|Posted on October 20, 2013 at 11:05 PM|
In 2007 multi-national rockers Eden’s Curse exploded onto the metal scene with their debut self titled album. This was the surprise album of the year for me and from that moment on I knew Eden’s Curse were destined for great things. The follow up album, Second Coming in 2008 and a third release, Trinity in 2011 confirmed my belief about this band, but then the band started to go through line up changes and I wondered if Eden’s Curse would live up to the expectations I had. After a long exhaustive audition process the band found a new lead singer, included a new keyboardist and released their fourth offering Symphony Of Sin. I have been waiting a while for new material from the band, but it has been worth the wait, so with that I gave bassist, songwriter and founding member Paul Logue a call to discuss the roller coaster that has been Eden’s Curse and the new album.
Rock Man: Hey Paul, the last time I spoke to you, the band had just released the second studio album Second Coming, yourself, Michael Eden and the rest of the band seemed to very positive about the future, then you released the third album, Trinity, which was another brilliant piece of work, but then it all went wrong and suddenly Michael was out. Since then you have been working hard to get the band back on track, you now have a stable line up and you must be pleased with where the band is, at the moment?
Paul Logue: Yes I am absolutely delighted with it, I mean, it took a long time to get the band back onto stable ground. So basically, it was a difficult period there is no getting away from that, we toured with Dream Theater just after we released Trinity, we did two absolutely outstanding shows with them in the U.K. in small kind of, not arena size, just under arena size, it is the biggest shows we have done as an outfit. So our stock could not been higher at the time and unfortunately after that we started to get a broader demand by Michael [Eden], a financial demand which we just simply could not meet as a band, I mean, we are a multi-national outfit and there are travel expenses and logistics and everything that goes with putting that together are very tight and it took us, I would say, around about 6 years to get to a point where we broke even. Just so everybody knows, we all have full time jobs, there are no “Rock Stars” in Eden’s Curse, we all have mortgages and families just like any kind of normal people. You know, it is something that we are very proud of to have gotten it to that stage on a balance sheet and really rock bands should not be about balance sheets, but unfortunately in this day and age and with the kind of set up we have, as a band, it is a very important piece of the jigsaw. So when someone comes forward with a demand, that you just simply cannot financially afford to do, I mean, we would have been putting the band into the red and we talked to Michael, “Listen nobody wants you to leave the band, you have done great, the record is great”, we were actually in the initial stages of planning a tour for Trinity with some dates in the U.K., some dates in Holland, you know, there was nothing booked it was just a case of actually we had spoken to a lot of agents and gotten a lot of great feedback and unfortunately he just decided he was not going to withdraw his demand and it was something we had to meet, from his perspective, and we just said as a band this just cannot happen. We would end the band in order to continue it, after all the hard work we had done we simply had to say to Mike “Please just continue on the road we have been going on for the last couple of years” and he chose not too. It was quite an acrimonious split actually and we moved on, so we found an Italian lad, Marco Sandron who is an unbelievable singer, one of the very best going around and unfortunately, you know, we did a single, we did a video, we were doing great, came out great, fan base loved it but unfortunately for us Marco’s personality did not click with the other band members and it was a constant struggle. Marco was not happy, we were not happy so we decided to draw a line in the sand and move on without him and at that point we decide to come out with public auditions to find a singer, they went great and we had 40 odd applications and Nikola [Mijic] was one of the people, he sang with a Hungarian band called Dreyelands. Pete [Newdeck] our drummer was hugely influential behind him getting the gig because he heard something in his voice that was different from everyone else out there, so now that we are here we have a bit of stability, we could not be happier, things are going very well.
RM: As you mentioned, Nikola Mijic is the new voice of Eden’s Curse, has he taken long to settle in and is everyone happy with his inclusion to the band?
