Without time there is no hope, and without hope there is no future.
Xavier of Dark Entries spoke with Tilo of Lacrimosa.
Lacrimosa released its latest CD Hoffnung at the end of 2015 to celebrate its 25th birthday. After the very experimental Revolution, this album returns to the classic sound of Lacrimosa. Brilliant compositions in which grand orchestrations alternate with harder rock.
Hello Tilo. You released Hoffnung at the end of 2015. We love the album. What are your own feelings about it?
Great to hear that you love it! Well, for me this album is some kind of the essence of Lacrimosa. I’ve been working on this for over a year and every note, every word is a piece of myself. The whole album is like a child, like my baby!
The theme is somewhat different from the predecessor Revolutionwhich was based on social critique. On Hoffnung you return to more personal themes as love and loneliness. I still hear echoes of Revolution though, for instance on the title track. Is there an overarching theme on Hoffnung? If so, which one?
I think Hoffnung – hope – is a word with many facets. Mostly it has a a positive meaning. People hope for something good, or at least something better than the current situation. That means that hope has something to do with time. Hope focuses on the future, using past experience and hope takes the current situation into account. Without time there is no hope and without hope, there is no future. No one can live through a single day without the hope to make it through that day and even further. These are a few facets of hope. But there is also error-driven hope. Hope upon something that never ever can be fulfilled. That can slow down and destroy a whole life. So, hope is not only something positive. These all are facets of hope, and of this album.
For the first time, Lacrimosa formed its own ‘Lacrimosa Session Orchestra’, in which you played trumpet. This must have been a lot of work. Couldn't you have saved time by working with an existing orchestra. Why did you choose to form your own?
Actually, it is the other way round. I worked with so many orchestras as a client who is dependent on the working process of the orchestra. And these working processes are seldom made for such rock productions. They might work very well for preparing concerts or recordings from known classical composers, but when you come with your own scores – music they haven’t heard before – and recordings with which they are supposed to play together, these working processes that they are used to, are not helping. So, I gathered musicians that I know from previous recordings, people that know what Lacrimosa is about. So, these recordings were much more focused on the music and less on the organization. But still, writing all scores and rehearsing with so many musicians is always a hell of a job!
You released two excerpts of Hoffnung on YouTube with great animations. This makes me wonder: will there be a video clip for one of the songs on the album?
I love visual transformation of music and would have loved to get a video done for the new album. Unfortunately, there was not enough time between the end of the production process and the beginning of the tour.
Hoffnung also saw the return of Stelio Diamantopoulos for the artwork. We have noticed that he wasn't involved in the artwork of the last CDs, but he did conceive most of the covers of Lacrimosa since the beginning of the project. What made you work together again?
Well, actually he made all studio album covers. Only the cover of the unreleased-track-compilation Schattenspiel was made by Alla, a Russian artist.
We were looking forward to the release of the DVD of Live in Mexico City. It is now included as a bonus on the limited edition of Hoffnung. A nice present for the fans, for sure, but I am somehow surprised that you didn’t try to reach a wider audience with the DVD. Or will there be another edition aimed at a wider public?
No, after I realized that we couldn’t release the CD and the DVD of Live in Mexico City at the same time, I skipped the idea of releasing the DVD as an own product and rather thought to pay back the patience people by giving the DVD more or less as a present.
You recently came back from a tour promoting the new Lacrimosa CD in Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America. Just before you went on tour, you broke your foot in a car accident. Were you able to play the shows without too much damage?
Hehe… I can tell you, I would have loved to skip this accident. It was not easy to play the shows with this broken foot and the injured knee sometimes, but after all it went really well. We could play all the shows and I even managed to get up from my chair a few times without damaging my leg again. So,now I am totally motivated to enter the stage for this second part of the tour on my two healthy legs again!
David Bowie has died recently. He was a huge influence for the goth scene, and I think also for you personally. What are your thoughts about his death and his influence?
Yes, he was and is my hero. And I still can’t believe that he is not with us anymore. Of course I am happy for him, that his suffering came to an end and that even put a final point behind his wonderful career with his latest album. But for us who lived our lives with his music, we will always miss him when we hear his voice!
Thank you for this interview.
Xavier KRUTH 04/03/2016