LORRAINE CROSS sound like the name of an American soap actress but the reality is a bit more fun than that. This is a band that should be checked out. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
What fascinates me is how you can still come up with new combinations of chords to make new songs and sounds that have not been heard before. What is it that fascinates you into coming up with new songs and albums?
-It is fascinating because you create something out of nowhere…There’s nothing and suddenly you have an idea, an inspiration, and you love it and you are so excited and eager to share this with the others. You never know where it comes from in the first place.
How is this new recording different from the previous? How do you take your sound one step further?
-Our previous recording was our demo. It was cool, but our album was recorded with François Merle from the band Manigance, and he has a long experience. He shared it with us and we learned tons of things because, you know, it’s only our first album. That is what was so different : it was really formative !
When you write songs about the topics you do what kind of reactions do you get? How important is it to have a message in your lyrics? What kind of topics do each song deal with? Is there a red thread to the songs?
-You know, we’re French and our lyrics are in English, and the French people are not among the best english speakers, so…we have few reactions here because most people don’t know what we are saying ! But the international reactions have been mostly positive, some reviews loved the fact we deal with French history. The red thread between « Black Infantry » and « Lorraine Cross » is world war II and Resistance for instance. But all our songs do not deal with it. Another theme is about rebel minded people following their own path, a theme that links « Don’t Waste your Energy » and « Go to Hell » for instance.
Whenever I think of you I cannot help wandering off to different bands. What bands/sounds do you indentify with?
-We have many influences because we love lots of different bands. For our fist album, we consider we have been rather influenced by the British Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest for instance. There are little hints of German Speed and Power metal here and there, and also American metal. For instance, there is something thrash in the rythmics of Target Locked, and that reminds of the early Metallica albums. And maybe a little deal of Scorpions in our ballad Die in your Arms.
How did you go about choosing art work for this new album? What was important to have in it?
-We wanted first to make something about the Resistance and world war II. But we found no exciting idea. Then we decided to create something else with the title « Army of Shadows ». Why not an army of spectres, of ghosts, lead by three major wraiths holding fire sword forming the Lorraine Cross symbol ? We thought it was a good way to play with that title and make something more Heavy Metal and more fantasy-like with it ! Stan W Decker made an amazing work with our idea !
Something that scares me a bit is this I hear from more and more bands that they aren’t that bothered with art work anymore because people today download rather than buy physical. To me the whole point is to have art work that matches the music. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed by weak art work to an otherwise cool album. What’s your opinion on this subject?
-Know something : Lorraine Cross will be one of those bands who’ll resist ! We agree with you 100 % ! Art Work is really important, it helps to create the atmosphere, it is what gives people the envy, the curiosity, to listen the tracks hiding behind a beautiful artwork. What would have been Metal music without all those wonderful artworks ? All the stuff with Eddie the Head ? Or masterpieces like that powerful barbarian raising the fist, surrounded by the flags of the main western nation’s flags on a well known Manowar album ? We love fantasy, we love beautiful artworks, we consider it is a very important part of Metal music. It is in metal music DNA. We really don’t understand the bands who make such a poor choice.
How do you come up with song titles? What do they have to have to fit the songs?
There are two different process who help a particular title to fit a particular song. The first way is to write the music first, and the vocal melody, but no lyrics yet. Then we brainstorm about this, until we find a title who suits the musical atmosphere of the track. The second way is to make the opposite thing : finding a cool title, and store it somewhere on a list of « cool titles who have no song yet ». And when you write a new song and it matches one of those title, there you go ! We use both methods.
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when your out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-Of course we feel very concerned about this. We sometimes feel we are unlucky not to have been able to make our music for instance in the eighties. We despite all wanna stay optimistic, and we think that the world is always in evolution and we must deal with it and take the good sides of it. And we had the luck to sign with scandinavia’s premier label for our very first album, so it helps to keep that optimism. Now we hope that all this will never mean the end of « albums » as we knew them, like when we were so excited to discover, all at once, 10 or 12 new tracks from our favourite band, with a nice cover, like it was back in time.
How much of a live band are you? How important is playing live?
-We fucking love that of course ! Now, the particularity of our band is that many songs were written before the band was created, and because of this we advanced quickly for the studio part, but we still have lots of things to learn when it comes to the experience on stage. But we are eager to learn, because sharing the music, on stage, directly with the audience, is always magical. This is what metal and rock music are all about. Giving energy, receiving it in return from the audience.
What lies in the future?
-Two things ! We are of course going to give as many gigs as we can to promote our album Army of Shadows. There are already a certain number of gigs for 2017, all of them in France for the moment, even if there is a possibility for us to give one or two gigs in Spain. Follow our Facebook page to keep informed about this. And also, of course, we are working on album 2. Nearly all of the song material for album 2 is already written and we are learning to play the tracks properly, so that we can enter in studio in 2017. We hope this second album will be able to come out end of 2017 or beginning of 2018.