When I first heard of MOLLUST I didn’t really know what to think of them but their operatic metal really grew on me and now I’m a fan. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-I guess to name a band is similar to finding the perfect name for a baby: Mum and dad can spend hours in discussing! And so we did as well. The name was born when Frank and I were brainstorming, inventing dozens of more or less intelligent names. It should describe our music somehow, be easy to remember, sounding good… At some point, I said molllust – and Frank looked quite puzzled at me. “Janika, you can’t be serious!” “Why not?” “Wollust (which means sexual desire) – that doesn’t seem like a fitting name at all.” Now it was me who looked puzzled until I got it. “Oh no, not Wollust – molllust!” We laughed hard and somehow the name didn’t get out of our minds, so we stayed with it. molllust (and yes, three l is correct German spelling) is a combination of moll (which means minor – the mode of most of our songs) and lust (which describes our passion for this kind of music). And, well, it wasn’t the last time the name was misheard – I had quite funny conversations with bookers when I applied for concerts in the past.
Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have?
-Well, I would name Nightwish and Therion as veterans of the genre. But if you talk about our specific sound, on the one hand it’s me, as I am the source of our compositions and arrangements and on the other hand it’s Andy Schmidt (mastermind of Disillusion), as he’s our producer and responsible for the sound of our albums.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-No, actually I don’t think in a different way. I feel more like a painter who uses different colours to show different emotions. I’m writing scores for all the instruments and depending on what the music shall express in a part, I choose the instruments and the style that fits best for my idea. The more classical way of composing is different to a standard rock pattern, of course, but there are a lot of fast parts which include classical composing as well.
How does your music work in a live environment?
-Great! You cannot only express yourself with the music, but also with gestures and facial expression. This approach makes it easier for us to connect to the audience and to tell them our story.
You have some releases to your name. Which one are you the most proud of?
-The most recent one, In Deep Waters, as my skill of composing developed and we spend a lot more time in studio to create a really good interpretation and sound.
Is it hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-As our music is a mixture of styles, you have to find access to people from different genres who are open minded. This isn’t always easy. Bring electric guitars to a classical concert hall – that’s really a challenge! Until now, we reached definitely more people from gothic and metal backgrounds. Our best advertisement is to play concerts – we can directly connect to the people and share our enthusiasm for our music with them. But that’s not the only way we tried to reach people: we played in competitions, worked with magazines and blogs to write reports about us, published a music video, had interviews for local TV stations… if you have a good idea to spread our music even more, just let us know!
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-That’s no easy question. First of all, style and atmosphere should fit to the music. It should be connected to the artwork of the whole booklet and if the CD has a main theme, it should announce it also in a figurative language. Title and band name should be easy to recognize. And the final result should be aesthetic.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-At the beginning, you have the impression that there seems to be an endless amount of bands in the underground. But when you get more and more professional, the faces you meet are getting more and more the same ones. I would describe ourselves as on our way into the club. Some already know us, others still see us as one of the endless underground bands. I am personally a bit more in the club than the whole band due to my involvement in HAGGARD (and also Frank a bit, as he also joined HAGGARD on stage). In German society, metal definitely isn’t the biggest genre – but it is also more than just an underground style. We have some really huge festivals, but in mainstream media metal almost doesn’t exist. This doesn’t make it easier to promote our songs.
How do one promote oneself the best possible way?
-There isn’t that one way that’s the best for everyone. If you explore it, tell it to us! Our current approach is to play live shows in front of as many people as possible. Support shows and Festivals are great for that. No track on a compilation or interview in a magazine ever had the same impact on our fan base as than a live show, although we try to be present there as well. Perhaps it’s also a combination: The more often people hear your name, the more likely it is that they start to explore your music.
What does the future hold?
-Nobody knows. But speaking of our next plans: Playing as many shows as possible! I forbid myself to directly compose the music for our next album, as it doesn’t make sense to publish, publish and publish but never present the stuff live. The tour in autumn with Orphaned Land was a great start, but there has to come more. Let’s see where we’ll rock the stages!