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Paradox
   Paradox

You cant change the world so the best thing I thought I could do is to write a song about it!

Fomed at the end of 90-th Irish grunge band Paradox just away got to the brace of the unraved musical flow. The band which at that moment consisted of two members became popular and soon flew touring across the pound. But instead of all the factors which affected for their evolution the band soon went to the underground and become completely DIY-band.

In interview for Distortion magazine Paradox vocalist and guitarist Pete Mac told us about recording process of bands first works, lyrics of last bands release - Chapters and how Paradox became DIY-band.

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Was It hard for you to begin with such unique for Irish scene style?

When we started playing music it was the end of the 90s. We were very young at the time and still very much influenced by the whole Grunge scene. By that time a lot of the greats like Nirvana and Soundgarden were already gone and Grunge seemed to be on its way out. We felt our style of music at the time didnt really fit in with what other bands were playing and sometimes we were criticised for sounding too Grunge or too much like early Nirvana. None the less we continued to play the music we wanted to play in the local scene in Ireland and for the most part people seemed to like our band in the early days. We kind of built our own following in the early days and many of these people still like our band which is nice.

Your debut 'Circle of Growth' was recorded at 2000 which youve produced themselves Was it hard for you to create all this 12 songs by yourself ? ( can you say some words about your main source of inspiration during the recording of this album ).

Most of the songs on Circle of Growth were written during my teenage years, when I just picked up the guitar and started playing music. We definitely wore our influences on our sleeves with these songs maybe a little too much. We were heavily influenced by everything that came out of Seattle. This is basically the music I grew up listening to starting with Nirvana, Alice in Chains and so on.. These bands are the reason I starting playing music in the first place. Circle of Growth definitely has a teenage angst vibe to it since most of these songs were written when I was 15 or 16 years old. I think we have definitely changed our sound over the years but at the time when I wrote most of the songs on Circle of Growth it was all about Grunge for us.

After touring through Ireland and US youve decided to go on your own without major record-labels and become such a DIY band. Was this decision made to become such part of underground ( instead that grunge, in 90s was such a part of mainstream ) ?

For our first album we were on a US indie label however after we finished recording it in LA we returned to Ireland and basically had to rely or wait on the label to do anything with it. Nearly 2 years passed before the album was released. We felt like we had no control over anything and being in Ireland while the label was in the US didnt help matters either. There was a lot of mis communication and in the end we just went our separate ways. Kind of a mutual decision. Since then we didnt set out to look for another label. For our second album Sacred we just paid for the studio time ourselves, the pressing of the albums and released it online, sold CDs at our shows and continued to do things DIY. Unless a label is offering something a band cannot do themselves then a band is better off not being tied to a contract or label. Thats how we felt. Most of the things an indie label do a band can easily do themselves especially with the internet and the whole digital music world nowadays. Im also a big fan of a lot of underground bands. Its rare that a band sign to a major label and dont have to compromise in one way or another. Its a shame that happens so much with bands.

Three years before, after your brake up you released EP with 6 song. With such song - Lame and Languid( which according to your biography become such a new sound for you). What were the changes in the song?

Lame and Languid was the first song we recorded after Circle of Growth where we felt like we had found our own sound. Where it didnt sound like Grunge. A definite progression and overall it sounded a lot more mature. More melodic Alternative rock which is what we were aiming for. We were a little older too so that might have made a difference. I love heavy music and riffs but I also love melodies and harmonies. The contrast is always great. When we listened back to this track after we recorded it we knew we were on the right track.

After your experiments on this EP you already had a reputation of such an experimental group. You recorded your second album Secret which become the most emotional of your works ideal balance with light melodies behind the wall of alternative sound. Can you say some words about working on this album?

