The flamboyant, charismatic frontman of Lord Of The Lost, Chris Harms' booming baritone has loomed large over the band's sonic evolution across everything from goth metal to industrial, glam and beyond.
Though the band's bid to represent Germany at Eurovision didn't result in glory, the band have scarcely had time to lament their loss as they supported heavy metal legends Iron Maiden on a European run, played festivals throughout the summer and lined up sold out shows in the UK in September. Hammer caught up with the band's larger-than-life vocalist to find out which records make him tick.
1. Radiohead - Creep (Pablo Honey, 1993)
“I've never been a huge fan of Radiohead, but the song Creep changed my life. It was 1993, and I was 13 years old watching MTV. Suddenly, this soft, melodic song comes on, that then builds up to this super-hard, fuzzy guitar sound. Those short little bursts that come in before the chorus… I had never heard that before. In that moment, I decided I needed an electric guitar, so I asked for one for my next birthday."
2. Aerosmith - Amazing (Get A Grip, 1993)
"Aerosmith’s Amazing was also huge for me when I was 13. It’s basically a rock ballad with orchestral elements. I’ve been playing classical cello since the age of five, so hearing those two heavy and classical worlds put together… it totally changed how I think of music. Lord Of The Lost have released albums with orchestral elements, and I think this was the first song that led me that way."
3. Billy Idol - Shock To The System (Cyberpunk, 1993)
“Similarly, that same year my sister’s cool surfer boyfriend would always put on Billy Idol’s Cyberpunk in his open-top convertible. Shock To The System was another track that made me see how interesting rock could be. It was the first time I was exposed to industrial, glitchy sounds."
4. David Bowie - Starman (The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust, 1972)
"Talking of Billy Idol, I’ve always loved glam rock - my parents had a lot in their vinyl collection. Even though it was in their collection, I didn’t really listen to David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust record until I was older. I was more fascinated by the visuals as a kid. But in the early 2000s, I had a girlfriend who would always put the record on loop, and we actually kissed for the first time during Starman. It made me re-experience David Bowie for the first time – it was magic."
5. Helloweeen - Eagle Fly Free (Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pt. II, 1988)
“Another record that I have looped a lot in my life is Helloween’s Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pt II. One summer I met a guy who drove a beat-up car - it had one door, and the cassette deck was jammed. You couldn’t get the tape out, you were just condemned to rewind and listen again. And so we listened to Eagle Fly Free all summer long. But I never stopped being fascinated by how melodic it was, yet still heavy. I actually ended up having Kai Hansen of Helloween as a studio partner in Hamburg eventually, running things together. He knows about the cassette!"
6. The Darkness - I Believe In A Thing Called Love (Permission To Land, 2003)
“I’ve also chosen a track by The Darkness, because my friend once convinced me to go and see them in Hamburg - it’s the first and last time I’ve ever been front row. A day after the gig, we founded our own glam rock band, The Pleasures. So I’d say I Believe In A Thing Called Love is a special song for me, since it started up that band."
7. Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast (The Number Of The Beast, 1982)
“It’s pretty cool that we’ve toured with Iron Maiden twice now. I bought The Number Of The Beast album at a flea market in Berlin - and I actually need to get it signed by the band, really! I have ‘666’ and ‘TNOTB’ tattooed on the sides of my hands. The title track was probably the first time I ever heard weird polyrhythmic stuff going on in a track. I was like, ‘What the fuck is going on?’"
8. Slipknot - (Sic) (Slipknot, 1999)
"When I first listened to Slipknot’s debut album, I thought a pretty similar thing. I skipped the intro track… and then (sic) just absolutely violated me. It felt so extreme, with all these clashing rhythms and sounds. It made me get more daring with my sound, more willing to experiment."
9. Soilwork - One With The Flies (Stabbing The Drama, 2005)
“Soilwork’s One With The Flies inspired me in a different way - more of a nerdy one. The drummer plays on the offbeats. It’s a staple of 70s disco beats, but rather than using hi-hats, he performs it on a China cymbal which is much heavier. I try to emulate that bouncy feeling a lot."
10. Roxette - Sleeping In My Car (Crash! Boom! Bang!, 1994)
"Finally, Roxette’s Sleeping In My Car. Roxette were my first concert, but also it’s the song that was playing when I first had sex with my first girlfriend… I think that says it all. I wish I could say we had the song on repeat for a whole hour but…”
Lord Of The Lost's UK tour starts in London tonight.