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Interview with Lachrymose

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Last Updated on 05:22 PM by Nikos Nakos

We talked with Hel, singer of the uprising atmospheric death/black band Lachrymose from Thessaloniki for the present and the future of the band. We would like to apologize for the delay in posting the interview and wish best of luck in their future plans! 

Hi Hel!

Hello!

Ok, let’s start this “darky” interview. First of all, introduce yourselves and inform us about the history of the band.

Lachrymose was formed in 2013 by Blackmass (guitars), Kerk (bass), Mancer (drums) and myself (vocals). Our debut album, “Carpe Noctum”, was released in August by Pure Steel. It all started when we decided to do something different together, that we don’t see around, and I can say that we are lucky to have found each other! Our last lineup touch is Aray on guitars, a very promising musician and guitarist.

How did you come up with the name “Lachrymose”? Did you have any mournful feelings and you like to express yourself?

I think it is a word that accurately describes our music and lyrical concepts. There is a certain melancholy hovering around this word and it suits us well.

You formed in 2013 and released a full-length album in summer 2015. What was the activity of Lachrymose those two years?

Within these two years we completed the song-writing process, our recordings and everything else that follows, such as the production of the album, the artwork and the “hunt” for a suitable label for us. All in all, hard work and many rehearsals!

Carpe Noctum” was mixed and mastered by Chris Fielding, the guy behind some releases of Primordial and Electric Wizard. His great work is quite clear in your release, too. How do you feel with the fact that in your very first release, you had such an important cooperation?

It is great to work with an experienced producer who has been involved in so many top-notch releases. I got to know about Chris through his work with Primordial, one of my biggest influences, by the way. I wanted our sound to go that way, and he was the first name to pop into my head. The same person who blew us all away with “To The Nameless Dead” had our album in his hands, so yes, we were very enthusiastic about it!

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Who is the composer of the music? Is it a team-work or there is just one guy who is responsible for it?

Blackmass is responsible for his riffs, I do my vocal lines and then everyone contributes with their ideas. We start with something basic and build on it.

As I know, you write the lyrics of Lachrymose. Which are your themes and how do you adapt them to music?

I usually prefer to write my lyrics following a concept. A story. I need it to be clear in my mind. I want the story to lead me somewhere. This way it is more theatrical and I find it more interesting. My plan is to go on like this! So, “Carpe Noctum” is about the Holy Inquisition and a girl who was accused of witchcraft. It consequently leads to her death, but there’s someone left behind who won’t rest until he brings her back to life, with dire consequences. Read the lyrics carefully, and you will get all the details. The music changes accordingly, so it goes in parallel with the lyrics and I think there’s a solid connection between the two.

The artwork of “Carpe Noctum” is quite dark and black. Do you want to express something with this? Who is the artist behind it?

I took up the responsibility of doing the artwork for “Carpe Noctum”. It’s just what my imagination brought forth, by listening to our music. I did a few more covers at first, but we chose this one, because it represents this darker side of Lachrymose.

Can you count some positive and negative things of “Carpe Noctum”?

I prefer to leave this job to other people. I have said before that as musicians, we do what we love and when we release it to the world, it’s out of our hands. It is up to the audience to perceive it in their own, personal way, especially when the music is not so strictly defined, as in our case.

Would you change anything in “Carpe Noctum”, if you started right now?

“Carpe Noctum” is the first wave of our musical “heritage”. I wouldn’t change anything, because I am very pleased with it. The point is to continue writing music, while trying new things in every album that follows, not trying to change the previous one. It’s like a route that splits into many different paths. I think we’re on the right path right now. We’ll see what the future holds.

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Which were the funniest and the saddest moment during this recording?

I can’t think of a sad moment, so I guess this is a good thing! The engineers at the studio were the coolest guys ever and the recording process was a pleasure for all of us. I remember one moment specifically, while I was recording the vocals for the beginning of Thyella. It was very spontaneous, we laughed a lot, but we liked it and left it as is!

How was your cooperation with Thomas Vikstrom (so a huge vocalist) both in recording of “In a Reverie” and in the video clip?

