Lucifer III

Lucifer III

The third LUCIFER album expands German singer Johanna Sadonis’ fruitful collaboration with drummer and songwriter Nicke Andersson, which began on 2018’s Lucifer II. Andersson came up in the death metal underground of the late ’80s and early ’90s with Swedish pioneers Entombed before fronting garage-rock heroes The Hellacopters. Thus, he brings a more rock-based sensibility to LUCIFER, which started as a doom band on their 2015 debut. “I would consider Lucifer III a continuation of the second album,” Sadonis confirms to Apple Music. “But thematically, I made the conscious decision to put more horror themes into the lyrics.” The titles of the first three tracks here—“Ghosts,” “Midnight Phantom,” and “Leather Demon”—seem to affirm this, not to mention all the coffins, snakes, and cemeteries that appear later on. “Nicke and I are both fans of horror films,” she explains. “But there’s also the personal horror in one’s head. Horror is all around.” Below, Sadonis and Andersson lead us through their tales of terror. Ghosts Andersson: “This was the first song we wrote for this album, and it felt pretty good right away, so we decided to play it live. We’ve played it live for almost a year now, I think, to test it on the audience. And even though people hadn't heard it before, it seemed like it did something. So we decided to put it first and release it as a single.” Sadonis: “It's a song about trying to come to terms with death and not being able to really grasp that somebody has passed on. I'm talking about several people from my life that have died, but that somewhat live as ghosts with me. So there's this childlike notion in the lyrics—how long until you come back? It's kind of sad, not really understanding that it's over forever.” Midnight Phantom Sadonis: “It’s also a song about death—my favorite—but this time with a bit of an almost comical twist. Death walks behind you always—and that is the midnight phantom that stalks around at night.” Andersson: “That main riff is a death metal riff, basically. And then I thought, ‘How about doing a straight pop-rock four-by-four beat to it and see what Johanna comes up with?’ And it totally worked. We haven’t really done that before, so it was interesting. It was kind of like Autopsy meets Fleetwood Mac or something.” Leather Demon Sadonis: “The beginning of this song made me think of Danzig’s ‘How the Gods Kill,’ but Nicke is not a Danzig fan like me, so he had a completely different thing in mind. I think that’s the great thing about music. But this song is about me. I hang around in cemeteries in my leather jacket, smoking cigarettes, waiting to be summoned.” Andersson: “And we're still waiting.” Lucifer Sadonis: “To do a song named after the band was inspired by Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. I love staying traditional with LUCIFER—I guess that’s pretty obvious—so it was definitely on the to-do list. And it just felt right with this song. But it’s not about the band. It’s an ode to Lucifer the almighty himself.” Pacific Blues Sadonis: “This song is like ‘California Son’ from our last album, which is about my son who lives in Los Angeles. He’s a grown man now, and I always miss him because he’s halfway across the globe. So ‘Pacific Blues’ is about the longing. And whatever it takes, I’ll always get through to him.” Coffin Fever Sadonis: “This song maybe goes back to our doom roots. I'm obsessed with death and decay and cemeteries and coffins and the funeral industry, so it’s about that old Victorian fear of being buried alive because they didn't know how to pronounce you dead properly. They used to have these strings with a bell inside the coffins in case you were still alive. I didn’t have a string when I found myself in a coffin in this song.” Flanked by Snakes Andersson: “This started with me trying to do a Rainbow riff, but nobody in the band got it. I guess that was a good thing, so nobody could accuse me of stealing. So it didn’t turn out to be a Rainbow-type song—it turned out to be a LUCIFER song.” Sadonis: “It's also LUCIFER's first song about drugs. This one's actually about cocaine, and there's this story of Cleopatra committing suicide by lying down in a box of snakes to poison herself. So she’s flanked by snakes, which you could also see as lines of cocaine that are poisoning minds everywhere. We are in the music business, so I’ve seen many downfalls due to that. And I surely had my taste of experience in the past.” Stay Astray Sadonis: “This is very current, because it’s about self-imposed isolation. A lot of people feel punished by having to stay home, but we love being at home. It’s great to be on tour and have all these people around you and the socializing and partying and so on, but it's also really awesome to come back home where we live and shut the door behind us. There's no people here—only deer running through the garden—so ‘Stay Astray’ is like a personal wish that I've always had.” Andersson: “Someone told us that the beginning of this song sounded like a Rush song. I didn’t know the song, because we’re not huge Rush fans. But we looked it up and it was spot-on. But I’ve never heard it before. It was strange.” Cemetery Eyes Sadonis: “‘Cemetery Eyes’ is about my best friend. It's a very personal story, and it's a sisterly, comforting song to a very dear friend of mine who I wanted to take by the shoulders and shake her and just emphasize with this song, ‘Please don't make the same mistakes again. You keep getting your heart broken.’” Andersson: “For me, it’s extremely obvious where this song is coming from musically—it’s a tribute, or, whatever—stealing. But then again, if people don’t hear that, there’s no use for me to tell them. Those who know will know. For everyone else, I came up with it all by myself.”

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