Lord

Lord shook our ground with their newest album. That’s how a heavy metal album should be like. Powerful, catchy, groovy, progy & melodic. They guys did their way for once more and hit right on the spot. Andy Dowling, the bassist of the band, spoke to Grande Rock about the new album “Digital Lies”, their past and their future plans…

Hi Andy… As you already know “Digital Lies” has been chosen as the Best Album of February on Grande Rock! Congrats dude!
 
A: A big honour! Thank you very much. It’s great to hear that you guys are enjoying the new music. Hopefully everyone who has the chance to hear our album will think the same.
 
 
New album after 3-4 years, with a new drummer this time. Tim Yatras left and Damian Costas has filled his position. Is he a Greek as well?
 
A: I think it’s been almost 4 years! It’s been a while between full length albums. We released an EP in 2010, but we had been quiet for a little while as far as song writing went. Damian is actually Uruguayan, but I can see how that could be mistaken! Damo is great drummer and we’re happy to finally get him on a full album to show off his chops. (i.n.: It was due to the name “Costas”…smiley)
 
 
What happened during these 3-4 years between “Set in Stone” and the new album? What are the new elements “Digital Lies” introduces us to?
 
A: As mentioned before, we released “Return of the Tyrant” EP in 2010 but we had also been touring quite hard in that period of time. We really gave “Set in Stone” a good pounding out on the road and we did quite well given we were still fairly unknown outside of our own country. “Digital Lies” kicks off where “Set in Stone” left off, however I personally think there is a darker element overall to the album and some underlying electronic/synth elements throughout the record. Don’t let that turn you off though; we think we did it without sound fruity! (i.n.: Hehe, sure you did it the right way…)
 
 
What was that new ground that you covered with “Digital Lies” that the previous work didn’t have?
 
A: As stated before, we brought in a darker element to the majority of the songs and introduced a stronger synth element which underlies a lot of the tracks. I think we’ve continued on the path that “Set in Stone” and “Ascendence” created. The album is diverse as always, but it’s unmistakably LORD.
 
 
So, what are those “Digital Lies” that affect our lives?
 
A: This is Tim’s lyric idea so I’ll do my best to explain it. It’s based on a dystopian future that’s augmented by technology. The ‘powers that be’ have turned the population towards the thought that a particular way of life is necessary for survival. You can see it in society today with the technology becoming more and more reliant in our everyday lives. Our handsome demon guy (front cover) ends up being punished and tortured as he rebels against the ideals created. Poor fella!
 
 
Give us a hint about each song…
 
A:“Incipio”: An intro to set the mood/theme of the album.
 
“Betrayal Blind”: No frills, heavy metal. A great solo by Mark on this track.
 
“Digital Lies”: Electronic elements, mid-tempo song that a lot of people are reminded of something from Queensryche’s “Rage for Order”.
 
“Point of View”: A salute back to our Dungeon past. Very traditional style song with a great message in the lyrics.
 
“Walk Away”: Ambient song with plenty of vocal hooks. One of my personal favourites from the album. (i.n.: My beloved one as well!)
 
“2D Person in a 3D World”: A fun song with another great message in the lyrics. Don’t take yourself too seriously, otherwise you’ll look like (as we like to say) a ‘douche’!
 
“Final Seconds”: You can hear a lot of old Dungeon in this track as well. We’re having fun playing this live at the moment.
 
“The Last Encore”: Lots of twists and turns in this one. A lot of people are rating this as their favourite on the album.
 
“Because We Can”: A good excuse for a tasteless guitar battle with a bit of humour. Don’t believe us?? (i.n.: Check it out below)
 
“The Chalkboard Prophet”: Our thrash song. Lots of cool 80’s thrash riffs with the LORD touch mixed in.
 
“Battle of Venarium”: We had to pick an epic song to end the album, and we think we pulled this off. Like Conan? You may very well dig this!
 
“The Richest Man” (bonus track): Re-recorded the original 2003 track. Japan release only.
 
“Footsteps in the Sand” (bonus track): Re-recorded the original 2003 track. Bonus track for the rest of the world.
 
 
Whoever gets the CD, he also gets two bonus tracks. Is this to show your gratitude to those who still prefer the psychical thing over the digital one? Regrettably, in our time we see bands/artists and labels giving extra stuff to those who prefer the digital stuff and that’s bad.
 
A: The CD actually contains just one bonus track. The second bonus track will be on the Japanese release in April through Rubicon Records. That’s right. It’s to reward those who still go out and purchase the physical product, however I don’t believe it’s bad to reward those who prefer digital downloads. In the end, if the fan is paying for the album then it doesn’t matter what format it’s in. It all helps and we appreciate it!
 
 
Tim Lord has done a hell of a production again. He did an amazing job. He knows exactly what to do and what he wants to achieve, right? Thus, there’s no need on behalf of you to work with a famous producer as some point, huh?
 