PL: Oh very much so, we appointed him unbeknown to everyone in December of last year, he has been in the band for 7 months or so, maybe more than that now. So we really got to know Nikola through, the audition process was quite lengthy and unfortunately for him that was the down side, from his perspective, but because of what we had gone through the personality was probably a higher priority than the voice. I had been quite public in saying that finding a voice was no problem because we had so many good singers come forward, the personality had to be 100% spot on, so that was something we took a long time to really get to know and once we had got Nikola and we were fairly comfortable with him as a person we went to AFM [records] and said “What do you want to do with us?” and they gave us some great advise which was “People have waited long enough for the new voice, why don’t you just go record the new record, get into the can, it is done, you will have an opportunity to get to know Nikola even further and it builds up the anticipation that when you come back you are coming back with a new singer, by the way, we have a new fully record album”. So we took that advise and it was great advise because it did allow us to get to know Nikola, which we obviously got a chance to bring him over here to record with him, shoot a video and really get to know him as a person and he has settled in wonderfully well. He is very much the same type of personality that we are, he is a professional sound engineer, he has got his own recording studio in Serbia he also specialises in live sound for bands, so he is extremely verst in what we do and he does it for a living which is great, he brings a professional aspect to what we do and in terms of being a musician he can play 5 or 6 instruments, extremely gifted singer and a lovely human being.
RM: The new album is Symphony Of Sin, do you think this is your best work to date?
PL: I think if you compared all of the records side by side this is a much more cohesive bunch of songs. I think as an artist when you sit down and listen back to your material and you go ‘right okay, that’s really great, that’s really great, that song there…hmm, I do not know if it really should have made it’ but with us on this album, for me, there really is not a weak moment on it what so ever. I’ll give you an idea, when we had the 22 songs written, Thorsten, myself and Pete were the main nucleolus of writers there, we had such a large kind of heated debate about what was going to be whittled down to the final 14 and then choosing which of those 14 were going to make the record and which was going to be the bonus track. So that shows you the strength of the songs and the reason for that is that when we were writing as a team together, you know, Break The Silence, for example was always very strong from the outset, but the opening guitar riff just did not knock your head off and instead of just going with what we had we said “Listen this just needs to be better”. It is track number two on the album it is up-tempo it needs a riff that is just going to take heads off and instead of being that protective songwriter with an arm around it, we said “Yeah, we can come up with a better idea”, we are just so open and honest with each other now and so used to what each other brings to the table you just say “Thorsten go give us a killer riff" and he immediately came back with the opening riff that opens Break The Silence and we were like “Wow! That is meaty”. So same kind of things when you are working on another idea you come to choral point, I would not even start to work on a chorus because I knew if I gave it to Pete Newdeck I would get absolute gold back and that is how comfortable we are as each others songwriters and if everybody did not buy into the first initial idea we just say “Right, no problem let’s see who can better it” and that was a long drawn out process. Some of these songs took months to write and some of them took some real heated debate between each of us as writers to convince each other that this needs another part or this needed another part, and I think when we heard the songs back we were just over the moon with every single part, bridge, riffs, verse, the whole lot and that is why these songs are so strong. So obviously I think the vocal upgrade is massive too, no disrespect to Michael, I loved Michael’s voice, I always will love Michael’s voice but it is a different kettle of fish, this is like going from the Premiership to the top of the Champions League in soccer terms, you know, there is a lot more versatility and we can do a lot more stuff and you add that together with the songs and the melodies for me it is a no brainer, it is the best Eden’s Curse album that is out there.
RM: The lead single is Evil & Divine, can you tell me what sort of reaction you are getting from people who have heard the track?
