Meet: Greg Mackintosh Of Host

Balazs Szabo

Massive thanks to Greg for taking the time to answer our questions on the in preparation for the release of debut album IX from the new project, Host, which features himself and fellow Paradise Lost member, Nick Holmes.

  • First off, how long has the Host project been bubbling away in the background before you took the leap and recorded the tracks and created IX?

It was around 4 years ago that I first thought about doing this and I called it Host straight away.

It started as a solo project which was either going to be instrumental or have female vocals but when the pandemic hit it changed how I perceived Host and I decided to ask Nick to get involved.

  • I’ve listened to IX and think it is fantastic, haunting and stirring, emotive and complex throughout. How easy was the process of writing the album? 

I found it quite difficult but a lot of fun to write. The hard part is making what is essentially pop music, sad and reflective. But once the main hook for any given song was nailed, then the fun of assembling and adding the sprinkles started.

  • With the overall sound of the album being far removed from the trademark sound of Paradise Lost, were you ever tempted to keep any of the tracks from IX, give them the Paradise Lost polish and then put them on the next Paradise Lost record?

No, not at all. This was built from the ground up, as its own thing. There were no rules or constraints because no one even knew we were doing it and because it was during lockdown we had plenty of time to experiment and get it exactly how we wanted it.

  • Including the cover of ‘I Ran’ was a stroke of genius in my eyes and such a fantastic version but how easy was it to decide on this particular song rather than any other song to cover. I understand that it was from a GTA game but was there any other songs from pivotal moments in your lives which could have conjured up potential tracks for you to put your spin on.

We had it down to 2 or 3 songs which we were thinking of covering. My choice was “Israel” by Siouxsie and the Banshees and Nick put forward “I Ran”. I initially didn’t like the idea of I Ran because I remembered that I liked it as a song but that it was a bit frothy for me.

After playing around with both songs I realised that I Ran was the song I could do most justice to and that I had more scope to alter.

  • Have you got any intentions to tour with Host on the back of IX?

We may take it live but it really depends on how well the album is received and the live offers that come from that. The budget would be quite large to be able to make this something special in a live setting.

  • Were you tempted to involve any of the other Paradise Lost guys on the album at all, aside from Jaime Gomez Arellano of course. 

No because the music doesn’t lend itself to a five piece metal band set up. Gomez only played drums on 3 songs at the last minute in the studio to try to give the album more variety. We were happy with it as a 2 piece set up.

  • You must be very proud of Host, IX is immense as an album. How do you see the lifespan of Host, do you think it will be around for a few years or do you see it as more of an itch that needed to be scratched ? 

I have no idea. It all depends on feeling inspired and having time to pursue it. I had a great time writing and recording IX so I can’t see any reason why I wouldn’t want to continue.

  • Have you any intentions to give your loyal Paradise Lost fanbase a glimpse of the Host work and include any of the tracks off IX in the Paradise Lost live set ?

Haha no. It’s a separate thing entirely. I don’t think Steve and Aaron would like that.

Massive thanks again to Greg for his time and allowing us a glimpse into the life and creation of IX and Host as a whole entity, it really is appreciated 

Check out the band’s track My Only Escape, below:

Find out more via the band’s Website or Facebook

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