Nov 1, 2012

The LAKE OF TEARS Tribute Album Interview Spectacular ...

You may say that you like but Lake of Tears were one of the first doom bands in Europe, they have a good piece of doom in first album "Greater Art", they took first steps further in progressive realms right with their second LP "Headstones" and since then they do their best mixing progressive, psychedelic and sometimes doom elements in their songs spicing it with good yet dark sense of humor and aesthetic touch of Evil. Strange… but they have a big jubilee in this year for 20 years they make us cry with tears of joy and sorrow… Or something like that :-)
Russian official fan club of Lake of Tears and label FONO Ltd released great double CD compilation "Twenty Years In Tears - tribute to Lake of Tears" with new versions of well-known hits of that Swedish legend. There're bands from Finland, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine who prepared their covers for the tribute and 13 of them are here today to say their words for heroes of the day. There were only 3 questions for them.

1. This is a common question: where and how did you hear Lake of Tears for a first time?
2. Why did you choose that certain song for a tribute and did you change anything in it?
3. Last question is about band's current state and latest news, because we always try to give an opportunity to spread a word 'bout heavy tunes and thunderous riffs.

But let us starts with few words from Lake of Tears and the guy who did most of the job to create that tribute - Andrew Hohlenko.

b>Lake of Tears

"We feel really honored by this. No bullshit!
The fact that so many musicians have taken time to arrange and record covers of our songs is amazing. Of course the quality varies over the two cds, but we truly enjoy many of them. Some even contain ideas and arrangements that make us think something like: "Why the hell didn´t we think of this!".So, many, many thanks to everyone contributing and to the people behind the whole thing like Andrey. Thanks!"

Lake Of Tears.Net
Lake of Tears | Facebook
Tribute sampler: HERE
The Equinox ov Gods covers: HERE
Nekroheart "tape" cover (not included in original edition): HERE

Andrew Hohlenko

Once on the old site LoT, which now does not exist, were released some cover of LoT from some obscure commands, and in a totally low quality. Well, then, I've found the idea of making a normal tribute to the band. At first there was the idea to make this as a web project without the involvement of any label. But as it turned out, not every group will agree to participate in this compillation because the record costs money, and everyone wants to get something in return, at least a few disks on storage... On that note, we decided to release a tribute to physical media and give two CD to every musician in the tribute. Proposals were sent to so many Western teams, both famous and not so, but in most cases managers raised the question of the end, only those few that you can see in the track list agreed. Some bands, incidentally, themselves expressed their desire to participate, but there is question of the duration of the tribute, and we even had to issue waivers as accommodate everyone on two CD was impossible, even with a fairly strict selection criteria, most of which was the quality of the recorded material.

Am I satisfied with the end result? Of course yes. Three days when we used to hang out with  Lake of Tears musicians in Maloyaroslavets, I gave them to listen to yet unreleased tribute. They hardly learned even some of the songs :) But, all in all, guys are happy by the fact of the presence of this compilation, the name of which - "Twenty Years In Tears" - and they suggested it themselves. I would call it "Twenty Years On Stage". The artwork is painted by W.Smerdulyak (he also now works on a new site design) that I am also very pleased. And finally, a compilation group I would like to focus especially is The Equinox Ov The Gods. They made very emotional tracks! But in general, thank you, maybe in the future we will make a "part 2" to the 25-year anniversary!

Lake of Tears | Official Website

Atra Hora (Russia)

1. Our first encounter with the music of Lake of Tears happened in 2000, it was a "Headstones" tape. It was an amazing feeling and it's still so. The album is an example of successful combination of simplicity in the arrangements with huge originality. I think much of "Greater Art", "Headstones" and "Illwill", but I don't quite understand their other albums.

2. The fact is what we have chosen "Under the Crescent" because the most of the tracks which fit our style had already been used by other bands. So we decided to record "Under the Crescent" but with making little corrections. We tried to emphasize some similarity of early Lake of Tears guitar riffs with Swedish Melodic Death Metal of mid-90ths. In our view this idea has been implemented most successfully in the chorus when the original Swedish melodies are combined with fast double-bass drumming.

3. At the moment Atra Hora are promoting the brand new album entitled "Via Combusta", which has been released on Darknagar Records. Moreover the band is actively rehearsing
and preparing for gigs in the South of Russia supporting the CD. The recording session of the EP is planned on 2013. This opus will set the direction of our creative development.

