The Lotus grew up in the suburbs of central Italy and an anger towards a decadent country grew within them. They are proud Italians but actually feel more like people of a European or World multiculturalism. Growing up in Italy, plagued by bigotry and corruption has had a profound effect on the lyrical content of The Lotus’ songs.
The Lotus have also travelled and indeed suffered for their art. Ten years ago, for example, they were walking the streets of Los Angeles alone, with no money, playing in pubs on the outskirts. They had some beautiful moments but also tragic moments when Silvia, Luca’s girlfriend passed away in a car accident.
Rox and Luca also travelled to the UK in a motorhome from Italy, and at every moment, even every motorway service area they tried to sell their music at any cost, and actually gained many fans this way. They loved the UK so much that they moved there, which was difficult at first but they are now beginning to see the fruits of their labour.
The band’s first single, “Mars-X”, received support from Kerrang, Musicology, Vents , Alt Corner, Total Rock and – of course – this very site! “Perfect Love” is the band’s second single and you can check it out below, along with some more information from vocalist Rox.
Hello there, we’re from Italy but currently living in Manchester, UK (at least the two of us!).
How did you meet?
Me (Rox) and Luca met thirteen years ago when he actually joined the band. We were teenagers playing Nirvana, Queen and Pink Floyd and trying to conquer the world. I still remember us playing the first gig in our town in Italy: that was definitely crap but I think everyone already knew we wanted music to be our life. In 2008 we met Pietro (Kristal) and we were so excited to start working together that we actually found a role that was completely new for him. Kristal is a drummer but we were looking for an additional keyboard player to let me be more focused on vocals and we chose him. A few months later, our drummer left the band and we accidentally see a video of this fella, Marco (he was 17 years old but he was already a ridiculously great drummer). We obviously asked him to join us. After few changes in the line-up during those years we found definitive stability in 2015, so here we are!
How long have you been playing as a band?
I founded this band in 2003, but we started doing things seriously in 2007/2008 when we decided to record and produce our first album Forgotten Silence.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
If I have to be sincere, the band’s name was chosen very randomly by our first guitarist who was in love with R.E.M.’s song “Lotus”. We liked it immediately and we realised then, that was the perfect name for us also because of its meaning of purity and rebirth.
What are your influences?
Each member has a totally different view of music and this fact unites us instead of dividing. However, we can definitely point out a few main influences such as Queen, Pink Floyd, Radiohead and of course Muse.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
To be honest, I think The Lotus have something more than all the other bands. It’s nothing about technical skills, nothing about genre. We just think we can reach the same popularity of the bands we love. However, from what we’ve heard so far from people watching us live, our performances are great as well!
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Growing up in Italy, invaded by bigotry and corruption, has led us to write most of the lyrics of songs we eventually released. Not least, our past experiences have marked our souls forever and influenced the themes of our songs as well. For instance, “Perfect Love” talks about love, desire and guilt.
The song we released before that, “Mars-X”, is about a hypothetical colonization of Mars by humans in the near future which leads to existential questions like “why are we possibly forced to leave the Earth, how did we become aliens in our world, who are we and what is our aim?”.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
I’d define our live shows as metal. Even though our music is kind of rock, The Lotus as a live act is more energetic, more aggressive. I think that’s one of our main strengths. We have played more than 120 shows in our career but we’re definitely looking for doubling it within the next few years!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Normally, every time we tour, something weird and funny happens! I remember touring in the US: we were so young and completely alone in a new country. We rented a nine-seat minivan and started travelling around the Los Angeles area. We used to sleep two days in the van (six people plus instruments and luggage, and that wasn’t comfortable at all) and one in a motel. One day we flooded a room in a motel after one of us went to the toilet, that was so fun! It’s not actually during a live show, but kind of!
I’m still playing my beautiful Ibanez Roadstar II 1984 made in Japan which I love and I will always have with me. I also got an Ashdown MAG220, very small and simple but great sound. When I’m on keyboards, I play my Alesis Fusion 6HD: I love vintage and unknown stuff!
Luca’s playing a Fender Limited Edition American Standard Telecaster through a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier and an Orange Cab 2×10. He’s also got a Fender Deluxe Reverb ’68 just for cleans.
Marco’s endorsed by Tamburo Drums and Kristal has a 88 master keyboard that controls Mainstage on his MacBook. He also runs backing tracks from there.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We’re currently promoting our new release “Perfect Love”. As I said above, “Perfect Love” is a song that talks about love and desire, by going through an unusual path: the guilt. The society we’re living today has built its relational fundamentals on dogmatic hypocrisy that are opposite to what is the root of human being.
In our century of pious and religious imperialism, we are forced justify our instincts by blaming ourselves, and that makes us aliens in our home. So, who can tell us what is a Perfect Love? How can you escape the fruits of decay growing on us?
Truth, sharing, and understanding are the keys to freeing our souls.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
We’re planning to release another two singles over the next five/six months and get back to the studio in January to finish recording the rest the album. The same producer of course. Paul Reeve is an amazing, clever and absurdly creative producer!
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
In my dreams I’d love to play with Muse, so I would imagine a three-band bill with Muse, The Lotus and Neurotics (which is an amazing band from our town in Italy). A realistic three-band bill I would like to be in, is: The Lotus, Prospekt and InnerShine! Those bands are the most terrific and great progressive rock-metal bands I know, also because I’m playing with them (quick advertising): Prospekt have just released their 2nd album The Illuminated Sky and InnerShine are finishing their last record which hopefully should be released in 2017-2018.
From previous Band of the Day Kemerov: Do you think that a music band should have a clear social and/or political stance with their lyrics and general attitude or should music and politics never mix?
I think music and politics should mix when the artist wants them to. If you really have this rage or some kind of feelings regarding social and political problems, why not trying to let your voice be heard with your music? On the other hand, in my opinion it’s difficult to follow a band which is continuously talking about that, because it doesn’t seem natural.
From another BotD, Crypitus: What is your main goal in playing music besides just the act of playing music?
I think the main goal in playing music and actually composing music is the feeling, the emotion, the sensation you’re able to spread to the people and most important, to yourself.
And from killer BOB: Out of each of the following pairs, you have to choose who you would rather get a portrait tattoo of and say why…
- Ozzy Osbourne vs. Dimebag Darrel – This is hard, but I’d say Ozzy. I had a tribute band so it’s an obligation
- Lars Ulrich vs. Dave Mustaine – Lars Ulrich. He’s one of the very few people that really changed metal and music in general.
- Kurt Cobain vs. Layne Staley – Kurt Cobain: there’s nothing to say. I love Layne Staley, but Kurt is Kurt.
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