Five Records That Changed My Life, Part 59: Johanna Platow Andersson

German vocalist and songwriter Johanna Platow Andersson fronts Sweden-based doomy heavy rock band Lucifer which also features her husband Nicke Andersson on drums. Lucifer’s fourth album, “Lucifer IV”, will be released on 29th October via Century Media Records. Roppongi Rocks’ Stefan Nilsson checked in with Johanna to find out about the five albums she listened to on her Walkman in Berlin.

“Here are five records that had a huge impact on me as a young girl. This is my sonic journey transitioning from a child to a teenager. It would take me some more years to get into my parents’ music. 70s heavy rock. But this is how it all started.”

Madonna “Like a Prayer” (1989)

“First came the 50s rock and roll compilations and the Vivaldi cassettes that my mom gave me and the mixtapes my older brother made for me, who was a punk, consisting of Sex Pistols, Ramones, The Cure, Public Enemy and lots of other 80s gems. Then I discovered Madonna, somewhere around the age of 7, and obtained quite a collection. I wish now I wouldn’t have given away all my vinyl later. But it was the ‘Like a Prayer’ album that really got me with its spiritual imagery. The crosses and Madonna dancing in a church, kissing a black Jesus and kneeling at her mother’s grave in the videos. This is what really led me aesthetically to all the things I would come to love later in life. But it was also Madonna herself and all the things she represented and that I wanted to be. Extremely expressive, clever, a liberated female artist putting a middle finger in the face of anyone who’d tried to stop her. And in a way I still carry her pale image, my idolised version of her from back then, within me. Favourite songs: ‘Like a’ Prayer’, ‘Oh Father’.”

Metallica “Master of Puppets” (1986)

“This was my first Metallica album that I bought as a teenager when I finally got into heavy metal. Metallica was also one of the first bands I saw at the age of 13. I Still have those old tickets. Most people would pick another Metallica album to be their best but this is the one that I’m most sentimentally attached to. I didn’t have much money then and could only afford to buy one record to start with. So, of course, I picked the album with the cemetery on the cover. Surprise, surprise. Favourite songs: ‘Welcome Home (Sanitarium)’, ‘Orion’.”

Danzig “Danzig II: Lucifuge” (1990)

“Also, one of the first metal bands that I got into at the age of 13. I still love the first three Danzig albums to death and count Danzig as a major influence on my work with Lucifer and The Oath. When I was 14, I saw Danzig live for the first time in Berlin and they totally pulled me over to the dark side with their satanic rock and roll. I started walking around dressed in black from head to toe, topped off with an inverted cross. Little girl with long blonde hair turned EVIL. My mother told me back then that this is just a phase but not that much has changed since then. Here we are almost 30 years later. Favourite songs: ‘Devil’s Plaything’, ‘Blood and Tears’.”

Type O Negative “Bloody Kisses” (1993)

“Then came Type O Negative and their album ‘Bloody Kisses’. That’s when I dyed my hair black. I spent countless days in my all-black room listening to Type O Negative back then. In my teenage loneliness I felt very at home in the lyrics, when the outside world didn’t understand me at all. Around the same time, I started singing in local underground death and black metal bands. I loved all the Type O Negative and Carnivore albums but ‘Bloody Kisses’ was the key for me that really got me into them first. Later on, I got to meet Peter at a show. Still have his number and the backstage pass. He was a very kind soul and it’s a tragedy he left so early. Favourite songs: ‘Christian Woman’, ‘Summer Breeze’, ‘Can’t Lose You’.”

Dead Can Dance “Within the Realm of a Dying Sun” (1987)

“For my 15th birthday my two best girlfriends left me surprise gifts at my door and they went all in: A home-made black birthday card, that they glued a picture into of me standing in a crypt; a stolen cemetery flower bouquet consisting of white lilies and red roses; a gravestone and a vinyl copy of Dead Can Dance’s ‘Within the Realm of a Dying Sun’. At the time I’ve been wandering around the old overgrown cemeteries of Berlin, daydreaming and trying to wrap my head around death, life, love, magic and my inner universe. A few weeks prior we had a sleepover and listened to the album in the dark and it blew me away so profoundly, it’s difficult to describe it in words. Nothing I heard touched me this way ever before. My heart was pounding like crazy. It was ethereal, extremely eerie and so morbidly beautiful. This is when I truly heard my calling. I still have that vinyl. Favourite songs: ‘Summoning of the Muse’, ‘Cantara’.”