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PARADISE LOST's GREG MACKINTOSH On Modern Mainstream Metal: "It's Safer Than Pop Music"

Plus how One Second was actually an act of rebellion.

Greg Mackintosh

Paradise Lost took a hard turn away from their typical death-doom sound in 1997 with the electronics-heavy One Second. While some might've seen that as "selling out," Paradise Lost guitarist and keyboardist Greg Mackintosh saw it as an act of rebellion… which he also feels is missing in modern mainstream metal.

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In a conversation with Metal Injection, Mackintosh revealed that One Second was an intentional turn as the band felt their sound was getting a little stagnant. Mackintosh then turned his eye toward modern mainstream metal, of which he's not exactly the biggest fan.

"Really [One Second] was rebelliousness, which sounds kind of back to front because metal is supposed to be the rebellious music. To us it was starting to become a bit stagnant and not rebellious. As it turns out, it's become… I mean, mainstream metal now is safer than pop music. It's all got the same production, the same everything. It's kind of just like lukewarm water.

"But yeah, it was starting to get a bit repetitive. A bit like being on a treadmill to us. As much as we love it, you need a bit of respite. To us, the rebellious thing to do was do something that was unexpected by the audience. At the time, I was toying with these technologies. I think at the time it was Atari computers and Akai samples and things like that – two megabyte floppy disc.

"Also when we got [Ulf "Sank" Sandqvist] involved on the production… he had kind of a grounding in that sort of music and he helped shape the album quite a bit, on at least a third of the songs on the album. For instance, there's a song called 'Mercy' and the original demos for that was a full-on metal song. It was something more like Draconian Times. During pre-production it slowly became something else, and so did we. It was a learning process. It was slow."

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One Second was clearly an experiment that worked – it was Paradise Lost's first effort on the major label EMI and is currently their best-selling album to date.

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