This interview with Tommy Lindal and David Cantidio of Scars Of Lis was done by Vincent Eldefors through the internet on December 6th, 2003. It has been edited by Vincent Eldefors and Tommy Lindal.

Tommy Lindal was one of the three founding members of the groundbreaking Norwegian doom / gothic metal band Theatre Of Tragedy back in 1992. He released two full-length albums and one EP with that band before an unfortunate stroke put a stop to his musical activities in the summer of 1996 while recording the second album and just before their first European tour with Heavenwood and Lake Of Tears. After having recovered he is now working on a new project called Scars Of Lis, an idea that came to life in 2001, together with a Brazilian musician called David Cantidio. According to a press release their music will not disappoint fans of older Theatre Of Tragedy. Tommy and David took some time off to answer these questions for us.

Hello both of you, how are you doing?
David: Im all ok.. just melting in Brazilian summer :-)

Tommy: I'm great. I'm so excited for Brazil. I'm going there next sunday, so I have been preparing all week. The only thing left is to pack my suitcase, and off I go. It will be so exciting to start rehearsing with David, because we have only worked together through internet for Scars Of Lis, so I'm very excited about it all.

So you two haven't met before?
David: I met Tommy some years ago here in Brazil, but afterwards we lost contact. In 2001 I moved to Portugal where we began to talk through internet. Tommy had a project with the French Alexandre Soles and invited me to join after I showed him some material, then we started working all together.

Tommy: For some months it was only me and Alexandre Soles (Season), then we got David Cantidio to join us. For some various reasons we choose to end the work with Alex, and now it is just me and David working together.

David: And we met in Brazil again in July.

Tommy: In July I only went for a vacation for 3 weeks with some friends of mine also from Norway, and we spent our time there with David.

Let's start early, how and when did you get started with music in the first place? Why did you begin playing?
David: I started with 11/12 years old, playing guitars to join a rock band of friends. I've always listened to rock/metal music because of my parents who are old school rock / metal lovers. As always, I began playing for fun, but as the years passed I was getting more and more interested in making music more seriously.

Tommy: I think it all started for me about 20 years ago. You know, the story of listening to music and playing air-guitar and imagining that you were standing on a stage. That got me into my first guitar. Some years later two of my best friends (Raymond and Pål "Theatre of Tragedy") at that time wanted to start a band. Together we formed Theatre of Tragedy in 1992....

So you were the three original members of the band then?
Tommy: Yes............ with a dream to fulfill the childhood goal, and to have fun making noise! Only 2 guitars and vocals. and we had a friend of ours that played the drums to help us out on the drums.

And it was in 1992? The official biography says October 1993.
Tommy: Yes, that's when Hein Frode joined the band. We only had a complete band in 93, but we started the 3 of us in '92.

Ok, I see, who was the original drummer then?
Tommy: It was a friend of me, Pål and Raymond, he was a former local drummer. He was not in the band, he just helped us out to play our riffs..... hahaaha this sounds funny, but it was in the good old days, when you only played for fun.

You don't want to name him? :-)
Tommy: Yes, his name is Kjetil Gudmundsen.

Ok, was he in metal bands as well?
Tommy: Yes, he have only done metal things..... Some of his bands were called Althena and Osiris....

Ok, none of his bands got past the demo stage?
Tommy: No........ Osiris did a tour in the UK, where I was the driver for 2 weeks......... Actually with Cadaver and Red Harvest but after that it faded away...

Had anyone of you been in bands before when you started Theatre Of Tragedy?
Tommy: Only local bands like with friends and stuff, no serious bands, no..... No demos nothing. The first concert I did was with ToT.

How and when did you meet Eirik and Lorentz?
Tommy: Well, Eirik was one of our friends at that time, he played the bass, so we asked him if he wanted to join us...... In the start he was only a session bass-player but later on he wanted to join us full time. That was sometime during '95, so he did. Lorentz was a friend of someone, hahaah I don't remember how he joined us........

Ok, both of them joined in '93 then?
Tommy: Yes, I think so............ heheehe it's hard to remember if it was 9 or 10 years ago But I'm pretty sure it was '93 yes. Tommy Lindal

At this time you were called Suffering Grief, who came up with the name and for how long did you use it?
Tommy: We used some names like Suffering Greif, Asmodeus and La Rein Noir, (or something) but only for a few months, then I think Raymond came up with Theatre of Tragedy....... So it was everafter.

What bands were you listening to back then, where did you find your inspiration?
Tommy: The thing is that every member had their own kind of music that was different from each other like The Cure, My Dying Bride, Black Sabbath, Bolt Thrower and things like Enya and classical music. That's what made ToT special, we had a little bit of each in our music.

How did you get in touch with Liv Kristine? Had you decided that you wanted a female vocalist?
Tommy: She was Raymond's girlfriend, so we came up with the idea of trying the comination Raymond/Liv on vocals... It worked perfect and gave us an orginality.

Did you have any goals for the band at this early stage or was it just for fun?
Tommy: Not really, we just played to enjoy ourselves, but then it got more serious.

