Sunday, November 7, 2010
Interview with Herbst of Lantlôs
Lantlôs is a band from Germany that has been pushing the limits of what metal can be since 2005. The following are words from the band's main creative force, Herbst. I hope this interview can shed some light on a band that has come very far in it's time of existence and that will keep growing in the future.
-At a young age, you have managed to release a demo, two full-length records with a third on the way for Lantlôs, not to mention your work with Liam. What have been some key factors that have helped you get to the level you are at now?
Honestly I don't really know. It's just that I feel pushed to make music and it's fun for me. Probably one factor was, that my father and me have an own studio where I wasted most of my time when I was younger. I was just experimenting with guitars, amps and recording stuff and it somehow became normal to be in the studio for 3-6 hours a day.
-Knowing that your influences range from Racer X, Whitesnake, The Cure, Anata, and Amesoeurs, how are you able to channel this to Lantlôs?
Well, I think there's nothing you can find in my music that directly refers to the named bands, except for Amesoeurs. I guess influences don't happen on a conscious level, so I fear I can't really answer that one. Though I'd love to have more bands to cover all of my musical likes. Especially a Heavy/Shred band would be a dream coming true.
-How has growing up in Germany influenced your music and perception on life? You have stated that when you were 17 your perception shifted and things became blurred to you. Can you elaborate on this concept?
No, I don't have a relation to my country. It's just where I live. But yes, somehow the world became different for me. It is comparable to some bad flush, because you can't think straight anymore. Everything appears to be blurred and unreal. It's very hard to explain. I happen to compare it with watching a movie. You can't control anything and you don't feel that this "movie" is actually your life. Directions and decisions are indifferent. It's just floating, as if you are walking on another ground. It feels like a filter, like some blurry haze before your perception. It drives you insane. It totally teared me out of my normal habits and crushed me, as I just wanted everything to get back to normal. Due to that I strongly believed that everything existing existed in my head only and life was a dream, I became extremely nihilistic and depressed. I didn't go to school, I was taking a lot of drugs and I spent mostly all of my time with music. I didn't want to wake up and I had problems of angst when I went to bed. So basically it was a torture. Emotions was the only thing I believed they were real, because they were coming straight through the flush. So music was extremely important for me.
-What gave you the desire to write “Neige de Mars” in French and how much influence did Neige himself have on the song?
Well, basically it was a misunderstanding that the lyrics are in French. You know, when I think of French people there's almost everytime a very shitty English and a very hard accent.
Neige de Mars were the first lyrics I wrote, so I thought it'd be best to have them in French to avoid embarrassing accents. But it turned out it was no problem for Neige to sing in English.
-I know you have stated that the reasoning for writing in English on ‘.neon’ is that it fits the concept of the band at this point. Can you elaborate on why you chose not to write in German?
Because I just didn't feel like writing German lyrics. I think the first album is by far more traditional than .neon. You know, all these shitty underground bands somehow destroyed my love for German lyrics. They have so awful, cheasy and shitty names and lyrics that I am always reminded of when I write German lyrics. I can't help, but these bands destroyed German lyrics for me. And I absolutely don't want to be related to that shit.
-What are some differences between ‘.neon’ and ‘Agape’ that most listeners might not be able to hear from only listening to the music? Lyrically and musically, how are these records linked and how are they separate?
Phew, I don't want to tell too much. Agape seems to be quite a big step forward. I think it's not as open as .neon and that people will find it difficult to get into it. It's very abstract and sterile whereas .neon was quite expressive, if you ask me. Also lyrically. It deals with abstract surreal themes only, very cryptic. I mean, I think the albums are really differing from each other. Also from the very basis on, it is something different. Newer and avantgardistic. But of course you'll recognize it's Lantlôs. After all, I wrote the stuff.
-I feel that the nature of ‘.neon’ is very personal. It is a record that a listener can associate with events in his or her own life. How do you feel about putting personal aspects into songs that are shared with listeners all over the world?
The songs are nothing but personal. It's 100% honest music. And personally, I think that only 100% honest music is true. Music is based on emotions. And if you don't feel them the music is empty. So, putting yourself into music is the only way if you ask me.
-As you have stated in other interviews, you plan to play live with Lantlôs and that it is a dream of yours. Do you have plans for stage set up, or any special stage show, or are you a believer in basic set up and for the music to do the talking? How extensively do you want to perform or tour with Lantlôs?
Yes, but there's nothing too sure yet. There are plans of a rehearsal at the moment, but there's nothing planned in terms of a tour yet.
-Your logo is interesting in the fact that it looks like it was just scrawled with an ink pen. What is the background on your logo and who created it?
There's no background. It's my handwriting, when I write very expressive and fast.
-When you write music for Lantlôs, do you usually write the music first, lyrics first, or does it differ depending on the song?
I always write the music first. Because music is the major and more important part of my work. Plus I hate to write lyrics.
-I am a big fan of the spoken word sections on both records, especially the fact that they are in German. Can you explain the significance of these sections and how they contribute the overall feel of both albums? Can we expect a spoken section on ‘Agape’?
Thanks! phew, that's rather hard to explain. You know, I don't make decisions with my head but with my heart. So I just had the feeling that those sections would contribute the albums very well. And I think that those parts are important. In .neon for example it is quite the essence of the album.
-Are there any ideas, aspects, or concepts about “Agape’ that you can share at this time?
I just can tell that the sound will be amazing. I just received some mixes/masters and they blew me away. Also the recordings were going great. I didn't listen to all of the finaly songs yet, but I have the feeling that this will be the most important Lantlôs album for me. It is very mature and as I said before a big step into a new and fresh direction. A few friends told me that this album is probably the closest to the core of Lantlôs until now that Lantlôs seems to shift in it's most natural form.
Thank you again to Herbst for taking the time and effort to answer my questions!
You can purchase all things Lantlôs here directly from Prophecy Productions.