Interview With Paul Logue of Eden’s Curse
Conducted By Erich Heintzelman
I recently spoke with Eden’s Curse bassist and band leader Paul Logue about the band’s new album, SYMPHONY OF SIN as well as the band’s new members. Additionally, Paul shared how the band manages to compose their music despite the members being scattered all over Europe and how SYMPHONY OF SIN is a triumph after a two year period of adversity and hard work.
Greetings Paul! My name is Erich Heintzelman and I write for the Canadian owned webzine Metal-Rules. I want to thank you in advance for taking the time to talk about the new album and the band.
Hello Erich, nice to meet you and thanks for taking the time to interview us
The new album was released last month. How has the response for Symphony of Sin been so far from people around the world?
The reactions of the press has been outstanding and our fan base is going crazy over the album. We have also managed to attract a lot of new listeners too, which is really what you aim to achieve with each new record. It’s still early days of course, as it was only released in North America two days ago, but in Europe and Japan we have received amazing feedback.
You guys have had some amazing vocalists in such a brief time and the new album features a new singer in Nikola Mijić. What does Nikola bring to the band that impresses you most?
Nikola is an extremely versatile vocalist who can sing pretty much anything we have thrown at him, from ballads to real balls to the watch crunching Metal. I think honestly we have only scratched the surface with him on “Symphony …”. He is a true singers singer, I mean this guy really knows his craft. He knows in depth the mechanics of the voice and how things work in the studio that makes things go so smoothly. He is a great live performer and a professional studio and live mixing engineer owning his own studio in Serbia, which really helps. He plays multiple instruments and most importantly he is a really down to earth, humble and easy going person, making it a total joy to work with. He has fitted into the band effortlessly.
Also making his debut with you guys on this album is Steve Williams. How important were his contributions to this album?
Steve joined the band in February when the album recordings were well and truly underway, so his input from a writing standpoint was nil, which is a shame because he is such a prolific song writer, but timing was not our side. From a playing perspective though his input is as equal as every other member of Eden’s Curse. The song template is there in demo format and each guy can add whatever type of brush and colour to the canvas, in their own unique style, to ultimately create what becomes the finished piece. He played some great stuff and I can really hear his personality shine through on his parts.
Musically, what effect has the new lineup changes had on the outcome of this album?
The change of voice is massive of course, it adds a different timbre for sure, and I Steve is again a different keyboard player to the Ferdy Doernberg and Alessandro Del Vecchio in terms of his approach being more modern and grounded in Power Metal as opposed to Classic Rock. What hasn’t changed though is the sound of the music and the songs themselves. I told the guys in the band that during the making of the album I would become the custodian of all things “Eden’s Curse” as well as being the albums producer. The objective was simple, the album had to look and sound like an Eden’s Curse album, with a new flavour that no one had heard before. The fact that all the guys who left the group previously were not significant songwriters for the band, and I include Michael in that, really helped in that department. The main nucleus of writers has always been myself, Pete and Thorsten.
This is your second album on AFM Records after switching between labels a few times. How has the experience been making this album with the support of AFM been?
That’s incorrect, it’s actually our fourth album with AFM. We have always been signed to them since the beginning, but it is our first worldwide deal and official release in North America with them. AFM’s support has been simply amazing. They ignored all the crap that we went through and kept us focused and most important backed us to the hilt. They gave great advice throughout and we agreed a new worldwide deal together. We couldn’t be happier with the relationship.
Considering that you guys are international and reside in different parts of the world, how do you record and compose albums? Did you record together live in the studio for this album?
No, we recorded the album the exact same way we did the first album – via the internet. The internet is central to everything that we do. Email is our virtual rehearsal studio and communicative tool and the ground rules are simple; 1 – be respectful and 2 – the song is king. We are now four album down the road in working this way, so it’s second nature to us and the more we do it the more comfortable we become with each other as people and songwriters. We actually know each others strengths so well now, that maybe in the early days you would be over protective of your own ideas, but now it’s a case of fully embracing the talents that we each have to achieve the same common goal – a killer song. In terms of actual song ideas, it usually starts from someone, via a piece of music and someone usually works on it to start with, and then we all listen and make comment and build it from there. We work the song to the point where we are all happy with the final demo arrangement and then take that into the studio. Every single member of Eden’s Curse is accomplished studio musician and engineer and we all have our own setups, which is pivotal to this bands success. Also giving people creative freedom to express themselves musically and to be able to perform without any chains on has really worked well for us, and thankfully everyone seems to know exactly what works for an Eden’s Curse song. All of the aforementioned plus that word I mentioned earlier, respect, helps ensure that the chemistry is right, and we all like to have fun whilst making albums. This is a very happy band at the moment.
