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Lord Tim (Lord)

Interview with Lord Tim from Lord
by YngwieViking at 28 May 2013, 9:39 PM

Just recently the Australian LORD released its fourth album, “Digital Lies”, via Dominus Records. With the interest of know more about the band’s music, promote the new album and more, YngwieViking talked with Lord Tim Grose, vocalist / guitarist, about the new album, his various projects and current LORD band. Stay tuned for something long and interesting.

Hi Tim, First congratulations!!! I think that “Digital Lies” is another winning release and an overwhelming album , as a fan of LORD and Power Metal in general , It was for me a real blast…What will be your words to describe it ?

Thanks for the kind words! Hmm… it’s hard to know how to describe your new album. Every artist likes to say things like “our best work yet” or “heaviest” or “most brutal” or whatever. I honestly don’t know if I understand this album enough yet to comment on it. When you’re so close to a project, you really find it hard to see it from the outside for what it is. I’ll just say that it’s something I’m very proud of and I’m really blown away at the positive reactions of people around the world who have heard it.

Can you first tell us about you, your background as a musician…Your past or actual involvement in Other bands ! We want to know everything…Go!

OK, well I grew up in a family who listened to stuff like The Beatles and The Bee Gees so I think that sort of melodic upbringing made me really fall in love with harmonized vocals. I moved away from pop and rock music when I was about 10 and really got into film scores and orchestral music. I think I was around 14 when I discovered Duran Duran which absolutely changed my life and made me become obsessed with pop music all over again, and it really sparked the fire in me to go out and make a band of my own. Not long after that I heard Queensryche and Dio and just like that, I was a metal fan for life.

I tried to form a couple of pop bands and then a couple of metal bands, which never made it past the bedroom stage. I was in the middle of trying to put together a thrash band (which was extremely difficult because I lived in a small town in the middle of the desert) when Dungeon accidentally started after a jam I had with a couple of friends. By this time I’d taught myself how to play keyboards, drums, guitar, bass… and I knew I could sing but I was too shy to do it in front of anyone, and I really didn’t want to be the frontman of a band at all. It was actually 50/50 if I would be the guitarist or drummer of Dungeon at one stage but I ended up playing guitar because the guy who was playing drums was slightly better at it than I was. We couldn’t find anyone to sing, so the next thing I know I was now the band’s singer. I didn’t expect this thing to last more than a couple of months… Well, it lasted 16 years before we changed over to LORD. Go figure!

But yeah, over that time I’ve taught myself a lot of skills with recording, doing session work, video clips and I never lost the love of great pop melodies or huge orchestral scores, which is why you’ll hear all of those things in LORD these days.

Concerning your Extreme side project BLACKENED ANGEL, do we have to expect something soon?

Blackened Angel is something that I’ve wanted to do for about 12 years now. My nephew Ricky Boon is a member of Serenity Defiled, and previously of Fury (who were known as The Harrowed in Europe). He was actually part of some of those first bedroom bands I mentioned earlier and we always talked about doing something together one day, and we even went so far as to demo a couple of songs that ended up a cross between his brutal extreme metal band and the melodic stuff I was doing. Last year we finally decided to stop putting it off and got it done.

The project is a concept story split over two albums. Album 1 (“Chronicles Of Damnation Part 1”) is entirely written, recorded and ready to go. We have the framework of part 2 down now and I hope to have that finished in the next couple of months.  We’re really trying to work out how to release part 1 the best way. We want it out sooner rather than later, and we want to retain a lot of control over it like LORD does with our albums, but that takes a fair amount of time and money to put an album out on our own label. The best I can say at this point is “soon” and we can’t wait to get it out there!

Can you tell us more about your collaboration with your ex DUNGEON colleague Stu Marshall from EMPIRE OF EDEN or with the band ILIUM?

Stu joined Dungeon just as things were really starting to take off for us, and he played some solos on the “A Rise to Power” album and we co-wrote the “One Step Beyond” album. He was the other guitarist in the band when we toured Japan and Europe for the first time. By the end of his time in Dungeon, we knew we wanted different things out of music and how to work together in a band so it was the right thing to do to just part ways. Since then, he did a guest solo on the last LORD album “Set in Stone” and our other guitarist in LORD, Mark, and I did guest solos on an Empires Of Eden album. I really don’t talk to Stu much these days. We’re very different people with different interests and I’m usually far too busy with all of the things I’m doing to keep a track of what he’s up to. But good luck to him!

