Photo Credit-Jan Season / VDPictures

LORD OF THE LOST interview. Huge new double album, ‘Judas’, to be released July 2nd, 2021.

I spoke to Pi from LORD OF THE LOST about the massive new double album, ‘Judas’, being released July 2nd. This album and band can’t be categorized. Find out the story behind the research and the recording of this album and why I thought one of them must have been a school teacher. Find out what it’s like to be offered a support slot to go on tour with one of the biggest bands in the world.

MAL-
Talking to Pi from LORD OF THE LOST. Thanks for taking the time and talking to me today.
PI-
Yeah, thanks for having me and good morning, I should say, here in Germany.
MAL-
Whereabouts in Germany are you?
PI-
In Hamburg. All of us are, almost all of us.
MAL-
Excellent, just about to come out with a double album, 'Judas'. Now this is absolutely huge. Now, where did the idea come for this? Where did the inspiration behind doing a double album about this. Tell us how you came to that.
PI-
Yeah, sure. I mean, first of all, we thought it seems very very adequate as a seventh studio album to really release some big stuff, right? So we knew initially that it should be a double album, but let's go, let's go back. Let's go back in time for a bit because you were asking about the inspiration for actually, it all started with a Lady Gaga song, believe it or not. Our singer. Chris, he is a die-hard Lady Gaga fan. So she has a song that is called 'Judas'. And it's not necessarily about the song that we were all of a sudden inspired to make an album called 'Judas'. It's more the word itself or the name itself because to that name there is a lot of history obviously, and also a lot of meaning behind it because I mean everyone I think or the majority of the people when you ask them, what do you think about when you hear the word 'Judas'? They think about treason or they see Judas as a traitor. And that is the conventional story that is probably written down in the Bible. But apart from that if you do your research like what we did on Judas, you will experience a lot of alternative ways of looking at the history of Judas. There are stories that portray him as the worst of all evil, and they're actually stories that that see him as well, the actual Saviour. And that was, when we read about all of that, we came to a point that we thought. Okay, there are so many what-ifs into to the story of 'Judas'. So we were thinking about what if, what if Judas didn't betray Jesus, what would have happened then, or what wouldn't have happened then? Because then there wouldn't have been any crucifixion. There wouldn't have been the cross as the probably the biggest selling merchandise product ever, and also the symbol of the church, there wouldn't have been Christianity and it's hard to imagine how the world would look like then, but it's also very interesting.
MAL-
It's a big 'What if?' isn't it?
PI-
It's a very big, 'What if?' So that's how we got more and more into the story and how we stayed interested in it and also, we tried to transfer everything that was said about Judas and our own imaginations of Judas on to our own lives, that's just one example, we were thinking about the fact, I mean Jesus and Judas could have been friends, right? I mean after all he followed him everywhere. So what if a friend is telling you, 'You know, I have to ask you this one thing, you have to betray me so I can die to save Mankind'. And how would that make you feel as a friend when your friend is telling you you have to betray me so I can die? That is a very selfish but also at the same time selfless thing to ask. So that is one example that we thought of okay, wow, there's way more to the story of Judas then just written down in the Bible. If we just wanted to write about that story in the Bible, we could have done that in one song, but not on 24 songs on a double album. So we experience basically everything in between those two extremes of Judas being the worst of all evil and the actual Saviour and that's how we were actually able to come up with such a big concept and to fill our idea of a double album.
MAL-
Yeah. Now CD 1 is labeled on the paperwork that I've got 'Damnation', and CD 2 is 'Salvation'. So tell us about the split there. Are they following two different stories or is it part 1 and part 2? Is it part 1 and part 2 going, you know, story A OR story B running concurrently?
PI-
'If you say yes, then the story will continue like this'. No, I mean we obviously, when you have a double album, you have two sides, but we didn't write necessarily with the imagination in mind that we wanted to have this 'Damnation' side, and this 'Salvation' side. That came while we wrote the songs and we're like, okay how can we make sense to yeah parting it in between and have 12 songs on one side and 12 songs on the other'. And one side 'Damnation', which is the the dark side, if you will, all of the songs on there, while being a bit more moody, a bit heavier, a bit darker, which wasn't are our main focus, but it happened luckily, so it made sense, they focus on kind of more the sinister aspect of what we gathered from our research concerning 'Judas'. And as opposing to that 'Salvation' is the well yeah, the bright side of everything and focuses on, yeah the more 'bright' topics quote unquote, if you will, and it's not necessarily lighter musically, but it 's, I should say a bit more uplifting.
MAL-
