Paradise Lost's Nick Holmes: "We Pretty Much Feel Exactly As We Did When We Were In Our 20's, We Just Look Different"
The British legends in Paradise Lost are set to inject the music world with another dose of gothic metal this coming April 24th, 2012 with the new album "Tragic Idol." As the release draws closer, I had the pleasure to speak with Nick Holmes from Paradise Lost to find out what he had to say about the coming opus and how the band is doing after being together for more than 20 years.
Check out the full interview below to see what Nick had to say about how coming from the vinyl generation affects their choice of artwork, how the band records, and his love of the occult rock band Ghost.
xFiruath: Gregor recently did his Vallenfyre project, which was more of an old school death metal band. Did that sound bleed over into the new Paradise Lost at all?
Nick: It’s quite the opposite really, I think he kind of covered that all with Vallenfyre. There’s not really any hint of that sort of sound in the new album. I think he exorcised his demons for that album.
xFiruath: What’s going on sound-wise on the new album “Tragic Idol” and what sort of themes are on the album?
Nick: Sound-wise, we try to make the album as heavy as you can, but at the same time making it melodic as well. The last album was probably not as melodic as this one. We did 10 songs on the album and each one is a standard song, we tried to avoid any one song that stands out above the rest. I think every song is a good song. Musically the influences are more from doom metal, and I think it’s a whole new beast really.
xFiruath: When did you guys write these songs?
Nick: We started recording in late December, so probably nine months before that. It usually takes about nine or ten months to write an album. How bands can write in albums in weeks, I don’t know how they can do that. There’s so much bouncing ideas back and forth, and its hard work anyway so it takes us quite awhile to write the album.
xFiruath: Tell me about how the recording process went for the new album.
Nick: For about four weeks it was recorded at a studio called Chapel in Lincolnshire, England. The last two weeks were I did the vocals were recorded at a town in Sweden called Örebro. Before the studio we demo the songs pretty extensively. Everyone is aware of what their role is going to be and what they have to do. We could probably record separately actually, I don’t even think we’d need to be in the same building to record we’ve been together for so many years now. So by the time we hit the studio we’re very prepared for everything. We don’t really mess around, we just go on with it.
xFiruath: You mentioned how long you’ve been together. How is the band doing at this point and how has Paradise Lost changed over your extensive career?
Nick: We’re doing good. Each new album, we kind of put our heart and soul into it because it’s where we are going to be for kind of the next three years. Obviously we’ve been together for 20 years so we have to put everything into this, we’re not a weekend band or anything. We’re in good shape, and I think we pretty much feel exactly as we did when we were in our 20’s, we just look different.
xFiruath: How does the artwork tie into the themes of the new album?
Nick: We’re from a vinyl generation so we always like to see good artwork. Something that ties into the new album and since we’re going to see it again and again and again it’s got to be something we like. The guy who did, Valnoir, he’s a French artist. And again we had a very specific idea of what we wanted. What we wanted was something when you look at it you notice something again the next time you look at it. We wanted something simple and complex, almost like a tattoo in a way. The artwork is very subjective. It’s difficult to find something that everyone likes, that’s almost harder than with music.
xFiruath: You just released a new music video for “Honesty in Death.” What’s going on in the video and how was the shooting?
Nick: We kind of did a mini-film in about three and a half minutes. There was stuff in the video that was filmed when we weren’t even there. We were only there for the shooting of the stuff with the band. I always like videos where something’s happening and there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end. The music is like a soundtrack to the little film. Performance videos are kind of a necessity, but I’d rather see something with a story. It’s pretty grim story actually. A guy who has betrayed his wife is transported to a post-apocalyptic world, and obviously it doesn’t end very well. I like the grimness of it.
xFiruath: What do you have as far as upcoming tour dates?
Nick: We start touring I think on April 16th. I just got over the jet lag from the Australian Soundwave festival. We’re doing a pretty big British tour and then the rest of Europe and summer festivals. After that is another European tour where we’ll play places we haven’t played before, and then possibly America, but we don’t know yet. Hopefully we can get to the States.
xFiruath: What bands have Paradise Lost been listening to lately?
Nick: I still haven’t gotten over the Ghost album, I still listen to that all the time. I find with the Ghost album that when I play one song I listen to the whole album, which there aren’t many albums that do that. Every couple of years there’s a band I hear where I want to hear the whole album all the way through. It reminds me of songs I liked as a kid, its very old school and classic metal. That’s where I was as a teenager. The music you listen to as a teenager will always still with you all your life. I think what Ghost is doing really reminds me of those times and it’s a nice slice of nostalgia.
xFiruath: What else would you like to say about your new album?
Nick: Look out for it and hopefully we can get over to the States. We haven’t done near enough work over in America. Check out the album, you may very well like it.
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