In the context of the Ukrainian-Russian tour under the name “Pizdatu Tour 2006” the legendary gothic/doom metal band from Sweden – LAKE OF TEARS visited three towns in Ukraine. We didn’t manage to have an interview with them during their sojourn in Kiev and thus I had to use Internet to get the needed answers. Bassist Mikael Larsson handled this task instead of the band’s vocalist/guitarist Daniel Brennare (who, actually promised to answer the questions)…
First of all, I’m would like to know your impressions about our public and organization in Ukraine…
As it has been so far in the Eastern Europe, people have been very good to us. That also goes for the people of Ukraine. The audience was great indeed. Many people sang out loud in our songs. It was fantastic. The organization was ok. I know that some of the guys is quite new in the business, and I heard that they have made a big progress from earlier shows. We have had much, much worse organization in Western Europe.
When you mostly liked the reaction of the audience during the concerts? In Lvov, Kiev or Kharkov?
All cities were good to us, but I think we did our best show in Kiev. Lvov was the first gig on the tour so everything was a little bit shaky. Kharkov was for me personally a bit tough. During the two last songs in the original set, I was in the toilet puking my guts out. I had been food-poisoned a couple days before so I was not in great shape. But I came out for the encores.
You are one of the few western metal bands who have so many concerts in the cities of Russia and Ukraine. What do you think about this?
I think we are lucky to be one of the first bands to do these shows. The first are always the best.
Your first album was produced by Мathias Lodmalm (CEMETARY). Do you communicate with him now?
I meet him sometimes, not that often. We live in the same city. That’s all.
“Black Brick Road” was your first album for Noise Records. Please, can you compare the work of this label with one of Black Mark Production…
Oh, this was much easier work than with Black Mark and much more professional. They supported us really good when we did “Black Brick Road”.
What was the main drawback of Black Mark in your opinion? Many bands, who had contract with Black Mark, were dissatisfied with their work…
Black Mark is a one mans kingdom. No one does anything without “the Boss” approving it. A company can not work that way. Especially when there are only relatives working there… Their biggest mistake came when they didn’t want to send us touring after “A Crimson Cosmos”. After that we didn’t receive more support from them.
LAKE OF TEARS started as the doom metal band, but with the time you shifted to gothic sound, as well as some other Swedish bands (for example CEMETARY, TIAMAT, KATATONIA, BESEECH). What was the reason for such a shift to gothic metal?
We were in the same situation all of us I think. We were all listening to and playing death metal.
We were not teenagers anymore and wanted to do something else. The doom/gothic genre felt good to us, and I think we found our place.
Many people consider your second album “Headstones” to be the best. And what album is the dearest memory personally for you?
I have learned that in Eastern Europe “Headstones” and “Forever Autumn” are the biggest favorites. I can understand it. But I have two other albums as favorites. “A Crimson Cosmos”, because there we really found out was LAKE OF TEARS was all about. And finally “Black Brick Road” because it was the beginning to something new but still very familiar…
It is known that it is quite easy tо organize a band in Sweden because the government encourages youth to work on music and creates free of charge musical schools and rehearsal rooms. Was it the same way in 1992 for you?
We did not go to any musical schools, except for Magnus but we did not know him by then. We used another great Swedish idea. Small schools where you can take different kind of courses, from pottery to learning how to shoot with a rifle… We said we wanted to play rock music and they just gave us guitars, drums, amplifiers and a place to rehearse. We just had to give them a name list every other month. Really good for the bands…
What are the leading bands of the Swiss metal scene now in your opinion?
I am not a big follower of the Swiss metal scene, but I would guess that SAMAEL and CELTIC FROST are the leading bands right now.
What music do you prefer to listen to?
I do not listen to that much metal nowadays. I prefer PINK FLOYD and 70´s rock like BLACK SABBATH and so on. But a little SLAYER and BOLT THROWER now and then doesn’t hurt.
Are you happier guy now than, say, 10 years ago?
Yes, I am. I have more problems, but I have more to live for. Now I have a son, who can not be happy then?
If you had to do this all over again, would you take the same path?
There are some parts that I would have changed. But it is hard to tell. If we would have taken another road it might have led straight to hell.
What would you change first of all if you had a possibility to change something in the carrier of LAKE OF TEARS?
Easy question… I would have changed our first five album deal with Black Mark to a three album deal.
Name three words that describe you…
Loyal, stubborn and lazy…
Last time you got upset?
When I missed my flight home from Greece with ten minutes…
Do you believe in marriage?
I would like to believe in it, but because the world is as it is today it means less and less to people today.
Worst day of your life?
The day when my father died…
What will be your famous last words?
Life is short. Do not dream about doing things. Do them instead.
What would you like to be remembered for/as?
As a good father and a good man…
Well, few words for your fans in Ukraine…
Thank you very much, you who were at our shows in Ukraine. We felt very good with our shows here because the audience was amazing. If everything goes as it is planned we will release a new album called “Moons and Mushrooms” in winter sometime and hopefully be back in Ukraine next year. Take care to next time!
Costas / Terroraiser Magazine №4 (28) / 2006