With Ilium, I started off as their producer when they were working with their first singer. He left and they were stuck without a vocalist, so they asked me to do session work for them, which lasted a couple of albums. I was never an actual member of the band, much like Tim Yatras the drummer is a session guy too, but there was an informal ongoing relationship where we would perform on albums. While I will say that Jason and Adam are great guys, and I was extremely proud of my vocal performances on the albums I sung on, the music really wasn’t my thing and after a while I had to make a choice to work on stuff I enjoyed and drop some of the things I didn’t care much for, which included Ilium. They’re in great hands with Mike Dimeo though, he’s a fantastic singer!

You seems to take the meaning of the lyrics quite seriously, can you tell us more about “The Last Encore” or “The Chalkboard Prophet” two huge song with very interesting letter?

Yeah, I think lyrics which say something, that can touch a person, are important. That’s not to say that everything needs to be some elaborate intelligent story – sometimes the best lyrics are simple – but they need to make you feel something.

“The Last Encore” is about a Victorian-era stage actor that was killed unexpectedly before he could take his final bow, and now his spirit haunts the theater searching for that last spotlight. That was a fun song because you only get the twist in the story after you get to the second verse when you realize he’s a spirit that died 200 years earlier.

“The Chalkboard Prophet” is about the homeless people you see on street corners that say the end of the world is coming. We just assume they’re crazy people, but what if they know the truth and nobody believes them? If you changed places with them after learning a terrible secret and no one believed you, how would you act? I really enjoy writing “what if” songs like this, where you get to think about things from a completely different perspective.

What about the funny “2D person in a 3D world”…???

You know when I wrote this, I expected this to be the one song on the album that would piss a lot of people off and they would hate it, but it’s become one of the really popular songs. I didn’t expect that!

This song is about stereotypes. One of the examples I use in the song is with metal fans. I absolutely love metal; I’ve been living and breathing heavy metal since I was 16 years old and playing metal all of my adult life. It’s rare to see me out of stretch jeans, black t-shirt and hi-top sneakers. But even in spite of that, I have other interests outside of metal and I’m not scared to enjoy other styles of music. But then you have people who are so into metal and “being true” that it starts to look like a joke. Every little thing they do or say has to have something to do with heavy metal; to them everything that’s not metal is shit… I find that extremely boring.

But this goes for anything, though. I’m a big sci-fi geek and a computer nerd. Unless you’re into either of those things in a big way, it’s really fucking boring hearing some guy go on and on about a character in a show you don’t care about or how he managed to write a FOR-NEXT loop in a subroutine in his C++ program. That’s how these “true metal only” people sound to people outside of the scene. It’s great to be passionate about something, and have it mean something amazing to you, but there just comes a point where you can take it too far and you look like a boring idiot.

Tell us more about the lyrics from the track “Limb From Limb” out of 2007’s abum “Ascendence”…It’s a song about Limb SCHNOOR (LMP’s boss) … Am I right ? Tell us the story , please !

Actually those lyrics are about a few people we’ve met in the industry so far, but having said that, it probably won’t come as a surprise that, like a few other ex-LMP bands, we never really saw eye-to-eye with Mr. Schnoor.

But in a way, we should thank him and the other labels that treated us poorly because it made us think about our products differently and take a lot of our releases and promotion into our own hands. This is also why it’s been very quiet for us outside of Australia and Japan with releases since we were on LMP – we just wanted to wait until we had the means to do this properly the first time rather than making any big mistakes, or signing any rights away to a record label that would just screw us over and leave us broke.

Now tell us why did we have to wait 5 long years to finally have a brand new album , what happened ?

