Metal Assault: In this interview, I’ll mainly talk to you about the new PARADISE LOST release, the “Tragic Illusion 25 (The Rarities)” compilation which is releasing on October 29th via Century Media Records. First thing I want to ask you is how did the idea for this come about and what’s the reasoning behind this release?
Greg: Well, the idea initially came from Century Media. Those people were telling us that we’ve been a band for 25 years and that it would be cool to do something to mark the 25 years. A lot of our B-sides and rare stuff are really good tracks that should have been on albums, so we thought we can put those together and make it a special release by re-recording a couple of the older tracks, the idea behind that being to try and almost school fans on where we came from because a lot of people might not know the history of where we started from. And also, we wrote a totally new song to put on there, to make it even more worthwhile and to sort of bridge the gap between the past and the future. So it’s a combination of two things, the idea came from Century Media and then we kind of shaded it.
Metal Assault: As you said, you’ve re-recorded a couple of old tracks (“Gothic” and “Our Savior”) and you’ve included a new track called “Loneliness Remains”. I think that’s important for a compilation release. Bands often just put together the old songs and put it out. But then people don’t really have any interest unless there’s actually something new to look forward to in the release.
Greg: Yeah, this is very much a collectors’ record, I would say. We’re not putting it out to try and get new fans or anything. This is specially for the collectors and the fans, to put all these songs in one place and in one time, tracks that we wish had made it on to the record. I think it’s nice to put it all in one package, and like you said, we re-recorded those two old tracks. Those are not meant to improve on the originals because they have that charm of that time when they were recorded. It’s just something to show where we came from and to prove that we can still do what we want to. So we put it all together and got the cover artwork done by a guy named Valnoir. We asked him to incorporate little things from the artwork of each of the albums we’ve done.
Metal Assault: This is obviously a follow-up to “Tragic Idol” which came out last year. The album is fantastic and it was received very well by fans, and I think you even gained new fans with it. That must be a good feeling, to put out such a relevant album in 2012, after all these years of being a band.
Greg: Yeah, I think that’s one of two reasons really why we continue to exist. One is because people tell us that our music is still relevant in the metal scene, and the other reason is that we still enjoy doing it. Otherwise I don’t really imagine continuing. If for some reason we feel what we do has nothing to say anymore or we don’t enjoy it anymore, that would be the time to give up, you know.
Metal Assault: We talked about the fact that there’s a new track on this compilation. Is that an indication of the future musical direction, or is it just a one-off and the new album will be completely a fresh start?
Greg: I think it’s kind of an indication. We never like to write on the road, we like to finish doing our touring stuff and then sit down and think where we want to go, because an album is like a snapshot. It’s just what we’re about at that point of time. So if you’re writing too far ahead, it’s not relevant to what you’re about at that time. So when we recorded this track, it was kind of like where we were heading towards, musically. So it’s an indication, I would say, of what we’re starting to do after this 25th-anniversary tour.
Metal Assault: Obviously, there is nothing confirmed yet because you haven’t announced anything, but is there something in the works for North America next year or sometime soon?
Greg: Well, the plan is to start writing again after this 25th anniversary tour and we’re supposed to be recording in June next year. So, we’ll be ready to tour again in the early fall of next year and if you’re looking out for us to tour North America, it would probably be around that time. It’s one of my favorite places to tour, purely because I have such a good time over there, you know.
Read the entire interview at Metal Assault.