Welcome to Lords of Metal. The first question, I bet you didn’t see that coming: what took you so long?
Hahaha, the best way to start this talk! Well, we had quite a ride when The Lucifer Principle took off, back in 2005. The two first albums where released within about 14 months, we played a lot of gigs in every corner of Holland and had great times. When Mike (the previous bass player, LoM-R.) decided to quit the band, Sander made his entrance. We took a lot of time to start things up again, we had to work on new material with the addition of a bass guitar. This brought us loads of new opportunities within the songwriting. We demo’ed a few times but the songs didn’t come out as TLP songs. We took it easy and did some festivals and gigs but in slow pace. Around 2013 we were asked by a magazine to do an update interview and provide a new song. This sparked the engine and we started with a new, fresh approach and of course we needed time to take care of family and other personal things. Although we may not sound like it, we turned out to be human too.
Some people say that the departure of former stand-up bass player Michael led to the long silence of the band, but truth is your new bass player Sander was already in before the dormant period set in and you have in fact been playing, just on a lower profile, right? So, respond to that all you like, please.
When Mike decided to quit the band we had found a great replacement in Sander. But as said before we felt we had to take our time to focus on a crisp approach. We did some gigs but couldn’t get the right angle to get good songs around. In our opinion we recorded ‘Welcome To Bloodshed’ much too soon the after release of our debut album, ‘Pitch Black Dawn’, a year earlier. We needed to have a strong set of songs for the new album. The time it took resulted in great third album.
That makes sense. What have you been up for in the last years, then?
Well, we took a lot of time to get the new album but we got closer to the songs. We kept the mix Dan Swanö did on ‘Eaten By The Wolves’ as an inspiration and this helped us to keep the end result clear in sight. In between we did some gigs. We even did a private party gig where we were booked by a Dutch Playboy model to play at the surprise birthday party of her dad (who is big TLP fan), and were welcomed by a sharp dressed crowd in a discotheque. It ended in a crazy evening with Playboy bunnies, a dazzled birthday dad and the best catering at a gig!
That’s a crazy story indeed. Did Killing Cult Society play a part in the absence, or was that just a circumstantial thing?
No, not really. The drummer of KCS asked me a few years ago to do vocals for a project he was preparing. It turned out that almost all the (already finished) songs did fit my imagination. KCS offers a different platform, but helped me to approach the recording process in a different way. I was better prepared for the recording of ‘Play Dead’. Giedo (the guitarist in The Lucifer Principle (LoM-R.) suggested trying a different way of doing the vocals. Just like the drums, where we didn’t use click track to give the songs a live feel, we recorded the vocals with the same feel in mind, so one run recordings to keep the real feel.
Did you take the opportunity to recalibrate the band as it is?
For sure, we had to. The switch from stand-up bass to electric bass opened a lot of new possibilities within our existing and even more on the new tracks. It altered our approach towards the writing process, we had to change from a percussive instrument to a string instrument, you can imagine that we had to re-invent certain parts in the arranging of the songs. In the end it was a revelation to hear The Lucifer Principle in a fresh new way.
The song 'Darker', do you think that symbolises the new direction of the band, where in the past you had a party vibe to some songs?
Not directly, we see ‘Eaten By The Wolves’ as the blueprint for this album, it holds all elements in a balanced way. In my opinion ‘Darker’ embodies the newer influences but also leans on the typical TLP vibe, We still embrace the party vibe, the new album contains fine, well recognizable stomping moments, check out ‘Monster’
It also puts your new bass player on the front at occasions, how deliberate was that, or just what the song called for?
We tried to let all elements on ‘Play Dead’ flourish in the best way, Dan Swanö was in control of the mix, and it fitted like a glove. On ‘Darker’ the bass has a different role than on ‘Eaten By The Wolves’ and so on. The mix completes the songs and is just as organic and anticipating all along the ride. Good to hear that Sander also is present in the ear of the listener, a component that is new and took us down a different lane.
The song ‘Monster’ you referred to, didn’t that used to be one of your live sponsors? And if that plays a part, will you also be writing a song called ‘Jägermeister’?
WOW! Good thinking, hahaha. Truth is that Giedo wrote the lyrics years ago (could be inspired by our friends of Monster energy). We had great support from both Monster and Jägermeister a couple of years ago, at the moment we are not connected, but still good friends with Monster. I think there is no better title to cover the contents of the lyrics to ‘Monster’. I will put my mind to get some inspiration from Jägermeister, hahaha. CHEERS!
The song ‘Dei Gratia’, where have we heard that before? That’s an older song, right?
Indeed, we recorded Dei Gratia on one of our demo’s. We always wanted to do a re-recording to give the song the attention it deserves. When we started working on the new material “Dei Gratia’ fitted in. We finally decided to work on the track again and are happy to see this one on the tracklist of ‘Play Dead’.
In general, your vocals and the music are again very recognisable, and if you look for difference, the devil is as always in the details, yet I can’t help but think this album allowed the songs to mature a bit more than on previous albums, am I right in that?
We fully admit, besides the time-out period we approached our music and writing in a different way, a more steady pace resulted in a better and complete album. No fillers or lack of ideas and at the same more room new musical elements. We not only matured as individuals, but also music wise and toward each other. No pressure, no fuss. Just enjoying the process.
Was the fact that you self-released that beneficiary to the fact it took a while?
We have been shopping around like crazy, but didn’t get the reaction that fitted. So we decided to do the release ourselves this time. We enjoy to have total control over the beast created, hahaha. We will see where this ride takes us, that’s always the biggest motivator. It’s also much easier to do a self-release in these times. Although it means more work on the promo, but that’s no punishment, hahahaha
How did you produce the album?
We started off at home, we only spend time in the rehearsal room with semi-ready songs. The final fine tuning was done in the studio, with suggestions from Marco, who did the engineering. We tried to keep the recordings lively, but were more aware of the details in the simplicity. In the past we decided and recorded, this time we opened up for input.
Did you do all the vocals on the record?
Yes, no guest vocals. Of course we rounded up the complete recording crew to do some backing vocals (as in drunk Lalaland situations).
I have no idea what I should think of that, but let’s keep things that way. The number of blasting passages also sort of surprised me…
Well, on the new songs some extra climax was needed, a roaring drummer helps to do this in a blasting way, hahaha. The songs on ‘Play Dead’ provide the right elements to amplify the text or riff. Always stay open for a new angle, that’s what we did.
Where will this album take you? I mean, you used to play every little shithole there was and our concert agenda was flooded with your shows. Will you pick that up again, or are you going to be selective in the shows you do?
Time will tell, the live scenery has changed, but still offers possibilities to get your music around. We are open for gig suggestions. ;-) We will try to get more structured gigs/tours. We start off in April with three weekends in a row to promote the album. The 22nd of April we close this run in our hometown Apeldoorn and stomp things up during the cd release party we have planned.
Is your intention to land a record deal again?
That would be great, we own the rights of all records, so a vinyl release on a label sounds swell! In order to get your music out, a label still can support you on a much broader platform. Again, we are open for suggestions!
Thanks for your time, if there is anything I forgot to ask about, or you would like to say in general, now is the time to speak, or forever hold your silence!
Don’t forget to support local bands and keep the scene alive! Cheers and hope to see you soon on stage!