Lord Tim talks new LORD EP ‘What Tomorrow Brings’, supporting Helloween in October and hints at future album.
What Tomorrow Brings follows LORD’s previous success with 2013 release, Digital Lies and The Dungeon Era box set, which they released last year for the band’s 25th anniversary, with four original albums from their Dungeon days.
The EP includes previously unreleased track, Haunted and covers of some of LORD’s favourite bands. The main focus though is What Tomorrow Brings, which is a concept piece about the life of a man who recalls his past and questions life after the death of his wife and daughter.
Talking to lead vocalist and guitarist, Lord Tim, he gives an in-depth look into the creation of title track What Tomorrow Brings, discusses Helloween tour in October, and hints at what LORD has in store in the future.
Q: Your new release What Tomorrow Brings, is an EP that primarily focuses on the title track and rightly so. The concept piece has buildups leading into each new chapter of the protagonist’s life, cinematic effects and enormous solos from you and Mark Furtner. The song does not fail to impress. How did you create What Tomorrow Brings, and why did you decide to go with a long track for the EP?
Lord Tim: I’ve always loved concept albums. Stuff like Abigail by King Diamond, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son by Iron Maiden, and Operation: Mindcrime by Queensryche… the list goes on. While I was recording The Dungeon Era, I was slowly writing some kind of long song in my head. It’s not uncommon for me to be writing two or three songs in my head constantly, but I could tell this was shaping up to be a bit epic. After we’d finished The Dungeon Era, I chatted to Tim Yatras (ex-LORD, Germ, Autumn’s Dawn) who played session drums on everything and asked if he’d be interested in recording and maybe co-writing a huge concept song. He’s a fan of those concept albums I mentioned, as well as monster pieces like The Art of Life by X Japan, so he was keen to be involved.
The writing came together pretty quickly for such an epic song. The most interesting thing was the main protagonist’s melody that was actually written by my then ten-month old daughter who was randomly banging away on a toy xylophone we’d bought her. Just by sheer coincidence she happened upon a melody that just made me sit up and go “That’s it!” when I heard it. I guess we owe her some royalties one day (laughs)! Tim Yatras came in to do the drums and added his own personal touches to the song and it all fell in to place.
“I could tell this was shaping up to be a bit epic”.
I knew I wanted to write something that took the listener on a bit of a journey. If you’re retracing the steps of a man’s life, there are all kinds of parts of his life that could be represented by different musical themes, such as a delicate piano section for his mother’s promise to him, or when his own child was born, or extreme metal to convey the anger and resentment of losing everything. But in order to tell a big, emotional story, there had to be some kind of conflict to add a point to it all. What could possibly be so terrible that brings a person to consider stepping off a high ledge to fall into traffic? He had to lose everything that mattered to him, and the obvious thing was his family. After I had that worked out, the story was just built from there.
Adding in the actors was really the icing on the cake. It really brought the story to life, and being able to change the context of some of the speeches by where they were placed in the timeline was a really powerful device. For example, the inspiring speech that the protagonist’s mother gave him as a baby about being “so proud of him” was a beautiful and touching moment in that context, but when it was repeated later when he was torn with grief and guilt about surviving when his family died, it was more of a taunt, “How could you be proud of me now?” Just adding to the crushing guilt, and giving him the nudge that pushed him literally to the edge.
Q: You guys also added covers onto the EP, which include songs from The Police, Helloween and Ah-Ha. What did you dig the most about putting LORD’s unique sound to well-known tracks?
LT: We’re fans of heaps of different musical styles, from pop to black metal, and it’s just fun to see what would happen if we tried to cover a song we enjoy. We always try to be respectful to the original intent of the song but impart our own kind of style to it. We’ve had some pretty big disasters trying this over the years, but for the most part we’ve managed to amass quite a collection of cover tunes. More than anything else, it’s a lot of fun jamming some of our favourite songs, really, and it’s nice to be able to share them with our fans when they turn out well.
Q: What was it like for you guys to be back in the studio again for the EP?
