Lucifer's Friend could celebrate their 50th band anniversary next year. Even if they were founded in 1970, this would have been a bit of a hair's breadth, since the German-English troops were inactive for most of the last five decades. Since about four years she has changed from sleep to watch mode again and has just released an impressive hard rock album with "Black Moon".
When in 1970 the band Asterix became Lucifer's Friend with the arrival of John Lawton, it wasn't about putting together a band that would be on tour all the time. Hamburg guitarist Peter Hesslein, who was the band's driving force alongside Lawton, made a name for himself as the producer of Marius Müller-Westernhagen's first three albums and played in the James Last Orchestra as well as in Udo Lindenberg's Panic Orchestra. Lawton himself was with the Les Humphries Singers until he joined Uriah Heep in 1976 and always described Lucifer's Friend as his hobby. The five albums created up to then were stylistically very different. While the debut was very heavy in 1971, the following were more experimental and progressive. After three more records - Mike Starrs had succeeded Lawton on the mic - the band project was buried in 1982. In 1994 there was a short intermezzo between Hesslein and Lawton with Lucifer's Friend II and the album "Sumo Grip". After that it took another twenty years until they decided to reactivate Lucifer's Friend together with founding member Dieter Horns on bass. "Black Moon" is the third studio album since then.
eclipsed: Since Peter Hesslein is currently absent from concerts due to illness, will "Black Moon" remain a studio project in the old Lucifer's Friend tradition?
John Lawton: When Peter is back on track, we are already planning to play live again. But you're right, Lucifer's Friend was basically always a band whose activities took place in the studio.
eclipsed: So you're still a hobby band?
Lawton: Yes, but no longer because we have other musical bread jobs, but because of age.
eclipsed: You won't be touring extensively anymore, whether with Lucifer's Friend or another project?
Lawton: I'll turn 73 in July, so I don't want these strains anymore. On the other hand, I have to admit that my voice is no longer in the high register. After a rested day in the studio this still works well, and for one or two concerts it shouldn't be a problem, but for a complete tour it wouldn't work anymore.