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Interviews : LORD – A quick Q&A with Andy Dowling

By on June 18, 2012

LORD – Andy Dowling

Metalheads Local 666 Union – A page on Facebook which, at the moment is getting closer and closer to 40,000 fans. The purpose of the page is a group of admins including myself (Patrick) sharing metal as often as possible to our followers, basically like a Facebook radio show. On June 17, the Metalheads Union had a special guest running the page for a few hours, which was Andy Dowling from Sydney’s melodic metal giants LORD. The band is currently working on their new album ‘Digital Lies’, the follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2009 album ‘Set in Stone’. While Andy was posting on the Metalheads Union, he publicly answered a few interview questions that I wrote for him.

Tell us about the current progress of recording your new album, ‘Digital Lies’.

Andy: We’ve completed all drums and rhythm guitars, and now we’re just about finished off the solo’s on the album. In fact, LT (Lord Tim – Vocalist/Guitarist) just sent me through his solo’s from one track this morning and they are mindblowingly ridiculous. He’s using his new 27 fret ESP on this album, and he’s certainly making use of it!

Mark is completing the remaining of his solo’s as well, and then I head into the studio to record all of the bass. Vocals will follow, orchestration and then all of the nitty grittys! We’re getting closer and closer, and we’re starting to hear all of the hard work paying off!

LORD has always been a band that hasn’t stuck strictly to one thing, taking influences from thrash, power and traditional heavy metal. What sort of stuff can we expect on the new album other than that?

Andy: It will be very much the same as our previous album ‘Set in Stone’ in the sense that every song will be diverse, but still have that consistent LORD trademark sound.

All of the previous elements will be there and a couple of new sounds thrown in (don’t worry, no rap!). Personally, I think that if you enjoyed the last album then you should dig the new one. As always, there should at least be a song on there for most people to like!

Is there a concept story behind the new album?

Andy: No concept story, but I do think there is a certain vibe that is felt through a lot of the album, which is also enchanced by the artwork. For the most part we have definitely gone for a harder edge with many of the songs, and lyrically reflects what we have experienced in the last couple of years (both as a band and individuality). The listener will interpret the music differently as always, but I do think it’s an album that we will hold in high regards personally.

Your music video for the cover of Kylie Minogue’s hit ‘On A Night Like This’ had quite a mixed reaction from what I’ve seen. I’m interested to know, where did you get the idea to cover the song and make a video for it?

Andy: The idea came from LT when he was driving back from a show we did with Nightwish, back in 2008. LT heard it on the radio and thought it would be funny to see what it would be like to try and cover it. After whipping up a demo, we all released that it we could really pull this song off.

We originally recorded the song for the ‘Hear No Evil’ EP back in 2008, and at the time there were a few people who didn’t ‘get it’, but overall most people enjoyed the cover for what it was.

It wasn’t until 2010 when we decided to do the video clip for it, and once that was released many people who didn’t previously ‘get it’ were now enjoying the song because of the video. It definitely opened up many doors for us and drew in new fans who normally wouldn’t listen to our music.

You’ll always get those ‘serious’ metalheads who have no sense of humour and think that it’s ‘gay’, and in a way the video is dedicated to those people! 😉

You head over to Germany next month to play the Headbangers Open Air festival alongside Tankard, Warbringer, Artillery, and even Australian thrash legends Hobbs Angel of Death. How are you feeling about it? Do you have a message to send to the German fans?

Andy: It will be great! It will be our first time in Europe as LORD (Dungeon toured Europe back in 2005 with Megadeth), and while this only a very brief promo tour, we’re hoping we will win over some new fans and open some more doors to get back to Europe in 2013. The line up is awesome, especially if you’re an old school metalhead. I’m keen to see (and drink with) Tankard, as well as Artillery (who apparently are playing just before us at the festival), Lizzy Borden, The Sanity Days, the new version of Hades, Sinner, Warbringer, and of course the mightly Hobbs Angel of Death.