PL: Yeah, we actually released a studio diary with the riff of that song, God knows how many months back, to let the fans know we were working hard on the record and the minute that riff came out people were going crazy on it and we all noticed that. You know, for us coming back for the first time without Michael’s voice on an album it was so important to us and I really drummed it into Pete and Thorsten that I was going to become the Eden’s Curse police, because it was so important for me we come back sounding like Eden’s Curse and looking like Eden’s Curse, in terms of the artwork and everything. It had to be that killer Thomas Ewerhard package, it had to be the big Dennis Ward production and it had to be the Eden’s Curse stamp and vibe on all the songs and that song for me is just Eden’s Curse through and through. When we saw the fan reaction on the riff we thought we have got something and by the time we had it finished and with Nickola’s vocals on it that it would be an absolute monster. So it was pretty easy for us, I mean, I think if you sit back and listen to the whole record there might be some more obvious songs for singles, you know, something like Unbreakable which is very radio friendly, but it is a little bit different, it is different to what we do, so we wanted people for the first song to be heard of the new record to go “Oh, that is Eden’s Curse” and I think Evil & Devine does that in spades.
RM: There are some very powerful tracks on this album such as Losing My Faith, Great Unknown, Turn The Page and Falling From Grace, which is just a powerhouse of a song, so old fans will recognize that familiar Eden’s Curse sound, but there’s something there for new fans as well, isn’t there?
PL: Yeah there is. I think that we know what our blueprint should always be, we have said that we are never going to stray from that, I am not a believer in experimental albums, but I do not mind experimental songs and I think with each record, you know, from the first, well your first one is your first so you do not really experiment you are kind of throwing your first work out there, but the second one, I mean, we had never done a song like Sail On or Man Against The World, a piano and vocal ballad. So we do try with each record to do something different, I think Trinity, something like Saints Of Tomorrow is the closest we had gotten to pop-metal at that point, it was very kind of Firewind in its approach as well and this album is no different. So we do like to try new ideas and these new ideas, a song like Unbreakable which I keep mentioning, is as completely different as to what Eden’s Curse do, I think you can hear the Eden’s Curse power sound behind it, but the crux of the idea behind it is unlike anything we have ever recorded or written. And they are not forced ideas at all, they just come naturally and when the guys submit the demos you may pick up on an idea that is just a little bit out of the box, but once you throw everyone’s performance and individual writing style it ultimately comes back as an Eden’s Curse song and Unbreakable was very much like that. And that is a great testament to how we write as a team, we do not get upset with each other, we do not fall out with each other, we ultimately have the end goal the same which is the song, the song is the most important thing in Eden’s Curse and the guys really know that and work very hard to it, so there is a lot of different elements there and I think it keeps it fresh and exciting or us as writers and players, but everyone of them has that Eden’s Curse vibe through it.
RM: Can you talk me through the lyrical importance behind the track Symphony Of Sin?
PL: Well, Symphony Of Sin is kind of commentary on social dilemmas we face now. I think at the time when we were writing the song we had, I cannot quite remember the exact case, but the news was full of child abduction at the time and then the London riots happened and the one thing about the London riots that really just floored me was, you know, people coming home from work, from the office 9 to 5 or whatever their profession was and they were walking into an era that was in the middle of being looted and instead of walking by or doing something about it or calling the police they joined in. You would see a shop being looted, mobile phones being taken for free, a quick look over the shoulder, good working people, honest people were just walking in taking phones and disappearing, you know, I sat watching this going “This is unbelievable!”. There were 3 or 4 examples of that and if you look at the way we grew up and today’s environment, I am a young father and I am thinking “What kind of a world have I brought my child into?” that the need to be so famous is at the forefront of a lot of peoples minds, you know, the social network has now made everybody suddenly think that we need to know what you are eating for your dinner or where you are tonight. It is like, how sad of an existents? I think one of the lines is “We are the forgotten ones”, you know, the whole Symphony Of Sin really says that if you boil it all up the noise that has been made of today’s world is kind of keeping the religious thing going, not a religious band but we do like that mystical side of us because of the band’s name, that is very deliberate, but it is food for thought for everyone to think about the noise we are creating as a world and it is not a good one, not a good one at all.
RM: I want to ask you about Pete Newdeck (drummer), his playing on the album is off the chart, in terms of Eden’s Curse albums, is this the best you have heard him play?
