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24th February 2011
METAL DISCOVERY: 2011 seems to be a year for it because Katatonia are doing the whole of ‘Last Fair Deal Gone Down’ at shows and even outside of the metal genre you’ve got the Levellers doing ‘Levelling the Land’ in its entirety and I think Ocean Colour Scene are out there at the moment doing all of ‘Moseley Shoals’ at a series of gigs – if you could choose any band yourself to see doing any classic album live, who would it be?
GREG MACKINTOSH: Probably people who are dead…because then it’d be more interesting…
(Greg Mackintosh on the modern day conception of the 'Gothic Metal' label)
"When we first coined the term it was just because we had metal influences and gothic influences and there was no more to it than that. Obviously it’s become a bit more twisted and has become a fashion tag."
Greg Mackintosh onstage with Paradise Lost at Rockweekend, Kilafors Herrgĺrd, Sweden, 10th July 2009
Photograph copyright © 2009 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview by Mark Holmes
Paradise Lost Official Website:
Lost Paradise (1990)
Thanks to Kev Marston at Cannonball PR for arranging the interview.
Gothic (1991)
Shades of God (1992)
Draconian Times (1995)
One Second (1997)
Host (1999)
Symbol of Life (2002)
Paradise Lost (2005)
In Requiem (2007)
Paradise Lost Official MySpace:
Icon (1993)
Believe in Nothing (2001)
Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us (2009)
MD: Yeah, corpses playing music!
GM: Yeah, yeah! Let me think…erm…one band I’ve never seen that I always wanted to see was Dead Can Dance because I never actually saw them live. I think they had a small reunion somewhere not so long back but I wasn’t around to see that. But most of the bands I’ve ever liked we’ve actually played with them or they’ve done some kind of weird reunion thing at some point.
MD: So you’ve been pretty lucky to see most of ‘em anyway.
GM: Yeah, more or less.
MD: You did the ‘Close Up’ show earlier this month but did you ever envisage Paradise Lost would end up playing on a cruise ship at any point in your career?
GM: No, and I don’t think it’s going to be happening any time soon again!
MD: How was that experience?
GM: Not brilliant.
MD: Really?
GM: The show itself was alright but it was pretty rough sea; like the sea was frozen over and it was breaking ice to go through! I’ve never seen anything like that before.
MD: Were you thinking Titanic sort of thing?!
GM: Yeah, that sort of thing! But yeah, it’s not an ideal place for a gig and it seems like the gig’s more of an afterthought…just lots of metallers on a boat having lots and lots to drink.
MD: So one big metal party…
GM: …yeah, and then a few bands playing.
MD: But it was a good gig though, anyway?
GM: Yeah, it was okay...as okay as it can be on a cruise ship, you know, swaying around while you’re trying to play!
MD: …and amps sliding from one side of the stage to the other or something!
GM: That sort of thing, yeah!
MD: I have to ask about the ‘No Celebration’ book project because it was announced a while ago, maybe 2009, and that idea seems to have been shelved?
GM: It was never actually a definite thing. What it was is that to do books, a publisher has to put out feelers to see what the feedback on it is and whether it’s worth doing or not. I gather that takes about two years to do. Our manager will know more about that than me but it’s just some kind of a market research thing they’re doing and if they think it’s worthwhile they’ll do it and if not they won’t. It’s nothing we instigated; we were just approached about it.
MD: Have you started composing for the follow up to ‘Faith Divides Us…’ yet?
GM: We’re starting to gather ideas but there are still quite a few festivals we have to do this summer so we haven’t really wrapped up ‘Faith Divides…’ as yet, so we’ve still got quite a bit to do on that. So we’re starting to get ideas together and the plan is to probably go into the studio in September or October later this year depending on whether we’ve got enough material by then, so we’ll see how it goes.
MD: And that’ll be for an early 2012 release maybe?
GM: I would have thought so, yeah.
MD: Do you compose when you’re on the road as well or do you have a more concentrated period of songwriting?
GM: I prefer doing concentrated periods. It’s much easier when you’ve got your own studio and things like that. When I’m on the road, and playing every night, and try to compose songs they kind of start to sound a bit too much like whatever you’re playing on the road.
MD: That makes sense, yeah.
GM: I think it’s good to distance yourself from it and try to come up with some fresh ideas.
MD: So kind of lock yourself away for a bit and just do that, I guess.
GM: Yeah.
MD: My final question – what would you want Paradise Lost to be best remembered for in, say, fifty years’ time?
GM: I would’ve said a while back being the first Gothic Metal band but Gothic Metal todays seems a…
MD: …oh, a terrible term.
GM: It’s kind of a strange thing where all you have to do is have black hair over one eye and that’s it.
MD: And have a female singer, generally.
GM: Exactly, exactly, and that’s not anything to do with what we envisaged, so that one’s out the window. I think just a classic UK band that did their own thing, I guess. I guess we’ve always been on the edge of a scene and never been entirely fixed in any one of them.
MD: If Gothic Metal had continued as you conceived it originally then maybe that would have been the scene you would have always been part of but obviously you’ve been distanced from that scene because…
GM: …oh yeah, it’s a lot more commercial and romantic than we ever envisaged...[laughs]
MD: At the end of the day that’s not Gothic Metal at all, or not Goth Metal in its original conception; that’s just journalists who’ve come along and said, “this is what Gothic Metal is now” based more on an image.
GM: It’s bastardising the phrase. When we first coined the term it was just because we had metal influences and gothic influences and there was no more to it than that. Obviously it’s become a bit more twisted and has become a fashion tag.
MD: Yeah, which is a shame really. Right, thank you so much for your time.
GM: Okay, my pleasure.
MD: And good luck with the shows, and rehearsals and everything, and I hope the album sells more than it did first time round!
GM: [Laughs] Well, everyone will have to stop downloading for that to happen, but…
MD: Well, it’s a fantastic package by the sound of it so hopefully people will want to own it.
GM: Okay, cheers Mark.