Lovelorn Dolls interview

Ahead of the release of their second album, Planetmosh asked Corpus and Ladyhell from the Belgian band Lovelorn Dolls a few questions….

First of all, for anyone not familiar with Lovelorn Dolls so can you tell us a little bit about the band?
lovelorn dolls - japanese robot invasion
Corpus : Yes of course.  We are Lovelorn Dolls.  The band was once called Lovelorn but we made a slight change because there was already a band called “Lovelorn” in Italy.  Our music is a mix of all our tastes : guitars, synths and catchy melodies.  We live in Brussels, Belgium which is not really the type of place to play that kind of music.  Fortunately we have internet and we can spread our music everywhere in the world.

Your debut album, “The house of wonders” was released last year.  You’ve obviously been busy since then as you have a new single out, “The Thrill”, and an album due later this year. What’s the song writing process in the band – is it a collaborative thing or are there one or two main songwriters?

Corpus : Ladyhell and I are the only songwriters.  Actually Lovelorn Dolls has become a duet and we do hire some musicians for live performances.  Sometimes we work on my ideas, sometimes on Ladyhell’s idea.  We both use Logic Pro and we share files through internet.  Every song is built brick by brick.

What are your inspirations for writing the lyrics?

Corpus : Ladyhell is the main song writer.  The lyrics I wrote are usually related to everyday’s life : “No Life” is about my kids who spend a long time in front of their computers, playing online games, check this site  and play casino online.  “Curse of the Crab” is about cancer.  This is a terrible disease that kills people at every age.

Ladyhell : I like to write about love and the meaning of life. I also like to write fantastic stories about vampires or other magic creatures.

The new single uses a lot more of the electronic sounds than your first album.  Is this an indication that the second album will also be more electronic?

Corpus : yes indeed.  On the first album, the electronic parts were just a layer that we put on top of alternative songs.  On Japanese Robot Invasion, it’s really intricated in the rest.  We decided this with Max, the producer at the early stage of the production.  He asked us if we wanted to keep a bigger amount of acoustic parts, especially in the drums but we decided to go for something more punchy.

What inspired you to make this change?

Corpus : I’ve always liked the use of electronic in the music.  I’m a fan of Paradise Lost at the “One Second” or “Host” era.  Same thing for Samaël : I really dig “Solar Soul”, “Reign of Light”.  Also we are featured on a label that is more electronic oriented.  It was the opportunity to make this change.

Ladyhell : I also love electronic and the use of synths. I listen to electronic and trip-hop music, and I like when it’s combined with rock guitars.

The second album is called “Japanese Robot invasion”.  What can you tell us about the album?

Corpus : Lots of bands claim that their new album is better than the previous one. However I’m very proud of “The House of Wonders”.  I mean, I really like the songs but I see lots of mistakes in the production, the arrangements.  Sometimes I feel like we should re record some of the songs ;)  Then, for Japanese Robot Invasion, we’ve learned from our mistakes, I think.  The recording process was almost the same than on The House of Wonders.  We recorded the instruments in Belgium and worked with a producer in Italy.
With Max (from Helalyn Flowers) we had more contact than with Victor Love.  So we spent a lot of time to adjust some details.  He was very kind, patient and professional.

The artwork for your first EP, your album and the new single is all dark Tim Burton style horror themed.  Can we expect a similar style of artwork for your second album?

Ladyhell : We just unveiled the cover art. As you can see, we chose a cover that could fit the title of the album, and also respect Lovelorn Dolls graphic codes and colours from the first album “The House Of Wonders”. A mix of childhood, dark and fantasy.

Can you tell us who the artist is?

Ladyhell : I found that image of that little oriental girl running from the hands of a manga monster, the whole painting being blue. I thought : « This is our cover ». But I had no idea who was the artist behind that painting. I discovered it was Natalie Shau, also working for Craddle Of Filth’covers. I’ve asked her if this was available, and we were so lucky, it was !

Have you got any live shows planned for later in the year?

Corpus : well, we have no shows scheduled.  We will focus on the studio work instead of losing some energy to work on live performances for shows that will finally not happen… you know what I mean ;)

Ladyhell : It’s true that we are not searching for shows, but we are available if bookers are interested to book us on their fests. They still can reach us and we can see what’s possible. We prefer less shows but better shows.

What bands do you think have influenced your music?

Corpus : I’m 46, so I’m a child of the 80’s.  Bands of this era had for sure a big influence.  Also more recent bands like Lacuna Coil, Rammstein, Oomph, Linkin Park, The Birthday Massacre.

Ladyhell : I’m in my 30s, so i’m a child of the 90s… I’m influenced by everything, every rock and electronic bands that made the 90s : the grunge era, the alternative period, the britpop, the trip hop bands, …

When you buy music, which do you prefer and why – Vinyl, CD or legal mp3 downloads ?

Corpus : when I was a teenager I spent all my money in buying vinyls.  Later in buying CDs, until recently.  I must admit that I do not often buy anything recently.  Music is everywhere : on Youtube, on Spotify, etc.  Even if you do not illegally download, you can still listen to music.  What I do now is pledging on Kickstarter or other platforms for the bands that I want to support.   You know internet has changed a lot of things.  IMHO it would be useless to fight again the stream.  So if someone is downloading our music illegally.. it’s cool.  Eventually he will love it, spread the word, pledge for the 3rd album, become a hardcore fan and member of our street team…

Ladyhell : I have a huge cd collection, all coming from the 90s. I also have to admit I do buy less and less cds. When you can listen everything online, there’s not the same appeal. I don’t buy mp3s. I don’t know why. I’m too old. And asmuch as I love vinyls, it’s difficult because you need the material to listen to it.

What was the last album you bought?

Corpus : the last album I pledged for was “Superstition” of The Birthday Massacre.  Can’t wait for the release in November.

Ladyhell : Last month, I went to London, and I couldn’t resist to buy some new CD stuff. I bought London Grammar and Jack White.

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.