Do you think you would have had time or the inclination to do this big project if there wasn't lockdown? Did lockdown give you the time to do this or do you think you would have done this anyway? Were you starting on this before, lockdown?
PI-
Yes, we started it before lockdown. We had the whole research thing going actually on tour. We were lucky to go on tour  at the start of 2020 in January and February, European tour. While the others were drinking beer, Chris and I, we were reading books at night and making notes. And yeah, the others were having a party, and we were like students doing our homework every night researching on the topic. So, we did the research anyway. So it just would have been way more stressful, way more stressful as it already was, if there would have been all of our touring schedule for 2020 that we actually had. We had a tour with IRON MAIDEN lined up. There was so much, all the summer festivals, all of that fell away, or is postponed now to 2022. So we all of a sudden had a lot of time on our hands, which we were then able to fill to the max because we were able to focus on every detail. And we're actually able to say okay we really want to record a real Church organ. Let's record a real choir. Let's record the string arrangements and stuff.
MAL-
It's good that you mention the organ, the church organ, because I had that written down to ask about that. (Yeah). Was it done in a church?
PI-
It was done in an actual church. It was done in the church where we actually shot a music video for a song, 'Till Death Us Do Part'. So we already had a good relationship with the church and we asked them again if we could record their Church organ and have us play the Church organ not a full organist. Yeah. So we did that there and everything you hear concerning Church organ on the album and everything you hear concerning reverb, it's all natural. It's the natural reverb of that church. There's nothing, there's no software plug-in, so yeah.
MAL-
You've given a massive round up on the album, it's a lot of work, isn't it? Like you said, 24 songs, 2 full albums. It's not like two EPs and calling it a double album, its two full-length albums. That's a lot of work, and they're all decent length songs, so that is a lot of work.
PI-
It is. Yeah, and that's why that's one part of why we're so proud of it. We actually managed to at least in our opinion to fill that big body of work with everything that we wanted to. Everything that we wanted to do on that album worked out, which is probably the rarest case ever. And also we wrote that album, I mean we didn't say though, 'okay, we want 24 songs, that's what we have to do'. We knew we wanted to do a double album, but what we did, we did one week of songwriting, in a songwriting camp. gathering us as a band, gathering a few people from our crew who are also brilliant songwriters and a few musician friends, and for one week every day we got together in small groups of two or three people , changing the group from day to day and trying to write in each group one song every day and that actually worked out to almost the full extent. So, after one week of songwriting, we had I think 20 of those 24 songs written and we were like, 'okay, we already have a double album now', but there was so much more to say. So there were actually four more songs and luckily, which is sometimes the case on other double albums, some songs are kind of similar to others and might get repetitive. I think we avoided that just by having so much to write about. Yeah, I'm very happy about that, yeah.
MAL-
Written in that way with like little groups and swapping the groups around. No-one in the group is a school teacher are they?
PI-
No, it seems kind of a schoolteacher way, right?
MAL-
It really does, yeah. (Right. No, no) little study groups and little Johnny doesn't work with little Alex over here so swap them around.
PI-
But that's how we work best. That's how we found we work best. We started this concept on 'Thornestar', our previous album, and that was our most successful album to date, and we had a lot of fun doing it like this. So we extended that concept on to more people that we hold dear to our hearts and did it that way. And we had a lot of fun for one week, working our asses off, starting in the morning., and then, in the evening, we always got together and had listening sessions about the songs giving feedback or saying, 'ah that song doesn't fit, but here's why it doesn't fit'. But also the songs that didn't make it to the album, there are actually more songs that didn't make it to the album.
MAL-
Well, gospels got cut out of the Bible too, so yeah.
PI-
Yeah, songs there aren't in the trash. I mean, they're on hard drives. We can give them to other artists if we want to because we feel like it fits more to 'Artist X', and coincidence actually, there have been 12 Apostles and on both sides, there are 12 Songs.
MAL-
Hmm I did notice that.
PI-
We didn't intend to do that, but it makes perfect sense.
MAL-
It does. You're a band that I just cannot categorize and I mean that in a nice way, I'm sure you've heard that before. In one of the emails that came out there was a new term, I got to make sure I'm saying it correctly, 'genre fluid', which is interesting but yeah I just can't categorize you.
PI-
Yeah. I mean...
MAL-
That must be good.
PI-
