Part 2

How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?

We rarely improvise, if at all. Things are always planned out in the studio. A jazz technique isn’t really something we have ever been into

How do you see the relationship between sound, space and composition and what are some of your strategies and approaches of working with them?

Everything you see and hear has some impact either subconscious or conscious. What surfaces during writing is a result of that - or not.

What's your perspective on the relationship between music  and other forms of art – painting, video art and cinema, for example – and for you and your work, how does music relate to other senses than hearing alone?

Cinema has a huge impact. Soundtracks can make or break a film, and are usually very under valued. We often imagine very sad visual scenarios and try to write what we think would be the appropriate soundtrack

What's your view on the role and function of music as well as the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today - and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?

If an artist feels strongly about pushing political ideals through music then that’s their prerogative. No ‘song’ has or ever will change my values on anything. For me at least, music is pure escapism. Even if the lyrics are about real life situations, music is about going to a different place for a few minutes. Any problems that were there before, will still be there after the song is finished.

Listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?

I certainly listen to music differently that I used to before was in a band. It's hard not to be very critical of everything you hear and just ‘enjoy’ something. But now and again, sometimes a song I hear can achieve it

Reaching audiences usually involves reaching out to the press and possibly working with a PR company. What's your perspective on the promo system? In which way do music journalism and PR companies  change the way music is perceived by the public?

As a Father of two teenagers, I'm aware music tends to be marketed for the young ‘McDonald's generation’, spoon fed, then onto the next thing. With less money around, everyone is scraping whatever they can in the time they have got. Everything seems disposable, and for a new generation of musicians, It seems pretty impossible to make any long term career. Marketing is everything now, and it’s a shame. There was a time when bands got big because they were good.

Do you have a musical vision that you haven't been able to realise for technical or financial reasons – or an idea of what music itself could be beyond its current form?

I'm just happy to be able to still perform music I care about to people who care about what we do. Our musical tastes don’t generally exceed any capabilities.

If you enjoyed this interview with Paradise Lost, visit their website for further information.

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