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‘Life is a sad place’, as the song “The Greymen” - out of their last longplay, “Black Brick Road” - says. Proficient music craftmen and the masters of blistrous gothic performance, LAKE OF TEARS have combined two, at a glance, opposite forces - of intellectual art progressive and soft atmospheric metal. From its very beginning - «Greater Art» (1994) album – the unusual band has been thrown in the ultimate vanguard of Sweden underground scene. «Headstones», «A Crimson Cosmos», «Forever Autumn»… Nowadays those titles are legendary. Whole a decade the band has been moving forth, spanning across style-scapes, splitting up and after coming back together. With the 2002’s release - «The Neonai» - they were caught in a landslide of unauthorized criticism. Rumors grew, LAKE OF TEARS are finally over. Yet, they have stood. They have got back to take us for a black brick road…

It was a cool and wintery day when Sweden lake of tears fell for its Moscow fans at last. Just before the show there was a huge signing session in “VseSOYUZnyi” music store after which I had a chance to meet the man-on-a-mic Daniel Brennare and bass-player Mikael Larsson in a little bit more intimate environment. In cafés’ vibrating twilight, fuelled with aroma beer, the conversation begins. Short, yet the one to remember…

You have made the show in St. Petersburg last evening. What did you come with from the first appearance before Russian fans?..

M.: Everything was not less than great! Excellent audience!

D.: Yes, everything was perfect – the town itself, the country on our way, audience. We have got much pleasure and good experience. The only bad experience maybe was hangover… (laughter)

“Forever Autumn” is the top-seller of your discography here, don’t you know…

D.: Yesterday evening we were asked to play few “Headstones” songs more. None-the-less, each and every song has been okay with the public.

There was a seven years period you haven’t given a single gig. Just up to the “Black Brick Road” release. Has it been hard for you to make a return on stage…

We have made few festivals last summer and before it as you said haven’t been playing live for seven years. I couldn’t say was it hard or was it easy to make a return on stage. I think it was hard in a starting moment – to make a decision itself. When we came to public we got not a single doubt already – as there wasn’t any vacation at all…

What’s the point for you – the glam lustrous show action or dedicated musical precision…

D.: The first and the second both. Actually, it very depends on the environment. If you cannot get in touch with the audience, evening is crap despite of the show action intensity. When you are in contact everything goes well.

You have no keyboardist on this tour…

D.: Yes. We would like to have a live keyboardist or an organ player in the band ranks, but right by now we haven’t got a one.

M.: The intimate moment is very crucial out there. We haven’t met yet the man who would have been a pleasure to play with. But who knows what future bears…

Some reviews have been described as the ‘dance metal’ album…


D.: We are not good in making dance moves actually! (laughter)

M.: People are going crazy every time we play. They slam, jump, bang their heads. Yet, few moments are the diamonds. As yesterday evening that brought a pair making a real dancing among the crowd. St. Petersburg is a very romantic town.

The new album – the new signing. NOISE Records host you now. What do you think on how they commence their work…

D.: It is hard to say by now. People who were involved in signing the record deal were quite peaceful and friendly. Anyway, they have shown the better understanding than the Black Mark Productions. I hope our future is jewel.

Black Mark have recently issued a double compilation “Greater Tears”…

D.: Yes, and it was a completely unfair move from them! One day I’ve got a mail from a man who ordered this compilation and asked me of something concerning it. But I haven’t got really what he was speaking of. We contacted the Black Mark management and got a response – the thing is already printed and will be available from the stores from day to day. For me this compilation is not interesting at all – nothing but few tracks from our older albums.

Daniel, the previous band’s issue ‘The Neonai’ you have made on your own. Could you compare working alone to playing with a real band.

D.: I’m not so fond of playing music all alone. I like to collaborate with other people. There was Magnus – our guitarist – and few of the record crew who helped me with ‘The Neonai’. But so far I think that CD would be much better have we done it together.

Another question to Daniel. Not so long ago you were planning to start writing a book…

D.: Oh, this idea treated me for too long. But, you know, you cannot just sit and start writing – the special ‘tuning’ is required. For a couple of times I plumbed deeper into it. If it had any completion this world would have another magic child story. But no completion had happened. So far I has got no impetus of going back into it.

Way-words for younger musicians. Could you please…

D.: Oh, I don’t know what to say. There is no a single way or formula of doing this. Someone is practicing day and night, while the second isn’t practicing at all. When the one is good is singing, the other is a brilliant guitar player. Therefore, I cannot give it a common recipe. One thing is true – without full dedication and trust in what you do you will certainly fail.

M.: And getting pleasure of playing is also essential. If you get no pleasure you will exhaust in a moment…

Coda. What’s with a writing process by now?

D.: Oh no writing process is flowing by now. We have just written a couple of riffs – not more that that. As usual it’s hard to say what like will the next LAKE OF TEARS album be.

M.: We are very optimistic of what future brings…


See The MetalList review on "Black Brick Road" here' .

See live report on LAKE OF TEARS Moscow show here' .

Special thanks to Bylkin Maxim (Soyuz-Music Group' ) for arranging this interview.

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