When I listen to this album, I hear a lot of melodic hooks and choruses that really connect and leave an impression, maybe even more so than on past albums. Did this develop naturally during the writing process of the album or was it a more conscious effort before you set out to compose this album?
That’s great to hear! We also deliberately pushed ourselves and each other harder on the songs. Thorsten, myself and Pete wouldn’t accept the first idea that came forward if any one of us thought that the idea could be bettered. We went back to the drawing board multiple times on each of these songs and it really shows, I believe. This again demonstrates how comfortable we are working with each other, because we would not let personal gain get in the way of “the song”. We would only say “done” when everyone was truly happy with every part, thus enabling us to write the best batch of songs that we could.
“Unbreakable” is one of my favorite tracks on the album because it is memorable, well arranged and contains unmistakable passion. What was the inspiration or influence behind that song?
Thanks so much! It’s a song that holds a special place in our hearts and seems to be one a lot of people are talking about. I think it really has some cross over potential. Unbreakable started as a musical idea from Thorsten which I chopped up with him to create the arrangement you hear today and then I began working on the lyrics and vocal melodies alongside Pete. It’s a song that really came from the heart and speaks of the brotherly bond that exists between the three original members (at the time of writing). It was written in the aftermath of Michael leaving and it is a song we wrote to inspire each other. It is a song of positivity and rising above the negativity and adversity we faced and talks of keeping the spirit and vision strong to focus on that better day that will eventually come. I don’t mind admitting that when I received the final mix from Dennis Ward I wept with joy. It was the culmination of two years of sheer hard times and work summed up in a five minute melodic moment which swept me away in a sea of emotion.
I hear lots of influences on this album but what would you say are the band’s primary influences musically and inspirationally?
First and foremost, ourselves to be honest. We always wear our influences on our sleeves and have never been ashamed to quote bands such as Queensryche, Pretty Maids, Dokken, Pink Cream 69, Edguy, Avantasia, Firewind, Stratovarius, Symphony X or Journey as influences. To be honest though, we have always written an Eden’s Curse record and we do that simply by writing a record that we, as fans of the aforementioned acts, would love to listen to me. I mean, we are totally old school, and those bands are the bands that we listen to, and this is the music we create, and we are so blessed out that there are people out there who want to hear our records time and time again.
How would you describe your sound and style on this album to someone who had never heard Eden’s Curse before?
Big Guitars, Big Riffs, Big Drums, Big Bass, Big Backing Vocals with soaring yet soulful vocals with soaring leads and keys over extremely hummable hooks.
I remember reading horror stories of bands not knowing what cover art was going to be used for their album release like, Overkill on Taking Over. How important do you think the design and art of an album is to the overall experience of becoming involved with and enjoying an album and how much input do you have in that?
I don’t think it’s really linked to the overall listening experience, however we take our visual representation very seriously and we oversee every aspect of it from the concept to the creation. We create the concepts and I work one-to-one with the designer until we are really happy with what is produced.
The band sounds tight and connected on this album. From a composition perspective how collaborative is the song writing process for Eden’s Curse?
Very! I start a lot of the initial ideas, musically, and Thorsten will submit a few songs too, and then as a team we dissect and re-arrange until we have a really finished song demo that we are all happy with. I maybe the artist who draws the pencil sketch, but once the boys get into the studio and start recording then they are the artists who add the technicolor that bring the masterpieces to life. It’s truly a team effort.
Will you guys be able to play some dates in North America this year or next?
Honestly, I have no idea. We’d love to come back over if offers come in.
There is no shortage of great songs on this album. Were there any songs that were particularly difficult to complete? What songs are you most looking forward to playing live from the new album?
Thanks again! I like you LOL! In a way they were all a challenge, but nothing that was beyond us. Working with the orchestra on the title track was very challenging but the end results are spectacular in my opinion, and some songs like “Break The Silence” and “Losing My Faith” needed lots of attention to find the missing pieces of the puzzle, but the key is being patient and eventually it will come. We played three songs – “Symphony Of Sin”, “Evil & Divine” and “Unbreakable” at Firefest X last month and that was a great experience, but we can’t wait to play more – personally I can’t wait to do “Rock Bottom”, “Great Unknown”, “Break The Silence”, “Wings To Fly”, “Fallen From Grace” and “Sign Of The Cross” live.
One final question. Is there any message or news that we did not discuss that you would like to share your fans?
Thanks to all our fans who stuck by us knowing that one day we would rise again. It has been a difficult couple of years for Eden’s Curse but I can assure you that we are back bigger and better than ever before. We stand here united, together as one, and we are UNBREAKABLE! See you all on the road in 2014 !!!