Using their uniqueness of mixing together goth, rock, and metal, all blended well together with Japanese visual kei elements, the group known as LOLITA KOMPLEX was created. A traveling act of sorts, playing live shows, of course, building up the energy of writing and recording for their follow-up release to 2011's "Le Cabaret des Marionnettes", with the release of their newest album "The Greatest Show on Earth".
1. Let's talk a little about the history of the band. When did you originally form and is this the original line-up?
We originally formed back in 2008 after the break-up of my previous band Dushi and I were in. We wanted to do something different and I met nana a couple of months earlier and we were talking about starting a new band, so that it how all came together.
2. Do you remember how the idea of forming the band first came up?
We basically wanted to create a band we would wanna go and see ourselves, something very visual, that still rocks and has stage presence. We didn’t want to copy Japanese bands or American bands. We wanted to take the parts we liked and create our own blend. We all have very different backgrounds.
3. How long after you formed was it until you played your first live show?
I can’t remember the exact date, but I’d say VERY soon. We are a live band. In times like this, where every band, even rock bands do a lot of things on the computer, we intentionally took a very traditional approach. Most songs on the first album were written in the rehearsal studio and we still test out songs live before we even record them.
4. What are your memories of the performance?
It went surprisingly well. From a current point of view we hadn’t found our style entirely at that time, but we got a great response from the audience. There had been some line-up changes in the meantime though we greatly benefited from.
5. How did you guys come up with your band name? Does it have a meaning behind it?
I like when a name is open for interpretation, so I don’t wanna give away too much. Some people think it’s just a reference to Japanese fashion, others see it as criticism of the fashion and advertising industry for using thin models without grown-up female attributes to glorify the underage body form. Maybe both are right. Maybe it’s just a name like “John” or “Jack”…
6. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?
Like I said earlier, we all have different backgrounds, so if I name some bands here the others wouldn’t necessarily agree. We just pick bits and pieces out of everything that seems interesting. Sometimes I hear bands and think “I don’t like the singer, but these riffs are cool” or the other way round. I might even hear some radio-pop crap and think “well the melody could be nice if played on a guitar” or something similar. We have a wide range of influences from traditional gothic rock over horror punk to all kinds of temporary metal or old stuff like rockabilly or glam rock, but we also like classic hard rock stuff like Alice Cooper or Guns n Roses and if it’s just for the attitude.
7. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?
It can be anything really. I like if something sounds really obvious but leaves a lot of room for interpretation and turns out to have a deeper meaning… if you want it to have one. Like a musical ink blot test. On our new album there is the line “the whole world is a circus, you look like a clown to me” and even if we sing about crazy puppets and marching harlequins it’s the core message could be “be whoever you want to be but don’t take yourself too seriously”.
Out new album is called “The Greatest Show on Earth”, because our live shows tend to be a circus-like spectacle with a lot of interaction with the audience. We wanted to incorporate that in our music as well. People should buy it because they like it, but that’s not how the world goes…so buy it because it makes you cool and your skin will be softer afterwards. We put a lot of time and effort in in, we recorded the drums live… most people don’t know how rare it actually is, but that’s exactly what we were going for. We used the word “psycho-acoustic” a lot during the production. You might not hear it, but you feel it.
9. How would you say that "The Greatest Show on Earth" has evolved from your debut album "Le Cabaret des Marionnettes"?
Well, naturally a lot, we figured out who we are as a band and we grew together as musicians. The fact that our debut is a little bit “dirty” was not solely a question of budget and certainly not due to lack of know-how. We wanted to underline the “rock” element. We were playing a lot on gothic festivals and the scene changed a lot in the last decade or so and is now dominated by electro bands. We made the decision to clearly differentiate ourselves from that tendency and show that we are a live band. That’s also why it took us so long to record another album. Of course it’s great to create something new, but we’d much rather play live all the time. And we’ve already been playing most songs from out new album live for years now.
10. Would you say that "Le Cabaret des Marionnettes" and "The Greatest Show on Earth" have any comparisons or differences from each other?
We started in a small dollhouse and are now fully grown circus artists.
11. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?
Certainly...but in different layers and to leave enough room for interpretation. With all these origin stories and explanations I have the feeling we lack imagination these days. I prefer if stories leave something open.
12. What would be the cinematic equivalent of "The Greatest Show on Earth"?
Probably something by Crispin Glover.
13. Which would you say is favorite song on the album right now?
Depends on the situation. If I drive down the highway in a hot-rod it’s probably Rumpelstielzchen, if I go to a dubious psychic at a run down side show its “The Great Deception” and if I wanna dream about 80's stadium rock its “One in a Million”.
14. What's the story behind "Welcome to the Circus", in regards to the tune and its accompanying video? Are there any plans to release any more promo videos from the album and will they be a continuation of this one?
We are a live band, we are a side show. If we come to your town there will be a spectacle. That’s what we wanted to demonstrate. The next promo video is already finished and will be released soon. There will also be a third one, which will be a live video we recently shot. The videos will not be connected, also in regards what I said earlier about leaving things open. Spontaneity is also a huge part of it. We involve the audience a lot, so no show is alike.
15. Tell us about your thoughts on your local music scene?
I don’t know anything about that. We are friends with bands from all over the planet and Lolita KompleX doesn’t even have a real homebase now. We live in different countries and travel a lot. We started off in Vienna and there is a lot of talent there, but also a lot of jealousy, because that’s part of the Austrian mentality. I’m currently living in Malta, which is like travelling back in time for 50-100 years and metal bands still get a lot of shit from the public for “summoning Satan” and weird stuff like that... so in some ways it’s like the bible belt in the US, but I never saw myself as a part of any local scene.
16. Are there any new and upcoming bands that you are into?
I wish there were.
17. Has Lolita KompleX ever played in the U.S. or plan to do so in the future?
Not yet, but I hope we will at some point.
18. What are your current show/tour plans, if any?
We just released the album and are currently doing all the interviews, once this is done we hope to play as many shows as possible. I hope we can do an extended Germany tour and add up on that. As of now there are no shows scheduled.
19. Describe your live performance for those who have never seen you live?
Imagine a 1890 medium evoking the spirit of a 18th century hussar and transferring it into the body of a clown whose gathering other demons burning down a circus tent while Peter Pan is playing Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie on a magical guitar made out of Tesla’s coffin. Also we don’t take ourselves that seriously and invite people on stage and make a lot of mess.
20. What does the next year hold for you and your band?
I’m not a psychic, but I hope unlimited stardom.
Also pick up our album "The Greatest Show on Earth" from the links below.
Digipack Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/LolitaZon
Digipack Fantotal: http://tinyurl.com/LKXtotal
Amazon mp3: http://tinyurl.com/KomplexZon