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Interview with Tilo Wolff (Lacrimosa, Snakeskin)

19 Iunie 2006
de Horia Diaconescu si Ioan Cora

"I'm happy with my clown. Very happy!"

Odata cu declansarea fenomenului pop de la mijlocul secolului trecut s-au intrezarit nenumarate ramificatii stilistice. Dupa o cariera de peste 15 ani, Tilo Wolff, impreuna cu brandul sau Lacrimosa, isi pot revendica dreptul de existenta in cadrul acestui curent, pe unul din palierele sale (formal denumit "scena gotica"). Recunoasterea artistica este determinata de succesul actual si de eventuala lupta cu timpul. Arta pop are o capacitate mare de absorbtie.

Sa ne bucuram insa de prezent! In avanpremiera concertului de pe 1 iulie de la Sala Polivalenta, Tilo Wolff - Lacrimosa ne-a oferit un scurt interviu, pe care va invitam sa-l cititi cu atentie. Multumim pentru oportunitate colaboratorilor de la Hall of Sermon, Nadja si Frederik Sander.   

Discografie selectiva. Recomandari Muzici si Faze

LACRIMOSA - Alles Lüge (ep, 1993)
LACRIMOSA - Inferno (1995)
LACRIMOSA - Stolzes Herz (ep, 1996)
LACRIMOSA - Stille (1997)
LACRIMOSA - Aleine zu zweit (ep, 1999)
LACRIMOSA - Elodia (1999)
LACRIMOSA - Lichtgestalt (2005)

Muzici si Faze / Lacrimosa
Muzici si Faze / Lacrimosa Live

Lacrimosa - pagina oficiala

Snakeskin - pagina oficiala
Hall of Sermon - pagina oficiala

01. Greetings Tilo. There are several Latin language countries where Lacrimosa has been appreciated for many years on a national scale among the (rock) music lovers. That is Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and... Romania. Have you ever pondered about this peculiar situation?

Of course, but not in that sense, that I wonder... why?, but in the sense that I take it as a present. Something I never expected but mercifuly became.

02. Lichtgestalt is your most recent work. What is the key to “open” this album?

          To be honest I believe it has many different keys. One might enter the album because of the mixture between guitars and orchestra-instruments, one can feel the contents of the lyrics, maybe somebody else will like one melody or other... while the next one appreciates the production. As many keys this album has, as many corner joints it has from which one can be disturbed.

03. Heavy metal band Therion will soon play (likely in Bucharest) their first ever show with full orchestra. How come you have never performed live in such a formula, while you recorded music with orchestra. We know that Lacrimosa is a 100% independent band, where the artistic goals always "dictate" over other challenges (financial etc.). 

          It’s easy to be answered: such a performance, such a production can’t be done quickly and loveless! It has to be perfect! And things only can be perfect, if everything connected is right. 
          Thus, when the time is right, when I feel ready, I will do it, but not before!

Lacrimosa 2006
Tilo Wolff und Anne Nurmi

04. Do you think a pop-rock (pop culture) musician should also be an actor? How does this issue translate into Lacrimosa's performance on and out of the stage?

          No... acting is a different pair of shoes. When you create a work, like a composer does, then you give something of your inner life to the people. You turn the inside out. There is no need to act then, except maybe, if your work were not honest or you can’t stand to it. But that is, I think, more the case in other music genres than hopefully in ours!

05. You have cited Charlie Chaplin as an  artistic model. Will you, please, choose a Lacrimosa composition that best matches Charlot's attitude?

I think that might be the title Mein zweites Herz from the album Stille, because words and music have the charm and positive naivety of a Charlot.

06. Lacrimosa is most often linked with the Gothic scene, that nowadays spans over various musical directions and style trends. Where do you situate Lacrimosa's artistic discourse in relation with what is called "the Gothic attitude & subculture"?

          Well, I never think much about the name of the styles and the categories of this or that. I come from the Goth-scene, also always had an affinity for hard and dark music, so my heart will always be black, just the same...

Fassade Tour 2001
Live in Monterry, Mexico

07. So, is it right to say that Lacrimosa's music never truly "changed", but has only "refined"?

          Yes! I see it pretty similar. My roots, my aims, my soul have never changed. It's just the way of expression developed in that sense.  Just as a human being develops. But the red line within my work is still the same. That’s why I also still love my first albums and I still feel what I was expressing at that time.

08. Your lyrics often include references to the Christian tradition, that is most often approached with a superficial outlook by rock bands (not to mention the generic non-Christian or anti-Christian stance of many rock-goth artists). Where does your interest in Christian symbols originates from?

          I believe in God, I go to church and I try to live in the transmitted values. When I write or talk about God or Christian values, I mean what I say and that’s also why I never use it as some kind of styling, image or anything like that.

09. Upon attentive listen one might feel Kafka’s influence on Angst. We know you have an affinity for this special writer. Tell us, please, some words about this. And, for the sake of the game, how about a concept Kafka album named, why not… America?

          Yes, Kafka was and is an important influence on my work since many of his thoughts and emotions that he wrote down are pretty similar to some of mine. But still, they are similar, and not identical. I couldn’t and wouldn’t like to write the music to the words of a stranger author. 

10. For the past 16 years you have attempted (and succeeded) to build a brand of Lacrimosa around the clown allegory. Any future plans for “re-branding”?

          No! I am happy with my clown! Very happy!

Tilo Wolff - trumpet solo
Fassade Tour 2001
Live in Monterry, Mexico

11. Will you accept a little game? It is not a matter of hierarchy.


          Violin or Piano

          Passion or Reason

          Sisters of Mercy or Bauhaus
          Bauhaus (if they don’t ruin everything during their reunion)!

          Metallica or Iron Maiden

          Van Der Graaf Generator or Amon Duul II
          Are these games? Well, if I had the time to play I would probably choose “Van Der Graaf”... the Count, that sounds cool!

Lacrimosa - Stille
1997, Pencil design by
Stelio Diamantopoulos

12. You will soon play in Bucharest in front of more than 2000 music lovers. Unlike Western Europe, most of Lacrimosa’s auditorium in Romania comes from the “metal” public. Will you, please, address a message to those who discover themselves through your music?

          As I said before that I don’t care about the name of the styles I don’t care if our audience is listening to Gothic, Metal or Pop Music. If they listen to Lacrimosa, if they feel our music, they must have a good heart and than I’m looking forward to meet them, especialy in a country, I have never been before. But I have always wanted to visit it because one of my best school-friends was from Romania!

13. By the way, have you experienced and liked any Romanian musician or artist?

          Unfortunately not yet, but I love the tragic folk music from the Balkan area. Maybe someone will suggest me something beautiful during our stay in Bucharest.

That should be Maria Tanase, "East Europe's Edith Piaf" as some call her. Vielen Dank!

See you on July, the first!!

Interviewed by Horia Diaconescu & Ioan Cora
15th of June 2006

Alles Lüge?

My Great Web page
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21 Martie 2005 Interviu cu George Patranoiu - chitara Taxi de Mihai Plamadeala, Ioan Cora, Horia Diaconescu 
18 Februarie 2005 Interview with Fernando Ribeiro - the voice of Moonspell de Horia Diaconescu interviu in limba engleza
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10 Ianuarie 2005 Interviu cu Aurelian Dinca - chitara Trooper de Mihai Plamadeala, Ioan Cora, Horia Diaconescu 
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