We’ve actually been very busy! When Dungeon changed over to LORD in 2005, we recorded the final Dungeon album “The Final Chapter” featuring the members of the LORD band at the time, which was released in 2006, and then went on a very extensive tour. In 2007 we released “Ascendance”, in 2008 we released the “Hear No Evil” EP, 2009 was the “Set in Stone” album, 2010 was the “Return of the Tyrant” EP, and through all of that we were touring non-stop.

By the end of 2010 we were exhausted so we decided to take a year off of recording and touring so we could recharge. That year we released quite a few video clips and started collecting ideas for the next album. In 2012 we started touring again and recording “Digital Lies” which dragged on a little bit, so by the time it was ready late in the year, it didn’t make sense to release it, and we chose to wait until early 2013. So as you can see, apart from maybe a little break in 2011 between video clips and writing, we really haven’t stopped at all!

In my review for the superb new album “Digital Lies”, I stated that the album reveal an unique personality, a true one of a kind Metal melting pot embellished by influences that ranging from Thrash to AOR…What is your feelings about this quote?

I absolutely agree with it, in fact I would even go so far as to say the influences go beyond that into commercial rock and pop music in places, but done in a very traditional metal kind of way. Everyone in the band has very wide musical tastes which naturally filter into what we do. When we were doing Dungeon, the style was broad but we always felt like it needed to be very power / thrash metal. With LORD, we said right from the start that we should never feel restrained by any styles, and we should just write what feels right for the band at the time.

I also wrote about some incredibly courageous cover songs that you recorded over the years , you already recorded a lot of covers with DUNGEON, It’s obviously a marketing trick but it’s also I suppose a real artistic choice…did you enjoy recording those treasure tracks ? Who had come with the idea of the Kylie Minogue cover song?

The Kylie song was originally a bit of a joke of mine. I was on the way home from a show with Nightwish and we stopped off to get some food at a fast food place. “On A Night Like This” was playing over the speakers there and it suddenly seemed like a hilarious idea to cover it. The other guys thought it was a good idea and we released it, and it went crazy. It’s still our most popular video on our YouTube channel. Sometimes those joke songs can work out great and get a lot of attention for your original songs.

But we do really love recording covers, of all styles. I think we had a list of future covers at one stage that ranged from Duran Duran to Bathory to Europe to Kreator and more. It’s actually a good exercise to see if we’re able to play music as diverse as that and yet still make it sound like LORD. It’s a lot of fun!

As PANTERA / SYMPHONY X or HAREM SCAREM are some of my favorites band ever , but those acts are stretched at the opposed edge of the Metal Spectrum , and it seems to be the perfect illustration of the stylistic acrobatics…Are you in the same dilemma , while is time to compose your own music ! Please tell your mind about that?

We really just do whatever we feel is right at the time and never really let the style bother us too much. Before we started writing “Digital Lies” we had a bit of a discussion about how we should do the new album, and everything we came up with just felt forced. In the end, we just threw every idea out the window and just wrote what we wrote. Like I said before, we love all kinds of music – metal or otherwise – and that just naturally slips into our writing. On this album is had more of an electronic feel, on the next one it could be more black metal or more thrash… you just never know, and that’s the exciting thing about being in a band like LORD.

Do you think that the technicality, the complexity of some song structures or the shredding parts in LORD can be a block for some listeners , do you keep this aspect in mind while composing , or did you just get the inspiration flows!

At the core of what we do, there must be a good song with a strong hook (whether it be a melodic hook or a powerful and memorable instrumental section). We love shredding and playing complex music, but if underneath all of that complexity the song isn’t particularly very good, then there’s a problem. Unless it’s an obvious joke song like “Because We Can” where the entire intent of it was just to play quick, the song must always come first.

Tim where are you coming from as far as guitar influences are concerned?

It’s a funny thing, but when someone who is really passionate about guitars starts raving at me, I tend to get a little bored. I have very specific things I want out of an instrument (and I believe I have the perfect instrument with my ESP Horizon FR-27 – it’s brilliant) but other than knowing what I want and being fairly specific about it, it’s really just a tool to do the job at the end of the day.