After having released a second album you left in 1997 following an unfortunate stroke right before a European tour. How long did it take to recover fully from it?
Tommy: In Germany summer of '96 during the recording for "Velvet Darkness They Fear" I got a stroke and was committed to an hospital. I lost some balance, the feeling in my right arm and I needed to be away from the musicscene for about 2 years of rehabilitation. I left Theatre of Tragedy in late '96.

You were and are still involved with a black metal band called Imperium, when was this band formed?
Tommy: Imperium was formed in '96 and as I told you earlier we only made a demotape. Then 2 of our members moved to other citys...... Dag (Dismal Euphony) to Bergen and Trym (Emperor/Zyklon) to Notodden, so it was hard to continue the band. But Imperium are going to release a limited picture LP early next year with the material we made back then!

So Imperium is no longer alive?
Tommy: Not for the time being, no and all the members got different things to do now.

What was the name of the Imperium demo and what year did you release it?
Tommy: It was released just locally in '96, and it had no title.

Ok, but now a label has decided on releasing it?
Tommy: Yes a label will release it in Feb/Mar. The label is a Norwegian one and named Lyderhorn Records. They will print a very rare limited vinyl, only 500 copies.

You also had a record company called Pantheon Records for a while, what happened with that?
Tommy: Well, the other two guys who ran the label with me, didn't have any guts and left, so I was alone and I could not run it by myself.

Did you manage to release anything?
Tommy: Nope, nothing. It never got that far....

Now you are both focused on Scars Of Lis I assume, why did you choose this name?
David: Well, Lis is a flower that was tattooed in those who were convicted to death during the medieval times. Our name suggests a useless attempt to get away from death, by removing the tattoo and remaining the scars.. It's a situation that should bring people to think.

Tommy Lindal

How much material have you written so far?
Tommy: Right now we have written about 35-40 minutes of music, but it's all in pieces and not arranged yet. Still we don't have any vocals on them. That is the next step for Scars Of Lis to get vocal members and the right drummer for Scars Of Lis. All drums/keys are made by me and David.

David: We worked a lot so far, we have a lot of riffs and pieces of music but we are expecting to meet soon. There are still a lot of things to do that will be possible only with a head to head work, but we have great music so far and believe very much in our work.

How would you describe the music you have put together so far? Who will it appeal to?
Tommy: The sound and type of music will not disappoint the old metalfans of Theatre of Tragedy (since I'm one of the founding members of ToT), but we will have our own new originality in it.

David: It's hard to describe it... for people who want to check some sounds I would suggest to go to In the Scars of Lis link you can hear a sound sample of our music as the background sound for the page!

What do you think about Theatre Of Tragedy yourself David?
David: I think it's a historic band (while they were into metal).... Even beore I met Tommy I was a huge fan of ToT, it was one of my favourite bands.

Tommy, are you still in touch with your former bandmates?
Tommy: Yes, but not alot, I talk a little with them when i meet them............. We are still friends......... Even though I think the newer music of them SUX.

When do you think we will see the first official release from Scars Of Lis?
Tommy: Sometime next year............... as you know I'm going to Brasil now to work alot with David........... so soon all pieces are making a complete picture.

So none of you like the post-Tommy releases from ToT (Aégis and forward)?
David: I particularly like "Aégis" as well but not as much as "Velvet Darkness...".

Tommy: "Aégis" is good, but the rest is of no interest in my point of view........... I like the metal........... Hehe

So we will not get any softer sounds from Scars Of Lis?
Tommy: Then I quit Scars Of Lis........... If it comes to that. Hehehe. The soft shit is not for me.

David: Ahahhahhahaha.... well I don't think we'll be a hardcore band you know... But the metal feeling will always be there.

Tommy: Heheehe right. It was just a way for answering that question simple, but I mean: I'm a metal guy, and metal is a natural part of me............. If we should start making romatic ballads, I would have nothing to do in that band.

So no Aerosmith love ballads then? :-)
David: Surely not. But we have an acoustic song already, with Brazilian elements, sounding more like classical, I would say is a bitter/sweet song.... but not a ballad.

Tommy: Heheehe I can't make that kind of music......

So you're planning on including some national elements from Brazil in your music?
Tommy: Sure, that is natural................ David is Brasilian.

David: Yeah.... [some of] the lyrics are from a very intresting Brazilian poet called Alvares de Azevedo ... but we are not committed to include brazilian elements on it... it came out naturally.

Will the lyrics be in Portuguese?
David: Yes, in this particular one, yes.

Ok, that was about it I think. Any final words for the readers of Tartarean Desire?
Tommy: Anyone that is interested in Scars Of Lis can get updates on my page and soon an official Scars of Lis page will be made.

David: Well, we've also got a fotolog at Thanx for interwiewing us. I really gotta go now... Tommy take my place. Tchau and thanx Vincent.

Thanks a lot to both of you for taking the time to answer all of these questions and especially to David for being patient with the Theatre Of Tragedy questions :-)
Tommy: Ok, thanx alot.

Links of interest:

Tommy Lindal
Scars Of Lis fotolog
Theatre Of Tragedy