Lucifer, the the heavy rockers from Stockholm, recently released their studio album, 'Lucifer V' via Nuclear Blast Records. Read album review - here-.
Rockoverdose recently caught up with frontwoman Johanna Platow Andersson, to discuss the new album, the return to touring, and of course their upcoming visit to Athens, Greece and more.
Read our very nice conversation below.
Rockoverdose: Welcome to RockOverdose Greece. First of all congratulations for your new album. Once again it flows amazingly well and it adds more quality to your powerhouse. What are your feelings and the first responses about “Lucifer V”?
Johanna (LUCIFER) : Thank you very much for your kind words. We are very proud of this album but we are always proud of our albums because we put the same passion and energy into it but somehow I’m feeling that this one tops the other ones. I don’t know why, we do the same thing that we always do, but the first reactions we got from journalists, since we are doing a lot of interviews right now is pretty much what you’re saying; everybody’s saying that this is our best album. We never put fillers into our albums, we always put a lot of heart into it so I don’t know.
Rockoverdose: So, we would like to know how much time it took you to record and complete the album in total.
Johanna (LUCIFER) : It’s hard to say for us because we never go to a studio like a regular band that books appointments for two weeks. For us it’s different because we have our own studio and we can kinda go whenever we want to. I go in alone to record my vocals and sometimes it’s fast, sometimes I take my time but we pretty much start working on demos and writing new songs usually after the last album has been released. Then we start writing demos and the entire recording took maybe half a year with a lot of breaks, because we leave for a few hours, then we go out for the weekend to play some festival and then maybe we go on a break for some hours.
Rockoverdose: Oh I see. And I suppose you already have some ideas for the next album (laughter).
Johanna (LUCIFER) : Well yeah, ideas we have plenty.
Rockoverdose: So, your lineup has remained steady for five years, which means you sound tighter than ever. Consequently, the band sounds fresh as never before and this is evident with each listening of the album. Does this factor make it easier for you when it comes to recording?
Johanna (LUCIFER) : I think it makes it easier from the perspective that each one of us knows each other’ musical language better and everyone has become better with the instruments. I think it’s just experience by this point. But yeah, I would say it’s probably easier, although it’s never been hard to begin with; somehow this band works really well together, we have a good chemistry and also privacy, we are all good friends.
Rockoverdose: That’s always the best thing for a band; to be friends and feel like family.
Johanna (LUCIFER) : Yes totally. I can tell you there’s no drama in it, we can go on a tour for a month and there’s no argument and this is cool because nobody has a bad ego or anything, everybody is very relaxed.
Rockoverdose: That’s great. So, concerning the lyrics, what has been your inspiration this time?
Johanna (LUCIFER) : I think same as always; death, love and loss.
Rockoverdose: So, you have been touring until recently in the states. We would like to know how it felt there, featuring also Bobby from Pentagram for the cover of “Forever My Queen”. How did the Americans receive your music?
Johanna (LUCIFER) : Yeah, it was a cool tour. We have toured the states in the past, this was our fifth American tour, and though it’s been some years since we were there for the last time, and it was cool to see that the audience grew in our absence. The pandemic was really cruel since we couldn’t go on the road. We wrote two albums during the pandemic and when you never leave the house to play but you record a lot, you kinda forget the people that are actually listen to your music because you no longer see their faces. When the tour started and I went out from the backstage onto the stage and I saw the audience’s faces and how everybody was singing along to the lyrics of our songs that we made a couple of years ago, it was really amazing and it made me very emotional because this is becoming real now, you’re no longer in a room writing music, now there’s actually people on the other side, singing the lyrics with you. So that gave me goosebumbs. The Americans are really outgoing, and they come up to you when they want photos and stuff, they’re not shy. I’m from Germany and I live in Sweden, which are two countries that are reserved, people are not that outgoing, so it’s nice to have a warm audience. The performance with Bobby Liebling was a great moment for me because I am a big Pentagram fan and I will never forget that.
Rockoverdose:Speaking of tours, you’re about to embark on a new tour that’s going to bring you back to Greece, after 5 and a half years. Do you have any memories from your last visit? As I can recall, you have been welcomed by the fans here even since your debut days.
Johanna (LUCIFER) : Gosh that’s so long, I never realized we’ve been away for that long. I have great memories from Greece. Actually, even before any Lucifer shows, when Nicke played there with his band, Imperial State Electric, he asked me to marry him in Greece, so we got engaged in Greece, and we had some great vacation there. We have a lot of friends in Greece, our last show there was amazing, I remember it very well. I can also remember I was very full because the promoter took us out for a meal before the show, and the food was amazing, although we had too much of it (laughter). So, I’m really looking forward to coming back.
Rockoverdose: It seems to me like every visitor in Greece has to say nothing but the best about Greek food. So, what should we expect and what kind of surprises are in store this time?
Johanna (LUCIFER) : I suppose I shouldn’t because then it wouldn’t be a surprise, right? (laughter) People as always can expect that we will give our everything, no matter how many people attend the concert. We are very hungry to go back on tour, we’re sitting here in Sweden and it gets dark from 3pm in the afternoon, so it would be awesome to get back on tour and see all those Greek fallen angels that according to you, we haven’t seen in over five years and that’s been way too long and we hope we will rock harder than last time.