This idea goes for playing as well. I know some guys who are always stretching themselves to learn new styles or techniques. For me, the guitar is just a way for me to get my ideas from my brain and into the computer or across to a live audience. For that, I obviously need to be able to play to a certain level, and I have a very good understanding of theory and technique. If something I hear in my head isn’t something I’m able to play, then I’ll make sure I start working on a new technique then, but I don’t really actively go looking for new things to learn. I’m sure I’ve absorbed ideas and techniques from all of my favorite guitarists, but like the songs themselves, the shredding is important but it takes second place to making the solo memorable.

About your voice & your singing style, as it has evolved very much for the best of course , do you consider yourself as a full time singer or as a guitar player that also can sing?

I listen to a lot of the early Dungeon recordings and I can definitely hear a progression. As you get older your voice changes and I’m constantly finding new things I can do with it, or new ways to sing something. My range is about the same as it always was but, especially with the higher octaves, I do have to approach it differently now because my voice is different to how it was 10 years ago. I would definitely say I have much better technique now as compared to when I started out.

For a while in 2010, I took some time off of playing guitar due to a hand injury and we had a friend fill in for me live. I have to say it was a lot of fun to just sing instead of trying to sing and play, even if I did feel a little naked without my guitar. I also was playing guitar for a glam/punk band called “Platinum Brunette” for a while and that was nice just playing rather than being a frontman/singer as well. But if I think about doing either thing full-time just by itself it feels wrong. I’m a singer and guitarist equally.

As a band from Australia, how is the Metal scene in your country did you think that it’s a major difficulties for you to break onto the international market?

The scene here is small but packed full of some of the most talented bands that you would find anywhere in the world. It’s very tough for us here, though. The distance between each city in Australia makes it expensive to even tour in our own country, let alone touring internationally. For LORD to tour Europe, for example, it costs us about $12,000 before we even get there, where local bands in Europe that want to tour can jump into their van and just go.

The other tough thing about Australia is that due to the small scene, a lot of venues aren’t seeing live music as being profitable and are closing down, which is making it hard for bands to even get out to play at all. On the other hand, because things are so hard, you’ll find that the bands that stick around and really make a mark on the international scene are usually the ones who have paid their dues and have worked hard to get there.

Are there new bands we have to recon with in the next years?

Because I’m so caught up in all of the things I’m doing, I don’t get a chance to pay too much attention to what’s out there. I do see some pretty amazing acts come through my studio, though, and out of those I think people should look out for Troldhaugen. If they can keep it together and make some good decisions, they’ll be making waves around the planet in no time.

Do you plan on touring in Europe? If yes, did you think to bring with you some Friends band from down-under in support?

We are planning to tour Europe but I can’t give any specific timeline. As I mentioned earlier, it’s very expensive for an Australian band to even get to Europe in the first place, and LORD is all self-released and self-funded. We run our own record label, look after all of our pressings, merchandise, video clips, etc. in-house. We’ve just released “Digital Lies” and all of the promo and merchandise that goes with it, so that was a substantial investment. It’s selling great so hopefully that will fill the bank accounts up a little bit so we can start planning a European tour properly. We did visit Europe briefly last year when we played Headbangers Open Air in Germany, and now we have an itching to come back as soon as possible!

I’m not sure how financially viable it would be to bring a bunch of Australian bands over as a package, but it would be fantastic. I think if this was to happen and audiences saw some of the talent we had, they’d be very impressed!

Can we expect a record deal in Europe?

The short answer is: Maybe. We’ve intentionally avoided signing to anyone for years because of how much of a mess the industry is in now. We’ve had some very bad deals in the past, and some labels have gone bankrupt by the time we’ve supposed to have been paid. For a relatively small band like us, that sets us back in a huge way.

When we were looking around for a home for “Digital Lies” we saw what was out there and what was on offer and we were horrified. We’ve decided to keep as much of our product in our control as possible. It might mean we may not get as much exposure as we would do on a traditional label, but this way we know we’re going to actually be paid and any decisions – good or bad – are up to us. But that said, if we get an offer that we think will be good for us, we’ll definitely consider working with the right people.

What do you think of the state of the market in 2013! What is your opinion concerning digital downloading legal and illegal?

