EDEN’S CURSE: Interview with PAUL LOGUE
interview by Steven Reid
For Eden’s Curse the period between 2011’s ‘Trinity’ album and ‘Symphony Of Sin’ two years later was a time of upheaval - even if both of those albums were triumphant statements in hard edged Melodic Rock. Singers and keyboard players came and went at an alarming rate and while the departure of keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio was on the best of terms, it would be fair to suggest that the quick one-two of departures from behind the microphone stand were less than amicable... That’s all in the past now, with Eden’s Curse in rude health and fine fettle as they begin to look forward to their UK tour in May - surprisingly the band’s first headline trek of the country, in a far more stable and focused state. However just as we prepared to ask the band’s bassist and fulcrum Paul Logue some questions about Eden’s Curse past, present and future, an email plopped into Rocktopia’s inbox announcing yet another line-up reshuffle in the world of the Curse. No prizes for guessing what suddenly became top of Steven Reid’s “questions that must be asked” list...
Hi Paul and thanks for taking the time to answer some questions...
You are welcome Steven!
OK, before I ask anything else, I have to begin by saying how shocked I was today to hear that Pete Newdeck has left Eden’s Curse. Was it as much of a surprise for you and the band, as it has been for the fans?
In all honesty, we kind of saw it coming, as Pete's time was being heavily invested in a lot of activities, including personal and family commitments. When he broke the news of course there was an element of sadness as he is not only a great drummer and writer but one of my best friends. That's life however, and we wish Pete the best of luck in his personal and musical endeavours and we move forward with John Clelland. I believe it was the best decision for Pete and for Eden's Curse.
More importantly, I have to ask how it makes you feel to now be the most follically challenged member of Eden’s Curse. Back when the band started, you had the most hair!!
Haha! I feel quite vulnerable now. I have lost my hair due to the stresses of managing Eden's Curse
On a more serious note, you haven’t had to look far, geographically, or musically to fill the hole Pete’s departure has created, with, as you mentioned, Code Of Silence drummer John Clelland immediately joining Eden’s Curse. For those who aren’t aware of John yet, tell us a bit about him please.
John is an Edinburgh born and bred drummer who has worked with me on various recording projects for the last three or four years, most notably the Code Of Silence album that I wrote and produced. He is a fantastic person and awesome drummer and completely dedicated to his craft. He is the only person I thought of when Pete told us his news. It's also great having him local as we can actually rehearse as a rhythm section for the tour. In fact, we start this coming weekend in Glasgow. That will only make the band tighter and better!
Although Pete has left the band, oddly he’ll still be out on that tour with you guys in a few weeks with the outfit he fronts, Tainted Nation, playing on some of the dates on your upcoming tour. Will that be a bit strange having him there, but not on stage with the band?
Not in the slightest, in fact it's a great “send off” for Pete. I'm sure we will have one or two surprises and it might be a bit emotional, but he is a great guy and there is a lot of mutual admiration and respect between him and John. They couldn't be more supportive of each other!
Hopefully John joining signals an end to the flurry of line-up changes the band have endured in recent(ish) times?
I hope so! The line up is very settled now and I think it's in it for the long haul.
I’m glad to hear it Paul! Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to cover some history for Rocktopia readers. So let’s go back to 2011 and the Trinity album. It was fantastically well received, but from there you suffered a, shall we say, less than harmonious split with then singer Michael Eden. How do you look back on that time and those events now?
I think this has been well documented and it's all in the past now. We can't change what happened, but I'm extremely proud of the dignified approach the band has taken since. It has won us many plaudits and we will carry on with this approach until our dying day. As the song says – there's no need for regret, we forgive and forget … we've turned the page and let it go!
Eden’s initial replacement was Italian born Marco Sandron but after releasing only one song, he too moved on. Put simply, if I can, what went wrong there?
We fired him. His personality made it impossible to work with him. He wanted to change the core values of Eden's Curse and that just wasn't up for discussion.
Then keyboard player Alessandro Del Vecchio left, being replaced by Power Quest man Steve Williams and you announced Nikola Mijic as your new singer. How much pressure did all of the upheaval after Trinity add to the creation process of album number four, Symphony Of Sin?
It added a lot of pressure but it also made us completely focused on the task in hand. We had to write and record an album that people completely identified with Eden's Curse. Sometimes people perceive the change in the camp as a good platform to change stylistically and it took strong leadership and direction to ensure that this wasn't going to be the case. With that clear vision in mind it allowed us to concentrate on the meat on the bones – the actual songs themselves, and I believe it shows in the end results.
Therefore you must have been delighted by just how well the album was received by fans and critics?
Absolutely! We are always amazed by each reaction we get to the albums as sometimes you get so close to it, you actually don't know whether it's good or not. You do have to have a massive amount of self belief and the courage to follow your own convictions and rely on the fact that what works for “you” as a song writer has tended to always work for the fan base also. That is something I never take for granted.
