Lucifer IV

Lucifer IV

“We’re following the LUCIFER path of talking about death and loss and love,” vocalist and founder Johanna Sadonis says of the occult rock band’s fourth album. “And also graveyards,” adds drummer and songwriter Nicke Andersson. The married couple—she’s German, he’s Swedish—have now created three LUCIFER albums together, combining their mutual love of classic rock with occult imagery and ’70s horror themes. On Lucifer IV, their songwriting circle has expanded. “Previous LUCIFER albums have always been a dual songwriting effort, but this one was more of a band collaboration,” Sadonis tells Apple Music. “Our guitar player Linus wrote two songs with me, and also Martin Nordin, our other guitar player, contributed a little interlude.” Below, she and Andersson delve into each song. “Archangel of Death” Johanna: “For me, personally, it feels almost brutal. In the lyrics, I’m marching through this ice storm and whatever obstacles come in my way, and the wind is blowing around me and it’s fucking cold. But somehow, I’m so defiant—I keep on marching. That’s how the song feels for me musically.” “Wild Hearses” Nicke: “Isn’t it weird that no one’s had that for a title yet?” Johanna: “I’ve been meaning to buy my own hearse, but I can’t afford it right now because I’m in a band called LUCIFER. But I got to drive a ’69 Cadillac hearse for the ‘Izrael’ video, which was the first LUCIFER music video. So, it was a no-brainer to use hearses for LUCIFER lyrics. Musically, we’re tipping our hat to Black Sabbath with a little bit of a twist in that middle-eight part, which I love because it’s kind of schizophrenic.” “Crucifix (I Burn for You)” Johanna: “That’s one of the songs Linus and I wrote together, and it’s the song that goes along with the album cover. It has a very obvious opening, but like I always say: In LUCIFER, we are not trying to reinvent the wheel. There’s a lot of bowing down towards stuff that we’ve admired all our lives.” Nicke: “As for the title, we are huge Blue Öyster Cult fans, and of course we are fascinated by witch burnings, so it works both ways.” “Bring Me His Head” Nicke: “Musically, I think that would be us trying to cross Roky Erickson with Judas Priest. It’s probably the most straightforward classic rock-type song for us, if you want to call it that. Maybe the least doomy number we ever did together.” Johanna: “It sounds very upbeat, though it does have a very grim text. Whose head do I want? There’s more than one. There have been people in the past trying to hinder me or not take me serious as a musician, as a woman in music, and people that tried to stop me from pursuing just being in a band. That’s kind of what the song is about. It’s a revenge song—a bit of a ‘fuck you’ to the patriarchy.” “Mausoleum” Johanna: “This is the first song that I wrote completely by myself for a recording, so I’m very proud of it. I played it with a keyboard, but I wish it would have been a real church organ. There’s something so sinister about what it brings to rock music. Lyrically, it’s an ode to my love for ghost stories, cemeteries, and crypts, because I’m a cemetery romantic since I was a teenager.” “The Funeral Pyre” Nicke: “Our guitar player Martin wrote this acoustic interlude, but we had to pry it out of his fingers. He’s a guitar teacher, so we would always ask him if he wrote songs and he would always say, ‘I don’t know.’ So, Johanna suggested that he write a little instrumental piece.” Johanna: “It’s so eerie and sinister. We added the crackling of the fire, and that’s supposed to be when the witch actually starts to be burnt. So, it’s the death scene of the witch, the last track on Side A of the vinyl.” “Cold as a Tombstone” Johanna: “This is like classic rock but tuned down a bit. I guess you could say it’s a dad-rock song, but I don’t think that’s a bad word because all we listen to is dad rock. There are quite a bit of personal stories in these songs, and this one is about somebody who used to be a friend of mine.” “Louise” Johanna: “This is our first Southern rock song. The past two years have been very Southern rock-heavy at home. I love that LUCIFER lends itself to exploring all these different genres. We’ve done ’60s soul all the way toward metal, so we feel like we’ve got a lot of freedom. You can see it with the covers we’ve been releasing—there’s a Dust song, a Scorpions song, Rita & the Tiaras, and there’s even a Tom Waits song.” “Nightmare” Johanna: “That’s another one that Linus wrote with me, and it’s about a literal nightmare. I was working through that feeling because, despite the gloomy music, I’m in a pretty good place in my life. I’m very happily married, and I love that I get to make music together with Nicke. But of course, I’ve seen times in my life that are pretty dark. At my age, you don’t take things for granted when things are good and, of course, you sometimes worry that something horrible will change all of that in the course of a second.” “Orion” Johanna: “The moment I listened to this song for the first time to think of what to sing, it just felt so deeply sad to me. I even made myself cry a little bit. I read Marianne Faithfull’s autobiography, and when her relationship with Mick Jagger ended, she fell down pretty hard and became a junkie. I think she was homeless. So, it was written a little bit from her perspective, looking up at the stars.” “Phobos” Johanna: “Phobos is a giant rock that orbits Mars, but it’s also the Greek word for fear, like ‘phobia.’ The song is about the same friend that I wrote ‘Cemetery Eyes’ about from the last album. I’m trying to reach her through songs, but it doesn’t work. Maybe three times will be a charm.”

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