The market is in a huge transitional mess right now. Traditional record labels are scrambling to work out how to make money in a post-downloading world. I think artists need to work out new ways to sell their products because the old ways aren’t working any more. Sure, there’s always people who love to get a physical product (hey, why wouldn’t you want all of the artwork, lyrics and liner notes?) but for a lot of people the convenience of just clicking a button and having the album appear on your hard drive is too enticing.

It’s too late now to try and put an end to illegal downloading. The gates are open now and we just have to deal with it. From a music sales point of view, it really hurts artists at our level. We depend on money from our music to continue to record and tour, and every album that’s illegally downloaded rather than purchased is one less opportunity for us to visit a country that wants to see us. But as I said, it’s not going away any time soon and artists and labels do need to adapt or die.

Tell us what we have to expect form your side in the future to come?

Well this year is more touring and more video clips. We have a bunch of cool new merchandise and limited releases as well, and I’d say we’ll get back into writing for the next album sometime next year. Music-wise, it’s all open-ended. I’d tend to say what we come out with next will sound like the LORD everyone knows already, but what flavor we put into it is anyone’s guess. It’s always a surprise for us too!

Apart from LORD, I have all of the Blackened Angel stuff going on this year, and I’m planning to take my personal project Clarity out for a short number of live shows with some good friends. Busy times as always!

What is the last CD you have purchased?

It’s very rare that I get to go out and buy or listen to new music because I’m always listening to music as I produce it here in my studio, and we do get a lot of CDs given to us by bands on tour (and when I do get a chance to listen to them, some are really awesome). I think the last actual album I bought would be Duran Duran’s “All You Need Is Now”, which was amazing.

Please let us know your Australian Underground Metal TOP 5?

Again, it’s hard to say because I don’t get out much, but I’ll mention 5 bands that have come through my studio lately that I think will go on to do great things: Troldhaugen, Electrik Dynamite, Serenity Defiled, Germ and Metreya. But don’t let this fool you, there are dozens of world-class underground Australian metal bands out there.

Please let us know your AOR TOP 5?

I’m not sure if I would have a top 5 AOR albums, but I love AOR from lots of bands – even ones who aren’t traditionally known as AOR bands. Stuff from Pretty Maids, Pseudo Echo (the Race album was great hard rock), John Farnham, Harem Scarem, Dokken… so many great bands. But if you want a serious AOR list, ask our bassist Andy; he’s our resident AOR freak!

Please let us know your Alltime TOP 10 ?

This changes every day, but today it would be (in no order):

Duran Duran – any of the first 5 albums and the latest one
Helloween – Better Than Raw
Pseudo Echo – all of them
Blind Guardian – Somewhere Far Beyond
Kim Wilde – Come Out And Play
Edguy – Hellfire Club
Murray Gold – Doctor Who Series 4 Soundtrack
Queensryche – Rage For Order
Koo De Tah – self titled
Soilwork – Natural Born Chaos

… but ask me again tomorrow and that list will be different for sure.

25.Now it's time for the Chinese portrait aka Le questionnaire de Bernard Pivot , which is inspired by Marcel Proust but This questionnaire is probably more familiar to English audiences as the one that journalist James Lipton asks at the end of  the TV show "Inside the Actors Studio."

What is your favorite word?


What is your least favorite word?

What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?

Intelligence and passion

What turns you off?

Stupid people and apathy

What is your favorite curse word?


What sound or noise do you love?

Rain while I’m drifting off to sleep

What sound or noise do you hate?

Tuneless humming or whistling

If not yourself, who would like to be ?

n/a – I only want to be me, faults and all

What profession would you not like to do?


Who would like to see on a new bank note?

Pedobear (for the wrongness factor)

If you reincarnated as some other plant or animal, what would it be?


If God exists , what you like to hear him say at the gates of Heaven?


I wish to thank you for this Epic interview and wish you guys the best of luck with the new album and on the path ahead. Anything else you want to share with the fans and our readers out there?

If you want something to keep you occupied for a couple of days, do an interview with Metal Temple! HAHA! No, seriously thanks for the opportunity to let me tell people about LORD and our new album “Digital Lies”. We know it’s been a little quiet for us in Europe for the last few years, but we’re back now and ready to show you what our style of Australian metal is all about. Cheers!


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