“In late August 2007, the rock and metal world witnessed the birth of Eden’s Curse“, quips the band’s official website. The melodic rock and metal act was formed by bassist Paul Logue. Enlisting the help of German guitarist Thorsten Koehne and English drummer Pete Newdeck, the band, accompanied by American singer “Michael Eden“, proceeded to cement their foothold in the music industry. “Armed with nothing but passion, spirit and an uncompromising batch of hyper rock songs”, the fledgeling band secured various record deals, and recorded their eponymous debut album. Eden’s Curse was critically received. In August 2008, Logue and crew returned with their sophomore release, The Second Coming. The sheer strength of the album had many claiming the ‘arrival’ of Eden’s Curse as a force to be reckoned with! In May 2009, Eden’s Curse achieved their primary goal, which was to take the band from the studio to the stage. As with most young bands, they endured several lineup changes, including replacing Eden. The group spent the majority of 2010 in the studio writing and recording their third album, Trinity. Trinity was a classy affair that saw the band once again take steps forward and cement their place alongside many of their contemporaries in today’s European melodic metal scene. In July 2013, ending ten months of speculation, Eden’s Curse finally announced that Serbian-born vocalist Nikola Mijic had been appointed as their new singer. With the new lineup in place, the group revealed that their new album, Symphony Of Sin, would be released in October 2013. Here, Eden’s Curse make a triumphant return with their most cohesive batch of songs to date on an album that the band members describe as “special”.
Here, Iris chats with Eden’s Curse bassist Paul Logue about current events and formative years surrounding the band and their latest release.
How was Firefest? What was your setlist?
Firefest was great but we had a few technical issues with the sound onstage and, unaware to us, out front too, but that is the nature of the beast, as far as festivals go. You don’t get a sound check unless you are headlining or you are first on, and with a 20 minute changeover, everything is rush, rush, rush. It was a little disheartening to hear about the sound issues, but you can only worry about things that you are in control of. From the second song on, the sound kept improving, as did the audience response, which by the end was fantastic. We played “Symphony Of Sin”, “Trinity”, “Fly Away”, “No Holy Man”, “Unbreakable”, “Evil & Divine” and “Angels & Demons”, featuring guest vocalist Issa.
What do you like about playing fests vs. regular tour or club shows?
No two are the same and some are better than others, but they all give you an opportunity to play in front of a lot of people who have never heard you before, so they are definitely a challenge. I definitely prefer club shows but the aim is always to convert the festival goers so they attend the club shows.
That was Nikola’s first live gig with you guys; you’re fortunate that you rehearsed enough to not implode. What was the crowd response to the new tunes like?
Very strong. “Evil & Divine” and “Unbreakable” were immensely well received.
It seems like you’ve got a lot of inspirational or motivating messages in your songs. That’s refreshing. I mean, we could be sitting here listening to songs about raping zombies or misanthropic something-or-other….
Life is hard enough, and brings everyone on this planet some form of struggle now and again. This band is no stranger to that. So, a good way of fighting your way through the daily grind is penning songs of positivity, and reaffirming that never say die spirit. The subject matters are all personal observations or points of influence for us that spawned these lyrics, with the net result being a really uplifting set of songs.
Do you write all the lyrics? When did you figure out you could write ‘decent’ songs?
The lion’s share, yes, along with Pete Newdeck (drummer). Well, I just worked hard at my craft and still do. I don’t really think of myself as a decent writer – I see many areas for improvement, especially lyrically, which for me is the hardest part of the process – but I feel blessed that many people love our songs and personal meaning in what we have written. There is no bigger compliment for a songwriter.
It’s tough to replace a singer. You sort-of had a tough road ahead; how did you manage to keep this so seamless?
It was simply a case of retaining focus and belief. This band never was and never shall be about one person – it is all about the collective. The core writing team of myself, Pete, and Thorsten remain. We wrote every Eden’s Curse song to date, so we knew with our songs and signature sound held together by Thorsten’s guitar, that it was simply a case of finding the right singer who could integrate with us as people as well as musicians. It took perseverance, and tough decision making, but we truly came out the other side in a much better place.”
What are your favorite tracks from Symphony Of Sin, speaking as a bassist?
The title track for sure, as it’s a bombastic epic and “Unbreakable” are two that spring to mind. The latter may be very radio friendly but it’s the most technical song on the album.
