Klaas, thank you so much for taking the time to have a quick chat, how are you?
“Hey Gav! Thank you for asking, me and the guys are having a great time; our new record recently hit the Official Album Charts at number 6!”
Congratulations that's awesome! Now, as one of the core members of LOTL alongside Chris, you’ve been here since back in 2007 where the band formed in Hamberg, Germany…for those newly discovering you, how did the band come to light?
“I was the first member with Chris starting the idea of the band in 2007; Chris came up with the idea to make his own music with a band formed out of friends. We always wanted to have a band together, so i was the first person to ask. We released our first record with Chris’ music in 2009… from that day on we’ve played as many shows as we can, touring our asses off and released quite a lot of records, videos and other stuff. And we never get rid of it. We love what we do!”
It’s easy to jump straight to RAMMSTEIN when people think of German metal, but Germany has always had a rich heritage in heavy music, who inspired you in those formative years and what’s the scene like in Hamburg?
“Rammstein was an inspiration for us, that’s for sure! But the inspiration didn’t only come from German music. And also not even only from Metal or Goth music. If we speak of Chris as the mastermind and main writer in the band, he got also a lot of inspiration from bands like ROXETTE, AEROSMITH and stuff like that. Talking about the German music scene, especially the Hamburg scene, we are not having so many upcoming artists these days. Rap is actually booming like all over the world and if i think of Hamburg bands i always come back to bands like HELLOWEEN, GAMA RAY and bands like that. We hope that someday people naturally name us in the same way, speaking of Hamburg bands.”
In the ten+ years you’ve been together you’ve been quite prolific it has to be said; aside from a number of EP’s, compilations and live DVD’s you’ve also just released your 6th studio album “Thornstar”, which we’ll touch on shortly…what keeps you motivated to produce and what fuels those creative juices so efficiently?
“Some people need to write to be alive. Chris is somebody like that; he’s got some sort of creative overflow, from which he can take as much creativity from as needed; that’s a blessing for all of us. And everybody else is giving their parts and knows how to complete the final product.”
Coming back to “Thornstar”, aside from being a great listen it seems to be a solid concept album with plenty of religious overtones, with tracks such as “On This Rock…”, “Black Halo” and “Naxxar”…what was the inspiration for the record?
“There is an old mythology about the Pangaeians, a culture that got almost forgotten in time. This record is based on the stories and legends around this culture. It was tough to find material about it. You really have to dig deep in libraries and this new thing called the internet.”
Given LOTL’s blend of dark Gothic rock and classical, often orchestral tones, concepts around religion and folklore can offer so much room for creativity with resource in abundance; do you find it’s a natural fit? With the deluxe edition having an additional 7 tracks it seems you had plenty of material heading into the studio!
“We always added orchestral elements to our music, with Chris and Gared for example; having classical backgrounds in their musical education. And since especially Chris having such and endless output we got too many good songs in our hands! The additional 7 songs are as good as the rest. They just made it ‘ONLY’ on CD 2 because they are less related to the mythology; which the main album is all about.”
To mark the album’s release you’re heading out on an extensive European tour leading through winter, including 5 dates here in the UK in November which I’m personally looking forward to; what can your fans expect from the upcoming shows? Are you looking forward to blending the new tracks in alongside classics like “Sex On Legs”?
“Of course we will play new songs, but since we didn’t play so often in the UK yet, the people also deserve to enjoy our ‘classics’. We’ll play the best compilation of our songs we can to kick everybody’s asses!”
With the tour already booked deep into March of next year, your current long term focus is clearly on promotion, can fans outside of Europe look forward to catching you somewhere in 2019 too or are those plans still in development?
“We always plan to reach out in the world as far as we can. We’ve got good plans in our pockets to come around a lot, and we always appreciate promoters all over the world that say ‘Hi’ and invite us to come over and play. If we can travel and reach out to our fans worldwide, we are happy!”
Class, thank you for your time, and all the best with the up-coming tour.