It’s like I can hardly tell a birch from a pine tree. I know and appreciate the beauty of trees and flowers but I don’t know the significance of them all. So what a LOTUS THIEF is, is beyond my knowledge. Which is why I’ve interviewed this band to find out more. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
How important is the band’s name in giving out the right kind of vibe?
Bezaelith: A band’s name is only as good as the band. If the music is where it should be, people will listen in. Think of all the band names of great bands, and imagine if that band, whichever band you think was amazing, played horrible music how suddenly silly the name would become. The music somehow creates the name. If the name happens to be a great name to the subjective listeners, even better.
What was it that made you want to do the band?
Iva Toric: First and foremost it was the people I get to work with. My bandmates are some of the sweetest people I know and we get along very well. A close second is the incredible talent of the musicians and the overall sound of the band. I am honored to work with such amazing artists.
What is your definition of the music you play?
Leunammi: We play metal music – we like to tap into different sub-genres as we feel it better suits the songs and album concept, but its ultimately metal. Lotus Thief is about the quest for knowledge through ancient texts – that reflects in our songwriting, so we experiment and learn as we go, specially now that we have more members contributing to the writing and bringing in different influences.
How do you arrange the tracks? Is there a method to how you arrange the songs on a record?
Bezaelith: Tracks are arranged from the drums upward, generally, but as we have expanded into a quintet, tracks are now being arranged from the melodics to drums, or even from pieces and riffs, burgeoning into songs.
Where do you find your inspiration to create?
Bezaelith: I find my inspiration from both the ideas that have inspired me in my inner life, as well as from the outside world. Working with great musicians, learning how their minds work differently, taking what I believe to be my limitations and pushing them further. To me, creation is half operating in your comfort zone – knowing what works, and the other half pushing the boundaries of where you need to grow. At first, I was repulsed at the idea of working outside of where I was comfortable. Now I embrace it. Change is inevitable. Might as well use it to fuel what I create.
How important is the graphic side of the band? How much thought goes into art work etc.?
Bezaelith: The graphic side is very important. We’ve worked exclusively with Irrwisch ArtDesign in Austria, and so far the result has been great. A similar thing that goes on with what I said about creativity applies here. Alex and I have had long talks about how to represent sound in image, how creating visual associations with sound can be both powerful and devastating. He’s a marvel to work with and a fearless artist.
Do you find that there is a greater freedom in working with digital than working with physical?
Leunammi: Definitely. We all use digital tools extensively. They allows us to share ideas and demos with each other, collectively write and work on song structure, try out different effects, get a general feeling for the type of production we want, etc – so things are more or less refined before we try them out in the practice room.
Are there any limitations to digital? Can you do everything you like?
Leunammi: At the same time we are big fans of old-school analog studio gear, classic tube amps and stompboxes. So there is a time and a place for both digital and analog. Digital for us is a sandbox to work on material, but we are careful not to carry it onto the final recording or live performances.
Is there a scene to speak of for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
Iva Toric: Lotus Thief is unique among the metal I have listened to; I never listened to much female-fronted metal because I had such a hard time finding the right combination of musical intricacy and female voice. I think Lotus Thief does that well and I’m grateful to be a part of it.
What does the future hold?
Bezaelith: Lotus Thief categorizes itself as an experimental metal band, and that’s the path we’re going to follow. In terms of songwriting focus, we will continue to reach back to the wondrous, terrifying and strange texts of the past. In terms of technical aspects, the songwriting, recording and performing, we are going to continue to evolve in sound, visual and performance styles. Expect change. It is, after all, the only constant.
Thank you for your time and attention given to our work and your thoughtful questions.