Mark Holmes of Metal Discovery conducted an interview with guitarist Aaron Aedy of British gothic metal pioneers PARADISE LOST prior to the band's April 26 concert in Nottingham, England. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Discovery: [The new PARADISE LOST album "Tragic Idol"] has a kind of doomy "Icon"/"Draconian Times"-era sound to it, more so than your more recent stuff. Did you just see where the songwriting took you or do you think you're getting more nostalgic the older you're getting?
Aaron: I think it's sort of been heading in this direction anyway for the last few albums, but I think doing the "Draconian Times" shows got back our love of what we were doing. It probably, subconsciously, aided that, I think. Doing the "Draconian Times" shows was great because there was one song we'd never played live and a few other songs we hadn't played for years and it was really cool to go back and retrospectively see how we did things back then. So it probably crept in with the songwriting, I think.
Metal Discovery: That kind of answers my next question as I was going to ask whether revisiting all those songs had any effect on the songwriting.
Aaron: Yeah, I think it must've done, really. But it wasn't like, "Oooo, this is good, let's write another one." It isn't like "Draconian Times", but it's got a bit of the energy of "Icon" and "Draconian Times". It's the hardest I've had to work recording rhythms since "Shades Of God" and "Icon" sort of time. It was quite full-on with the riffs! But it was great, though; it's cool… I'm a guitar player and I want to play guitar!
Metal Discovery: Exactly! Compared to the last album which obviously had the orchestrations and keyboards, this one's more a back-to-basics , stripped-down metal record, I guess. It still sounds pretty epic in places, though, with the layered guitars so by not having the orchestrations and keyboards. Did that force you to work more on getting the guitars to achieve a kind of epic feel?
Aaron: Yeah, I think that was a very conscious effort on Greg's [Mackintosh, guitar] part. I think he wanted to not have that and just work with guitars and, you know, if they needed something when we finished them, you add a little bit. But, yeah, I think it was more about just working the guitars, really.
Metal Discovery: The arrangements sound really well developed, particularly with the layered guitars, but how much did songs change from when they were originally written to the final recorded versions?
Aaron: Well, there's a lot of batting that goes backwards and forwards, but I think they were mostly formed in stone before we went in the studio. The last one that I think was written was "To the Darkness", and that came together about a month before we went into the studio. But, yeah, they were pretty well formed before we went in. We don't like to experiment too much in the studio because it's expensive. We've always been a band which likes to go into the studio pretty much knowing what we're doing. If there's a little bit jiggery-pokery, then you can do it but, as a rule, we like to be fairly safe.
Read the entire interview from Metal Discovery.
"Honesty In Death" video:
"Crucify" audio stream: