Sheffield, London Gothic Band (Libitina's Web Site)
By: Sonya Brown
Libitina, a Sheffield, London-based gothic band, will begin their United States tour beginning either this October, or April of 2001.
Their current CD, "A Closer Communion", was released independently in 1997 and the band has since been signed with Radio Luxor for the release of their upcoming second album.
Libitina - named after an ancient Roman deity - consists of Jamie, bass, vocals; Peter, vocals, guitar, programming, keyboards; and Darren, guitar, vocals.
In light of their upcoming tour, I decided to ask the band a few questions:
Sonya: When do you plan on touring the US - Do you know which clubs you will be playing yet?
Libitina: We are looking at either the beginning of October or else April 2001. The latter is looking the more likely at present, since our finances will be tied up in recording a new album and playing in Europe this year. When we come to the US, we will definitely be playing in Chicago. We are looking for roughly 4 dates the first time we come out. New York and Boston are in the reckoning. Any promoters who would like to put us on should get in touch soon!
Sonya: Have any of you ever toured the states before?
Libitina: No, nor have we visited as tourists. It will be quite an adventure!
Sonya: Do you plan on attending the C-6 Convergence in Seattle? (note: C-6 is an annual event, scheduled for Memorial weekend 2000, dedicated to bringing together people who are involved in the Gothic subculture).
Libitina: It would be interesting to come to a Convergence. Unfortunately our time and money are invested fully in recording our next album and planning for our US tour. Maybe in the future we'll be able to come to one.
Sonya: Who would you most like to tour or perform with?
Libitina: We don't mind who we perform with, as long as they don't have a drum kit! Soundchecks involving drum kits are painfully dull. Seriously though, we have particularly enjoyed shows with Rosetta Stone, (Children On) Stun, Judith, and The Dream Disciples in the past.
Sonya: How do you think the support for the live shows in the US will compare to UK support? What & where is your favorite club/arena to perform?
Libitina: Well, we know that we won't be so well knownS it'll be nice to experience a different audience. Home town gigs are always good to do especially when we play at Dissolution, the monthly goth night in Sheffield. The venue has the best PA in the city and it's nice to play in front of friends. On our travels in the UK, we have found Birmingham to be one of our favourite places to perform. We enjoyed our show in Forli, Italy, a couple of years ago & the audience were fantastic!
Sonya: Have you ever performed with U.S. bands who were touring in the U.K.?
Libitina: We have supported Judith in Sheffield and appeared on the same bill as them at The Whitby Gothic Festival. We enjoy their music and get on well with them. We have also played on the same bill as Dark Atmosphere. As for support in the US, we'll have to see what happens.
Sonya: Do all of you share similar musical influences & tastes and what would those be?
Libitina: We enjoy a wide range of music, from classical through to dance. There is a fair amount of overlap in what we listen to and like, but it's good to come together with different ideas when writing.
Sonya: Are any songs from "A Closer Communion" included in your live set, or any cover songs?
Libitina: Yes, much of "A Closer Communion" features regularly in our live set. Obviously it depends on the set length we have been asked to perform. The slower numbers are the ones we leave out from our live set. We like a high energy performance. We have a number of cover songs, with "Gothic People" being the most well-known . We have covers also of Samantha Fox's "Touch Me" and Dead Or Alive's "Brand New Lover". We have ideas for a couple of new covers which should be fun when we have time to arrange them.
Sonya: Is there a certain atmosphere you like to create with your live set?
Libitina: We like to see people dancing and having fun. It's good to have an audience to play up to and with which to interact. We like a fair amount of smoke when we play (although not as much as when we startedS one venue had to be evacuated when we set the smoke alarms off!).
Sonya: What is your favorite song to perform live, and why.
Libitina: "Fragility of Self" is a good one to play- it works up to a crescendo & it's fun to see how many people fall for the false end to the song! "Drowning In The Dark" is a challenge because of the vocal harmonies on the chorusS especially when playing through a dodgy PA! "Gothic People" is entertaining. We close the set with this number. For a while it was something of a chore to perform because it was expected of us to play its now we only play it when we've had a good time on stage. As such, it's come to mark the end of a rewarding show. Darren (our guitarist and vocalist on "Gothic People") is usually quite drunk by this point (he has to be to perform it!), which is always fun to watch!
Sonya: Has your style or sound changed much since your '97 CD was released, and how do you feel your new CD will compare.
Libitina: We can't believe that it's three years since the last album was released! Time seems to have flown by. We hope to release the new album in the summer or early autumn. Our sound has become slightly more electronic since "A Closer Communion". Guitar still plays a large part in our sound, but we are moving towards a more dancey-industrial feel with some of our tracks. We are working on a number of songs at the moment. The sound of the album will depend on which make the final cut of the album. Lyrically, the content will range more widely than "A Closer Communion" which was almost entirely about failed relationships. The next album will the full gamut of emotions. In terms of the way we look, Pete's had his hair cut quite short and we wear a bit less make-up these days.
Sonya: Do any of you have any other projects in the works that you would like to mention?
Libitina: No, we are focused fully on Libitina at present.