When did you begin playing bass?
I began playing bass around 1992. I started as a drummer, then some school friends taught me a few chords and learned the rest myself. I took up the bass basically because my band couldn’t find a bassist but we knew a guy who was a better drummer than me. I bought a second hand Westone bass from my local music store in Paisley and never looked back.
Who are your bass heroes? (The musicians who most influenced you), or you ‘get fanboy’ over.
The guys who really shaped my playing were Mark “Snake” Luckhurst (Thunder) – I really tried to learn every lick on their first two albums. Andy Fraser (Free), Robert Kearns (Cry Of Love) and Mike Brignardello (Giant) too. However, in terms of the style I play now, Eddie Jackson (Queensryche), Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69 / Unisonic) and Michael Anthony (Van Halen) hugely influence it.
“As for fanboy … Someone like Kip Winger or Tobias Sammet ;-)”
You mentioned you have a guest list (like a dream shopping list) for each album. Who’s on your guest list for this one? The bio and album credits don’t seem to list anyone, so I figured I’d ask.
There are no guests on this album because Nikola can actually sings his own harmony parts! All of the backing vocals on the album were actually performed by Pete.
And, I’m quite happy with the current line up ;-)
What is “pop metal”, to you?
I guess, in my opinion, it’s something that still has that metal edge yet you can quite easily imagine it transcending on to radio if it had a Simon Cowell behind it. I could also hear it remixed as a pop song.
None of your new tunes sound like “the metal that’s popular on the radio”: that Shinedown, A7X, Hellyeah, Halestorm, Limp Bizkit, Korn stuff… Pop of course is ‘popular’ for short, which is why I’m confused.
No harm in being different!
Someone said that their wife called Firefest “the keyboard festival”. Are prominent keyboards a cornerstone of AOR as a genre? Where do you think that dividing line between ‘AOR’ and ‘melodic rock’ sits?
I wouldn’t class this band as AOR for a start. We opened Firefest last week with an 8 minute, double bass, symphonic epic that had the pink fluffy brigade running out the door ;-) Labels mean nothing, but it’s all in the guitar approach, I believe.
What do you feel that keyboards bring to your sound?
They add a polished element and a modern vibe to that traditional sound. You can really do quite a lot to the soundscape when using keys.
With band members living in separate countries, with wives and children, and with “day jobs outside of music”, how the heck do you schedule a full European tour?!
With proper planning, basically! We obviously have to find common ground and pick a date that suits all parties, and make sure the logistics and the finances are in place, but it sounds harder than it actually is. We have been doing for seven years now.
How is the Internet & social media impacting your band lately?
Quite simply, this band wouldn’t exist without it. It was instrumental in our formation and plays a central role in our communication with each other, our fan base and also our recordings. We don’t just embrace it, we celebrate it! It just removes all logistical boundaries and allows guys from the UK, Germany, and Serbia to collaborate and really feel like they are in a band together.
What’s next for Eden’s Curse – ‘where are you going’? What would be your next level of ‘success’?
It’s now about live work. We are now all in Europe and want to tour. We feel this is really how we can progress as a band. There are many places we have yet to play; I mean we still haven’t played in Germany yet …, which is hard to believe, with the number of German connections we have – German members past and present, German label, German manager, producer based in Germany, etc. We also want to take the plunge of doing our own headline club tour in the UK now and building that fan base from the ground up. And, festivals … We love festivals (minus the sound guys, lol) and we want to play more and bigger ones! There are places such as Japan and Latin America where interest has always been strong, yet we have still to get invited to those, and eventually when the new line up is played in and it’s the right time and venue, we would love to shoot a live DVD. So, there are plenty of goals left for us to achieve for sure.
As a music fan and listener, what ‘moves’ you, musically? What ‘current’ artists do you listen to nowadays?
I love a lot of metal, hard rock, AOR, and all points in between. I’m currently spinning the new Dream Theater and James LaBrie albums, plus playing regularly some records from the last 18 months that really moved me; Eclipse, WET, DGM, Circus Maximus, Pretty Maids, The Magnificent, and some classics.
Do you have any closing sentiments for your fans and the Planet Mosh readers?
Thanks for all the support in all things Cursed, and for sticking with us. See you on tour in 2014.