Back in September, Popblerd was lucky enough to have the oportunity to talk with Paradise Lost lead singer Nick Holmes about their first North American tour in over five years (The “Tragic Kings And Idols” tour with Katatonia, The Devin Townsend Project, and Stolen Babies), Paradise Lost’s Tragic Idol album and why it took so long to get back to The States. Read on below:
1. The “Tragic Kings…” tour is your first in North America in over 5 years. What took so long to come back?
To tour in America, you’ve already got to have a bit of a foundation here and we don’t have that much because it’s very expensive to tour here and it gets worse every year. We neglected America a lot in the early ’90’s. We didn’t come here when we should’ve and it’s kind of cost us now.
2. Why was this the right tour to reintroduce yourselves to NA audiences?
I think the fact that all three bands (Katatonia, DTP, Paradise Lost) fall under the same management is kind of easy for everybody (laughs). Obviously Katatonia: we know them from before. I wouldn’t necessarily say Devin’s music is similar to ours but that said, I think Devin Townsend (fans) are lot more open than a lot of metal fans are and that’s actually quite refreshing because I’ve noticed that for a lot of his shows people definitely listen to you more.
3. Do you have plans to come back sooner?
I hope so. It goes back to the original thing. If we can afford to do it in a comfortable way…I mean, we’re not young guys. We’re not gonna get in a van for eight weeks. We probably would’ve in our twenties but no way is anyone gonna do that at forty years old.
4. Your latest, Tragic Idol, was released in April of this year. Do you have a favorite song from that album to play live?
I like the song “Fear Of Impending Hell” (Which we have the new video for). I think that’s one of my favorite songs to listen to but all of them are like children. We’ve sort of written enough songs to know which ones will go down quite well live. There’s a lot of potentially good live ones on there.
5. With a catalog so vast, how do you choose a set list every night?
It’s pretty difficult. We always tend to choose songs that we know work and people are always like “Why don’t you do this?” or “Why don’t you do that?”. If you do it sometimes and it just doesn’t work and could ruin the flow or the vibe. For example “One Second”, the song, in Europe is a massive favorite. Every night it goes down great. In America people don’t really know it. Obviously it wasn’t really known here so we kinda dropped it in the first couple days here. Then you go and do a lot of your early stuff and the younger guys don’t know it so you bomb. Yeah, it’s tough but then we just try to make new songs good and play that.
6. What do you hope fans take away from a Paradise Lost live show?
Hopefully a lot because it’s important to us. If you finish your last song and everyone is like “Aw, shit…” then that’s great if they’re hungry and they wanna see more. That’s all we could want for and in America, we want to hear more of that because if they do then we’re doing our job.
7. Paradise Lost has been through a lot of drummers over the years, is Adrian finally the right man for the job?
I hope so. We get along great. He’s a fantastic drummer so hopefully. The reason Matt (Archer) left initially was if he was still drumming to a certain sort of level he’d still be in the band anyways. It’s just a kind of case of he fell by the wayside a little bit but we’re still good friends despite that.
8. When the band began, did you ever think you’d be out supporting album number 13 almost 22 years after the first album dropped?
No. Absolutely not. None of us ever had that specific career direction in mind anyway. I was thinking about this the other day, none of us thought “Oh, I’m gonna be a lawyer or I’m gonna do this…”. People toyed with being electricians or mechanics but it wasn’t anything you think about doing for all the rest of your life. It’s not something you train for seven years to do. That said, we just became professional musicians. It was just “Oh, this is what we’re doing…”. We’ve done it so long that we couldn’t get real jobs anyway. We’re unemployable. We’re institutionalized to this. Before you know it, you do an album and tour behind it and three years go by like that. It goes fast when you tour. Time flies.
9. Why should fans check out Tragic Idol?
Because it’s fantastic. The thing is I can talk about it all I want but they (fans) can probably listen to it while they’re reading this anyways. It’s instantly accessible. I got that question years ago and then fans have to go find it but now they can listen to it like that. Everything we do is from the heart. We don’t bullshit. We don’t make music to make money because there is no money to be made in music anymore. There’s gotta be something wholesome in what we do or there’s no point in doing it. Album thirteen sounds as good as anything we’ve ever done, I think. Check it out. You might like it. Who knows?
Tragic Idol is out now through Century Media.