I have to admit that I had not heard of MIKE PARADINE GROUP before I received the album. Now that I have I’m glad for having done so. This proved to be a pleasant surprise. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
When you’ve been a member of different bands is there a desire to go solo that needs to be fulfilled? What made you want to front a band with your own name?
-It was just something to do, no special reason. I had a bunch of personal songs that wouldn’t of been right for ArcticFlame to do. I had built a studio in my backyard and contacted some local musicians if they would be interested. A guitarist from the band Bloodfeast and I started working together but his schedule had changed and couldn’t continue. One night I was one Facebook and saw that the producer from ArcticFlame’s second album was doing some material and asked to hear. He asked what I was up to, I told him about the solo stuff and said he would like to work together on that. We struck a deal for him to help write and produce my solo album as well as produce ArcticFlame’s fourth album. That’s how it came about.
The album is a digital only release. Why do it that way and what advantages/ disadvantages are there to this way of doing things?
-It’s not just available digitally. I do have a limited edition physical CD. It’s on my website. I’m old school and do like buying a CD, having it in my hands and reading the lyrics and linear notes. I will always have physical CDs even if I have to have them manufactured myself. I’m still not sold on this digital thing. I love the artwork, design and the whole experience of going to buy an album.
My jury is still out on this whole digital v/s CD battle I have going on with myself. Do you see digital releases killing the metal/music scene with people kind of expecting to get everything for free and not paying anything?
-No, most metal fans, as I have just mentioned, love the whole concept of going out and buying the album. You can meet other fans and talk about other bands and also rummage through the bins for other albums. The internet is good for searching out new music from the comfort and time of your home, but then you head out and buy the album. Unfortunately, a lot of brick and mortar stores are closing down and the only way to buy CDs or albums is through mail order. But as long as you can still get the physical item, it’s still good. You do bring up a good point of people downloading music for free and this is the biggest concern for all. People such as myself, depend on the income from the sales so we can go forward and record again. We don’t make much from live shows as the bigger bands do, so every little thing helps. I saw already about 20 websites where you get my album for free. I think most of the people that download for free want to hear the band first before they buy. Personally that was one of the things I loved about buying albums before the internet thing came around. You bought albums because of the cover artwork and hoped the music was just as cool. I would say 90% of the time, that was the case. Such is the world we live in.
The album have a bunch of different vocalists. How did you go about getting all these people to sing on your album?
-They are all friends of mine and I wanted to have different textures to different songs. As with Richard of WOLF, he has a Dio like quality to his voice but as bit harder, so I tried to pair him up with the more “angry” songs. With Michael, he has a lot of range so any song I gave him, I knew he would do well. As with me and Dave, we just went in and just picked which ones we wanted to do. The one song that didn’t turn out they way we wanted was “Taste My Fist”. At first, Dave tried it and it just didn’t seem right. We brought Michael in and he got it.
I seem to detect a theme on the album, intentionally or not. What idea did you have when you wrote the songs?
-Two things..the first was that they are all very personal feelings and thoughts from myself except for “Suzie with an Uzi” which was just to insert some humor into the album. The second was to try and bring all my favorite bands into the sound. As much as it’s all about situations that effected my life, it’s also a tribute to all the bands I’ve ever listened too. Let’s face it, I wasn’t trying to do anything ground breaking here. I just want to do a fun album where you can hang out and just have a good time listening. Nothing more, nothing less.
How much of a therapeutic process is song writing? Can writing a song cure your from whatever it is you’re feeling?
-Yes, yes you can. I tend to keep everything inside. I don’t discuss my feelings or problems with anyone. Very rarely will I do that. I just try and find a solution by myself. By writing, it’s lifting a weight from your shoulders. But anytime I write, as long as I can get my thought across, I feel a lot better and satisfied.
How important is to you that the lyrics says something and not end up being the same old tired clichés?
-It just keeps things interesting and fresh, which is what you hope for. Cliches do have a place in heavy metal. A lot of the same themes are recycled in a lot of bands. I don’t have anything against that. Fans seem to expect that but when someone comes up with an original idea, they appreciate it more. Some lyrics that I write for ArcticFlame have that same mentality but they are actually a metaphor for something else. Case in point, the song “Lords of the Wasteland” at first, just seems to be the same old heavy metal imagery if you read the lyrics. But what it really means is, all the spoiled actors and actresses in Hollywood that have everything they could ask for but then become addicted to drugs/alcohol and become nothing but zombies. Lindesy Lohan, Charlie Sheen are a prime examples of that.
Will Mike Paradine Group be a touring entity or is it more a studio project?
-At first it was just a recording project but I got such a positive outcome that I now am putting a band together. Two weeks ago I put out a call to some musicians around this area and we’ll start having rehearsals in about a week. We’ll do a few shows and then see how that goes before moving on.
Something I’ve wondered is how you deal with the situation of your side project all of a sudden becoming bigger than your main band? How do you cope with a situation like that hypothetically?
-I firmly believe there is time to do everything. It’s just a matter of managing your time right. I would never consider one band bigger than the other, they’re just different styles. And actually, one band helps out the other. If people like one band and find out your in an other, they’re more likely to check the other one out. Whether they like it or not is up to them but a least you get the foot traffic in.
What future is the for Mike Paradine Group?
-The next two albums are written lyrically. The next album will be more in the style of a Guns n Roses album with some straight, driving hard rock. I always like Steve Jones, “Fire and Gasoline” album and would like to head in that direction. It is planned to be recorded this year but exactly when, we don’t know yet. I know Dave has been working on some music but I just need to concentrate on a few things before I can sit down and start on that. I really hope this summer I can start. The third album will be a traditional metal album. It is a story I had written a few years ago and I hope to record it almost like an audio movie.