What was it, apart from his excellent voice that made you know that Nikola was the right man to front the band?
He is a fantastic person. Very easy to work with, very affable, very grounded and settled in life and he created zero drama. He wants to be in this band. Also we studied him a lot, spoke to people who worked with him. He is very good live and brings a wealth of experience having fronted Serbia's biggest Rock band [Alogia] for the last ten years, even at the ripe old age of 33.
The addition of Steve Williams kind of got lost in the vocal reshuffles, but he’s been a great fit for the band hasn’t he?
Absolutely! Steve is an amazing player and again a perfect gentleman. You know, finding great players is actually pretty easy, but finding people with the talent, personality, work ethic and just being a good person, is the hardest part in this game. Our time is precious, and recent events have taught us that we need to be very sure of whom we wish to spend it with. I couldn't be happier with Steve and Nikola.
Obviously the main song writing team in the band has remained intact throughout all of these comings and goings, but have the changes in personnel, in your opinion, created any evolution in the Eden’s Curse sound?
Obviously the timbre of Nikola's voice changes the sound a bit, as it's more accessible, but the music is very much the same as always. Steve is again, coming from a Power Metal background, a different type of player to Ferdy and Alessandro, who are more Classic Rock guys. However, I think the biggest evolution may come on the next album when the guys actually have a chance to write for the band. Again, going back to my earlier point, my role will again involve making sure that all ideas are explored within the confines of the Eden's Curse soundscape.
So, in the end 2013 proved to be an excellent year for Eden’s Curse, culminating with your first Firefest appearance. How did you feel that performance went and how much did you enjoy it all?
We as a band played well, but the sound onstage wasn't so good and it seems that out front it was receiving mixed reviews also. It didn't seem to be too good for many of the Friday bands – Saturday was much better all round! Nevertheless, we got good reactions from the audience and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
However not content with all that, 2014 now heralds the first Eden’s Curse UK headlining tour. You must be champing at the bit to get out there and play these songs for your fans?
You better believe it! These songs are crying out to be played live and we cannot wait to let the fan base see the visual impact that we know that Nikola, Steve and John bring to the table, not to mention the two old dogs in TK and I [laughs]. We were adamant on finding a European based singer so we could tour more as that is the one way to build the fan base slowly but surely. So it's great to see this come to fruition and we have already got some live dates in the works for Europe for later in the year.
Your Firefest set contained a great cross section of songs from across The Curse catalogue. Can we expect more of the same from the live dates? Any surprises?
Indeed! We are promoting the new album, and as it's also the first to feature the new line up, we will be playing a fair selection of songs from it. The set will be 90 minutes of old and new tunes. There will maybe a few surprises at one or two venues for sure, if we can pull them off!
So far, Eden’s Curse has managed to maintain an impressive work-rate, with a new album arriving every two years. Can we expect album number five some time during 2015?
Right now that is the plan. I have already begun work on some initial scratch ideas, but nothing more than that, as the tour is taking precedence. So if it's going to be 2015 then it will be later in the year as we have to write it first, which can take the best part of six to twelve months, then record it, which can take just as long depending on schedules. I think once the UK tour is by I will be throwing myself headlong into writing the new album.
And lastly, you are always just as busy outside Eden’s Curse, as you are with the band. Do you have any other musical plans or projects - another Code Of Silence album would be good! - in the pipeline?
Last year was an incredibly busy year, but I want to concentrate solely on Eden's Curse this year if I can. Code Of Silence are working slowly on the follow up, which I wrote a few songs for last year, but apart from that I have nothing in the pipeline. I do have an upcoming release with German/Swiss/UK band Dead End Heroes which I played bass on with Carsten Schulz (Evidence One / Domain) and Rolf Munkes (Empire / Majesty) in the group. We are shopping for a label now, so hopefully that will be out sometime this year.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions Paul, it is hugely appreciated!
You are welcome!
SYMPHONY OF SIN UK HEADLINE TOUR:
19/05/14 - Ivory Blacks - Glasgow - Scotland - Support from Stormzone & Estrella - Buy Tickets
20/05/14 - The Railway Venue - Bolton - England - Support from Fahran - Buy Tickets
21/05/14 - Snooty Fox - Wakefield - England - Support from Fahran & SKIN&BONE - Buy Tickets
22/05/14 - Slade Rooms - Wolverhampton - England - Support TBC - Buy Tickets
23/05/14 - Yardbirds - Grimsby - England - Co-Headline with Absolva plus Babylon Fire - Buy Tickets
24/05/14 - Static - Swansea - Wales - Support from Tainted Nation & Mayhem Messiah - Buy Tickets
25/05/14 - The Underworld - London - England - Support from Tainted Nation & Dendera- Buy Tickets