Welcome to MHF Magazine, my lord. Let us dive into the abyss of your creative mind.
There’s deeply emotional storytelling unfolding from your music. The past couple of decades there has been a global shift against getting deep or emotional. People try to avoid feelings at all costs. How did you overcome this psychological barrier?
CH: I might live in a different world, but I have never heard about this phenomenon, even less experienced it myself. I have never felt any psychological pressure or barrier in terms of feelings. When I felt the need to break down in tears, I did, and I still do.
There are over ten band/ensemble members performing on Swan Songs III. How do you keep a balance between so many creative individuals?
CH: Yes, this is a 14-piece-Ensemble. But being a musician in an ensemble does not necessarily make you a creative part. Look at a big orchestra performing, let’s say, Beethoven’s 9th symphony. Who’s being creative in this orchestra? No one. But they are reproductive and maybe somehow interpreting given things in the very narrow frame of details. The only creative here has died many years ago: Ludwig van Beethoven. When I’m writing a “Swan Song” with, let’s say our guitarist Pi, and the orchestral stuff is being arranged by Gared, then the three of us are the only creative ones. The rest is a reproductive part of the following process. And I do not mean that negative in any way. This is, how it works. And I can tell, it’s a lot of fun being reproductive only as well. If the song feels right, it’s a beautiful feeling to perform something that I did not create myself.
Let’s talk about splintered minds. ‘Sometimes I get so stuck in my head Sometimes I can’t get out of my bed This is just a side effect You know I really want to connect” is something that really stuck with me. Mental disorders and psychological trauma is today the new normal. People suffer from anxiety and depression more than ever and that has an effect on our relationships. This song portrays that so eloquently. I would love to hear your thoughts on that matter.
CH: I am not a pro concerning this topic and I have not watched 20.000 years of human evolution myself. But I think, mental disorders have been there all the time. But no one gave them a name. No one knew a cure. No one cared because there were bigger problems. My mother was born in WWII and grew up in a post-bomb wasteland. Her concern was not depression, bullies or any kind of neurosis, her concern was hunger, grief about a lost father, about a traumatized mother, about seeing no future. In 100 years there will be apps on whatever kind of devices that may show you any kind of neurological irregularities, things that will get names by then as well, cures that will be found for it. No one had Alzheimer’s in the dark ages. First, because people did not get old enough and IF they did, they were just the crazy ones of the family that would have to hide behind the oven. As I said, I’m not a pro. But we’re living in a luxurious world without real problems with enough time to analyze our inner self. So, of course, there are more psychological diseases here. And again, I don’t mean to be disrespectful here, I just do not think that mankind has changed that much.
And then there’s ‘Dying on the Moon’, which is an ode to trusting one’s soul’s decision and believing in yourself. As an artist, do you always go with your gut feeling and do you trust your instincts?
CH: Not only as an artist. When I have a weird feeling about something, also in “normal” life, I listen to that feeling and try to analyze it. It becomes part of my logical approach to solving things.
A special highlight on the album marks the unique cooperation between LORD OF THE LOST and the 70+ choir Heaven Can Wait on “We Were Young” which underlines that music has the power to bring all generations together. Was that merge of generations intentional or it came up during the process?
CH: We’ve been asked by Germany’s biggest TV broadcasting company if we’d like to be part of some “clash of the generations” documentary. The topic for one episode was “music”. And as soon as I heard about that choir I LOVED the idea. So eventually “We Were Young”, a song that I wrote like two years before, without having a home for that song, finally made sense…
Your music videos are epic and aesthetically superior. From the costumes, down to the ambience, there’s evident attention to detail. Who is in charge of the final decisions when it comes to the music videos?
CH: Always us. And always our video company VDPictures.
What’s one thing that keeps surprising you in the music industry?
CH: I was surprised when Iron Maiden asked us if we’d like to be support for them.
And what’s one thing you would change if you had a divine power?
CH: I’d magically make illegal downloads and streams impossible.
Let’s close with a wish. What’s one thing you would like to accomplish as a musician to be your eternal legacy?
CH: It might sound cheesy, but as long as I have given my best to be the bestest possible father to my child, I have accomplished everything that I could have wished for. Music is just music.
Until we meet again,
Chelf, on behalf of MHF Magazine.
Buy or stream the record: https://smarturl.it/SwanSongsIII
Chris Harms – Vocals,Guitars,Chello
π (Pi) – Guitars
Class Grenayde – Bass
Gared Dirge – Guitars, Perkussion, Theremin
Niklas Kahl – Drums