasn’t there anymore, so of course Lacrimosa was first and the most important thing in our future lives. We exclusively release Lacrimosa on Hall of Serman in certain countries, and then in certain countries like the USA, we license the album to Nuclear Blast.
Nuclear Blast released a DVD entitled Beauty in Darkness, vol. 5 which features a Lacrimosa live concert video produced by yourself. How might we obtain more such Lacrimosa videos?
TILO WOLFF: Actually, we have two in France, but I’m not sure 100% if they were released in the USA. We are planning to do a video compilation of all the videos we have done so far on DVD which we plan to release in the states, probably through Nuclear Blast.
Alleine zu zweit (live) demonstrates the full control that you use to conduct and orchestrate the beautiful music. That’s true. And, it’s a wonderful thing. I couldn’t imagine it in a different way. It’s why I never found a band or anything like that because I never want to have anyone to have such an influence on the music. I never imagined to do the best music in the world, there’s so many unbelievable bands that I never can reach; but what I want to do is always to 100% reflect my emotions through my music, therefore it’s very important to have 100% control. It’s a great thing then to listen to old albums and to be still 100% content because it’s a part of myself and I don’t hear things from other people in this music where I have to think, “oh, gosh! Why did this have to happen?” Then, again, on the other hand, it’s sometimes, especially in the studio, kind of difficult because if there’s nobody there to point out a different view of your music, then you need a very long time to be completely sure that everything is right, and that you are not mistaken by your own pre-determined focus.
Do you introduce your music into films, or television media?
TILO WOLFF: Actually, I’m so far not in a very aggressive way of presenting the music to a bigger audience. When I started doing music, I just did it for myself and then it developed to be something that started getting bigger and gathering a larger audience. It almost always happens by people getting interested, and not because I, or the label, pushed anything. Of course, I would be interested in doing film music, but so far I didn’t find the time, or way to do that in modern music business. I don’t want to be a part of music industry. There are ways now to promote music on tv and radio, or whatever kind of media, and that is not the way I want to work. For me, music is something very pure and emotional, and I don’t want to make out of my music something like a product you can sell like cigarettes, or a car, or anything like that.
Fashions appearing in Lacrimosa videos and during live performances are designed by whom?
TILO WOLFF: Most of the stuff Anne Nurmi and I are wearing are designed by us. Anne Nurmi is designing a lot of clothes, and when I have some ideas I kindly ask her to do some. Also sometimes, when we are on tour, we try to go shopping and get clothes from around the world. Some of the pictures from the new album show that I’m wearing some of the clothes we bought in New York. So, on one hand, it’s things we bought during our travels throughout the world, which is always nice to remember where we have been; and then, on the other hand, it is things we have designed that we would like to wear which we can find nowhere to buy.
2003, for American magazine “Gothic Beauty” by Jett Black
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