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INTERVIEW WITH GODCORE ZINE (SWITZERLAND), FEBRUARY 2002

Interview was between John Tarantula and Emmanule Nowak. Contact Emmanule at israel@urbanet.ch for details of how to get a copy of Godcore. Thanks to Emmanule for his time and support.

1) How is born Paradox and why this name?

Hello Emmanule, thanks for the interview! Paradox was born many years ago (1997) from a covers band I had been doing with my friends. When I became a Christian I wanted to write my own music to inform people of God so Paradox was created. Incase you don’t know a paradox is something that on the surface looks absurd, it doesn’t add up or make sense. So we though that this would be a good name for a band that plays extreme music with lyrics that point to God.

2) After the release of your demotape "The Outcasts" in 1997, you were out of the scene for a long time before releasing your CD-EP "Through pain there is joy" in 2000. What happened during all this time?

Don’t really know! I guess we just practised and worked on new songs. It took nearly a year from the recording of ‘Through pain there is joy’ until we released it, mainly due to waiting for the covers to be printed as we got them done cheaply, making the whole process slow. We initially recorded 6 songs for the demo but two weren’t good enough so they weren’t released. We also did a few small gigs and enlisted the help of another vocalist…The Invocator.

3) There's something special introduced with everyone of your releases: the small plastic bag with a piece of cloth bathed in a red liquid, including some thorns. Can you explain to us the meaning behind this?

The extras are meant to make the releases more special and collectible. The same with the numbering and hand painting on each of the CD’s. Music is art so why stop with just the sound on the Cd and not make the rest special as well? With the first tape we had a bag with three bloodied nails, their significance obvious. With the ‘Through Pain…’ release we had a bag with some thorns and a bloodied cloth (the red liquid!). This was once again to remind people of our Lord. Without Him and His sacrifice for us nothing would be worth doing, it would all be futile. If we forget this and start relying on our own ‘good deeds’ or try to move on from God’s gift to us then we fall and become proud. Jesus hung on the tree of wood not because he was ignoring God and deserved God’s anger, but for our sake. We all ignore God and deserve His anger, but God loves us so much that He wants to get around this and for us to be His friends. For us to be His friends though His anger must be dealt with, the punishment that is due for us has to be given out. Though Jesus didn’t deserve it he took God’s punishment for us on the cross so that if we trust in Him we can ‘bypass’ the punishment and know God again, we are no longer His enemies. This is the good news of Christians, that God has made it possible for humans to be his friends again and know His love and peace.

4) We can feel a special atmosphere dominating as well in "The Outcasts" as in "Through pain there is joy". Effectively, your music like your vocals sound really sorrowful. And your lyrics are a lot about sadness, despair, broken hearts too, but anyway there's always a light of hope in the end. What does Paradox want to share with us?

Firstly, thanks for the description of the music and atmosphere created :) Most of the lyrics are from my personal point of view and feelings I have had etc. Of course there has to be light at the end of the tunnel though. There always has been for me. Christ has never left my side whatever I have been through and however low I have felt. A lot of the Psalms are like that, with the writer crying out to God for help in hard times. It would also be quite useless talking about problems without a solution! Like giving a car as a gift but then no keys to get in it! With the music and often quite dark lyrics we want to try to show those who don’t know God that He does understand their pain and the things they have to deal with. God is there in the darkest moments of our lives and weeps with us. We want people to realise this and instead of thinking God cannot help them, to cry out to Him instead. Everyone has bad things that go on in their lives, Christians included, but there is a hope and a source of strength and renewal. His name is Jesus and he understands our pain. With Him we carry on and are restored.

5) Actually, a lot of Christian bands aren't exposing their faith as clearly as in the debuts of White Metal, fearing to be rejected rapidly. But Paradox dare exposing clearly their faith in Jesus. Did you received any virulent reactions towards your beliefs?

In a word no! None has come up to us and said "we hate you because you’re Christians" etc. I guess we may have not got as much coverage as possible because of what we say but I’m not sure and don’t really care. If I wasn’t doing this completely for what I believe and have experienced to be true, then it would not be worth devoting so much energy and time to. We try not to do things that will automatically make people take offence but I’m not trying to hide what this is all about. People can take it or leave it. Christ is the Truth and meaning of life so that’s what we want to tell people. If people reject us, well at least there is a reaction! That is their choice and their responsibility. We inform people in a way we hope they can understand and is relevant to them and then they chose or reject. I would rather people knew we were Christian from the start and then if they like the music then good! At least we are being honest. Anyway I don’t want to write music to sell records or become popular etc but to tell people the gospel and how Christ has changed my life and given me hope and peace. Of course some people don’t like what we do, but then it is surprising those who do accept us from a musical point of view even if their beliefs are quite different from ours. I think that just the fact that Christians exist and are active in the metal scene is a good witness for God. There are no areas ‘off limits’ to Him and His light.

Jasen:

The issue is not what reaction we get as much as the fact that we just want an opportunity to get the Message out to those that are isolated from it. How can they believe if no one is sent and how they hear if no one is telling them.

6) What is Tarantula Promotions exactly?

Hhmm, not really too sure! It used to be just a name for a ‘company’ to promote Paradox. Now it quite a bit more. Since you sent me this interview quite a few things have changed….

