After having to reschedule and fit me in between Tribulation and Paradise Lost’s sets, I managed a nice informal chat with front-woman Johanna of stoner/doom rock combo Lucifer. Despite all the to-ing and fro-ing, she was as chilled out as a person could be. Huge thanks to their tour manager Mark for bending over backwards to fit us in around all the sound checks and so on!
Lucifer is a fairly young band, forming in 2014. What were you up to before that?
Before that I had a band called The Oath. It was a bit similar, but leaning more towards NWOBHM. That band fell apart, but I didn’t want to leave music so I founded Lucifer.
Would you regard Lucifer as a sidestep, a progression or a nice change from The Oath?
A nice change. When one band ended I didn’t want to do the same thing again. I didn’t want to do something with the same concept. Lucifer isn’t the same band. However, I’m a victim of what I like and that shines through in Lucifer. There’s also a different chemistry as I’m writing with a different person. The guy I’m writing with now is Gary Jennings of Cathedral.
So where are you guys from, exactly? Gary and Andy aren’t German…
Andy played in Angelwitch and loads of other bands. We have a guest bass player called Alasdair Mitchell and he’s in a band who are also on Rise Above Records called Hidden Masters. He’s Scottish, actually – from Glasgow. Dino, our regular bassist, couldn’t do the tour because of his job. I’m… from Berlin!
How did you meet Andy and Gary?
Andy was in The Oath and Gaz… I’m signed to Rise Above Records and Lee Dorrian of Cathedral [and original Napalm Death vocalist – Mosh] runs it. When I was looking for a guitar player, he recommended Gaz.
Your album came in out in May which is very quickly after the band formed. Did you already have all these ideas before the band came together?
The songwriting I did with Gaz, but the concept for Lucifer I had earlier. When The Oath ended, I sat down and came up with the concept of Lucifer. The started writing with Gaz immediately, so it was pretty fast, yes.
You did have another guitarist, Neta, who featured on your first single. Is he on the album as well?
No, Neta only did the single. Gaz plays guitar on the album tracks. The songwriting was just better with Gaz.
The single – “Anubis” – isn’t on the album which is unusual. Why not?
We thought that there was so much more that we wrote – and we didn’t include everything that we did write on the album. We didn’t see why we should repeat something that came before.
The title is interesting – Lucifer I, emphasis on the “one”. Does this imply that you already have plans for a second, third…?
Yes. I didn’t want to repeat the history of my previous band disbanding after just one album. When you title something Lucifer I, it means you have to come back with a number II! I’ve put that pressure on me now!
You said that all the songs you wrote didn’t make it onto I. Are any of these likely to find their way on to II?
Gaz just writes so much stuff that we’ll probably just make new songs.
Is there any theme or concept to the album?
The theme is that the lyrics are very personal. Things that we’re interested in re-occur as themes – Egyptian mythology, spirituality and so on. But no “concept” as such, though. I’d like to leave that open and just see what happens.
This is the fourth date of the tour. How’s the crowd response been?
We’ve just returned from an American tour and they’re really outgoing. Over here it’s quite reserved. We’re just getting into the groove with the guest bass player, warming up to things. We’ve certainly been enjoying it so far, especially up here in Scotland. It’s beautiful. We had a walk around Glasgow earlier and I dragged Tribulation over to the cemetery because I wanted to see the Necropolis!
I gather you have a day off tomorrow in Yorkshire as Paradise Lost pop home to see family?
Yeah, I don’t know what the fuck I’m going to do in Bradford! Maybe my laundry! Or maybe I’ll run into a field and lay under the skies!
Being German, are you a beer or wine drinker?
Neither! I prefer the hard liquor – vodka! We had a day off in Manchester and I’m completely clueless about beer. I ordered a “Golden Brown” because of the name and it tasted like shit! I’ll stick to the vodka!