Rockoverdose: Time passes quickly, doesn’t it? (laughter). So, we know you like calling your fans fallen angels, and you co-own Riding Reaper Records. Are the tracks “Fallen Angel” and “Riding Reaper” a straight reference to your fans and your vision with the company?
Johanna (LUCIFER) : Well, yeah. I mean, “Fallen Angel” is a track about the angel Lucifer and the spirit of both the band and our fans, which is essentially being outsiders of society. Most of time in school, I was the only metal kid, so I was an outsider for all my life, and most of the metalheads I know have that in common and I guess we’re always at the edge of society and we have a more free-spirited soul inside of us, so that’s what the song is about. And “Riding Reaper” is essentially a song about death, and there are many songs written in Lucifer about death, but we didn’t have a song about the riding reaper, and since we have the record label and all, it deserved to get its own song one day.
Rockoverdose: So, you’ve released enough material for airplay concerning “Lucifer V” so far, with four of its tracks being available already. Do you feel confident about sharing that much of the album before it is released?
Johanna (LUCIFER) : Oh yeah, definitely. There’s a lot more in this album yet to come. I think every song in the album is great. So there’s a lot for you to listen, definitely.
Rockoverdose: Are there any particular tracks in “Lucifer V” that feel more special to you and you have closer to your heart?
Johanna (LUCIFER) : I think my favorite song is “At The Mortuary” because that song kinda has a little bit of everything from the Lucifer universe in it; it has the doom elements, it has the upbeat, hopeful parts but also the melancholic and gloomy parts, so it has the entire Lucifer spectrum in it. According to Nicke, this song wouldn’t have made it to the album at all because he didn’t like the arrangements, but I was sure I wanted this into the album because ever since we wrote the demo I instantly fell in love with it and I thought that we had to make it into the album. I swear to you, it’s going to become a single; we will rearrange it a little bit and then yeah, it’s going to be a single, it’s actually my favorite Lucifer song of all the albums.
Rockoverdose: This year marks 10 years since the release of the legendary album you made with The Oath. First of all, did you expect it to have such an impact to so many people and how did that help you with the creation of Lucifer and the rest of your career afterwards?
Johanna (LUCIFER) : I think everything was a little bit destiny, you know. It just kind of happened by chance but at the same time I also wanted it to happen. It needed to be in the sequence to work out the way it did, because it wasn’t planned or anything. I’m very content with how far the band has gone so far, it was exactly what I wanted for them. It was made possible with hard work and a little bit of luck, you know great things can happen.
Rockoverdose: Are you aware of any Greek bands?
Johanna (LUCIFER) : Yes of course. I like Aphrodite’s Child’s “666” album. It’s a beautiful album, and it is the one I always DJed when I was back in Berlin. It’s really crazy because it sounds so contemporary, it could almost be modern. I used to play it for a lot of people in Germany; it’s a bit obscure but when you play it as a DJ in a bar, there’s always people coming up asking “What is this, it sounds really cool?”, they really think it’s from a psychedelic/indie rock band from nowadays and that is really beautiful.
Rockoverdose: Aside from the band and music, what is your favorite hobby? What do you like doing to pass your time?
Johanna (LUCIFER) : The problem is that I don’t have much time because I manage the band and I kinda do everything on my own; since we don’t have a manager and we have our own studio, we record everything on our own, we make the designs, the layouts, all the logistics; everything falls on us. So it’s more like a full-time job, actually sometimes it’s almost like a burnout from working too much, I feel like a secretary or something. I do like graphic design, I’m a very visual person, I like sowing, we also have a big garden, I love gardening. I’m a very domestic presence so I like to paint and decorate and sow things and when you come to our house you can see it. I like to make things, like building and stuff; I’m very hands-on and visual. I do like old buildings too, I’m very much into old architecture.
Rockoverdose: We would like to leave the final words to you. Thank you very much for still being here and continuing to deliver each time. So, you can close this interview with whatever you feel is important that we forgot to ask you.
Johanna (LUCIFER) : We have social media things going on, and I’m trying to establish a newsletter for Lucifer, which I write myself. So, if any fallen angels are interested to receive a letter from Lucifer, which is a letter from me every now and then, they can go to www.lucifer.church to sign up for it. I do everything myself and I kinda wish, because I kinda hate social media, I could just delete it all and just write the newsletter to people because I’m a very old-school person. Maybe one day my dream will come true so sign up before we throw away Facebook and Instagram (laughs). Other than that I’m very excited to come back and hopefully see everybody who likes Lucifer in Greece and we hope we don’t disappoint with our new album. Thank you.
Rockoverdose: I’m pretty sure that won’t happen; you won’t disappoint any of your fans. I would like to thank you for this interview and I hope we meet again in Greece.
Johanna (LUCIFER) : Yeah, please come and say hi when we are there.
Για το RockOverdose,
Questions: Aggelos Katsouras
Transcript: Aggelos Chantzigiannis
Edit: Vivi Zapantiotou