Last night, I was abducted from my bedroom during a fitful sleep by Lucifer vocalist Johanna Sadonis, actor Mickey Rourke and former US Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird. My wife informed me later than the three performed a bizarre Santeria ritual around my bedside and poured some mind-altering substance into my CPAP machine. They then hoisted me out the window and on to famed metal musician Lee Dorian’s flying couch. I awoke hanging from my feet nearly 30,000 feet above the city of Nashville, Tenneesee while Secretary Laird painted my feet with ox blood. To the best of my recollection, here is what was discussed….
Rourke: Do you know Johnny Favorite?
Sadonis: I deliberately chose to create a new concept this time around, as when I founded The Oath. I felt no need to repeat it. I loved that one album we did with The Oath and her raw style of playing fit very well with it. With Lucifer however I wanted to put more weight on 70s Heavy Rock influences and Doom. Deeper, more moody and defined.
Rourke: How terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the wise?
Sadonis: Lucifer is not so much influenced by the folk stuff. Black Sabbath is the greatest influence to Gaz and me, yes. Gaz is also a huge Trouble fan. Other big influences to Lucifer are Deep Purple, Uriah Heep. Blue Öyster Cult, Aphrodite’s Child, Lucifer’s Friend, Led Zeppelin, Pentagram. The list goes on! I am personally also very influenced by 70s Heart, 70s Fleetwood Mac, Jefferson Airplane and the Shocking Blue.
Rourke: You ever watch the Mickey Mouse Club? Because you know what today is?
Sadonis: These are two great bands. Bands like these of the 1960/70s have an original fire and spirit because what they did was fresh at the time. Heavy distorted guitars and in the case of bands like Coven and Black Widow wrapped into a magic dress. I just watched a Black Widow full show on the German TV program Beat-Club the other day. It was a black mass ritual complete with magic circle, a nude girl as a vessel, ritual knife etc. Today that is not shocking anymore but then it was obscure and fairly fresh. It was daring, extreme and creative. I love that spirit and look up to it. I also love hearing the direct influence these bands drew from, music my mother raised me with.
These bands are direct successors of their influences in blues and you can still hear it prominently shining through. That is beautiful to me as it is the musical language I grew up with. I’m a rock’n’roller at heart. I’m not saying modern bands in general lack this but it is certainly difficult trying to reinvent the wheel within Rock Music nowadays, so yes, I can relate much better to the original spirit than to copies of copies.
Rourke: What gives human life its worth anyway? Because someone loves it, hates it?
Sadonis: Thank you so much! You took the words right from my mouth!
Rourke: Are you an atheist? Do you speak French? Are you from Brooklyn?
Sadonis: It is a very powerful name, yes. I put a lot of thought into everything I do. It shouldn’t matter so much what people think. It has to make sense to me and it does.
Rourke: Why do you have a thing about chickens?
Sadonis: I have been playing in bands since I was a teenager and have been along the way very involved with the Metal scene in general all these years as a DJ, as a local promoter putting up shows and running events in Berlin. I have for example an old school Heavy Metal party called Kill Em All Club for almost six years now too. When we released the first single with The Oath on High Roller Records, several labels approached us for the album. Rise Above was one of them and we decided to go for them because of their catalogue and dedication. I didn’t meet Gaz until we played in London with The Oath.
Rourke: Mephistopheles can be a mouthful in Manhattan, don’t you think?
Sadonis: Lucifer genuinely plays from the heart and not what might or might not be expected. I don’t measure Lucifer with other bands. I’m not looking at modern bands for inspiration. We might share similar influences with some of these bands. Whatever these inspirations are channeled into though, be it any of the mentioned bands or us, I don’t think needs to be compared. We all differ musically very much from another. I am however friends with most of these bands and respect and admire their work as contemporaries.
(Robert De Niro suddenly appears on the flying couch looking very much like Satan)
De Niro: Some religions think that the egg is the symbol of the soul. Did you know that?
Sadonis: In fact, my parents were listening to 70s music. My rebellion as a teenager was listening to Heavy Metal. I was a complete misfit for it at school actually. I went to my first metal shows at the age of 13. That was GunsNRoses and Metallica. Danzig then turned me onto a darker path and by the time I was 15/16 I started deeply into Black, Death and Doom Metal. Later on I opened my horizon musically and started digging into the past of musical history and here we are now.
DeNiro: Would you like an egg?
A huge difference indeed. The devil is only part of the whole picture. A metaphoric figure. Devil worshipping might have a strong appeal but it is very one sided. I am very interested in the dark side of things and had a time in my life I leaned very strongly towards it. However I learned that it applies much more to my life to draw perspectives on existence, death and everything beyond from ALL religions and philosophies. There is a universal duality. There is no dark without light and vice versa. And ‘as above so below’ as a central principle. I embrace it all with an open heart. I’m a very spiritual person and I have been looking for answers from an early age on – everywhere.
Melvin Laird: Why did you let Bedbug Eddie take Paulie’s thumbs? Do you worry that protecting him from his own mistakes will eventually lead to your undoing?
Sadonis: Lucifer is a very complex figure. He is the morning star, the bringer of light in the Hebrew bible, Greek and Roman mythology. As the morning star, he represents Venus, the brightest star in the sky, only seen while descending during morning hours, hence Lucifer ending up as the fallen angel in the bible. The Old Testament had very positive things to say about the son of the morning. Unfortunately later on his figure was used to teach a lesson Christian style. He was now pictured as a favoured angel to god for his beauty and intellect and cast out of heaven when it got to his head and he started ‘sinning’. He ended up as being this common misconception for being a rebel: the devil. A wrong picture conjured in the bible. To me Lucifer is beautiful, bright and very misunderstood. A misfit. The name is not related to Kenneth Anger even though I am a fan of his work.
That’s the last thing I remember. I awoke the next morning in my bed unharmed.