Atra Hora | ReverbNation

 Awake in Shades (Finland)

1. First time I heard Lake of Tears from metal-compilation-cd called Metalliliitto 1999 (at the same year i guess) and the song was "So Fell Autumn Rain". It striked out for me from that compilation. I thought it was simple and honest. I liked the melodies with a melancholy and the atmospheric feeling in the songs. I started to listen the songs from Lake of Tears website (Crimson Book) and soon ordered all the albums. Since then Lake of Tears have been one of the main bands that have influenced also in making music.

2. The Four Strings of Mourning had been a coversong with a few bands over the years - and it has always been nice to play it. In spring 2012 when I heard about this tribute-compilation I didn´t have a band active for more than a year or so. But i thought this was a great thing to be a part of as a fan of Lake of Tears. So on short notice I asked my old friends to come together to make this song. It was also the latest song from Lake of Tears that the band had played in rehearsals and it was familiar for all of us. The deadline was knocking on the door and I was actually surprised and clad that we had something in our hands for the tribute - to make a tribute.

3. So this band with this line up was kind of a "rebuild-project" ( The Realization of Falling Apart / Shallowland ) only to make this tribute song to the compilation. But all the band members are still actively playing with different bands and more or less making music as a part of their lives.

 Aglarond (Mexico)

1. The first time we listen to Lake of Tears was "The Greater Art", "Tears" was one of the first covers we play and was one of the biggest influences for the band.

2. The song "Tears" was the first cover that Aglarond play, so we decided to record that song, and add a bit of our style to it. The second song, "The Raistiling And The Rose", is another of my favorite songs, so we decided to select it.

 3. We are currently finishing the new songs for the new album, and start recording this December. Thanks, and greetings from Mexico.

Aglarond | Facebook
Aglarond | Myspace

 Dominia (Russia, Saint-Petersburg)

1. I liked Lake of Tears in my youth, especially album "Headstones", the first song was "Raven Land", I was watching video clips on a video cassette. Several years ago, we were invited to play with LoT in St. Petersburg. We were having a little chat with the musicians, the impressions of them remained. They are normal people. Among them are normal guys and guys with raised noses, so the same picture is in any band.

2. "The Path of the Gods" - a slow song, epic, monumental and inspirational. This music is peculiar to us, and when we were invited to the tribute, we have chosen this masterpiece, because we know how it sounds when we record it. And, to be honest, this was my favorite track from the album '95, I have associated different memories with it. And when I asked the guys in the band, this is the track to record, and no one really did not argue.

3. DOMINIA is in the final stages of recording their third full-length album - "Theophania", plans to release in the winter 2012-2013. Also release our first DVD - "Reincarnation". And very soon, we will please the public with our new video and single.

Domina | Official

 Egonaut (Sweden)

1. Well since they are from the same town as I am I initially heard of them through the local newspaper covering their first polish tour and I also remember listening to the headstones album in the local record shop just as it came out.
By coincidence I walked past the stage when they were playing at Sweden Rock Festival and checked a couple of songs out there as well and a couple of years later I got a phonecall from Daniel asking me if I'd be interested in playing some live-shows with the band, something I've been doing since 2008 upto now.
They haven't been that much of an influence to me musically as I come from a more death/thrash background but they were very much an inspiration as to seeing how a band from my hometown could come to get an international career.

2. "Children of the grey" was a very obvious choice for me as it is one of my favourite LoT tracks and it also translates very well into the sound we have with Egonaut, so we could pretty much play it exactly the way as the original was played. The organizers of the tribute album wanted us to present two tracks; so for the second track we choose to transform "Floating in Darkness" into an Egonaut tune; changing the tempo and making it more a Rock n Roll song. Even when Daniel played me the riffs for that song the first time I sort of pictured it being redone this way so it was cool to get an excuse to rerecording it.

3. We're actually entering the studio now in October to record our second full-lenght album, due for release in February/March, and then we plan to hit the road as much as possible playing our new material.

Egonaut | Facebook

Grobut Neerg (Russia, Ryazan)

1. "Under the Crescent" was the first song I've ever heard, and the "Greater art" album was the first album that I've listened. As far as I remember it happened in autumn 2004. I had been interested in a series of books dedicated to "Magic the Gathering" card game. Since then I associate the album with those times, because I was listening it during the reading lots of times.

