Rockers re-emerge from their slumber | Lord Adder

Formed in 1992 and officially disbanded in 2004, defining Maltese hard rock band Lord Adder have made the unexpected but welcome decision to reunite with a fresh line-up. The band speaks to TEODOR RELJIC ahead of an upcoming concert and DVD launch at The Garage in Zebbug

Lord Adder will be returning to the scene after a 15-year absence
Lord Adder will be returning to the scene after a 15-year absence

Given that your upcoming concert will be a comeback gig, could you briefly tell us a little bit about Lord Adder’s origins and history?

Lord Adder was formed way back in October 1992 with the line-up consisting of Mark Spiteri on vocals, bass and song-writer, Aldo Spiteri on guitar, Norbert Camilleri on keyboards and Ray Micallef on drums. Later on Darren Mercieca joined the band on bass, turning it into a five-piece. We have performed in several mainstream rock clubs in Malta, such as Harleyquin, Rockcafe, The Alley, Coconut Grove and Sticky Fingers, apart from festivals in Malta. We have recorded four albums in total, though only three were eventually released: Hemlock (1995), Behind Closed Doors (1996) and Site of Evidence (1999). No Sweat was recorded in 2004, but never released.

Notably, in 1993 Lord Adder performed live at The Marquee and The Garage in London UK. On August 1994, Hemlock was recorded at FAIR deal studios Middlesex London UK, soon after which we performed live at the London Marquee as the headline act.

Between 1995 and 1999 we were the local supporting act for Girlschool (1995), Black Sabbath (1995), Iron Maiden (1996), Saxon (1996) and Smokie (1999). On February 1997, we placed first in the Carovana rock festival in Brescia, Italy. Eventually, the members of Lord Adder opted to pursue different musical paths, and the band officially disbanded in November 2004.

Now, after a 15-year absence, Lord Adder return with a new line-up, made up of Mark Spiteri on vocals, bass and song-writing, Charlie Muscat on guitar, Robert Tomasuolo on guitar and Ray Micallef on drums.

Having come up as a band throughout the ‘90s in Malta, could you talk a little bit about what the scene in Malta was like around that time? What were your fellow musicians playing, and what were the main challenges to getting your music out there?

Back in the ‘90s we had a good thing going on when it came to live gigs; there would be a gig on more or less each weekend, with bands alternating between either Paceville or Bugibba venues. Diverse genres also started to crop up, with alternative rock, grunge and nu-metal appearing on the scene. Lord Adder remained more or less committed to the hard rock sound, but yes: the scene around us was quite varied.

It’s worth remembering that getting your music out there wasn’t just a matter of uploading your recording and sharing it online; you had to record CDs and distribute them – it was the only way to get your music out there.  

How did your sound evolve over time, and what is it that you’d like to experiment with now that you’re back together as a band?

Now that we’re back together, we look forward to working on new material. In fact, we’ve already got nine new songs in the can, with more material sure to materialise soon. The genre we’re edging towards nowadays is better described as Heavy Metal. We’ve all got different influences informing our sound, which creates a great chemistry during our rehearsal and recording sessions. On top of all that, we’re very happy to have veteran guitarist Charlie Muscat on our side; giving his all after having accumulated three decades’ worth of experience in the field. With all these positive inputs going into our sound, we look forward to releasing a new album soon.

You’ve performed abroad quite a few times in your day, even serving as supporting acts for bands like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden for their Malta gigs. How were you received in the UK, and what were some of your fondest memories of these tours?

We have been the supporting acts for Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Smokie, Girlschool and Saxon locally, which were fantastic experiences that we remember fondly, and which only helped us to strengthen our musical approach. On the other hand, we made it to the UK twice, where we played at the notable London venues Marquee and The Garage.

Each performance was a memorable one for us all, especially when we were the headline act at The Marquee and seeing the audience appreciating us is a feeling which cannot be described in words. Another memorable concert was when we won the Carovana Rock competition in Brescia, Italy: we were the only foreign act!

Looking at the scene you’re about to be immersed in once again now, what do feel has changed since the days you were fully ‘operational’ as a band? Does it excite you to be back?

Well, it’s normal for the scene to change along with everything else. We’ve got a lot of talented bands in Malta, who do a great job at keeping our scene alive and kicking. A lot has changed since the ‘90s, of course. For one, it’s now much easier to showcase their material thanks to online platforms, which also help in sustaining an audience and maintaining a point of contact with them. Since our comeback concert is coming up, we’re quite excited to be plunging back into the action!

Lord Adder will be performing their comeback concert at The Garage in Zebbug on November 22. Supporting acts include Dead Impaled, R.A.S. and X-Vandals, where the latter will also be launching a commemorative 11-track DVD. Doors open at 8.30pm.