The Lotus is a rock band with its roots in Italy but is currently based in Manchester, UK. It is also a creative adventure which embraces an array of flavours and styles in “a visionary and characterful musical journey”. With a new album in the works, we threw a host of questions at the band to discover its beginnings, latest release, what fuels their creativity and more…
Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.
Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?
Hi everyone and thank you for interviewing The Lotus. The band started in 2004 when first Rox met Luca: we initially began playing some covers as many kids do but we immediately realised we wanted more and we immediately started working on some ideas and riffs.
That’s how it started really: in 2008 Kristal and Marco joined the band and that was the real start of a professional band as we decided to record and release our first album, which eventually came out in 2011.
Have you been or are involved in other bands? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?
Apart from Luca, actually all of us are still playing with many other bands! Mostly metal and rock bands though and I think that always influenced our music in same way.
Rox is playing with Italian prog rockers InnerShine and UK progressive metal band Prospekt, and also with pop folk singer and songwriter named Sukh. Marco is the drummer of two of the most famous Italian metal and rock bands, which are Elvenking and Hell In The Club, and Kristal is the lead singer of melodic death metal band called Lost Resonance Found.
What inspired the band name?
The band’s name was chosen randomly by our first guitarist who was in love with R.E.M.’s song Lotus. We liked it and we realised then, that it was the perfect name for us. A few months later we also found out its meaning of purity and rebirth and we realised that was the name we really wanted.
Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?
As we said before, as soon as we got confident in playing together we immediately started to feel the need of composing our own songs and being rock stars! LOL
Regarding the sound, well, that’s a tricky one: we have never had an established sound or a path we wanted to follow, we just write songs we like and lyrics from experience and feelings we have during our own life.
If you listen to our songs you can really understand there’s something that binds everything which is not the genre.
Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?
We would say we’ve evolved as musicians and composers rather than our music’s evolved. We’re still writing what we want, without any boundary and we love what we’re doing: we’re just better in what and how we play and write!
Has the growth within the band in music, experiment etc. been an organic process or more the band deliberately setting out to try new things?
We always wanted to try new things so actually nothing’s changed since 2004 from this side: probably being mature musicians affected our way to play and compose music and you can probably hear that on our latest releases.
Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?
We grew up with completely different music backgrounds and this colourful music palette brought the unique sound we have today. We are big fans of Queen and Muse, as you might have already understood :), but also Pink Floyd, Metallica, System Of A Down, U2, Depeche Mode, or even some heavier stuff like Slipknot.
Is there a particular process to the songwriting within the band?
Normally Rox brings the main ideas and Luca some lyrics inspiration: back to our earlier days we used to mainly compose our songs in the rehearsal room but now, thanks to technology we often produce full demos on the computer.
We actually have to do this way also because Marco and Kristal are living in Italy and rehearsing would be definitely not very much affordable. 🙂
Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?
Lyrics are mostly inspired by our everyday experiences and translated into a more poetic and hermetic way.
We talk about love and death, and human life: as we do for our music, we don’t have any limit in our lyrics’ themes as well!
Could you give us some background to your latest release?
We’ve released our latest EP in June 2015 just before we moved to the UK. Its name is Awakening and is actually a mini concept album. It’s an ambient Prog Rock opera which will delve into your inner core.
We are currently producing our new album with Muse early producer Paul Reeve (Showbiz), and we have already released three new singles: Mars-X, Perfect Love and Five Days To Shine. They are very different from our past works, simpler song structures, more melodic but still very ‘creative’. Someone said: ‘If Muse and Deftones met in a pub and had a cheeky couple of Sambucca’s and hit the town and ended the night with a ride on a spaceship, that’s exactly what this song sounds like.’
Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.
Our latest song, Five Days To Shine, is very personal and we think the more you listen to it (or watch the video) the more you understand that. It basically talks about a man who waits for five days to know his fate with his girl. He thinks that’ll be alright but he knows the future isn’t bright.
We made the video representing this man as a kind of ‘creator’, who’s trying everything to restore what he’s lost but eventually he gives up. We filmed it in a stunning place in Manchester called Hulme Hyppodrome.
Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?
We used to go into the studio with rough demos and we’ve always struggled to work with limited time. That’s why now we tend to basically go to record with all the songs pretty much finished, so that we can concentrate on instruments’ sound and performances.
Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?
We’d define our live shows as heavy metal. Even though our music is mainly rock, The Lotus as a live act is more energetic, more aggressive. I think that’s one of our main strengths. We have played more than 120 shows in our career but we’re definitely looking for doubling it within the next few years!
It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?
We are coming from a different background which is in Italy, so we’ve definitely found a more fertile place to keep on growing our seeds.
However, these days it seems more and more difficult to have a solid fan base which follows you everywhere ‘physically’ and not only on social media.
If you’re not convinced on what you’re doing it’s better you choose another job!
Talking of social media, how has the internet impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success?
We think internet and social media are both good and bad thing.
They really give anyone the opportunity to get out from the anonymity and be the star you always wanted to be, but the problem starts when music is not enough anymore. You really need to let everyone come into your life. Everyone must know who you are, what you are doing, when you are doing it. Even all the pretty small things you want to keep secret; just let them go and share them with everyone. We find this a bit scary but that’s what it is now, so you have to get used to it. And we are getting used to it!
Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?
2018 will bring a lot of new things: we will go back to the studio to finish recording the album between March and April. Then we are expecting to release the fourth single as soon as we have everything in its place and the album immediately after that. If you want to be updated on what we’re doing you can visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thelotusofficial or our website www.the-lotus.com . Thank you!
Pete RingMaster 08/02/2018
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