During our coverage of Motocultor Festival Open Air, our reporter and talented photographer Sharbel Kanoun had the chance to sit and have an interview with Paradise Lost. Check out below our transcript of the interview with Aaron and Waltteri of Paradise Lost!
An Interview With PARADISE LOST at Motocultor France by Sharbel Kanoun
Your new Album Medusa comes out September 1st, what can you tell us about it?
Aaron: Well it’s a very organic step from the last album, it’s heavy and it’s miserable (laughs) like all our best albums.
Waltteri: I honestly think that it’s the heaviest record that the band has ever made.
Aaron: Yeah it’s a bit heavy, I mean guitars wise it is and we are just so excited for it to come out and can’t wait for people to hear it, but I mean it’s been really well and we made a point of recording Waltteri’s drums just actually as drums instead of doing any sound replacements which we used to do in the early days so it’s a natural drums.
Waltteri adds: So what you hear on the album it’s actually me playing.
Aaron: Yes it’s his actual drum kit rather being sound replaced and you know it sounds and fits better like that, we are very moved from that kind of background anyway and the last two albums we’ve done them with an approach like that, you it’s like get the sound and don’t change anything, dedicate everything and yeah I think it’s a little bit heavier than the last album, definitely, there’s plenty of screaming and some singing as well, there you go (laughs).
That sounds really cool, so when comparing it with the Plague Within, is there a huge change?
Aaron: Oh no, it’s heavier than the Plague Within but it’s probably a slower album.
Waltteri: There are a lot of melodies. Aaron continues: Yeah I mean the first song is like 8 minutes doom song (laughs) buy you know it doesn’t feel like 8 minutes when you listen to it, it moves quite nice actually and we are really looking forward to playing that live, for me there are future classics on the album, the last song on the album (Until The Grave) is one of my favorites, another happy title, I can’t wait to play the album live, we’re playing two songs tonight, the one that’s been released (Blood & Chaos) and (The Longest Winter) and really can’t wait to play the whole album live.
Medusa comes out September 1st and then you play Dubai on September 8th, a new territory to explore.
Aaron: Yeah that’s right, I’ve never been to Dubai and I’m quite excited to experience it cause we haven’t been there before you know, I quite like trying new places, I’ve actually only been to Dubai as a stop on the way to Australia so I’ve never experienced it at all, not even a holiday capacity so really looking forward to it.
Waltteri: Well it’s gonna be really hot I guess.
Aaron: Katatonia played there last year I guess, we’ve heard from them that it was really good and it is always nice to play new places.
What about the vocals on the new album?
Aaron: Well there are some hard vocals and some normal, there’s probably more singing on the new album than there was on the last one I think, a good blend though, the songs are kinda demanding in a way, Nick only does it if the song suits it otherwise he will do a normal singing and now he’s been very confident that he can do normal vocals and hard ones without ruining his voice, he’s a lot more confident he can do it on this album than it was on the last album.
It’s great to hear that, so you’re not really worried about Nick’s voice now that he is with Bloodbath as well?
Aaron: Actually no, he finds the growling vocals easier. It’s natural for him, I mean look at the noise we used to make when we were 17 years old, how did that come out, I don’t know (laughs) he’s fine with it and you know he looks after himself better now, he’s in good shape and he knows not to drink too much, he’s got sensible with it, he’s very careful about it, he keeps himself in shape, goes running and cycling.
Next year will be 30 years of Paradise Lost. A huge milestone.
Aaron: Oh I know, but you know we’ve never really thought about doing anything yet, I think we are concentrating on the new album.
Will there be a huge tour after the album release?
Aaron: Oh yeah yeah, we start off September 26th and we finish mid November so it’s a good 7 weeks European tour, and then we have Australia in December so yeah, looking forward to it, being on the road, I like living on a tour bus for weeks.
Waltteri, it’s been two years for you with the band, what would you say about your experience so far?
Waltteri: I can’t really describe it, it’s really incredible that I got to play with one of my favorite bands. It’s been amazing.
Aaron: It’s really good for us as well, he’s a bloody good drummer and it’s good to have him in the band and of course he’s more sensible than the rest of us (laughs) it’s really cool to have someone with a sensible head in the band.
Waltteri: I mean I already knew all the songs before I joined the band cause I’ve been you know listening to the band since I was a kid.
So I guess it was quite easy to get the job?
Aaron: Yeah the audition was like two songs and then yeah yeah he’s got it (both laugh).
After all these years, what keeps you motivated today, how do you influence each other?
Aaron: I think over the years, we’ve changed every now and then and did some things a little different so that’s kept it fresh, I think if we’ve done Draconian Times five times we would have been bored and probably split up. For me I think we play live and see the people enjoying it, I would say if they enjoy it half as much as I do, they’ve had a good night, I see it like I’m sharing the music like we are playing it together and we are in it together, it’s really nice and quite humbling.
I’ve always said that rock and metal is like a family, a brotherhood and sisterhood, there’s a real community around rock and metal where people look out for each other, you know even when they’re complete strangers and I think the community is as much as important as the music itself, that’s the reason I love metal.
Do you have any message for the fans in Dubai?
Aaron: I’m really looking forward to it, we’ve heard so many good things from Katatonia, we are always happy to explore new places and it’s great finding new people to share our music with, it’s cool, so keep on believing and keep on listening and we will see you very soon.
Going back in time, if you get to choose a favorite moment with Paradise Lost, what would it be?
Aaron: Oh that’s hard, you know we’ve had so many moments either on stage or privately, oh there’s one moment I will never forget walking on stage at Dynamo Open Air in 1995 where there were 130,000 people in the crowd and I haven’t seen the crowd all day so I didn’t know there were 130K people so I was walking on stage trying to look mean and moody and as soon as I’m on stage I saw the biggest crowd in the world, I couldn’t believe how many people were there. Actually I’ve got goosebumps thinking about it, I mean that was a quite special moment. Also playing Donington for the first time just cause that’s what inspired you when you were a kid and when that happened was like wow we’ve really done it and there are just so many of those, like getting into 25 years anniversary and we are still able to do this and then 30 next year, there are so many and it’s been fantastic being in Paradise Lost, nothing lasts forever you know but I’ve got so many great memories and hopefully many more to come.
Paradise lost is one of those bands with a very loyal fanbase.
Aaron: Oh yeah we’ve been very lucky with that, a very good community on their own, they meet up and they fly as groups to attend different gigs all over the world, makes holidays out of it, it’s really sweet.
Waltteri: Yeah it’s really cool, few weeks ago there was a group from Brazil who came to Germany just to see us, that was really cool.
Aaron: Yeah we’ve got people from Japan to see us, from all over the world, it’s really nice and quite humbling you know, very touching, we are very lucky to have such fans.
Thank you very much for talking to us, good luck for the Dubai show and the album release.
Aaron: Thank you.