May 29, 2024

Lovelorn Dolls interview: ‘Creepy and cute goth tunes to dance to at your funeral’


Lovelorn Dolls announces return with 'Deadtime Stories' album

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“Deadtime Stories” is the come-back release of Lovelorn Dolls.  A wonderful surprise for me since I no longer expected any new music after such a long break. I therefore rushed talking with Kristell, the frontwoman of this unique goth metal pop act we often call the Belgian Birthday Massacre, who shared with us some artistic moments from behind the scene…

The new album is out as download (via Bandcamp), streaming and on CD (via the Spleen+ / Alfa Matrix webstore or straight from the band).

SL: After a 5-year break, you’re back with your 4th album, “Deadtime Stories”. Kristell, how did your experiences as Kristell In Wonderland influence the music and themes of this new album?

K: “Kristell in Wonderland” is my photographic and visual artist name. For 6 years, I dedicated myself to creating cinematographic images that tell a story. It all started with the solo album that I released on Alfa Matrix in 2017 “SIN.SIN”. I needed a cover and artwork for the album and I decided to do everything by myself and I loved it so much that “Kristell In Wonderland” was born! This influenced the new album in a very simple way: we no longer call on anyone from outside to create our visuals. We loved the graphic designers we worked with, but this freedom of being able to create what we want… it’s unparalleled. This also creates a sort of bubble but above all an even stronger identity.

SL: “Deadtime Stories” features a blend of goth metal, dark melodies, and industrial tones with a “creepy cute” ambiance. Can you talk about how you developed this unique sound and what inspired the Tim Burton-esque scenes?

K: As this is our 4th album, we can say that we have already established this atmosphere for almost 15 years. This sound developed through all our influences, whether musical, cinematographic, literary, … I’m a fan of goth culture, I love characters like Wednesday Addams, Emily The Strange, Edward Scissorhands, so that is inevitably felt in our musical and visual atmosphere. Bernard is more of a fan of hard and industrial so he brings this more martial touch.

SL: The album’s title is a play on children’s rhymes with dark themes. How did you come up with this concept, and how does it reflect the overall message of the album?

K: We first worked on the songs, then I started writing lyrics, they all revolved around stories of death, suicide, murder. I knew I wanted a little girl on the album cover (as usual, let’s say), and the image of a little girl reading in a cemetery came quite quickly. Then I thought about parents who tell stories to their children at night before going to sleep, and the pun “Deadtime Stories” came to me. I found it funny and we kept it. This title totally sums up the concept of the album.

SL: Each song on the album indeed delves into heavy themes such as death, endings, and broken dreams. Can you share the inspiration behind some of these themes and how you approached writing about such intense subjects?

K: In general, inspiration comes from within (personal events) or from outside (not always happy news). “A Heart Cries” is about suicide and a day when I wanted to end it. I was in a very bad psychological state. On the contrary, “Dancing at your funeral” is about a French man, Stéphane Voirin, who lost his partner. She was a teacher and she was killed by one of her students. During his funeral he danced in front of his coffin as he left the church. The video created a buzz, but above all it was extremely moving. I absolutely had to tell this story.

SL: “Dancing at Your Funeral” actually features a duet with DERO GOI and is co-produced and co-written by him. How did this collaboration come about, and what was it like working with him on this track?

K: We wanted to have fun in every way on this album, and why not do a duet with a prestigious artist? We made a list of singers whose voices we love. I still have it: it says Moonspell, Lacuna Coil, … and Oomph!. We contacted them, and it’s all a question of timing: Dero had the time and the desire at that time, while the others were touring and had other things to do. At first, we simply asked him to lay down his voice, but ultimately he did a lot more and he actually co-produced the song and rewrote certain passages. It was surreal to work with such an artist, and we are very proud of this collaboration with him.

SL: VVITCHBOY features on the track “Death & Glory.” What was the creative process behind this energetic and enchanting track, and what do you feel VVITCHBOY brought to the song?

K: VVitchboy is a gothic rapper straight from the USA. He brought everything I don’t know how to do in terms of vocal flow and energy. As said previously, for this album, we didn’t put any barriers in place. VVitchboy asked us to collaborate and as we are very open-minded, we said “why not?” and it gives this crazy song that makes you want to move and shake!

SL: The cover artwork, depicting a lonely girl reading in a cemetery fog, perfectly encapsulates the album’s themes. Can you discuss the artistic vision behind this imagery and how it ties into the music?

K: I was a teacher in another life, and in my class I had a little girl who loved gory and scary stories. I thought of her a lot when I imagined this album. We thought it would be even cooler if the introduction was spoken by the mysterious voice of Vincent Price. We managed to do this thanks to the development of artificial intelligence.

SL: Fans of bands like THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE, JACK OFF JILL, and THEATRE OF TRAGEDY are likely to enjoy “Deadtime Stories.” How do you feel your music has evolved since your previous releases, and what can fans expect from this new album?

K: Fans can expect pure “Lovelorn Dolls” but with an even stronger and more assertive identity than previous albums. we pushed ourselves to the limits, without barriers, without limits, and there is a very strong storytelling side, you can even buy the book that goes with it! Treat yourself !

author avatar
Eldrina Mich
As Eldrina Mich I work as a go-between and a devil's advocate when it comes to Side-Line. If our own staff needs to be interviewed then ask the questions no one else dares to ask.

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