The review of the Scar Weaver album can be found HERE!
Time For Metal / René W.: Hi Lauren, I’m glad you found time to talk about your band Once Human and the new album Scar Weaver. It’s been almost five years between Evolution and the new material. Did you guys plan for this long break, or was it just a product of the still ongoing pandemic?
Once Human / Lauren Hart: We did not plan for this long break. At first, the break began when I went on tour with Kamelot for about two years and Logan with Machine Head. It was during the Machine Head tour that covid began. When Logan got home, though, Max had finished already 10 songs for the album and left them to me to write my lyrics over. Our deadline for delivery of the album kept getting pushed back due to the pandemic, and now here we are!
Time For Metal / René W.: You’ve been anchored in the band from the beginning, and you’re working in a genre that’s still dominated by men. Would you wish for female support within the band or are you, like many metalheads, sick of the gender issue? In my opinion, equality in the Metal genre is already much further accomplished than in some points of society. What are your experiences as the frontwoman of a groove metal band with melodic death metal structures?
Once Human / Lauren Hart: I have seen a dramatic positive change in my genre for sure. I used to and still get some nasty, sexist comments about me and how much they can’t stand women screaming, how we don’t belong, and all that. But it’s always just been keyboard warriors, and that’s easy for me to ignore. Maybe other women, not so much. Any bullying isn’t right and is often extremely harmful. But I think all public figures have to deal with this. If you are a public figure, people will say terrible things about you and to you online.
Time For Metal / René W.: You have used the long creative break to work on Scar Weaver. Behind the record are ten shorter numbers. Is there a songwriting scheme, or is it more of a coincidence that only Bottom Feeder breaks the five-minute mark? Or do you not pay attention to the playing time at all during songwriting?
Once Human / Lauren Hart: These songs were all written by Max Karon. I wrote my vocals once I was delivered his instrumental. So I, unfortunately, cannot tell you why he chose this, but I know he feels the songs he writes and is not so conceptual. It is, perhaps, just how he felt.
Time For Metal / René W.: The artwork suggests a less heavy record. Eidolon and Deadlock push the listener hard into the chair and with lots of gloomy thoughts. What do you personally associate with the cover concerning the lyrics?
Once Human / Lauren Hart: The cover was done by Seth Siro Anton while we were exploring album titles. The title Scar Weaver was not imagined yet, and we were throwing him song names for inspiration. One of the song names is Bottom Feeder. This very much looks like he was inspired by that. But to me, gave it a very triumphant twist. Almost like overcoming the “bottom feeder” or “underdog” meaning.
Time For Metal / René W.: I like your vocal shades very much. Towards the end, on Erasure or Cold Arrival, you also move away from the dominant growls and try to get even more width into the tracks. Will we possibly even see classic clean vocals on Once Human, and how important is it to you to be able to move freely on the microphone without being put in a forced corset?
Once Human / Lauren Hart: I put myself in these corsets and I scream and move very well with them. They are also a very sturdy place to put my in-ear pack as well. The corsets are not tight and are below my diaphragm, so it wouldn’t really affect my breath even if I tightened it. The vocals are something I don’t really pre-plan. I feel it as it goes, and try to do the music justice the best way I can. I have gained more confidence in my instrument and do appreciate you notice the dynamics. The future of my voice in our music depends on the music itself!
Time For Metal / René W.: What are your main focuses for Scar Weaver? What message should reach the listener, and what changes have you made compared to the first two albums?
Once Human / Lauren Hart: My main focus is touring, as this is when we truly connect to fans. I hope the world will let this happen for all bands. It is so important. The biggest changes are the fact that Max wrote the instrumentals this time, as he had the songs completed by the time Logan was home from his Machine Head reunion tour. Logan loved the songs. Verses on the first album which was written musically by Logan and me, and evolution which was mainly Max, then Logan, and I had small writing in the music there too. The other changes are of course vocally. I feel in the two years of touring with Kamelot, I grew a lot with my clean singing. I had to, as I was filling some very big shoes. I learned to stop comparing myself to other singers once I discovered my own voice and accepted it. Once there was acceptance, then confidence could grow. And thus, the confidence to be bold and take risks. I think this is where it ended up, on Scar Weaver.
Time For Metal / René W.: I would ask you to bring more of Scar Weaver closer to your fans and our readers. Reveal your feelings and connections to each song in a very personal track by track. How do you deal with criticism in any form? Do you read reviews of your songs, albums, or gigs, or is the opinion of the trade press not so important to you? Requests, greetings, and reviews from fans coming through social media channels are given to managers by many bands. How do you handle that? Are you still active on Instagram or Facebook?
Once Human / Lauren Hart: If you want to know my true feelings track by track, I ask you to please read the lyrics. Especially of Only In Death, Erasure, and Cold Arrival. I am very honest in my lyrics and it runs very deep. The topics do change, but the honestly is always there. I find it difficult to shorten a song’s meaning and describe what it is about, as each really has its own emotional journey. Some lines are even hard to dissect, and one line can be packed with a whole life’s summary.
I do read reviews and I do like criticism to a certain extent because I like to see people’s opinions on art. But since it is art, there really is no right or wrong, so it is hard to take it personally if something isn’t liked. Everyone has different tastes, it is purely individual. I take bad critiques into consideration, sure. I am human. But what I find the most important is if someone really falls in love with a song or if it touches them deeply. Makes them heal in a way or is therapeutic. And of course, if people just love the songs, that is wonderful to know!
Yes, we are active on social media. Although, I am working to be more active as I know how significant an online presence is these days, especially with the lack of touring.
Time For Metal / René W.: A question that has always caused a lot of silence and perplexed looks in recent months, but I don’t want to leave it out: When can your fans in Europe finally see Once Human on a stage again? Friends of mine are currently playing an extensive tour through your home country. Is the situation in the USA already more relaxed, and can you at least present the new material to the fans from North America?
Once Human / Lauren Hart: The last tour we did in Europe was on our first record with Fear Factory. The gap in time since we have been to Europe is absolutely insane and needs to change. It is so important to be there, and now with our new management, we can make this happen. The situation in the USA is more relaxed, yes. In fact, we just did a tour with Cradle Of Filth a few months ago. We will be playing new material as soon as the album is released!
Time For Metal / René W.: I thank you for your time and extensive answers. Good luck with Scar Weaver, stay healthy, and hopefully, we will see you soon at an open-air or on tour in Germany.
Once Human / Lauren Hart: [Replies in German] Danke, ich liebe Deutschland sehr. Ich hoffe, dass wir uns bald treffen!