In the past there have, as you said, there have been a lot of people who were like, 'But what are you?' And we're like, we can be everything or at least, we don't want to limit ourselves. I mean, if there are people who call us a Gothic Band, they're not wrong, but they're also not entirely right, if there are people who call us a metal band, same thing, they're not wrong but we like to draw from any inspirational source we have, and we like a lot of music that isn't metal, and that isn't true if you will. But then again you have to ask yourself what is actually true metal or whatever? We just figure out for ourselves that your individuality only stops when you set yourself limits and we don't want to set ourselves limits and therefore we just said, 'okay I mean people will put you in a box anyway at some point but we don't like to do that for them', so you can open your box if you want to but you see for yourself if we fit into that, we know we don't.
MAL-
Let's talk about your tour that got postponed with IRON MAIDEN. Let's take you back to when you got announced that you were going to be touring with IRON MAIDEN. That must have been a big like, 'whoa' moment.
PI-
Yeah. Yeah. It was, I mean, still hard to fathom because it didn't actually happen yet but they are still taking us on tour. They were like, reconfirming everything for 2021, and as it was clear that it won't happen, they were again saying, or their booking agent I should say was again saying. 'Yeah, they're taking you on tour for the new dates as well, don't worry, you are on the bill, whatever happens'.
MAL-
Was this for Europe or USA or both?
PI-
It is for Europe and when we got, the initial message our booking agent called Chris and was like, 'Chris, are you sitting down?' Chris is like 'I don't know. No, no. Did someone die?' And he was like, 'No. But IRON MAIDEN want to take you on tour', and without asking any one of us. He was like, 'yes, we're doing it'. And of course, of course, I mean, and two minutes after that call, he called us. And I was standing in a subway station and I mean, I was looked at funny because I started screaming like a little girl and then started crying. No, I'm not kidding because I was just asking 'Why? Why us?' And doing our research, Steve Harris, the bass player from IRON MAIDEN and founder of IRON MAIDEN, he said in an interview for Metal Hammer that we got his attention  through YouTube or something. The question was, 'What's going to be the next biggest thing in Metal? Two things, first of all there is WITHIN TEMPTATION, which is his favorite band ever. And he's happy to take them on tour and then he said, there's this new German Metal band called LORD OF THE LOST. Their last album was brilliant. We're taking them on as well. And I mean, it's Steve Harris, right? Is he wrong? I don't think so. So, yeah, that's how that happened. I'm very humbled.
MAL-
All right, we're just about out of time. One quick one. What's the funniest thing that's happened. Funniest thing that won't get anyone else locked up in jail.
PI-
Okay. I mean it almost got someone locked up in jail but it didn't happen so I can tell. We were in, we were touring in Russia. That's the first thing that pops into my head and we were like playing in Moscow. And at the first.. right before the show, our tour manager, she came into the room and was like, 'Yeah guys. There's been an incident'. Everyone's fine. Okay. So I have to disclose it. So yeah after this you know but 'there was a girl trying to take her life because she wasn't allowed to go to your shows here in Moscow, because you do gay things on stage'. We're like, 'what, what?' I mean, it's very heavy, I can tell by your face..
MAL-
I asked for the funniest story and now you're worrying me.
PI-
Yeah, I know. But it was sorry, it was the first thing that popped in my head and it gets funnier, as I said, no one was harmed. So she forced her mother to let her to the show. And her mother was saying that we shouldn't do gay things or otherwise, she will call the police. And I was looking out for the police during the whole show, if there are any policemen around and I lost track of thought at one point and I mean, we have fun on stage. You can do and say whatever you want, as long as you don't, I don't know, kill animals, sacrifice animals on stage or whatever, but if you have fun with each other and give someone a kiss on the cheek or whatever, I slapped our bass players ass while crossing him and at that moment, I looked at him, he looked at me like (emits gasping sound) and also I turned around and I was so sure of the fact that someone was pointing a gun at me and I was so relieved that no one did. But that was one moment where I was like, 'oh I should not have done that, I should not have done that', but nothing happened. So I disclosed that but that was really weird touring moment.
MAL-
Yeah. Yeah. I bet, I'll tell you, when I ask that question, I get some interesting answers.
PI-
Yeah, I can assume.
MAL-
So we've got the album 'Judas' coming out on the 2nd of July., according to my calendar, is that correct?
PI-
That is correct.
MAL-
Absolutely huge, 2 CDs. 12 'Apostles' on each CD. Hey Pi from LORD OF THE LOST. Thanks for joining me today. Best of luck with this new, massive double album 'Judas'. Just an absolute monster of a piece of work.
PI-
Yeah. Thanks for having me.
MAL-
No problems. Congratulations on it. Best of luck with it.
PI-
Thank you and we'll talk soon, I think in the future. It was my third or our third Australian interview ever. So it's premiere day today.
MAL-
Excellent.
PI-
That's very cool and thank you.
MAL-
Thanks, mate. You have a great day over there.
PI-
Thanks, you have a great evening.