LT: You know we actually didn’t get together in the studio this time at all. Everything was done in our own personal studios and the guys e-mailed their parts over to me to drop in the master session. Only the session drums and my personal guitar parts and vocals were done in the studio this time. In fact, all of the voice acting was done entirely over Skype as well, with the actors living all over the country. It’s amazing how far technology has come to allow this kind of thing to happen!
Q: Another song, Haunted, you revealed on social media to be a previously unreleased track. Can you tell us a bit about the track, and why you released it on this EP?
LT: When we were recording Digital Lies, Mark came up with three songs: Betrayal Blind, Battle Of Venarium and Haunted. Haunted and Betrayal Blind had a really similar kind of vibe so we decided to drop one of them (my vote was to keep Haunted – vetoed again!) (laughs). About a year ago, to say thanks for people who had ordered from our online store during a certain time period, we decided to give away a digital version of Haunted and our cover of Message In A Bottle by The Police. When it came time to doing the EP, as usual we were thinking of ways to add value to the package, so we decided to give those songs a proper commercial release by including them.
“I knew I wanted to write something that took the listener on a bit of a journey”.
Q: One thing obviously pretty exciting for you guys right now is supporting Helloween in October on their Australian tour. What are you most looking forward to, and what can the audience expect when you take to the stage?
LT: I think it’s fairly obvious that Helloween is a huge influence on us, especially in the early days. The Keepers albums were landmarks of power metal and some of my favourite albums ever. Better Than Raw with Andi Deris fronting the band is my favourite Helloween album and that was hugely influential when we were writing the Resurrection and A Rise To Power albums back in the day, so being able share a stage with a band that had so much of an impact on our writing is fantastic.
I’d say we’ll have a shortish set (people are rightly there to see Helloween, of course) so we’ll be packing as much energy and sing-along songs into whatever time we have as we can. It’s our job to get the crowd in the right mood to explode for the headliner, so expect us to pull out all the stops!
Q: What can we expect next from LORD, could there be a national tour or a new album in the future? (Pretty much name anything here that you would like to reveal)
LT: Yeah, a national tour is being put together as we speak for some time later in the year (with a fun twist, but I’ll keep that to myself for the moment), and writing has already begun on the next album, which we like to think we’ll have out before the end of next year. A couple of other things are on the boil too, that should be set in motion by 2016. So as always, it’s busy here in the LORD camp!
The fun Mayhem question corner with LORD!
Q: What band/album can’t you, Mark and Andy get enough of this month, anything playing on repeat in the stereo?
LT: For me, nothing; I’m usually too busy mixing or writing or doing video clips to listen to anything new. My last obsession was Pseudo Echo’s latest album, Ultraviolet, and maybe even The Avengers Soundtrack by Alan Silvestri, but I’m hanging out for Duran Duran’s new one later this year.
Andy has been hammering Hymns for the Broken by Everygrey, Framework by Work of Art, The Saviours Slain by Truth Corroded; For Victory by Bolt Thrower and Thin Red Line by Glass Tiger.
Mark’s latest playlist involved a lot of Fleetwood Mac and Ritchie Sambora.
What’s cool about LORD is that we have such wide ranging tastes, as you can see, which makes its way into our music. I think metal bands that only listen to metal exclusively tend to get a little stale after a while. We love metal, obviously, but it’s great to have an open mind.
Q: Are there any hilarious moments in the studio or on tour that you can recall?
LT: Plenty of great moments on tour but if I told you, I’d have to kill you. Or you could just probably go to our YouTube channel and look at any of our tour diaries we’ve uploaded and bypass the whole “getting killed” thing (laughs).
Q: What message would you guys like to shout out to your fans?
LT: As always, thanks for the support! There’s no way we would be able to keep doing what we’re doing without people buying our albums or merch, or coming to shows and we very much appreciate it. We have a lot of cool things in the works, which you can stay up to date with at www.lord.net.au and hopefully we’ll see everyone soon on tour. Cheers!
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