Interview: Tamara Dujmović
Before the Paradise Lost concert in Arena, Wien on 22nd of May, I had the opportunity to talk to their friendly, talkative rythm guitarist Aaron Aedy. Here’s what he had said about new album, making music, band’s longevity and other interesting things.
VENIA: The first question is about your new album„Tragic Idol“. It’s going back to old roots, it reminds me of „Icon“. What can you say about it?
AARON: I think that our last few albums were going back to heavy twin guitar thing. I think that doing the „Draconian Times“ show last year rekindled our love sort of. It’s a little bit of progression from our last, mixed with a bit of nostalgia perhaps because of doing the „Draconian Times“ shows again.
VENIA: How come you decided to do Draconian times tour again?
AARON: We ‘ve been getting asked for last 7 years to do it. We never felt that time was right. With „Faith divides us, death unites us“, we had an album for which we thought was heavier than „Draconian Times“. We didn’t want people to think we were catching on past or doing it to be heavier again. It felt right to do it. We rehearsed it first to see if we would enjoy playing it. We really enjoyed playing it, so we said- ok, let’s do it. The shows were all really good.
VENIA: How long did it take to make „Tragic Idol“?
AARON: It’s probably about 6 months. 6-7 months in writing and then about 4-5 weeks in a studio.
VENIA: Is there any rule- do lyrics come first or the music?
AARON: It’s usually the music. When Greg has some ideas, he sends them to Nick. Then it’s just backwards and forwards. There’sa lot of stuff thrown away. Sometimes a song happens superfast and sometimes you sit back and burn for awhile and then suddenly something works.
VENIA: It’s interestinghow Nick uses both harsh and normal vocal in „Tragic Idol“. I think it’s a great combination of different styles of Paradise Lost.
AARON: I think it’s the music that chooses mood and dynamics. It’s good that Nick can do that with his vocals. He’s singing better now than he ever has, I think.
VENIA: And now the question about „Host“ since it was my first Paradise Lost album and it actually made me a fan. How do you look on it nowadays?
AAARON: I really like the album. Seems that a lot of people have gone back now and listened to it and quite like it now.It was a great experiment. I’ve never played with those effects and sounds. It came from the rehearsals and we all cut our hair and did the album in the same time. If we would have allhad a long hair still, I think people would have forgiven us a bit more. I think it was justa surprise really.The both together. Because musically, I think it’s our darkest album. It’s pretty melancholic. I think it’s good, I still like it. We thought about playing some songs from it as well. We were talking about trying it out again at some point.
VENIA: Whose idea was it actually? Who had the need to experiment?
AARON: It was Greg, I think. He was really into electronic music at that time more than playing his guitar. He wanted to try something new. He hadn’t played guitar for a while.He was really enjoying expressing our style through a different medium.
VENIA:„Symbol of life“ was also a kind of an experiment. Can you tell me how did you choose to cover „Xavier“ by Dead Can Dance?
AARON: We all love Dead Can Dance. There were a few songs we wanted to do, but Xavier we knew we could do as a song and we only played it once in the rehearsal room and it sounded great, so we recorded it.
VENIA: Do you maybe have some plans on trying some new styles?
AARON: We never ever plan ahead. We just don’t do that. We can even have the half of the album written and still don’t know what’s the album going to be like. It’s very much about the moment. If you try to fabricate some things, it sounds false and if you do something spontaneously, it comes from the heart. People can hear the honesty in it.
VENIA: What else do you like besides music?
AARON: Besides mybeautiful wife.. I’ve got my own musical studio, I’ve got everything from guitars, keyboards, drum kit. I like playing drums.Music’s major part of it. I like good food and travelling with my wife. That’s about it.
VENIA: What’s your favourite tour destination?
AARON: We really enjoyedAustralia, we’ve just been there, after a long time. One where I’d like to go back is Japan. We haven’t been in Japan for few years.There are different places in the world where we know we’ll have a great reception- like Greece, South America. We don’t really havea favourite. A good show is a good show, regardless of where it is.
VENIA: Can you remember what was the hardest moment in your career?
AARON: Hmm..There wasn’t reallya hard moment, if you prepare and work. You do get bored on spending time in airports. So much of my life has been wasted in airport- sitting around, paying far too much for food. But if you work hard and prepare, there’s nothing hard about it really.
VENIA: What’s keeping you all together for such a long time?
AARON: Friendship. We were friends before the band. I’ve known Greg since I was 11 and Nick since I was 12 years old.Me and Nick used to ride on BMX when we were kids. Believing and loving what we’re doing keeps us together as well.
VENIA: Do you think that commercialism in music has taken over the quality?
AARON:It’s hard to tell. As you havea tv talent show. It’s basically that they sell records because they are in a tv show not because they are good. And with the internet it’s a two sided coin. The download thing has really nearly brought music industry to its knees. Alot of money disappeared out of business. On the other hand, on the internet you can find a song and if you like a band, you can make your own opinion. And if you choose to givesome song for free, you can. It’s just annoying when people think it’s their right to take your album for free. A lot of people have lost jobs. People work in the music industry. I think that people thought they were ripping off the record company , but record companies are just banks- they lend you the money, they don’t give it to you. And musicians have also mortgages and bills to pay.
VENIA: What can new bands do nowadays? How can they launch themselves?
AARON: I don’t know..it’s obviously very different from when we started. There was no internet when we started the band. I think the hardest thing is trying to get yourself noticed above everyone else who’s doing the same thing. All you can do is to write music you believe in. Don’t try to copy someone else. Just do it for the love of it and if something comes good and becomes a career, excellent. If not, you can always be proud of what you’ve done.
VENIA: You had two shows in Boogaloo, Croatia. Are you planning to visit us again?
AARON: Yes, ofcourse, we’d like to go back.
VENIA: And for the end, can you send a message to Venia- mag readers and Paradise Lost fans?
AARON: Check out „Tragic Idol“ if you haven’t , because it’s bloody good. And if you can, come to the show. It’s even better live. And thanks for your support.
Official web: www.paradiselost.co.uk