Lord have been around in one of two incarnations for just over 25 years, formerly as Dungeon before changing their name in late 2005.
Keeping only the drummer, founding Dungeon member and vocalist/guitarist ‘Lord Tim’ Gross reinvented the band as Lord and within 12 months the band had already embarked on a national tour and supported the likes of Queensryche and Nevermore and were well on their way to entrenching themselves on the Australian Metal scene.
“I think probably the easiest way to describe us would be we play 80’s style Heavy Metal,” bass player Andrew (Andy) Dowling explained.
“If you like bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest then there’s a good chance you’ll like what we do!”
Over the years Lord have supported many international bands but now get the chance to headline a local production, having secured top billing for this weekend’s Terrorbound Festival which runs from Cairns through to Mackay.
Andy says that although the lure and excitement of support major bands is a career highlight, the band is also looking forward to touring with some home grown, albeit lesser known talent.
“Doing the support slots is amazing,” he enthused, “because 9 times out of 10 you’re playing in front of a fairly large crowd, especially with a lot of the bands we’ve played with. Most of them are bands that had their heyday in the 80’s, bands like Saxon and Queensryche, so a lot of their fan base is now in their late 30’s or 40’s or even 50’s and they are people that aren’t regular gig goers any more so they aren’t real familiar with the bands that have come out in the last 10 or 15 years, so for us that hunger to play in front of a crowd that doesn’t know who you are or have any prior history with you or they are not judgemental in the sense they have anything in the back of their mind about your music is exciting. They are going in there with a clean slate and that feeling you get when you start that first song or you kick into that first solo and see the crowd go ‘holy shit, we didn’t expect that’ and they freak out, is fantastic. Those supports are quite good for reasons like that but there is also the prestige of playing with those bands which is good for your profile and to have on your resume.”
“Headlining an Australian festival as well is awesome because you get a good mix of people that know who you are and people who don’t and in the end a lot of people that come out for those Australian style music things are people that are more in your demographic. It’s great to play to those people and at things like all ages shows to people below 18 that are still finding their way and learning about music and new bands and whatever and to get those kids while they are still young and impressionable is ideal. It’s not a big deal that you’re not playing to 2000 people because you get the opportunity to meet people and chat with them. Not just the other bands but everybody that comes to the shows. You get to have a drink and a chat and make those personal connections which you can’t always do at the bigger shows.”
One song that Lord are known for, while not being one of their own, is a cover of Kylie Minogue’s ‘On a Night Like This’ a cover which showcases the fun and not so serious side of the band and their music.
“It was a bit of an odd choice,” Andy laughed.
“We take our music seriously but we don’t take ourselves seriously. We like to take the piss as much as we can and when the opportunity came along it was a no brainer! Long story short, Tim heard the original on the radio on the way home from a gig one night and he laughed about it and thought it would be a good song to cover and one day we were in the studio throwing around some ideas for a demo and it wasn’t until the rest of the band heard it that we thought we could do a really great version! We thought instead of treating it like a joke how about turning it into a serious song and putting effort into the recording and the production and ballsing it up a bit more than the original pop version. We enjoyed doing something a bit different. A lot of metal fans – I shouldn’t say a lot – but there are metal fans out there that take metal music too seriously and you can’t say anything against heavy metal or you’ll be banished and all sorts of colourful words thrown your way and we love every opportunity we can to take the piss out of heavy metal and heavy metal fans. I mean, we’re heavy metal fans ourselves but you can’t take it too seriously. We have played that song live in the past and it’s funny to see these big, burly, bearded heavy metal warriors in the crowd singing along to a Kylie Minogue song. We just smile at each other and go it worked haha.”
As a tribute to the 25th anniversary of Dungeon and also as a way to bring together fans of both bands, Lord last year released The Dungeon Era box set for the faithful, in the process hoping to appease fans both old and new.
“There’s people out there that love Dungeon but don’t give two hoots about Lord and vice versa,” Andy explained, “and the box set was about bridging that gap and bringing all fans together. The four albums that were released under the Dungeon name unfortunately didn’t get the spotlight they deserved or should have due to things like every album was released through different labels in different parts of the world and different agreements – some of them great, some of them not so great – were made and in a lot of cases the songs just got forgotten globally so when we listened back to a lot of it – especially Tim- there were a lot of things that didn’t sit well from a production and a recording point of view and in some cases Tim felt the songs didn’t get the proper treatment due to budget and time or whatever. There were a number of reasons for doing the box set but the main thing was giving these songs a second lease on life. A lot of those songs we play live and have been for ten years and it was good to be able to go into the studio and re – record those four albums with a budget and add some bonus songs as well and bring them up to the standard we are recording at today. We could go over the top with orchestration and it added an extra layer as well. People that don’t even know who Dungeon were get to hear it as Lord the current band. It just felt right.”
Lord play at Terrorbound this Friday at North Cairns Tigers AFL Club, 2 Behan Street from 1.30 p.m. Also playing are A Breach of Silence, Salacious, Odius, Sworf, Thanartist, Ghosts of Black River, Amagon, Meat Bikini, Avenge the Sin, Abola, Anslinger and Violet Shift. Tickets on the door or from www.topendterror.com.
The festival is also in Townsville on Saturday night and Mackay on Sunday, check facebook for more details