Metal As Fuck Sit Down With Paradise Lost at Damnation Festival 2017 [UK]

"This tour has taken it all up a notch higher"

Paradise Lost are a band that has stood the test of time, they continue to tour and create new music relentlessly so whilst on tour, naturally Nikki Hallam stole some time with rhythm guitarist Aaron Aedy and drummer Waltteri Väyrynen before their performance at Damnation Festival 2017 in Leeds just this last weekend for Metal As Fuck

Well here we are at Damnation festival, we're all very excited and this is the second time Paradise Lost have played at Damnation, Aaron, Paradise Lost started in Halifax, would you say that this area is part of your old stomping grounds? "I guess so yeah, there is also another town nearby, called Bradford, where we used to go out drinking when we were teenagers, getting into all sorts of trouble. I also used to go out in Leeds a lot, there used to be a really cool rock club in the eighties called Adam & Eve's, it was a great place, I was under aged and it was loud, but I always got served. But things were a lot different back then." I bet! So speaking about 'back then', how is the band any different from back then, when you guys were just starting out, compared to now? Aaron continues, "Well, back then we always used to study and rehearse in the same room, all the time, now we only rehearse once a year if we're lucky. We just send each other everything around the internet these days, its easier. I mean we all live quite far apart nowadays, I live in London, Greg [Mackintosh - Keyboards] is in North Yorkshire, Nick [Holmes - Vocals] not far from Leeds and Waltteri over here is in Finland". 

Yes, hello Waltteri, now you've been in the band since 2015, how did your journey with the band start, how did you become the drummer in Paradise lost? Aaron takes this one, "Well yes, when Adrian Erlandssson [Drummer- Vallenfyre, At the Gates, Brujeria, Cradle of Filth, Nifelheim] left Vallenfyre, he held a Facebook competition for people to send in their audition videos, to get a new drummer for Vallenfyre and Waltteri was by far the best! Also as I heard yesterday, apparently it was Adrian, himself that picked him, so that’s praise indeed. So obviously Adrian did about five albums in one year, because he is a busy guy, and I told him, there's no way you’re going to fit all of that in with touring and he goes, "ohh, it'll be fine" and it wasn’t. It got to the point where Waltteri was going to fill in a bit, but then Adrian got more dates in, I think the At The Gates album did better than they expected to be fair. Then Greg said Waltteri was great and so we rehearsed with him and after two songs it was like "yeah, you’re in!" He's a lovely lad, he's more sensible then the rest of us, he's a bit more grown up and he brings the average age down to about 90!" We all have a good giggle and Waltteri looks pleased with himself.

Paradise Lost has brought out a new album, Medusa, you’re 15th studio album! Which was just released in September this year, this is the first album with Waltteri drumming, how did the studio time go, recording with a new member? "Well we are working with Gomez, our vision is we always wanted to get an organic sound. What people normally do is they play the drums and then they hit the samples over the top, so it all sounds the same. Where as Gomez is a drummer himself and him and Waltteri spent about 4 days together." Waltteri cuts in, "Yes, we spent three days just to set it all up." Aaron continues, "Its unusual in this day and age where they use the actual recorded drums. It was worth the effort, because it sounds great. But Waltteri is shit hot anyway so he nailed it pretty quick". 

How has the reception been from your fans on this tour for Medusa? "This tour has taken it all up a notch higher, its been great! I mean we played in London last night, there was about 1300 in the audience and they had to open the balcony as well, because they'd over sold it. We are six weeks in to a seven week tour and the entire tour has been great, so far." Yes, and Paradise lost just keep on touring, don’t you? I’ve seen you have quite a lot of shows booked for next year already. Aaron laughs, "Yes, we've already got a gig booked in for December next year!" Wow, not to mention the Australian tour, will you guys get much time off when you’re in the land down under? "Well, probably not, the only thing with touring Australia is it's such a rush, you don't get to see any of the country, you're flying every day nearly." Waltteri jumps in, "Well we are travelling for two days to get Australia, then play five shows back to back and flying every day, so not much time off unfortunately." Aaron looks sad, "we do have one day off, but we are flying to Perth and that’s like a good long flight anyway and then we fly home. I play Perth on my Birthday!" A big group 'Awwww' ensues. (Hear that Perth audiences, you better bring Aussie lollies for Aaron on his birthday!) Waltteri is this going to be your first time on Australian shores? He nods, smilingly. Well I hope you don’t get bitten by anything and don't get in the water. Aaron agrees, "Isn't it something like eight out of ten of the world's most dangerous animals are in Australia?" I ensure them they wont come back alive, its always good to keep the fear of the ‘drop bear’s’ going.

Now I do want to know, what have been the craziest gigs you’ve played? Was there any stand out shows in the past that you remember Aaron? "We we don’t really have too many crazy things happening, but when I was about 19, when we first started, we played in Liverpool, I was whirlwind head banging so much, that when I came up I was so dizzy and I sort of ran off the side of the stage, still playing, so that was quite funny. We've been pretty lucky with our shows, but I remember in Czechoslovakia we had a lighting rig swing and break, flying down and it just missed Greg's head, that was in 1991, that was pretty dangerous. Another one in Czech was when Lee Morris was drumming for us and he went blue at one concert we played in Pilsen. There was no oxygen in the room, they had the heating on in the room and I was near passing out playing. Then we went outside, because there was no backstage really, we turned to Lee who said he didn’t feel good and he was properly blue, like light blue colour. We were all like 'crikey.' What about you, any stories?" He turns to Waltteri, "Yes I think probably one that was last year when we played in Brazil, I got some food poisoning from something and I had to go to the backstage and throw up in the middle of the set. That was crazy, but not in a good way at all."

When it comes to playing shows, would you prefer to play a big festival or at a smaller more intimate venue Aaron? "Do you know what? Its actually down to the audience, not the room, every time. I mean its a pretty easy one to pick one of my favourites, we played Dynamo Festival in the Netherlands in 1995, there was about 130,000 people there, we were headlining with Type O Negative and we were the last band on. It was just incredible and I've never seen so many people in my life. Another one I really loved, we played a Swedish pool hall to 150 people but it was crazy, people were crowd surfing, but the ceiling was so low, they were walking on the ceiling. It was like a proper pool gig. I enjoyed that just as much as well, although I prefer a club to a festival, but like I said, it really is down to the audience every time."

I thanked them for their wonderful stories, their time, and for shits and giggles I asked if they were pre-historic creatures, what would they be. Aaron said he would be a Cro-Magnon Man and Waltteri said he would be a T-Rex for sure.


Paradise lost hit Australia in December


Dec 14th- The Triffid, Brisbane

Dec 15th- The Metro Theatre, Sydney

Dec 16th- The Corner Hotel, Richmond

Dec 17th- The Gov, Adelaide

Dec 18th- Capitol, Perth

Be sure to check out their latest Album Medusa out on Nuclear Blast