Paradox is finished, with two new bands being born. The first band, called ‘Bloodshed…’ will play fast and extreme metal. The second band, called ‘Slimegem’ will be more of a side project for me, concentrating on producing horrible and bleak sludge. Both bands are still in the infant stages but it was a decision we thought would be good and is quite exciting for me. Now we can take things to both extremes! How much time I will have to do both will remain to be seen but as we say in England ‘where there is a will there is a way!’

The next release by Tarantula Promotions will be a compilation called ‘Arachnid Terror’ with the final two Paradox tracks plus a CD full of other extreme Christian bands. I’m hoping that this will be out soon, just waiting for bands CD’s to arrive!

Also under the Tarantula Promotions banner comes a distribution service we’re doing for the UK in conjunction with Nordic Mission, where we sell merchandise for cheap prices in £UK. This is to make products easier to buy for people in the UK.

The ‘Fangs of Life’ newsletter also comes under Tarantula Promotions (when I get round to writing it!), so there’s plenty to keep us busy!

My friend Ben is also starting a ‘medieval gore band’ called ‘Hamal'ak Hamashith’ which is ancient Hebrew for ‘destroying angel’, so we’ll help promote them when things get going.

Basically Tarantula Promotions is the overall name for all we’re doing!

7) I strongly believe that a TRUE Christian is someone who met His God, and that it needs to have a revealed heart to believe that Jesus is The Son. How did this happened for you?

Becoming a Christian was the last thing I expected to happen to me when it did! I went on a summer camp run by a church group where you did activities and meet people and have bible teaching stuff. We got into them through a youth club in our area run in the local church. From this they took some of us to these camps in south west England where we used to go and meet girls and get stoned. We also took fun in ignoring the bible stuff and winding our leaders up. Anyway I went on the camp for that year (1995) for a free holiday and some fun. At the time I was pretty full on into the satanic music culture, drugs and horror / snuff films so I was pretty miserable and hostile, which is exactly how I wanted to be. I didn't think much of Christians as they always seemed happy and arrogant, unaware of pain or darkness. Well, something happened that year, which looking back I guess was God. I got away from everything that I used to fill my mind with negativity and saw things in a slightly different light. I realised that the path I was on was not going to give me any happiness. Satan was a master who would not give me any reward. I would get to the end and he would laugh in my face. I got fed up of the black cloud that was weighing me down and wanted to feel free and at peace, have a lightness that I saw in the Christians around me. They seemed to have a permanent smile and inner peace. So I decided to give my life to Christ and live in his presence. I did it and cried for the first time in years. I could start over and all the rubbish I had got into no longer had a hold on me. I was new and fresh, just me and God, nothing else mattered. It felt and still feels really good. When I got home from the camp I got rid of all the music / films and weapons I had collected as I no longer needed them and knew that they would drag me back to running away from God sooner or later. This was most of the stuff that was me, what I was when people looked at me, but not any more. Since then it has been a struggle and always will be until death. If we didn't struggle then it's time to start worrying! It's not what we do though, we have to rely totally on God's goodness, not our own merit or deeds. Get this in perspective and the rest follows. It's not an excuse to do what we want though. God's not that stupid!

Jasen:

I'm Jasen, the drummer. To give you a synopsis: I was searching for a year to find out whether this "God" thing was real or not. I spoke to the only Christian friend I had, read some Christian literature and did a lot of self exploring. Then one night I got on me knees and asked for a sign. I got one. God spoke to me very clearly, almost audibly I guess. That was when I met God. My life changed greatly and now I been a Christian for over 6 years.

8) Is there any other Christcore bands in England, excepted Paradox and Ashen Mortality?

Sadly, apart from the ones I mentioned earlier there are none that I’m aware of, though there must be some somewhere!

9) Which Church do you belong to?

The church that I met the rest of the band at is called Asylum and is quite unique in that it caters especially for ‘alternative’ people, ie metallers, goths, punks and hardcorers etc. We meet each Sunday in a rock pub in the west end of London and have a fairly laid back ‘service’. The church was born from a club / outreach that has been telling the news of Christ to this group of people in this area for years. The website is: www.asylumlive.co.uk.

I also attend a bible study each Wednesday at a more traditional church called St Helens. At the moment we’re doing studying the whole Bible in a year, looking at major events to get the overall picture. Last year we read through the whole of Romans, the year before the gospel of John.

10) What about your future plans? When could we hear about a full-length album of Paradox?

I’ve mentioned some future plans with Tarantula Promotions earlier. Sorry there won’t be a full length by Paradox, but hopefully releases by Bloodshed and Slimegem towards the end of the summer. After this who knows? Maybe another compilation, see how things go with the first one! Maybe we’ll combine all three ideas to keep costs down… it’s quite exciting though. I want to try to get the rest of the band to help out a bit more and become more involved as it’s good for them and I don’t have enough time to do it all on my own! In our Fathers hands. Maybe He has different ideas but as long as I can tell people about Him it’s cool.

11) This place is reserved to you to let you if you have a special message to say. I let you this moment to express yourself...

I hope you have enjoyed this interview, thank you for your help and support. I hope the zine achieves it’s purpose. People, please get in touch with me if you want… if you don’t know Jesus as your Lord then look into facts about Him. He did live on this earth and die and get raised back to life. Don’t ignore this without being informed. He can and will give you peace with God if you ask Him. You have very litle to lose and much to gain! Don’t be scared to look into it. I’ve never regretted it.

Blessings from our heavenly Father,

Michael

John_tarantula@hotmail.com

"CHRIST to the core."

Jasen Whyte

wjasen@hotmail.com

 


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