HOWEVER, The band I want to see the most is Powermad. I plan to be very drunk and singing along to this song in particular. Killer band, and I can’t wait!

I am unsure if you worked with Tim back when the band was called Dungeon. But if you were in the band back then,do you know the reason behind the band ending under the name Dungeon and changed to LORD?

Andy: I wasn’t in band as such, but I did guest on the final Dungeon album and toured with them in Europe and Japan back in 2005. LT will be best to explain it (in fact there’s a great blog on our website where he into great depth about it – http://www.lord.net.au/blog/whats-in-a-name/), but in a nutshell there were many band member changes and LT felt the need to start fresh with a new name.

The biggest focus for LORD was to prove that we were (and still are) a continuation of Dungeon. In other words, if the name of the band didn’t change, then it would be Dungeon releasing ‘Digital Lies’ with the exact same line up.

Here’s the video for ‘The Art of War’ which was all filmed in Europe when we toured with Megadeth in 2005. In fact, a lot of the footage in this video I actually shot on my camera, while looking after the light desk :).

Iced Earth did a 2 show Australian tour for their first time recently, and LORD had the opportunity to open both shows. How did that go?

Andy: Short, but sweet! Both shows were huge and we had such a killer response. I was lucky to spend a couple of days with the Iced Earth boys, and show them around Sydney (with quite a few drinks involved) including taking Stu and Jon to a Rugby League match. Lot’s of fun, and we’ve definitely made some long term friends. Hopefully someday we’ll share the stage together again!

Who can you say was the funnest band that you’ve toured with over the years?

Andy: This is a really hard one, because we’ve played with so many cool people. In fact, I have trouble remembering the bands who were difficult to deal with, as we forget about them almost instantly!

I must say though, that the guys from Jaded Heart (Germany) as well as Doro and her band (Germany/US) were great fun to be around when we toured with them both in Japan a couple of years ago. Both bands love a drink and to have a good time.

It’s nice to know that people are out there for playing the love of it, and are not shadowed by egos! Great people, and look forward to catching up with them again soon.

Outside of LORD, what other bands have you played in?

Andy: I was briefly in a band called Sedition in Brisbane who don’t appear to be around anymore (and no links on YouTube unfortunately). They used to play Iron Maiden/Queensryche influenced metal. A great band that should have done a lot more. I might see if they can put some of the songs online, so you can all check them out.

Apart from that, it’s all been LORD. 110% commitment and love for the band!

What do you love the most about Australian metal – Do you have any favourite Australian metal bands in particular?

Andy: I love the closeness of our scene and no matter where you travel, you will know people at a metal show. Lots of great bands and people involved. There are heaps of great Australian bands including Voyager, Psycroptic, Elm Street, Electrik Dynamite, Taberah, and many more. The scene has been getting stronger musically over the last couple of years, and many of our bands are starting to make some noise internationally again which is a great thing for the band for all Australian metal bands.

What do you think of Metalheads Local 666 Union & Metal Obsession?

Andy: We’ve been closely associated with Metal Obsession for a number of years who have been doing great things in Australia and internationally for quite some time. They’ve always supported us, and that means a hell of a lot.

Metalheads Local 666 Union is HUGE! How many of you are out there? 37 odd thousand? Far out! I’ve been a fan of the page for quite some time and there always seems to be a lot of interaction and great songs posted. It’s definitely a newer way to keep metal fans together and interacting with the artists.

A big thanks to the admins on this page for letting me take over and have some fun today. Hopefully it will continue to grow and not only help artists out there, but also the fans discover killer new music!

You’re trapped on an island for the rest of your life and you only have one bands discography to listen to. What band would that be?

Talk about a hard question! There are so many amazing bands, but I think I would have to go with Megadeth. They have been more consistent then most their rivals, and are one of my all-time favourite metal bands. I think their discography would keep me nicely satisfied until I die of starvation… or falling coconuts!

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Patrick has been a dedicated contributor to Metal Obsession since 2011. He believes that you can put Lars Ulrich's face on just about anything. Add Patrick on Facebook.