Thomas is an amazing singer and the fact that he worked with us on this album is an honour for us. He is great at what he does and above all, he is a great person. It all just clicked and it was an unforgettable experience for us. It really is awesome to work with someone you have admired for years!

Are you thinking of filming some more songs of this release in the future?

We have had some thoughts about doing something more, different this time, but it all depends on the song-writing schedule of our next album, that we are already working on.

On November, 14th, you took part in the second day of “ROCK you to HELL Festival” in Athens. What meant this participation for Lachrymose?

It was a very important event for us. We were given the chance to play with all those big bands and of course we visited Athens for the first time, something that we had wanted for a long time! The lineup was great, we came home with a ton of experience and what really touched me is the warmth the other musicians regarded us with, something that I had never experienced before.

And of course you took part in a live along with Sorrows Path, SoulVanity and Beyond the Existence in January, 17th, in Thessaloniki. Inform us about your confirmed future performances. Are you thinking of a Greek tour? What is going to be your activity abroad?

Unfortunately, Sorrows Path did not join us on stage, due to a serious medical problem they faced. We will play together in May, though. There are more shows to come, but they will be announced when the time is right! You have much to see from Lachrymose this year.

 Let me ask you some other kind of questions. Which are your basic influences? Do you think that it would be better for a band to have members with different influences?

We take elements from different metal genres and not all of us listen to the same type of metal music. Then we unite these elements, adjusting them to our “dark metal” style, which goes towards the doomy way. We basically compose music to express ourselves, without trying to follow a strictly defined set of rules. Music just flows.

It’s true that you have a terrific voice and you use it as good as it gets! You have to practice a lot and of course protecting it from anything “hard”. How difficult is to “cultivate” and retain it?

Thank you very much! A voice needs constant practice and devotion. When your body is your instrument, you have to be very careful in its care and health is a very important factor. Your voice constantly evolves, with hard work, but without overdoing it. This year was a tough one for me health-wise, but I luckily managed to complete all my obligations with Lachrymose. Technique can save you!

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Are you working on new material or it’s too early to talk about it? Are you planning to release an EP or a split?

We are already working on new music for our next album and it’s going pretty well. We prefer to release a full-length album. We’ll go to the studio anyway, so why not record more songs, if we can do it? This is the general idea.

Lachrymose belong to the Dark/Doom Metal genre, don’t they? What do you think about labels in metal?

This is the most accurate description, I think. It’s not bad to define some basic genres, but I don’t like these strictly defined and detailed “labels”, because they sound very limiting. These “labels” are most often inaccurate, especially when the music is influenced by different genres.

What is your opinion about Greek metal scene? Is it competitive with the abroad or not?

There are very promising bands in our country, and I don’t think they are less able than those from abroad. Of course things are tough for us, considering the current circumstances. Ability doesn’t always go hand in hand with success, but this is not an excuse to give up.

I think that during the last years Greek fans support more and more the local bands and they are impatient for a new release or a live performance. What is your opinion about this?

There are people who support the Greek scene and they give us a reason to go on. Support your local bands, because this is the way for them to evolve, for music to evolve. Every big band we love started as a local act.

Despite the fact that there are so many metal bands in Greece there aren’t so many Greek labels respectively to support them. What would you like to say about it?

There are Greek labels, but unfortunately I don’t have anything to say, because I haven’t worked with any of them, so I’m not well informed. I don’t know how possible it is to support all bands, but I think that someone who cares enough will find his way.

Ok Hel, this is the end! Just one last thing! Would you like to say anything about the one and only Lemmy?

His music will live through the next generations to come. It is a great loss, but he has left a great legacy behind, and this is what matters in the end.

Thank you very much! Last words are yours! Send a message to metal fans!

Thank you very much for your questions! I would like to thank all those who have stood by our side in the past two years! Stay positive, despite current difficulties. We are tough people, we will manage! In the meantime, keep your eyes open, because you have a lot to see from Lachrymose. Let me conclude by reminding you that “Carpe Noctum” has been released by Pure Steel and you can easily find it around! Spread the darkness!

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