In a recent interview with Portugal's Metal Global, Paradise Lost frontman Nick Holmes, revealed that the band had already begun working on new material before being sidetracked by summer festival season. However, they have "a few songs done" and are determined to write an album next year.
"We started working on some songs. Then we started the summer festival season, and it just got kind of lost in the festivals. It's nice to allocate a period of downtime when you can write because it's hard to keep your head on one thing when you keep having to pack a bag and then get on an airplane and go and do a gig and you've gotta rehearse for the shows.
"It's just nice to scratch some time for that. So hopefully at the beginning of next year, we can have a few months of downtime so we can actually get working more on the album. But we've got a few songs done. I think we've got a few songs done; we need to review them. So, yeah, we'll hopefully write an album next year, anyway. Whether it's gonna be recorded next year, I don't know, but hopefully at least written."
Holmes acknowledged the evolution of Paradise Lost's songwriting process over the years, noting how technology has transformed the way they collaborate. While face-to-face interactions and in-person discussions have gradually faded, the band has embraced the digital realm, utilizing file-sharing and email to maintain their creative momentum.
"The writing process is 100 percent different to how we used to write when we were younger. I mean, it's completely different now. We never meet up. We don't discuss things necessarily. Everything's through file sharing, e-mail and we don't write that way. It's equally as productive, I think, but it's just — maybe you're kind of more fussy. You can listen to things more than maybe you would do in the old days. Like I said, again, it goes back to the spontaneity thing.
"here isn't an element of that as much now, I don't think, but then you get there in the end anyway. There's a lot of ping-ponging ideas backward and forwards, and you have more time to dwell on things and think, 'Well, is this right? Is this wrong?' Blah, blah. Whereas years and years ago, you think, 'Well, it's kind of shit, but we'll see. It might be all right.'"
"There are benefits of both ways of writing, I think. Like I said, you can have too long and you can have too short" Holmes added. "And some songs come together in no time. And then other songs can take months. We're just not the kind of band who can just kind of throw out a song and it's just brilliant.
"Well, people say they do that. I don't necessarily believe that's true, but I guess you can pretend that you're spontaneous and you just can throw out a genius song in about 10 minutes. I don't think that really happens with many people. But yeah, like I said, the songwriting, how we do it, has changed dramatically to where it was when we started."
Despite this change in approach, Holmes said he still relies on his instincts when adding his ideas to the crafting process: "Gut reaction's pretty much… I mean, you could hear something that's not necessarily you think, 'Oh, hang on, this is strange.' And then you've gotta listen to it and then get into the… I don't instantly dismiss something — I would never do that — but I've gotta give it a few listens. And if I still feel the same way after a few listens, then I would trust my instinct on it, yeah. But I don't instantly dismiss things 'cause I don't think that's really a positive thing to do. But, yeah, definitely, you've gotta go with a gut reaction."
Expanding on whether he prefers to write lyrics beforehand, or wait for the song's melodies to be put together and then write, Holmes explained: "I prefer the music as a springboard to write lyrics to. And I always like how lyrics, how words sound on certain parts of songs. And that's always something I've admired about certain bands over the years.
"I'm not particularly interested in hearing stories in songs, although sometimes it's nice to hear that, but it's more about how, particularly metal, for me, it's more about how the songs sound at a certain time, how the lyrics sound at a certain time, and the words. I mean, I can write without music, but I prefer to have something to kind of bounce off, really."
While we wait for Paradise Lost to venture into this new creative phase, the next thing to look forward to from their camp is the re-recording of their 1993 album Icon for its 30th birthday. The new version, which sounds pretty darn good, will be the band's first release with new drummer Guido Zima Montanarini, who joined earlier this year.
Pre-orders for Icon 30 are underway here.