Justin Donnelly of Australia's The Metal Forge recently conducted an interview with PARADISE LOST frontman Nick Holmes. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
On the band's new album, "In Requiem":
"A lot of the important decisions concerning this album came down to making sure that we retained the PARADISE LOST sound that we have now, the one we've developed over the last ten years, but making sure that 'In Requiem' had a far more metal sounding production. We wanted the guitars and drums to sound very loud in the mix, and I think we managed to do that this time around on 'In Requiem'. The mix on the new album is very different to the mix on the last few albums, and I think that's what gives 'In Requiem' more of an edge over the last few albums. I don't think a lot of people realize that the songwriting procedure within the band has remained the same as it has been for the last ten years. Once you understand that, it's fairly obvious that it's not so much the way we play the songs on 'In Requiem' that makes the difference, but more the way the album is produced and mixed that really makes it sound the way it does.”
On working with producer Rhys Fulber:
"We've done three albums with Fulber now. The first time we worked with him was on 'Symbol Of Life' in 2002, followed by our self-titled album in 2005. So with 'In Requiem', we've now worked with him three times, and it seems to be working for us. What we like about Fulber is that he kind of brings this whole new enthusiasm to the band each time. I think we only really started to believe in what we were doing a lot more when we started working with Fulber. On 'In Requiem', he really brought a new and different approach to things for us, and I think it's really worked in the best possible way. He's very into what he does. He's very enthusiastic about the recording process, and he gets involved in every aspect of the production work. He doesn't just turn up, press a button and leave. There are a lot of producers that do that. He's not just there for the paycheck and nothing else. He's really into the whole thing. I think that's really refreshing for the band."
On being at a loss in terms of direction and motivation around the late '90s:
"Initially, 'Host' got some really good press. EMI worked very hard on that album, but they really didn't know where to work it in regards to how to promote it, and just whom exactly they were supposed to promote it to. It was a tricky album to make, because it wasn't exactly a metal album as such. It was really a square peg in a round hole thing for both the label as well as us. And then there was 'Believe In Nothing'. We were never really happy with the production on that album. I think the songs on the album were good, but I definitely wouldn't rank the album overall in amongst out top five albums ever. We were all very confused by a lot of things going on around us at the time, hence the cover! (Laughs) I think they were pretty grim times, and I think that's reflected on the rather dour tone of the songs. Practically all of us were on prescribed drugs at that time! (Laughs) I was taking such strong anti-depressants at the time that I didn't really know what was going on at the time. The artwork for the album is a classic example where our brains were at the time. There were just bees in my head! (Laughs) I have no idea what that cover was supposed to represent. On a personal level, 'Believe In Nothing' represented a really dark time in my life. I don't think anything positive comes out of being depressed or down like that. My personal life was kind of in a bad way at that time, and I think that album is a direct result of that. I know a lot of people really love that album, and I think that's great. But for me, I think the most disappointing element is the production, which I think could have been punchier, and the feelings the album conjures up. From 'Host' through to 'Believe In Nothing', we didn't really kind of know where we were going. We were really in a dilemma. But I think 'Symbol Of Life' is a far stronger album that the ones that preceded it, and I think that's because of Fulber's involvement on it. I think he really brought some fresh ideas to the table on that album, which is something he's continued to do with each album since."
Read the entire interview at www.themetalforge.com.