UK’s Paradise Lost presents a brand new album called Obsidian, and to find out a few things about the new release, guitar player Greg Mackintosh have answered to a few questions for the magazine.
First of all, congrats on the new album! What is the musical direction you went through Obsidian?
When we began writing it we didn’t have a clear idea apart from let’s make it more varied. So as we went along with the songs we kept taking little twists and turns, going down different paths. One day I might be inspired by 80’s goth and the next by 60’s and 70’s acoustic stuff and along the way some death and doom metal and classical music. It was really fun to write something that was an ever changing piece of work. We only had to commit to something ultimately when we recorded the album. You should hear some of the versions that didn’t make it.
Why did you choose this album title?
Numerous reasons. Firstly it’s an elegant word. It’s dark, sharp and cold. But we discovered lots of interesting things about it. The symbolic nature of it drew us to explore the artwork that was ultimately done for the album. Also I found a myth that some people believed in a thing called the Obsidian mirror. If you looked in this mirror you could see the past, present and future all at once and that made me think of the musical diversity of the album.
My favorite song of the album is “Darker Thoughts“. Do you have any particular favorite song?
Usually I like our doomier stuff but I also have a soft spot for songs that do the unexpected or maybe polarise people a little so I’m going to have to agree with you on “Darker Thoughts’’
I noticed that some of the songs have the vibe of the 80’s. what can you tell me more about this sound?
I was just having a little reminisce about how I missed the old goth rock clubs I used to go to in the 80’s. This led me to start thinking about what I found interesting about that music. I wasn’t trying to recreate anything other than the vibe like you said. A lot of those tracks were very bass guitar and drum driven. The guitars were used as textures, building up layers so I explored that on a few parts as well.
The cover artwork looks interesting. What is the connection with the album title and its theme behind?
As I alluded to earlier we discovered that Obsidian was referred to often in folklore and old tradition as some kind of talisman or used in symbolism which made us think along those lines. I found a guy called Adrian Baxter who specialised in that style. He has a deep knowledge of a lot of these traditional symbols and iconography. So you see ravens heads, teeth, nails etc. All these things were to some extent used to ward off evil or to bring luck etc. The white rose of York is in the centre which is the traditional symbol of the area we grew up in.
I would like to ask you this, aswell as I did to a few bands, what’s your opinion about today’s online streaming platforms? Do you think it has“destroyed“ the music industry and the fact that people are not buying CD’s or vinyls anymore? Even that, there are still people today that are buying these things and they’ve a huge collection!
I have spent years moaning about how streaming and the internet destroyed various levels of the music industry. Some did need destroying but others were the only way bands could fund what they did. So it’s ironic that since the pandemic, the internet and streaming or online orders are the only way to access music. I understand it’s an ever changing world and you have to adapt. That doesn’t mean that I can’t miss certain aspects of “the old days”.
About shows, nothing is sure yet what is going to happen this year maybe, but are you planning a tour for 2021 perhaps? Maybe you will come back to Romania and definitely might catch you up live again!
We can’t wait to get on the road again. This is longest time since I was 18 that I haven’t been on a stage. We are rehearsing ready for a show we have planned in September. Whether that happens or not we can’t know but we can only plan in anticipation. Realistically tour wise would be next year I guess and of course Romania will be in there.
Paradile Lost is on the scene since a long time now, 30 years by now. Many great albums, tours etc. How do you see all these years?
When you work on a 2 or 3 year cycle basis like us 30 years goes surprisingly fast. I have some great memories and a few not so good ones but that’s life. I feel very fortunate that we can continue to create music that people seem to enjoy after all these years.
Do you have in mind to release a live DVD again in the future?
You have to play live to release a live DVD so probably not in the immediate future.
You know, my father knows your music since the 90’s, and when you released Anatomy Of Melancholy, that became his favorite live of yours. I think he watched and played that more than 10 times, he he. I guess, he and we all the fans are expecting a new live DVD as Anatomy…
When the touring starts again maybe we can start to think about a new live DVD. Until then tell your father to keep watching Anatomy…
Thank you Greg for this interview. It was my pleasure talking with you. Rock on!
The pleasure is all mine!
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