November 11, 2016 Interview – Rob Vitacca of Lacrimas Profundere
Founded over two decades ago, Germany’s Lacrimas Profundere are a band which have paved their own way. Initially with roots in the Doom Metal genre from their 1995 debut …And the Wings Embraced Us through 2001’s Burning: A Wish, they shifted their approach to more Gothic Metal style beginning with 2002’s Fall, I Will Follow. Growing with each passing record, but always retaining the Lacrimas Profundere sound, the band attained mainstream success in the European region with such powerful records including 2004’s Ave End and 2006’s Filthy Notes for Frozen Hearts. Armed with thought-provoking lyrics, a melodic and melancholy sound, they have been the pinnacle of European Gothic Rock since. Now returning with their 11th studio album in 2016, Hope Is Here, Lacrimas Profundere offer one of their most complete pieces of music to date. A conceptional effort, it could be the album that finally breaks them into the North American scene in a big way. Recently we caught up with Rob Vitacca to talk his tenure as the band’s leading voice, his learning experience taking over for Christopher Schmid, the work behind Hope Is Here, and the possibility of finally touring the USA.
CrypticRock.com – You have been a part of Lacrimas Profundere when you took over for Christopher Schmid. You have done an exceptional job in your time with the band. First, tell us, what has the time a part of Lacrimas Profundere been like?
Rob Vitacca – It has been pretty exciting. It’s been a long road as a musician and a part of the band with ups and downs. With everyday being in the band you grow more.
CrypticRock.com – That makes perfect sense. That growth has been evident from album to album. Your first album with Lacrimas Profundere, 2008’s Songs From The Last View, was an introduction. Since then, it appears you have become more and more comfortable as lead vocalist of the band.
Rob Vitacca – Exactly. When I joined Lacrimas Profundere as a fan; I knew them already and I was a big fan. I joined them knowing every song. With Songs From The Last View was me thinking, “Am I singing right, is this good?” It was more searching where my place was. Now, after 10 years, I can say I have found that place.
CrypticRock.com – No question. Being someone who was a fan of Lacrimas Profundere prior to joining, you know the history. They have taken an interesting road starting as a Doom Metal act turning more to Gothic Rock. What is your opinion of the progression of Lacrimas Profundere?
Rob Vitacca – For me, when I joined, my favorite album was 2004’s Ave End. I still tell Oliver that this album means a lot to me. For me, it is important to keep that Lacrimas Profundere thing, which is the mixture of rocking melancholy, deep Rock music. I think, with every change and every new album, we still have the Lacrimas Profundere touch with every album. This is the most important thing.
CrypticRock.com – Agreed. The band’s most recent album, Hope Is Here, is really a great collection of songs. This is perhaps one of the most complete albums the band has done in some time. What was it like working on this album?
Rob Vitacca – With this album, we decided from the very first step to just work together as a band. You have to know, when we are working on songs, mostly it is Oliver sending snippets to me. Then I am doing some vocals for it and send it over to Clemens and he does some other melodies on it. That is basically the work we do, but this time we said, “Let’s just get locked in the studio and spend a couple of weeks on a concept.” It was a concept we had from the beginning. It started with the great artwork we had from the designer from Brazil. We had this great album artwork, said, “This is super big, we have to do this concept.” This was the time, we just went to the studio and worked on it. I think it is the big difference with this compared to the other albums. I think you can hear it, it is more of a band going on.
CrypticRock.com – Yes, you can hear it. It is quite enjoyable from start to finish. You released the video for the title-track, “Hope Is Here.” It is a very beautiful visual. Obviously there is despair, but there is beauty in despair. What does this music video symbolize?
Rob Vitacca – Well it is about a boy who is different living alone in the forest. It is a mirror of these times. These times we are living in, the world is doing many things wrong. Let’s say hope is such a big word and we do not think hope has anything to do with age or life experience. As a child, we hope for the best birthday ever, or the most amazing girl, that is what life’s all about. I think the most important thing is that we should never stop dreaming. Life is not a question of endless hope or thinking you would have this or that. I would say we have to try and realize our dreams and that is what it’s all about.
CrypticRock.com – That is a wonderful concept. You are right, hope is a very big word and can be interpreted differently. Lacrimas Profundere has never been to North America. Is there a possibility of the band visiting the region?
Rob Vitacca – We are working our asses off to make that possible. For now, it looks like there is a little chance we can get over there in April or May of 2017. We are really working hard on that. It is a big dream for us. We really hope it will happen.
CrypticRock.com – That would be great. It is a long time coming, since the band has been together for over 20 years now. The band’s lyrics are in English, many bands from the European continent sing in English. It is a universal language of Rock music. With that said, it is difficult to break through in the North American market?
Rob Vitacca – It is sad, but it is super hard for European bands to have the chance to play in the US. Of course, if you never toured the US, you cannot just go there and play your own headlining shows, no one would pay for that. Maybe you can start out playing some support shows. It is hard work. We are still trying to get there.
CrypticRock.com – It will be quite exciting once it happens. You do have some shows lined up in Germany and Austria prior to playing more shows in early 2017. How excited are you to be out on the road playing the new album to people?
Rob Vitacca – Really excited. For me, it is one of the best things when you are done making a record to hit the road. To just be able to perform the songs, get it to the people, and see their reactions, that is what it is all about. We have a couple of shows with In Extremo, they are really nice guys and we really look forward to playing with them in Hamburg and Berlin. Then we play a festival in the Czech Republic. Then January and February, we are on our own headlining tour before March; we play two shows in Italy and Spain. Then hopefully, fingers crossed, we play the US!
CrypticRock.com – It sounds like a great run of shows. Those are some wonderful cities and countries you are visiting.
Rob Vitacca – Yes, we have played a lot in Europe. This is why the US is a dream for us and the “Hope” (laughs).
CrypticRock.com – (laughs) That is a good one. If you were to come to the US, what would be your dream band to tour with?
Rob Vitacca – The Cult, but there are many bands. For me, it doesn’t matter, I just want to play there. I just want to be there and play the new songs on stage and see what people are thinking of them.
CrypticRock.com – Absolutely. As stated, it seems like when it comes to American audiences, it is difficult to break through. This is a big country and there is a lot going on here. Sometimes, perhaps people do not seek out the music, if one does not look further, they may be missing something great. I wanted to ask you next, what are some of your musical influences?
Rob Vitacca – There are so many great bands. I could start, for example, with The Doors and I will end up with Radiohead. As long as a song is good, has balls, and reaches my heart, it doesn’t matter what it is. Whether is Reggae, Pop, Synth Rock, I don’t fucking care. That is why this is hard question for me to answer.
CrypticRock.com – Understandable. Good music is good music.
Rob Vitacca – Yes, good music is good music. I really loved Katatonia’s 2006 album, The Great Cold Distance. I really love the old Paradise Lost stuff. I really love Queens of the Stones Age. Clemens is probably the biggest Beatles fans on earth.
CrypticRock.com – What is great about influences is that it does not mean your music has to sound like that. It just means it inspired you to create.
Rob Vitacca – That is why the question is so hard. One day I am into Radiohead, another Nirvana, another Beethoven. At the end of the day, I may write a new Lacrimas Profundere song. That is why it is so exciting.
CrypticRock.com – That is what makes music so wonderful. My last question is pertaining to film. CrypticRock.com covers a broad range of music as well as Horror/Sci-Fi films. If you are a fan of those genres, do you have any favorites?
Rob Vitacca – I am so fucking addicted to The Walking Dead. For Sci-Fi, The Lord of The Rings series and Game of Thrones series. Also Event Horizon (1997).