Tagged: Venom

 

When you have bands of the ilk of Nightwish, Lacuna Coil, HIM and Cradle Of Filth claiming that you inspired them and their careers to date you know as a band that you are doing something right. To be honest Paradise Lost have been doing that ‘something right’ since the late 1980s and once again they have delivered something very special with their new album Obsidian.

When I chat to frontman Nick Holmes about the new album he is safely away in lockdown and is quick to admit that the band never went out of their way to do anything ultra special with this album. “When we start working on an album we always use the last album as a benchmark. Now our last album was a very specific death-doom album, every track had a death-doom vibe to it and this time we just wanted to shape it up a little and do an album that was just a little more varied.”

“I mean I think every song is very typically Paradise Lost,” he goes on to explain. “There is no getting away from that, but there is much more variation with the vocals and the vocal styles and the guitar styles, but yeah we just wanted to mix it up a little more really.”

There is no mistake though when you take a first listen Obsidian it is very obvious that the album has a slight throwback to the 1980s Goth scenes and Holmes says that was something that the band were very aware of. “Yeah, we grew up listening to that stuff,” he says. “We grew up around those times, in the early 1980s we were really coming of age…. yeah we are that old now. We do have a lot of nostalgia from those times and the music of that time. We were really just getting into heavy music at that time, stuff like thrash and that is very much imprinted on our minds. It just reminds us of that time.”

“Also the Gothic music of that time nobody is doing it anymore, nobody makes that kind of music anymore,” he says continuing. “It is still very much back there in the 80s, it is still very underground and no new bands have really run with that band. So it is kind of nice to be able to mix it up and kind of put it into the sound that we use and the sound that people know us for. We have been able to put it into a modern context with modern production.”

As Holmes and I both start thinking back to the 1980s we begin to talk about the kinds of bands that got us into heavy music to start with. “I was always into bands like Motorhead and AC/DC,” he says. “There was about five heavy rock bands in the world at that point and I must have liked three of them. And then from there I got into Venom, GMBH and then into Metallica and then that was it, the rest is history. After Slayer the rest really is history, after that I was into thrash and death metal for at least ten years after… I became absolutely obsessed by it.”

“Yeah it was so exciting to hear that first wave of thrash and that first wave of black metal,” he says still reflecting. “It was just so good and I feel so lucky that it feels that I was born at the right time.”

Aside from the music that he grew up listening to Holmes says the other big influence on this album was just everything around us. “Really it was just about life,” he explains. “When you look at life things can just change – there is no map. I think only a fool writes a map for life because it can change at any point. Just when you think that something is going well there is a shit storm, and I find that aspect of how things can just change on the roll of a dice really fascinating. Of course I am in the same situation as everybody at the moment but you never really know what is around the corner and I just find that really interesting. I find consequence interesting. I care about now but when I was younger I just didn’t care about things, I didn’t care what happened to me and I didn’t really care what was around the corner… but now it is all I think about. So yeah even that is fascinating and I just look at life things and then I write about them in three year increments because I do it every three years.”

 

Obsidian will be out through Nuclear Blast Records on May 15th.

 

 

 

Move over Iron-Man, Captain America and all the other good guys in the Marvel universe, because now it is time for Venom, one of those anti-heroes that fans of the comics seem to just lap up. This has to be one of the most eagerly anticipated comic-book films of the year and anyone who saw the reaction at Brazil’s Comic-Con earlier this year knows that there is a ready made audience for the audience which stars Tom Hardy as hard-hitting journalist Eddie Brock and Venom, Michelle Williams as his love interest Anne Weying and Riz Ahmed as arch nemesis Carlton Drake. Now Hardy, Ahmed and Williams sit down and have a chat about the film that every comic book fan wants to see.

“It is a mixture of stuff that is going to make you laugh and a mixture of stuff that is going to make you jump out of your seat,” says Ahmed trying to sum up the film quickly. “There is stuff that is quite deep, some stuff that is scary, there is action, there is a love story in there and even some really cool science-fiction stuff. There is space travel, aliens… so there is a lot going on there. People say there is something for everyone and normally when they say that they mean you know it is kind of watered down and everybody can get on board but this will bang everybody in the face with about a million kind of flavours… it is really full on.”

During the interview we also learn that it is quite ironic that Hardy and Ahmed find themselves battling it out in Venom because they have known each other for quite a few years. “We’ve known each since we were younger… about eleven years ago I think,” says Hardy looking across to Ahmed. “I’m a bit older than him, but less cool. We both kind of started out at the same time and I knew him back in the time when we were starting out. And where we come from it is a very small kind of social place so it is kind of weird for us both to be sitting here.”

The talk soon turns to the fact that they are battling each other and Ahmed laughs. “I don’t see my character as evil,” he says with a laugh “I don’t see my character as being either cool or evil to be honest. I think he is quite geeky and quite a good guy. But he is still quite terrifying so don’t get too attached. He is also a liar and very Machiavellian in a lot of ways.”

“Don’t worry I am a wretched coward,” says Hardy interrupting which results in them both bursting out into laughter. “I brought all of that to the table. And we celebrated that because that is what Venom is all about, it is the celebration of flawed human beings who have aliens attached to them, and they have to negotiate life with these aliens that have come to Earth to eat people.”

“I think a lot of people can relate to that,” Ahmed says and the two again erupt in laughter.

The person who brings some sense back to the interview is four time Oscar nominated actress Michelle Williams. “She is a professional woman and she works at a law form,” she says when talking about her character. “She is ambitious, she is intelligent, she is very sharp and she is also not willing to settle. And she makes a decision during the film that even if it breaks her heart she has to ask for more out of her partner. When we first started making this movie it was kind of the precipice of the me too movement and there was lot going on, there was a lot swirling in the air and I didn’t want to play somebody that was passive and I didn’t want to play somebody that was recessively feminine, so I envisioned her as somebody who literally wore the pants in the relationship. ”

“It was Tom Hardy he was the big time drop for me,” she says what made her want to do a comic-book movie. “That guy is one of the greats and I thought I am going to learn from him and I am going to enjoy watching him, I will enjoy being in scenes with him and I know that he will make me a better sparring partner because he works on such an unbelievably high level. He is just such a visile performer and it is like watching an animal. He is not thinking about or telegraphing his next move and so it is really exciting as a viewer because you are just waiting to see what happens and he never lets you get ahead of him. ”

The themes of the movie also seemed to appeal to Williams. “It is about a man who is dealing with a duality. A man who is dealing with a shadow side and learning both how to wrangle that and also learning more about that through the process. And then there is Venom who is a real shocker, but also more shocking is that there is a side to Venom that is so lovable and dear and we all come to know that as well.”

 

Venom is in cinemas now.