Paradise Lost – Believers

Friday, 29th March 2013 Paradise Lost has done its fair share of label jumping over the years. Is Century Media the right home for you?

Holmes: Definitely. It feels the same as to when we were on [the now-defunct] Music For Nations. If you look back, they were always the best place for us; I have some very fond memories of that label. It’s the same with Century Media. They’re big fans of the music, they’re not pretending to be into it. I can’t speak for America, but Europe it has been great. Speaking of Music For Nations, how can the music industry stay afloat? Any ideas?

Holmes: I think for new bands, even though you’re getting exposure, there’s so many choices. There’s so much saturation. I think a lot of labels are trying to do big deals where they get ahold of the merchandise and management aspects. They’re grabbing every penny of the band, squeezing them dry. The labels can’t just have the records – they need to have every aspect of the band’s career. It’s a very Simon Cowell kind of thing. Unless you’re prepared to play live, you have no chance of surviving. You have to get out and play live. You also have a new drummer in Adrian Erlandsson [ex At the Gates, Cradle of Filth]. He didn’t play on the album, but he’s been doing some live gigs with you. How’s he been fitting in?

Holmes: He’s brilliant. He’s the same age as us, he’s been around and toured – he knows what it’s like. It’s almost like he’s been there from the start. What you see is what you get and he’s a great guy, a warm person. He’s fitting in great, so far so good. So will this solve your revolving door of drummers?

Holmes: [laughs] We’ve been together so long that’s it like the last one is the first one out. We’ve had four drummers in 20 years, so it’s not that bad. They’re not exploding every three months. Let’s try something different. I’ve picked five songs of yours that have flown under the radar and I’d like to get your thoughts on each. Let’s start with “Elusive Cure” off Draconian Times.

Holmes: I always classify that as a plodding song. We just played that live recently. It’s not going to be a standout or single. It’s quite nice…the track is quite nice…sweet, maybe. “Poison” off of Icon.

Holmes: [pauses] I know the song, but I can’t remember how it goes [laughs]. It’s been a fucking long time since I’ve heard that time. As soon as I hear it, I could hear it, I could probably start singing it right away. I’m sure because of the title it’s quite good [laughs]. It’s a short one. “Disappear” off of One Second.

Holmes: I think that’s a classic song, I really like that one. It reminds of me one of those big, airy songs. Not “hairy,” “airy” [laughs]. It’s got lots of room in it; it’s very serious and dramatic. I always loved doing at least one song an album like that. “Your Hand In Mind” off Shades of God.

Holmes: Another good one; I love that song. It’s one of those “epics” we did back in those days. The intro, the whole beginning of the song is very dramatic. I haven’t played it for years, but my memories of it are strong. And finally, “Redshift” off the self-titled album from 2005.

Holmes: Hmmm…I like that one, but I wish it were heavier [laughs]. It almost has a radio-sheen to it, which I’m not over-keen on. With production like we have on the new album, I think it would benefit. The self-titled album might be your most underrated album, you know? Where does it stand with you?

Holmes: To be honest, it wouldn’t be in my top five, only because I think [2002’s] Symbol of Life is a better album. I like that album, but it doesn’t stand out. There’s three songs on that record I like and it usually overpowers everything else. Symbol for me, has better songs and I actually prefer the production. You and I seem to have a different take on our albums [laughs]. That we do [laughs], but the album that broke it for me was Draconian Times, which will be celebrating its 15th anniversary next year. Any major recollections from that time?

Holmes: I just remember a lot of money being wasted on stupid things. The recording was fun. There was a lot of drinking, lot of partying during that time. The recording process was great. We were in a studio in the south of England and it was good times. Is there still an underlying respect between you, My Dying Bride and Anathema?

Holmes: I don’t think anyone cares, to be honest. I haven’t listened to a My Dying Bride album in years apart from their new single. That’s the only time I’ve sat and listened to a full song. Anathema have gone off in a direction that personally, I find quite appealing. I find what they’re doing now to be far more [better] than any of their other stuff. Because we come from a similar era, people think we lived in a castle together or something [laughs]. How much of this do you think was perpetuated by the media?

Holmes: Absolutely. In ten years, we’ve never seen My Dying Bride. Hammy [Peaceville Records honcho] I see every now and then and we go out drinking. But I mean, we don’t see them beyond that. My Dying Bride don’t play out that often anyway. And we are never home and never stopped touring, so we’re the opposite. Finally, is North America on the docket for next year?

Holmes: Yeah, we’re looking right now for what will happen next year. The Nightwish tour [in 2007] was such a good tour for us. I really enjoyed that one. We definitely want to get over again.

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