Sacred was recorded in 2 separate parts half in 2003 and the other half in 2004. To this day Im really proud of this album. It sounds so different to Circle of Growth. The songs seem to have a lot more emotion in them and Im really happy with the production of the album. Just like Circle of Growth it was just my brother Mike and myself in the studio playing everything. Every time we went into the studio we were always without a bass player. So we just played everything ourselves. Sacred was like a milestone for the band where we felt like this is the sound we want to play. Where to us it doesnt really sound like another band. It sounds like Paradox.

   Paradox

After the long break you returned to the studio and recorded new album. Keep on your experiments youve recorded such a hard and discourage song - 'Corporate Pollution' was it something like go back to your roots ? ( In the meaning of such a strong, like at your first album sound).

After Sacred was released there were a few years of sparse shows, band members living in different countries. I kept playing but the band was on hiatus for a little while. It wasnt until around 2010 that Mike and myself got together and starting jamming again. Corporate Pollution definitely has a harder edge to it than Sacred. The songs were written over the space of 5 years and have a little more political edge to them with tracks like Mr. Bureaucracy and Corporate Pollution. I was just annoyed by a lot of political stuff I would see on the news, day to day bureaucracy so like everything else I just put this energy into the music and the results were Corporate Pollution. We also shot a music video for the single Mr. Bureaucracy which was great fun and really added meaning visually to what the song is about.

Can you say some words about bands existing phase at the present time?

We released our 4th album Chapters in 2015 and have been pushing the album since. We have also being playing and touring a lot more than previous albums. Chapters was recorded over a 2 year period instead of the previous albums where we would only be in the studio 2 weeks straight. For Chapters we basically recorded on average 1 song a month and would go back over things in the mix, add extra guitar parts. We also have Cello on this album which is something Ive always wanted in our music. So far 3 singles have been released from the album with our latest single EAT accompanied by an animated music video. The song itself was inspired by the documentary Earthlings and focuses on factory farming and the meat industry. Chapters is definitely our most experimental album to date.

   Paradox

90s was the age of Grunge Nirvana and other grunge band formed this direction and at that time youve become a part of it. Was publics reaction then? the same as now?

A lot of reviews we got over the years always reverted back to the Grunge era and there 90s. Sometimes in a negative way where they might quote if the album was released in 1994 it would have had a better impact than in 2004. Grunge seemed like a dirty word for a while but I think people are really embracing that kind of music again today. We played a few Nirvana tribute shows in Ireland the last 2 years for Kurt Cobains anniversary and couldnt believe the reaction. Every show was a full house with people singing along to every song. There doesnt seem to be any real rebellion in new music thats on the radio.. so people seem to be reverting back to bands from the Grunge era.

Can you say some words about your most memorable concerts?

Weve played a fair share of really bad shows and some amazing shows in between. When we starting playing live back in 1999 there was a venue in our hometown of Cork that had no security, no sound system but there was a group of people organising these DIY shows. No internet or Facebook back then either so it was still flyers being passed out to people on the street. Some of these shows were crazy with people stage diving, kids of all ages there, just chaos but in a really fun way. These were the shows we started out playing. Over the years another memorable show was the Sage Club in Berlin, Germany. We also played support to Therapy? and Kerbdog in Ireland which was awesome since Kerbdog in particular were one of the bands I grew up listening to. We also more recently played support to Japanese Punk legends Shonen Knife who toured with Nirvana in 1991. They were so good live and it was awesome to be able to share a stage with them.

What is your most unusual song ( in the meaning of recording process) ? ( may be you have a story about this song. PS: For me the most spiritual of your works is Medication and Secret album in general ).

Medication definitely has a vibe to it but to me our latest track EAT has the most meaning. Some songs take a long time to write and others are written in an hour. I wrote EAT in just over an hour after watching Earthlings. The lyrics and ideas just flowed and Im really happy with how the song turned out. Sometimes you watch something and it was a huge effect on you. Watching something like Earthlings will do that. The song basically focuses on the idea of eating meat, the whole factory farming industry and how messed up it all is. You cant change the world so the best thing I thought I could do is to write a song about it.

Text: Danil Volohov


   Paradox
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