LORD OF THE LOST blur the lines between good and evil with their opus magnum JUDAS

German genrefluid visionaries LORD OF THE LOST return with their seventh studio album, JUDAS (out July 2nd, 2021 via Napalm Records). With this sophisticated offering, conceptualized as a double record from the very beginning, the five-piece are cementing their position as exceptional artists that can’t be pigeonholed once more and have undeniably reached the next level with their most innovative and mature record to date. Not only the sound is massive, but LORD OF THE LOST impressively deliver JUDAS physically as well: The album will be available as a limited deluxe box, earbook, 2-CD mediabook, 2-CD sleevepack, 2 x 2 LP gatefold recycled vinyl, double music cassette as well as digital version.

JUDAS sets off with atmospheric “Priest”, which immediately unveils a leitmotif that runs through the whole record and serves as a uniting symbiosis for the double album, divided in two conceptual parts, Damnation and Salvation, with 24 songs in total. Followed by “For They Know Not What They Do”, it’s clear right from the beginning that all the songs can be experienced the most organic and vivid way: A genuine, unique choir is accompanying singer Chris Harms, whose multi-dimensional voice delivers the haunting lyrics straight into the listener’s mind more strongly than ever. Songs like “Your Star Has Led You Astray” or “Born With a Broken Heart” easily manage to keep the balance between harsh vocals, the distorted sound of fuzz guitars and an overall dark atmosphere that LORD OF THE LOST is known for, whilst “Death Is Just a Kiss Away”, “My Constellation” and closing “Work of Salvation”, for example, put grand piano tunes, authentic strings as well as the sound of a massive organ recorded in a church in the most suitable focus.

As the overall topic, LORD OF THE LOST detail the perception of the character of Judas Iscariot, known as highly diverse, and the so-called Gospel of Judas, a paper that's said to consist of conversations between Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot and casts a different light on religious history as it's told in the Bible's New Testament.

JUDAS marks the successor of chart-breaking Thornstar (2018, #6 GER) and again breathes the innovative spirit of five musicians who are far away from setting boundaries to their very own and unique art. LORD OF THE LOST has never been that type of creative force that’s pinned to any specific genre and has succeeded in surprising fans and critics with their nonconformism repeatedly over the years. With their new album JUDAS, LORD OF THE LOST not only manage to thematically blur the lines between good and evil and put the so called “salvific treason” into a harmonious soundscape unlike ever heard before, they also demonstrate that they have matured both musically and lyrically - truly an opus magnum!

Click to pre-order the album.

LORD OF THE LOST are:
Chris Harms – Vocals, Guitar, Cello
Pi Stoffers – Guitar
Class Grenayde – Bass
Gared Dirge – Piano, Synthesizer, Percussion, Guitar
Niklas Kahl – Drums