26. April 2014, Markthalle, Hamburg, Germany (Photos by Andreas Torneberg on Flickr)
The concert of Lord Of The Lost was a downright triumphant success. In the afternoon the club was already besieged by the fans. In the evening, a crowded snake of mainly black clothed people curled over several hundred meters through the streets. Yes, they all wanted to go to this concert! And how little later proved: the Markthalle was completely sold out, from inside of the foyer to the barrier in front of the stage, the hall was filled by a compact mass of people. The fact that the home game of the St.Pauli dark rockers would be hot, was sure, but this crowd was immense. More wasn´t possible.
Of course, also the support band Lost Area from Switzerland benefited from the full hall, who prepared 45 minutes the mood with a driving goth rock and were fully accepted by the audience.
Lord Of The Lost played two hours their repertoire from hard metal with crashing chords and riffs to gentle ballads with acoustic guitar accompaniment (“See You Soon”) and, of course, their hits, as well as towards the end the dazzling new song “La Bomba” until the audience had turned into a sing-along unit all together swinging their arms to the rhythm.
Towards the end the “new” drummer delivered an energetic solo. The tension of the show was build by a very well concepted dramaturgy, the exchange between fast, hard songs and the melodious, soft was the right recipe. In between frontman Chris Harms took his foot off the gas and established the connection to the audience through small announcements and personal anecdotes even more personal. As the fans after one and a half hours slowly got a little tired in the heat and in the lack of oxygen, new energy blew the main Lord Of The Lost anthem “Credo” in the hall.
Lord Of The Lost have since some years earned through hard work and consistent developing of an own sounds a constantly growing fan base. Trademarks: imaginative, theatrical style of occurrence in changing gloomy outfits and a lot of action-sweat on stage – music and show as one piece of artwork. Not only in Germany but also in the U.S., “St.Paulis hottest musical export” (so the PR) tried in early 2014 a first live test series, financed by crowdfunding. How has it been there on the other side of the ocean, Chris?
Chris Harms: We got randomly just by chance the opportunity to play in the U.S. and drove to the United States, without knowing what to expect. So to speak fathoming of new territory. Mainly in the coastal towns there is a scene of such kind of music, like in New York, LA and others. Domestically, there it was, however, difficult for us. In Dallas, Texas, for example, the people had a big question mark on their foreheads listening to our kind of dark, gothic rockmusic.
The Hamburg concert is the conclusion of a small tour, limited to larger cities, but these concerts in correspondingly larger halls. The tour is in the sign of the end of May release of the new album “From The Flame Into The Fire” – what is different compared to earlier productions?
Chris Harms: The new album is the hardest and most uncompromising we have done so far, both lyrically and musically. Our first album five years ago was quite romantic and warm, it was almost everything about beautiful, thoughtful love songs, in comparison to other musicians, one could say they were still relatively close to HIM. The new album is, however, extremely edgy and angry.
One of the most striking songs on the new record is the lationo-metal track “La Bomba”, which was visualized as a video and enjoyed very fast great popularity on YouTube – on the first day it got over 20,000 clicks. How about this song?
Chris Harms: “La Bomba” is an exception and does not reflect the tone of the album. It rather reflects a kind of complementary part, the fall out on purpose. I do not remember the songwriting, the song suddenly was in my head like a dream. There are a few approaches to this, for example, I was always fascinated by the music of Seeed, but I missed in it the aggression of Slipknot, so I busied myself with the idea to mix such different influences somehow. In the beginning everyone was very skeptical, but we have the song evolved together and suddenly it was said of our label, yeah, that´s cool stuff, we take it as a single and video. “La Bomba” is good, but also paralyzed, there are some who hate the video.
The song also has a little to do with St. Pauli and the Reeperbahn, doesn´t it? The exalted bustle of attractive dancers and transsexuals reflects the district from which the band originates. The songs are still written by you, Chris?
Chris Harms: The lyrics are almost always my job. The music found in the meantime a lot of co-writers. Because of the many songs and albums that we bring out in relatively short time, I come to certain limits. Sometimes arise songs where I think, well, I have something similar already heard of myself. Therefore I have consciously worked on this album with several other songwriters together, for example, with the bassist of the band Eisbrecher and with the guitarist of Wirtz, also with Steve van Velvet, the former songwriter of Falco. It was very invigorating for us to work with these different people together and thus allow new influences in our music. In former years I always blocked this kind of co-operation, because there accumulated so much stuff of myself, but now I love to collaborate with many other musicians to expand my musical horizons.
The name of Chris Harms – concerning co-operation – has fallen in connection with Joachim Witt´s new production of “Neumond”. Chris Harms as a guitarist to accompany live together with Martin Engel (Mono Inc.) Joachim Witt?
Chris Harms: Yes, right, but this has unfortunately smashed because of scheduling reasons. I have even written and send to him two songs, but they were for Mr.Witt too hard. But from one of them we make a new Lord Of Lost song.
In addition to Lord Of The Lost, there is the project Harms&Kapelle newly established – spending so much time on music, is there a life outside of music, for example, hobbies, family?
Chris Harms: Beside the music remains only time for the family. I do not have the need for hobbies, I´m not the type who needs to cut flowers in a garden or to screw at a car. Even if I would have the time I would use it for the family. In addition, I have turned my hobby into a profession, so to speak. The music fills me completely.
Shortly about today´s musical development – dwindling record sales, growing downloads – it will be harder for musicians and labels, doesn´t it?
Chris Harms: Let´s put it this way – you can now as a rock star not survive, if you do not play live. The 70s, in which one brought out successfully a chartbreaking album and maybe a year later to play some gigs on a tour – that´s over. Also, the time of the great mysteries about a musician is over, no hiding games, you are fighting on the front line. Today is needed “direct sales approach.” People want not complicated, mysterious aliens, but something real, face to face. If you take care about the intense contact to the fans and play a lot live, then you have a chance to be successful.
Although your real personalities are mixed with a lot of theatrics, show and make-up …
Chris Harms: Yes, on the stage. But the longer the show lasts, the more personal it becomes. The sound grow during a gig more and more spontaneous and party-like, and at the end, when the make-up is smeared and flows away, everything dissolves, then nothing is left of the initial facade, at the end we are one with our audience. And that is what we want, a performance which let us come together with our fans, an interaction between us, the musicians and the audience.