2. We chose this song because many of us like the early works of LoT. We had some more variants, but "As Daylight Yields" was our common choice. We slightly changed the arrangement and recorded it in a lower tune. It was enough to gain the best result, so we didn't add anything extra.

3. Now we make a new track "War Machines", that's the most extreme thing we've ever played. I think, it will be available soon as a single, which will also include our Lake of Tears cover.


 Hexentrauma (Russia, Ekaterinodar)

1. First time I listened to Lake Of Tears in 2005. "Black Brick Road" was the first album I heard. I found it on pirate doom metal compilation. Then I bought some other albums that plunged me deeper into the music. The most interesting things I found in LoT music were the atmosphere, melodies and great song. I listened to LoT music for 3 consecutive years. So there was a huge period of my life. There are many emotions and memories inextricably linked to this music.

2. "Headstones" is an iconic track. In my view, this is an outstanding ballad. Here is where it began my acquaintance with the guitar - that is, this is the first song I learned to play. Half a year ago I had fun recording different covers - just for fun and practice. And one morning I  spontaneously started to record Headstones.  I decided to make it into a cheerful folk sound and without synthetic instruments. I finished my work by the evening and saw the network news about the upcoming tribute album. So, this is an interesting coincidence.

3. Our second album 'Idols' is ready to be released on "Shadowplay Rec". So, you can hear it  already this autumn. And now we can start working on the material for the next album - there will be a lot of work. And it would be very good to find a couple of people for the band, because it's difficult to play in the duo format :)


 Mental Home (Russia, Moscow)
Answers provided by Michael "MAIDEN" Smirnoff - band keyboard player / manager

1. Well... I used to listen to Lake Of Tears in the first half of 90s. I mean "Greater Art" and "Headstones". I can't say it had any influence on me or our band as let's say TIAMAT did back then. But I clearly remember I liked Lake Of Tears first 2 albums. At the same time I must tell you that after those albums I didn't listen to them much since "Crimson Cosmos" and didn't listen at all to their later albums.

2. When I first got the invitation to participate in tribute album I wasn't much up for it but the rest of the guys decided we should be in. When it came to choose the particular song it was out of the question that it must be something off the first two albums since we are in our late thirties and we loved early stuff. But when I played that stuff now to refresh my memories I was puzzled because (to tell you the truth) I could not believe "how could I like this?!". 17 years have passed since I listened to Lake Of Tears and now those albums sounded a bit outdated and maybe even ridiculous. No offence to the band but that was my impression when I tried to decide which song to choose.
Anyway we chose "RavenLand" but decided to make it more in the vein of our own modern up to date stuff. So we almost doubled the tempo and wrote Russian lyrics to the song since we were working on our first ever Russian language album (all those before now were in English) so we found it'd be pretty much interesting if the cover could fit our latest vibes and concepts. Russian lyrics for "RavenLand" greatly matched the concept of our new album that's dedicated to WWII. That's it I guess.

3. We've just released our album named "Ugra" (it's the name of the river) and preparing to support it with gigs, interviews and radio appearances. After that we'd love to continue re-releasing our older stuff starting from "Funeral Service" (1994) album and so on. Also we are working on variety of T-shirts designs to fulfill many merch requests we've received over the years.

Mental Home | Official

 Sacratus (Russia, Cherkessk)

1. The first time I get acquainted with music of Lake of Tears in 1996. I have bought albums "Headstones" and "Greater Art". That time I constantly listened to My Dying Bride, Anathema, Crematory, Tiamat and Lake of Tears was a revelation for me. The album "Headstones" became one of my favorites. Lake of Tears differs from the other Doom bands.

2. I have chosen the song "Upon The Highest Mountain" because its lyrics are very cognate to me. Honestly, we wanted to record "The Path of the Gods" (Upon The Highest Mountain part 2), because it is closer to our style, but unfortunately, the band Dominia had chosen it earlier. We tried to play "Upon the Highest Mountain" in the spirit of Sacratus. The solo was replayed by ex-guitarist Maximilian Del Rio. It's a pity that the old photo of the band has been used in the
artwork while we had sent the actual one. I don't like artwork, but upon the whole, I like the work we and the other bands have done. As for us - cover on Upon the Highest Mountain is a bow to music of Lake of Tears. And I wish all metal fans listen for a good music, to be healthy
and never war.

