Paradise Lost are in the middle of a busy few months; after just releasing their new album ‘Tragic Illusion’, which celebrates their 25 year anniversary, the band are gearing up for their next tour which starts at the end of October. We spoke to rhythm guitarist, Aaron Aedy, about the recording process of the latest album, his and the band’s career so far and most importantly, beer.
So back in September you guys released ‘Tragic Illusions’ which contains some of your rarities can you tell us more about it?
It’s a collection of the songs on recent albums that were in the writing process, but never actually made it to the albums themselves, either because we thought that the other songs were stronger or they’ve been kept on the side or used as b-sides, but it’s nice to put them together. We’ve also re-recorded a couple of really old songs. We thought we’d have a bit of fun with it, so we recorded them fairly punk style, like a demo, and they turned out alright so we decided to put them on as well. For example ‘Our Saviour’ from the first album, which we haven’t played for something like twenty three years and ‘Gothic’ which it was nice to do a modern take on it.
It’s quite cool stripping things back, did the recording process feel m/ore organic?
Yeah, we did it in a way that we weren’t trying to get solid perfection, we got Simon Efemey who we worked with on the ‘Shades of God’, ‘Icon’ and ‘Draconian Times’ albums and he’s very much a vibe and fun sort of producer. I mean when we did those albums he’d be there with a foot on the mixing desk, head banging with a beer in his hand. So it was really cool and nice to get him in as we’re still mates. It was very much a ‘let’s just do it for a laugh, if it’s any good we’ll use it’.
That sounds like cool way to do it!
It was and we had a few beers as well!
A few or a lot?
Hmmm a reasonable amount. Not before recording though! Personally, I don’t drink before I go on stage, it’s a reward system for after the gig. Plus, I’d fall over if I was drunk! I’m quite a physical player and I don’t want to lose my balance.
That’s very professional of you, I’m impressed. So, you guys have been together for 25 years now, what is your secret?
We’re very fortunate that other people seem to like what we do, plus have a healthy love of the same comedy! The music’s serious, but that doesn’t mean to say you’ve got to be serious all the time.
What would you say has been your favourite part of your career?
All of it! I never look back with regret because everything you do gets you where you are today and if you’re happy today then that’s all that matters. I think as a group of people over the past five years we’ve been able to appreciate even more how lucky we are to be doing what we’re doing. It’s amazing and I think we enjoy it more than we ever have done.
Have your influences changed and do you have a better idea about your own personal sound now?
I think there aren’t really influences for us anymore, there were influences that made us want to start a band, but then after that it’s just organically grown. We’ve always done what we felt like doing at the time. Even when we went heavily electronic we needed to do something different so we could carry on enjoying what we did – especially around the ‘Icon’ and ‘Draconian Times’ where out of those four years we probably had six months at home. We were touring all the time and it gets very tiring doing the same music all the time, I think we needed to do something different because if we ended up doing another three ‘Draconian Times’ then we would have just split up.
That’s the biggest compliment you can actually get and you don’t know what to say. You do get people in bands that are doing well that say I picked up a guitar because of this record and that’s a bigger compliment than any review. I get quite humble and shy about it, especially when the bands are doing better than we are! If the music’s touched someone’s heart and soul that’s all you can hope for because you do it to lift your own.
So you guys are touring at the end of October, what can we expect?
Five very nervous guys playing songs they haven’t played for years and being relieved when the set is over. It’s a lot of early stuff. There are two songs that we haven’t played since the original drummer left! So everyone’s been practicing and we’re looking forward to it!
What’s next after the tour?
We’ve already started writing the next album, but it’s still early doors yet. We’ve only been working on stuff for a month! There’ll be no rest for us, but I can’t complain, it’s just like going back to work, only there’s lots of good times and we get free beer!
Paradise Lost will be embarking on a run of 4 UK dates in late Oct/early Nov together with Lacuna Coil & Katatonia, dates as below:
Paradise Lost 25th Anniversary Tour:
- Oct 30 Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall
- Oct 31 Glasgow, ABC
- Nov 01 Manchester, Ritz
- Nov 03 London, Roundhouse
All words by Sophie Sparham. More writing by Sophie on Louder Than War can be found at her author’s archive.