Cameron Edney of Hardrock Haven recently conducted an interview with vocalist Nick Holmes of British gothic metal pioneers PARADISE LOST. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Hardrock Haven: Do you still enjoy a drop or two whilst on the road?
Nick Holmes: I think drinking and being a travelling musician is the worst combination on earth! I discovered that in the last ten years, it just doesn’t work. I think drinking and staying awake is a bad idea. I just can’t do that anymore. I can’t do a show the next day. In my early twenties, it wasn’t a problem, but now, forget it. I try to be semi-professional. The whole rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle is a bit of a mess, really; most people I know, they don’t party as much as perhaps they’d like people to believe.
Hardrock Haven: I’ve always been curious to know how bands deal with living together on the road. I mean, no doubt at times it can become frustrating when you share buses rooms for weeks, sometimes months, at a time. How do you personally find the best way to deal with other members on the road, especially during those harder, not-so-pleasant moments that occur?
Nick Holmes: It’s just a matter of putting your headphones on and switching off. Everyone knows everybody else’s tolerance levels, so you can see an argument coming very early on. Usually it’s me and Steve [Edmondson], our bass player, that argues, it’s usually when we’re tired too so when we arrive in Australia [for the Soundwave festival], we’ll probably be bickering then. [laughs]
Hardrock Haven: I want to talk to you about life in the studio also, in 2009 you released a great album in “Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us” and the follow-up will be released this year. What can you tell us about that?
Nick Holmes: The new album is called “Tragic Idol”. It has ten songs on it. I think that people seem to think that we’re going into a more gothic direction, but it’s a very “metal” album! I think it’s a lot more metal than the last one, to be honest. It’s very dark. It’s got to be expected, we’re not going to do anything out of the ordinary. We’re really pleased with it. I was listening to it last night, actually… I can’t wait for people to hear it and let us know their thoughts.
Hardrock Haven: “Tragic Idol”… I love the title. Tell us where that came from…
Nick Holmes: “Tragic Idol” is about how if someone is put on a pedestal and they somehow start to believe it, [when] really they’re not. With the Internet and the way that media are now at the end of the day, we’re all human beings, nobody’s better than anybody else. Some are smarter, but that’s about it! In England, people love to see people fall from grace. The bigger people get and the more successful that people get, people like to see them fall. I find that to be really sad. People help to get people to where they are, and once they get there, they just want to tear them down. It’s a real Northern England thing in particular — everyone wants you to fail in Northern England, and you never get encouragement for anything in your life.
Hardrock Haven: Having recorded twelve studio albums now, I would imagine the creative process in some cases would be a breeze and yet it must at times be a nightmare to come up with fresh material!
Nick Holmes: It’s weird… I found this album quite hard to write. Lyrically I quite enjoyed writing this more than some previous albums; overall though I didn’t find it all enjoyable which is a weird thing.
Read the entire interview from Hardrock Haven.