3. In the moment Sacratus is recording the third fill-length album "The Life Like a Flover, as Birth, as Death", playing World of Tanks, working on the solo project and live to the fullest.


 The Equinox Ov The Gods (Sweden)

1. It must have been during the glorious days of tape trading and demo swapping! Can't really recall any titles of our first encounter with LoT but it was with a delightful feeling of familiarity we begun to work with their songs. After all, both the Equinox ov the Gods and Lake of Tears came from that fertile soil of the underground scene of that time!

2. It was actually quite hard! Within the band we had a lot of discussions which lead to that, one after another, our favorite tracks where taken by other bands! Fortunately, LoT have been around for 20 years and there were many interesting songs to choose from! It was important to us that both music and lyrics appealed to us otherwise it would have been hard to add to the songs that little extra that is the soul and the essence of the Equinox ov the Gods!

3. At the moment we are working on new material for a new album.


The Mary Major (Sweden)

1. We're from the same town as Lake of Tears. So we have played together a couple of times. They are very nice people and when we got the question to be on their tribute album we didn't hesitate a second.
I remember when I started to listen to their music. It was when "Blackbrick Road" was being recorded. Our old band Beseech was in the same studio recording an album, so we got to hear some of the songs that were in the recording process.

2. We chose "The Greymen" because it's very driven, and we knew we could do something good from it. We just started to jam, and ended up playing the almost 70's like groove. We're very proud of the results. This song is the first Lake of Tears song that I've had on repeat at home, it's very catchy and the lyrics are just perfect.

3. At the moment we are experimenting in our studio. Trying out new sounds and making plans for future songs. You should really check us out on Facebook so that you can follow the news.
Cheers, and stay tuned!


 Type V Blood (Russia, Kaliningrad)

1. With LOT met in '95 when they released their "Headstones". Great album. Frequent visitor to the cassette deck. Now, of course, difficult to describe all the feelings, much time has passed, and at 96 joined the army and somehow forgotten about this group at all. And in early 2012 the first proposal came from our old label - collect group to tribute to LOT, do not want to join? I, honestly, started frantically to remember what is the band? I remember the name, and what they plays - I do not remember. I had to download a couple of albums in order to refresh my memory. And finally remembered! Well, really wanted to do a cover.

2. "Burn Fire Burn" - very catchy track! We fell in love with her the first second. Besides, under our performance is very well suited. Decided to make a heavy metal drum and bass with dubstep insert. It turned out, I think it is excellent and experimentally like everything that we do, ha-
ha))) In the end, a cover were very happy and not just us. But, because of the fact that we are different from other groups of the collection, our version of "Burn Fire Burn" included as a bonus track.

3. Recently on Artificial Sun released our fifth disc PENTA. So who is interested in our music, and the overall development of the same - order it and ask it in the shops. Well, we come up with new material, giving concerts, rehearsals, in general - do our own future. Good luck and thank
you for your attention.

Type V Blood | Fix Remix

 Xicon (Switzerland)

1. It was just after the release of the album "A Crimson Cosmos". I saw the video for "Devil's Diner" on a French musical TV and I liked it a lot. Soon after, I bought the album Headstones and this is what really got me hooked. There are so many good songs on this record. I followed their carrier from this point getting every album they released. I think they achieve something most bands would dream of: they evolved slowly and constantly but were always able to maintain their typical sound.

2. I'm actually the only one in the band to be a fan of LoT. So I was expecting the guys in Xicon would turn the offer down when I proposed to record this cover. Fortunately, they were quite enthusiastic about doing this. We wanted a song that would suit every musician in the band. I suggested several songs and we choose "Dystopia": it has a very catchy riff, a touch of electronic… Everything Xicon likes. We really wanted to bring our touch to this song and the result may sound quite different from the original but we're definitely proud of it. For example: there is no guitar solo on the original but we added one because it is something that is really part of our sound.

3. Our second album, Monument, was released a few months ago and after that we were somewhat in a dead-end with very few concerts ahead. Recording this cover gave us the opportunity to get back to work and revive the enthusiasm. We have some new riffs and lyrics that we'll be working on in the next few months and meanwhile, we're looking for concerts… Why not a tour in Russia?



Interviews By Aleks

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