Finnish journalist Janne Vuorela conducted an interview with frontwoman Johanna Sadonis and multi-instrumentalist Nicke Andersson (also of ENTOMBED and THE HELLACOPTERS fame) of heavy rockers LUCIFER at this year’s Desertfest Berlin festival, which took place on May 6. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how LUCIFER circa 2018 is doing:
Nicke: “Good. It feels really good. There’s a new lineup, which feels really good. Yesterday was our fourth show with the new lineup and yeah, I got a pretty good feeling about this. I don’t know. What do you think?”
Johanna: “I think it’s awesome. LUCIFER, for me, was a very beloved baby, but now it’s turned into a whole new monster with a new lineup and we just had four great first shows behind us, so we are stoked, as a lot of great things are happening with the new album and so on. I’m full of fire for it.”
On the band’s sophomore “Lucifer II” album:
Nicke: “Obviously, I love it. That would be weird to say anything else.”
Johanna: “Maybe I could say it’s different from the first LUCIFER album, which was because that first album was written with Gaz Jennings of CATHEDRAL. It had a very particular sound. The new album that has been written with Nicke and me is even more so in the vein of what my original vision of LUCIFER was. I’m very stoked. I think this new album digs even deeper into the record crates of the ’70s and opens up even more. There’s a whole variety of different moods and songs in there. I think it opens up, hopefully, to more people. For me, it certainly was an expansion.”
On how Andersson came to join LUCIFER:
Nicke: “It started in the early fall of 2016. We talked, well, we talked a lot about BLUE ÖYSTER CULT.”
Johanna: “One of our favorite bands.”
Nicke: “When Gaz left in November, right?”
Johanna: “Yes, yeah, Gaz left right after the tour, November.”
Nicke: “We talked about that and I don’t know exactly how it came about, but we talked about maybe doing something together and that’s what we did, basically.”
Johanna: “Gaz left and for a moment, I did not know which direction I could go. When you put such a full stop to it when your writing partner leaves, you have to kind of re-think everything. Then, actually Nicke was the one who was, like, ‘Maybe we could do something together?’ I was, like, ‘No, come on.’ You had to convince me that you were generally interested. [Laughs] He had to push a little bit. But, then we started exchanging stuff and as soon as we had the first song done, it was clear that it was a really good thing. Then it was just kind of flowing.”
Nicke: “Then, since Robin [Tidebrink], the guitar player, or one of them, he’s also from Sweden, so we just started making the album together, the three of us, after we wrote the songs together and I also remember from the beginning, we weren’t really sure what I wasn’t going to do, playing-wise.”
Johanna: “Playing-wise, because in the studio, Nicke almost played everything in the studio. He played the drums, then he recorded bass guitar, then Robin, who was in before as well, he came in and recorded some guitars and it was me on vocals. It was just the three of us recording, so we had to see what he was going to do live, but he wanted to play drums.”
Nicke: “I missed playing drums a lot.”
Johanna: “He already has enough bands where he plays guitar.”
Nicke: “Yeah, so that choice was pretty clear. I think that’s one of those things where one thing leads to another and after a while, it seems very obvious. It didn’t when we first started talking about it, but now it seems like a no-brainer. It just feels really good to write songs together because I usually write songs myself, alone. And, I didn’t really know how to, so I had to ask you how you did it with Gaz before.”
Johanna: “He’s used to writing songs with his own vocals in mind. He, all of a sudden, had to reduce it to, ‘Okay, I have to keep that open for her to do vocals.’ Then he sent me the music and then I did my part. I wrote lyrics and the vocal melodies and recorded demos at home and sent them back to him. Of course, it’s surprising because maybe he would have done it a different way. It was another singer giving him something else. But we share so many visions. Musically, it’s actually quite incredible to run into somebody where you’re so much on the same page. Stylistically, we’re into a lot of the same things, like bands and visual things, so when it comes to designing stuff for the band, which we always do on our own…”
Nicke: “Which you did before alone before and now we’re two.”
Johanna: “Now we’re two. It’s very fruitful.”
“Lucifer II” will be released on July 6 via Century Media Records.
Apart from a new label home, the follow-up to 2015’s “Lucifer I” also marks the first studio release of the new LUCIFER incarnation now consisting of vocalist Sadonis, Tidebrink and Andersson, who plays drums and also took over bass and guitar when recording “Lucifer II”. The band’s live lineup also features Martin Nordin (DEAD LORD) on guitar and bass player Alexander Mayr.
“Lucifer II” was recorded at the Honk Palace in Stockholm. It was mixed by Ola Ersfjord (DEAD LORD, TRIBULATION, PRIMORDIAL) at Cuervo Recording Service in Madrid.