INTERVIEW: Lucifer talks about how they’ve been keeping busy in Quarantine, their latest record and hopes for the future
Editor’s Note: Since I sat down for a Skype interview with Johanna Sadonis and Nicke Andersson of Lucifer, the band has announced rescheduled dates for their planned tour and played a set for the Isolation Festival that Century Media curated. Dates can be found here. Obviously these may change due to the everchanging state of Covid-19 but fingers crossed!
Easily one of the most energetic shows I saw last year was when I slid into the packed Middle East Club in Cambridge, MA for the incredibly sold out Lucifer sh0w just over a year ago. Shows that we can only dream of in these current times and ones I’m sure we can’t wait to hopefully be back in late this year and into 2021, but the show still must go on. The band dropped their latest album just before the world was taken for the tailspin we unfortunately still find ourselves very stuck in. But music still needs to go on, so I was definitely grateful for the chance to sit down with Johanna Sadonis and Nicke Andersson of the band a little while back to talk about the new album, their time in quarantine and how they feel the future may be. With their dates rescheduled, it’s promising but for now, let their new album try to hold you over and find our new chat below!
With the record coming out in March, how have you been still promoting this record? Have you been streaming live, practicing together, obviously the two of you being married. How have you been approaching this time?
Nicke Andersson: Well, we can’t really play live so.
Yeah of course, I mean this is something we would never have been able to expect.
Johanna Sadonis: Yeah, we actually, after staying home with quarantine, things are actually quite loose in Sweden. We’ve been opting to stay home for quite a while but last week we met up with the rest of Lucifer at our home, where we also record. So they came here and we actually played a little bit together. And something might pop up on May 14th on the Internet about that. So instead of playing live shows, because we were supposed to go on tour in Europe and everything was postponed until later this year. Then we’re busy working on music at home because we have the studio.
You have the studio in your home.
So did you produce this last album at home, maybe how was that process? Was that something you had done before or was that something new for you?
NA: No, both Lucifer 2 and Lucifer 3 were recorded here.
With this new record, it’s pretty similar in style, building on what you did, but when did you start really working on this record in the studio? You said you’re writing now so I’m sure it’s a constant process for you.
JS: Yeah it is. I mean we usually work on stuff when we’re not on tour and we started with the last album, in the fall, to record it. Throughout Fall and Winter. The thing is, we never go into the studio and write in one block. We just go whenever it feels right and do a song or two. So it kind of stretches out over a longer period.
And even though you’ve been writing together for quite a long time, and obviously the band has been together for quite a while, was there something still different for you that you tried in this recording process? You say that you write in chunks, you don’t do a forced two weeks or so. So maybe something new you tried on this record or something that you still think screams Lucifer?
NA: I mean, the first album we wrote when we did not live together. We wrote that in Stockholm and Berlin, sending stuff to each other. Then this time, we did it the same but we were living in the same house. That’s really the only difference I think.
JS: I see the third album as a continuation of the second one, phonetically.
Then this is such an uncertain time. It’s just a different world. I’ve been doing some interviews with bands overseas. Obviously you guys didn’t know that Covid was going to hit, putting out the record in March, but bands are making the decision to still release these records, in late April, May. When a lot of bands have been pushing, it’s the new normal.
JS: I think it’s a thing where once you record a new album, and it goes to the label and the label has the records pressed and so on, there’s a lot of time that’s passed. So by the time you have your actual release date, you just want to get it out because it almost feels like an old shoe. As a band, you’re ready to work on the next stuff by the time people hear it. So to postpone it, it would also take that away from your fanbase that’s waiting for it.
NA: And pre-orders.
JS: Yeah and the pre-orders, exactly. So that’s kind of sucky. So for the fans but also for yourself, you want to have it out. And of course, there’s the risk that you don’t sell as many records, but honestly I think that people have been listening to it just as much, because they have the time to listen to it.
NA: Maybe more.
No I see that, I mean I spoke to a band that was more of the Warped Tour circuit but their new record they just put out was the highest ranking record they’ve ever had, like April 14th. And really mostly in online form, since physical albums are so delayed.
JS: Oh that’s good. Yeah, it was the same for us. We had chart entries in Sweden, Germany, also a little bit in the states. And it’s been better than before with the previous albums. But I guess you’d see it in the end, how the numbers are over the course of time. But whatever, it’s out. I’m happy about it.
Then I know on this record, you named a track “Lucifer”. You’ve always kept Lucifer in the album titles but maybe that song in particular, why on this album?
JS: Well, it was on the to-do list for me because it’s such a classic thing to do. To have a self-titled song, like Iron Maiden has ‘Iron Maiden’, Black Sabbath has ‘Black Sabbath’ and so on. Now it just kind of felt like the right moment.
And then, like you said, we have so much time on our hands, I’m glad to hear Sweden is easing the limitations a little bit. I’m sure you’ve always been writing/keeping creative. Maybe because tours have had to be postponed or festivals be postponed, are there focuses or goals for you creatively in these next few months? You say May 14th, there may be an announcement online.
NA: I mean it kind of sucks to not be able to go out and play of course. But there’s always an upside to every bad situation. And I think we do have time to be writing songs which we like a lot so we started working on the next album.
Then maybe considering the future is so unclear, how do you think the return is going to affect the industry either in a positive or even negative way? Everyone is going to be itching to get back on the road when they’re allowed to. What effect do you think that will have?
NA: Well of course it’s going to be weird. Because let’s say we can start touring in the fall, that means every band is going to start touring in the fall and that also means all the fans, the ticket buyers, I mean half of them have been out of work. So it’s going to be interesting to see how this pans out. We had to postpone so hopefully it will all workout. Everything else is speculation I guess. I mean, this whole thing is so weird. No one has any idea how it’s going to be. I think we just have to take one day at a time and hope for the best.