A: Years ago it would have been a different story. We would have probably preferred to outsource it all and do it the way most other bands do. However, we’ve always had a ‘do it yourself’ attitude, and Tim is a master when it comes to recording. In fact, I would say that he’s a tech freak. He is constantly teaching himself new techniques and ways of not only recording, but production, engineering, mixing/mastering and pretty much anything else he can get his hands on. It’s got to a point now where we believe we can achieve a world class sound directly from Tim’s home studio. Sure, we can get the big name on the album but what’s the point? We can use that money saved into things that matter, like touring, merchandise, and creating more music for our fans.
 
 
You have two videos out, One for “Betrayal Blind” and a funny one for the guitar duel “Because We Can”. How did you decide to shoot a video for a small funny tune such as “Because We Can”? Will there be any other video or those are more than OK?
 
A: Both videos are very simple and to the point. “Betrayal Blind”, we wanted to just get up there and play. Nothing more, nothing less. Just to show who we are and what we do. With “Because We Can”, it was a silly track that we recorded for a laugh so we thought that it should have a video to accompany it. The video has to link in ‘somewhat’ to the song and we think we have translated the original humour of the song into the video. The last thing we want people to think is that we’re showing off to try and get some street cred. We’re showing off because we’re a bunch of idiots who love to have a laugh!
 
There will be more videos from the album. In fact, I can say that one is sitting at about 70% done but won’t be out for a while. We’re also looking at putting together ideas for 3 other videos on top of that. “Set in Stone” had 5 video clips from the album, so the goal is to top that!
(i.n.: Swell…)
 
 
You do have the control of your own music with Dominus Records. Japan is a different story and you also do pretty well there. Would you cooperate with a European or US label if need be or it’s OK to do things the way you already do?
 
A: We try to keep as much control as possible, where realistic. This has been by choice but also because of a lack of opportunities. We are always open to working with European or US labels, however with the way the industry is going at the moment I don’t think we could sign unless we were 100% confident that we were going to get the support and enthusiasm for the music that we already put into it ourselves. It’s not about the money (well, it is when labels try to make YOU pay for them to release it), but instead finding people who believe in what you are doing and will do great things to get your music out there to more people, without burning the band out in the process. We have a very strong work ethic and we’re extremely proud to do almost everything in-house, however we’ll always be open and flexible to opportunities which may arise in the future.
 
 
Do you believe that bands that have a major label behind them can easily bypass several difficulties than those that don’t?
 
A: Of course. There are pro’s and con’s to both sides. General promotion and advertising is always a struggle for an independent artist. We are always putting everything we can into getting our music out to as many people as possible and increasing our fan base, however we have huge limitations. From a major label point of view, you may already have an audience there and waiting. Touring opportunities and financial assistance are other things that major labels can potentially provide where an independent artist may struggle at times. It’s always a trade off. Do you give away control in order to find some success? Or do you sit content with where you are, knowing that you have full control over your music and your direction? It’s a great debate! (i.n.: Yeap, I think it is eventually…)
 
 
Do you have any tour plans not only for Australia but for Europe or US as well?
 
A: We were in Europe last year for a couple of brief appearances that went really well. We’d love to get back over there ASAP to keep the momentum running. It is hard in a European market because the competition is a lot stronger and you can be seen as an unknown, so you’re constantly having to prove what you’re capable of and hope that the right people in the industry can give you an opportunity. We’ve found that many booking agents and festival organizers will not give you the time of day unless you have label support and/or local distribution of your product. We don’t have either of those, but we’re hoping that we can create a buzz through exporting and press in Europe which could open a door here and there.
 
The US is a lot harder. For starters you have the working visa hurdle to overcome and for a band who is completely independent, we simply cannot afford it. We have got a few offers over the last few years and we’ve always kept an open mind. We’ve been told that there is a certain promoter in the US who is campaigning to have us come over for a couple of exclusive shows in 2014. We’re open to the idea, so hopefully the rest of it can fall into place.
 
As always, money dictates everything. We will play pretty much anywhere, but we will generally start with the places that have the smallest risk and then go from there.

 
 
I’ve writren: “…Lord should enjoy more recognition & popularity among the metal fans cuz’ they have been performing on a high level for years now…”.What’s you say?
 
A: I love reading things like this. It’s really humbling to hear! We know the reason why we don’t have more recognition and popularity, and that’s because of a lack of real label support and the limitations of being an independent artist. It’s frustrating at times when you have someone on the other side of the planet say “why haven’t I heard of you guys before?” as we know why it’s the case! Of course, it’s great to hear such positive feedback, but I think it will take serious support from other areas in order for us to take that next step into a bigger market.
 
In the meantime, we will continue working hard at what we do and love. In the end, the music matters and we love what we are doing. If our fanbase remains the same size from here on in, it would be disappointing to a degree, however we will be very proud that we’ve got to the level that we are at and the amazing fans that we already have.

 
Lord logo

Australia is truly a metal force than nobody can sidestep. I think the metal scene is getting stronger & stronger, right?
 
A: In the last few years there have been some really great bands who have raised the bar of professionalism and made big steps to getting their music out to the masses. Our good friends Voyager from Perth have been to Europe and the US a few times over the past couple of years and are finding some good success. Psycroptic have been leading the charge for a few years now as well. We also have The Levatation Hex (members of Alchemist and Alarum) who have been to Europe. Who else do we have? Be’lakor, Ne Obliviscaris, Vanshing Point, Black Majesty, De La Cruz, and many more that I can’t think of off the top of my head. It’s hard being a band from Australia because of our location, but it’s great to see so many bands doing what they can to be noticed on a global scale.
 