PL: Yeah I think he just gets better with every record. You know, I think Pete’s drumming has been so solid, I think he is the first to tell you he is not Mike Portnoy, I mean, he really does stress that at the time, when he is going to produce the drums he always says “I am not going to kill this with fills”, I think there is a lot of drummers out there that can do that. He is an absolute powerhouse of a drummer and his playing on all the albums is very tasteful, I love his style, so I think on this album he is just incredible and his double bass work is so good and at times it just lifts these songs into different place. But, yeah I think his drumming is outstanding, Pete put in such a performance on this album, not just on the drums but, I mean, we have used a lot of guest vocals before, in terms of the backing vocals, people may not know that Pete is absolutely central to writing a lot of the choruses for Eden’s Curse, he wrote Angels & Demons, the chorus hook, he has written things like Saints Of Tomorrow and he is all over this new album. A of the big choruses on this record are actually from the pen of Pete and an unbelievable songwriter, talented backing vocalist, the majority of the backing vocals you are hearing on the record are from Pete as well so it probably should be called “Symphony Of Pete” because he is all over it. But it is totally deserved, I love the guy to bits and he is just an unbelievable musician and person.
RM: The first thing that became apparent to me when the record started was the strong power metal undertones from new keyboardist Steve Williams, tell me about him as a person and a player.
PL: Yeah, I think when Steve actually joined the band it was quite late, the actual recordings were underway, so he is a very gifted songwriter and, you know, at that point the songs were already picked we had 22 and whittled them down to 14. So there was not any scope for Steve to actually write at that point, so that is still an unexplored venture for Eden’s Curse, one I am very excited about because he is such a great writer, as I mentioned and it will be interesting to see where that leads to. We have all known Steve for years he is a good friend of the band, for us it was a very natural process to go to Steve, he had just split up from Powerquest and was scratching his head about his next musical manoeuvre too, so for both of us it could not have worked out better. Of course he comes from a power metal kind of background but I hear also touches of Mark Stanway from Magnum or maybe someone like Geoff Downes from Asia in his playing as well and of course it really does add a different texture and element. I think Ferdy Doernberg was more of a traditional blues based player, Alessandro Del Vecchio was a very classic rock player and Steve brings a completely different side of the keyboards which is quite electronic, quite modern and I think it is great, it is real nice to get that mix, he can jump in between the styles that the other two guys do and some of his soloing is really top dollar. So I totally agree with you, it really added a new element to it, it is very fresh, it is very modern and exciting and it will be interesting to see what he comes up with when we are writing from scratch.
RM: So what happened to Alessandro Del Vecchio, did he lose interest in Eden’s Curse or was he simply to busy with other projects to put time into the band, why did he leave?
PL: Yeah actually it was the latter. In fact his departing the band was the one true success story because he has pretty much become Frontiers Records in-house producer now, so when he was doing the Fergie Frederiksen record it was at the time when we were just in the middle of writing the new Eden’s Curse album and he was so busy with all these productions he never got a chance to submit material and I know that he wanted to have some kind of co-writing sessions with the pair of us and some of the other guys as well and really Alessandro just ran out of time. At that point him and Fergie travelled up to Nepal’s to meet Serafino and the team at Frontiers and Al was telling me when he came back that Serafino had a diary that showed the next 12 albums that he was going to be doing over a 2 year period. So he at that point pretty much said “You guys deserve to have somebody who’s complete focus is on Eden’s Curse and unfortunately I cannot do that, this is my job and it has always been a dream of mine to work with all these artist”, so I think in all honesty we saw it coming and we were so delighted for him because he is a lovely guy, super talented musician and he deserves all the success that is coming his way.
RM: Again, congratulations on the release of the new record Symphony Of Sin. On behalf of everyone at Full Throttle Rock I would like to wish you all the best and continued success for the future.
PL: Thank you very much Rock Man, we really appreciate your support, you have supported the band for a long time and we are forever in your debt.
Eden’s Curse – Symphony Of Sin is available through AFM Records.