Interview with Oliver Nikolas Schmid
By Eric May
For twenty years, Lacrimas Profundere has been redefining gothic metal and gothic rock music. Inspired by such bands as Katatonia, Paradise Lost and even At The Gates, these trailblazers have continued to craft music that deals with one of the most difficult of human emotions: love. The new album, Antiadore, deals with the notion that sometimes you are not supposed to fall in love. Oliver explained this in further detail, as well as the band’s twenty- year history and an interesting tale about a shady concert promoter and sharing the stage with Slayer in Chile!
What kind of feel were you going for on the album? Do you believe that you achieved that goal?
The new album has melancholy and brutality, plus it’s sweet and beautiful; so yeah, I think we achieved it! It also has more of a cinematic feel. We watch many movies during the recording process so we like the stark contrast between industrial and natural landscapes and I think you can hear the dust on the streets, as well as we sit in the studio, put the amp on and plug the guitar in. I don’t know, every band enthuse their upcoming album. It sounds kitschy, but I can’t describe it with any other words: we made the record that we were dreaming about. We’re glad that after our gig at the Wacken Festival in 2011 the “metal” is back in our music.
What does Antiadore mean and why did you choose this title for the album?
The album says that there are moments where you have to NOT be able to fall in love. Like Romeo and Juliet, but without Juliet. (laughs)
Can you discuss the lyrical content of the album? Many of it seems to come from a very dark place, possibly a severed relationship. Is this just between two people or something much deeper?
There is a cliché that every song in rock n’ roll deals with “my baby left me…“and we say yes, but in our lyrics we add the “but now I don’t care anymore” and Antiadore sums it all up! Like Ville Valo said: “falling in love is the best way to kill your heart, ‘cause then it’s not yours anymore, It’s laid in a coffin waiting to be cremated” and I think this fits our album.
Do you ever think that we might one day hear a mix of both the current sound and the older sound of the band, like a sort of mix between gothic rock and death metal?
You know, songwriting’s a weird game. If you wanted to create something special that lasts for eternity you have to throw yourself into the unknown and see what happens. I think this is what rock n roll means, to lose yourself in music. Or in other words: Making an album is very similar to people talking about Woodstock—”If you remember it, you weren’t there.”
What bands could you attribute as being influential to Lacrimas Profundere, and what do you think of other bands like The 69 Eyes and HIM who perform the same genre of gothic rock/metal? Have you met any of these guys?
Yeah, The 69 Eyes are good friends of ours and we’ve toured together several times. Never met Ville and his HIM guys but we work together with the same producers like John Fryer and Hilli Hiilesmaa but I think we’re more sinful, heavier, and dirtier. The main influences are the adventures on the road, the cities and the fans. You know every musician is on a never-ending search- a search for new challenges, for the next drink or the door to the tour bus. (laughs) We are on this search for new festivals and play at places we’ve never been before and there’s so much more to discover! We grew up with bands like Paradise Lost, Katatonia or Anathema so I see us in the membership of these bands.
What do you feel about human love these days? Things certainly are much different in the past due to social networking and everyone being as connected as they are. Could this be a reason why relationships suffer these days, due to there being so much at one’s fingertips; perhaps so many other relationship options just one click away?
A good question! No, I think it’s because of everybody’s egos. In every relationship there comes the day you think to yourself: that’s all I can get? And you begin the search for mistakes you can find in your partner! It’s sometimes harder to say I love you instead of I hate you and I think life is too short to search for mistakes and I think every relationship is worth the fight, but I’m not so into the internet Facebook thing. I always went to a bar in the Frank Sinatra style you know (laughs)!
You’ve had many shows as a band, what are some of your personal favorite experiences that you can remember? Are there any interesting or funny stories that you could share with us about life on the road?
In South America, where I should start? Ok, we did a gig in… I don’t know, I think it was in Tacna. We had to drive through the desert because there was no airport in Tacna! Soon after the show we all sat in the bus and only wanted to drive back through the desert to the next airport to fly back to Peru, but the bus driver said he wouldn’t drive because he didn’t get his money. Then time flew, because our plane wouldn’t wait for some unknown rockers from Germany. Our tour manager called the local promoter in his hotel room, but it was too late and he had run away with all of the money! He took everything, including the money for the bus driver, our fee, and the total income. The funny thing is, that this guy travels with us to Tacna, but not back, (laughs) so we just sat in the bus, waiting. About thirty minutes later (trust me, it felt like thirty hours) another guy from the club came and had some notes in his hand – don’t ask me from who, but it seems that it was just enough to pay the bus driver. The next gig was in Santiago de Chile, but we didn’t fly direct, first we flew back to Peru and then to Santiago, like every time with no direct flight. First we flew to Peru, then Lima and so on, so at the end we had fourteen flights in eight days. But let’s get back to Santiago de Chile. Our concert was on the same day and in the same street as Slayer’s gig. Tom Araya was born in Chile and they were playing there for the first time in like, ten years. It’s not the same there, like in Germany for example. Here we were able to visit a concert almost every day in South America, and when Slayer played for the first time in ten years every rocker and metalhead went to Slayer. We arrived one day before our show and shot photos because there was a poster wall near our hotel covered with Lacrimas posters, but the next day on the same wall… guess? Yes, you’re right… that same wall was covered in Slayer posters. (laughs) At the end, the gig turned out to the best of the whole tour, because the two hundred people (perhaps they didn’t get a ticket for the Slayer show) screamed and partied like two thousand!