 
Are you into that digital/downloading trend or do you believe that’s killing music little by little? What’s there for a band when most people are downloading their albums and not even care to listen to them most of the times? What shall change so as to make it through?
 
A: It’s got it’s pro’s and con’s but I think the real issue is that there are still too many people in the industry who are spending their time and effort complaining about it, instead of looking at ways to move with the change. The artists and bands that will succeed will be the ones who find new ways to survive in a changing industry. Sure, it’s harder in some aspects than it’s ever been, but it’s not the end of the world. You just need to think outside the square and not be so stubborn by holding onto what ‘was’. I’ve seen bands that are almost at blows with their own fan base because the fans aren’t moving in the same direction that the band wants to go. Adapt, compromise, innovate and you will survive.
 
 
Did you feel that you had to burn the bridges with the past and you chose to call it quits with Dungeon and go on with Lord only?
 
A: There’s been no bridges burnt. The name change was to give the band a fresh outlook, but we have and will continue to embrace the past. Tim put a great blog up a while back (check out site) giving an in depth look into why we did what we did. The only thing that has changed with the band is the name. If we remained as “Dungeon” then we would be currently releasing “Digital Lies” with the same current line-up. It’s no different. Our past is evident in the music, lyrics, image and our live sets.
 
 
OK it’s time for our weird questions!!! Is LORD named after Tim Lord and why?
 
A: You can find this one our FAQ (gets asked a lot!), however yes that is correct. In a nutshell Tim had a nickname years ago that he held onto when Dungeon began. He created a solo side project in 2003 and named it LORD. In 2005 when we had the name change and new line-up, we decided that LORD would be a great starting point and it was an identifiable name. Today, LORD means a lot more than its original origins. It encompasses all that we have done, continue to do and what we will do in the future. Power, Diversity, Passion.
 
 
Which are the best 3 heavy metal albums of all time according to you?
 
A: This is hard as it changes frequently. In fact, it’s impossible to name THE best three. Instead I’ll name 3 classic metal albums that I’m listening to and loving at the moment. King Diamond – “Abigail”, Megadeth – “So Far, So Good… So What!”, and Queensryche – “Rage for Order”.
 
 
Which is the record you wish you had written and why??
 
A: John Farnham – “Whispering Jack”. Sorry, it isn’t metal but it’s an unbelievable album. John Farnham would have been THE ultimate metal vocalist. (i.n.: Ohh, I didn’t see that coming, but as you said, it is a great album no matter what!)
 
 
Were you obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music evolution, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
 
A: Impossible. There’s not one album that can sum it all up. What I would do however, is give them a copy of our new album and hope that we can pioneer a new market and make some big alien bounty!
 
 
You need to make a romantic atmosphere so as to seduce a lady. Which 3 songs would you choose to play in a row as soon as she comes in and why?
 
A: Off the top of my head, Harem Scarem – “Love Reaction”, Glass Tiger – “One to One”, and Lou Gramm – “Just Between You and Me”. (i.n.: Wonderful choices dude…)
 
 
Football, Basketball, Sex, Music or Philosophy? Which one do you prefer the most?
 
A: Music is number one. Always will be…
 
 
Asian hooker vs Stripper girl… What’s your choice & why?
 
A: I’ll take a quiet bar with good mates and good beer instead, thanks.
 
 
Size does matter after all or is it a big women’s lie eventually?
 
A: When they are beers, size does matter. Give me a 1 litre stein! (i.n.: hahaha...)
 
 
Would you stop listening to metal music if a girlfriend of yours asked you to? Metal vs chicks huh!
 
A: If your girlfriend stopped you from doing what you loved, then she isn’t worth knowing and isn’t right for you. The right person will respect your passions regardless of whether they enjoy the same things or not. Compromise and respect!
 
 
Why is rock/metal (any kind) music better than sex… if it is… cheeky
 
A: Music is forever. Sex is a short term fix, as great as it can be. Music lasts and has long term benefits for the mind and soul. It’s a no brainer.
 
 
You have the opportunity to have sex with the porn-star/movie celebrity of your choice. Who would it be & why?
 
A: None. I only need my girlfriend. More than satisfied!
 
 
Imagine that your girlfriend/life partner is selling your whole album-collection just to buy an expensive ring for herself. How would you react? cheeky
 
A: I would realize that I didn’t pick the right person to be with. Luckily that wouldn’t happen to me. My girlfriend buys me music all the time! (i.n.: Good for ya…laugh)
 
 
I think we’re OK Andy. Say anything you’d like to say and I didn’t ask you… Thx for the music… Take care dude…
 
A: Just a massive thanks for the support that you and everyone else is currently giving us. We’re immensely proud of what we do, and the fact that we do it all ourselves. We can only hope that word of mouth will spread and more people will have the chance to hear us and decide whether they enjoy the tunes or not. That’s all we can ask for, so thanks!
 

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