Let the Curse be lifted -The band speak out!!
International band 'Eden's Curse' return with a new stunning album 'Symphony of Sin' released through AFM Records. The band have been around since 2007 in which the band have recorded 4 albums to date. The bands debut album which was self titled was released back in 2007 with members Thorsten Koehne (guitars), Paul Logue (bass), Michael Eden (vocals), Pete Newdeck (drums) and keyboard player Ferdy Doemburg (ex Rough Silk). In that time the band have gone from strength to strength and this new album sees a new fresh line up featuring new keyboardist Steve William (Power Quest), John Clelland (drums) and new vocalist Nikola Mijic from Dreyelands. The new album 'Symphony of Sin' is a great album packed full of amazing ideas and tunes. I managed to chat with the band in Grimsby (UK) about the new album and line-up. here is what they had to say.
Well it's a pleasure meeting you, it's been a while Paul. What's it like to be here back at 'Yard Birds' Club in Grimsby UK, I believe this is your 2nd time here correct?
(P) "Yes it is and it's nice to meet you again. I think we were here last back in 2009 I believe. (Ed: I have seen you before, which was at Bloodstock a few years ago when you played the tent). yes that is correct, it was the worst sound in my career I have ever had for the band, and I heard it wasn't much better out on the front. Hey you live and learn!!"
Lets talk about the old band members, Freddy & Mike, are you still friends with them?
(P) "Well I speak to everybody in the band except for Michael. (Ed: Is he also calling his band Eden's Curse'? I have seen the new with different albums covers.) I don't know and I don't care simple as that!! Our previous keyboardist is now with Voodoo Circle but his career has started to pick up been a sound engineer and he has been working with Frontier's Records a lot. That is the reason why he moved on & I am very happy for the guy and he is a A&R creative director and that is a move that you celebrate. He told me he could not give me the time for the band anymore and I could see that in the last 6 months before he left the band. The label showed his is plans for the next 2yrs and he knew he wouldn't have time for the band anymore.
The 1st thing he did was to recommend Steve to the band as his replacement. Steve actually was very close to getting the job the 1st time around and they are both great players but very different in style and wonderful people as well. I think Steve would agree that doing this band and Power Quest at the same time would of been difficult for him. The timing now is right for us all and it was the the 1st guy I thought of anyway. You have to make sure that the timing is right and that they have quality too and a good personality too. We have now 5 people all pulling together and this is something the band needed, we all work great together. "
What was the reason for Pete's departure?
(P) "Well Pete left the band because he formed 'Tainted Nation', and wants to make a real go of that and he had a few things in his private life he wanted to do, he has a young son he wants to spend more time with. We are still great friends and we still chat when we can. They are opening up for us on this tour which they have excepted which s great news!!"
John is the new drummer, how come you got the job as the new drummer & what band was you in before Eden's Curse?
"Well I also play drums in a band called 'Code of Silence' and Paul is the main song writer in that band and I have known Paul for 4yrs now and that is how I got the ob in Eden's Curse. I am very happy to be in this band.
I have noticed Paul that you have project going with Carsten from Evidence One called 'Dead End Heroes' , how did that come about?
"Well I have only one band in my life which of course is 'Eden's Curse', but I do projects were they suit me and if the timing is right and I like the music it also has to pay as I am not a charity case. I hire my services for a better word and I have been lucky to get a couple of jobs in that department. Carsten came to me this 'Dead End Heroes' project and the guys within the band were happy with what I did for them. So I went over and did the photo shoot and in a couple of weeks I am going over to make the video with the band. "
Steve how did you feel when Paul 1st approached you to join the band?
"Well I have known Paul for about 5yrs and prior to this going on we had such a great friendship and as you know I had a lot of line-up changes with 'Power Quest' as we would talk about recording and touring. Paul values my opinion very much and he shared our thoughts about a new singer etc... and we have a great relationship as a band as we don't blow smoke up each others arses. Paul called me when I put Power Quest on hold for some time and offered me the opportunity to join the band. So the 1st thing I wanted to do was hear the new material before agreeing to join the band. So he sent me some tunes without the keyboards and I told him I needed to take some time to listen too them and to see if I could work out some keyboard structures for them. I think I am experienced enough to see through any polished stuff that might or might not be there."
(P) "Steve would always have a great opinion on vocalist and he would tell me if the singer was not the right guy for the band and so the relationship has been build on trust and respect."
John did you fit right into the band straight away?
"Well basically Paul was familiar with my drumming & I was also a fan of Eden's Curse and I listened too the previous albums, so I knew what Paul was looking for in a drummer. I love playing those drum parts and I don't feel like I am going put of my comfort zone in terms of my ability. "
So where does the band rehearse, some of you live in Scotland, UK, Germany etc...?
(P) "Well this band are a global unit and technology formed this band. So when it comes to rehearsals we need proper planning because of everybody schedules with our day to day life's that we have. Then we talk about where we are going to go and what songs we will play and that is were the technology aspect comes in. We can record remotely and budgets are not what they use to be and in 8yrs we have been together we have seen budgets which have effected the sales as well. To be honest it saves us a fortune recording with such people like Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69) when Torsten can record his own guitars as he knows how to record his won parts. Everybody within the band have that ability to learn the songs, with John I will send him the set list and a click track for him to practice the songs too. We all do our home work at home sort of speak and when we get together we run through the 1st song of the set with no problems. We went to Glasgow and rehearsed for 30 hrs in 2 and half days."
Paul moving on which one of you're previous albums is you're favourite and why?
"I think you will get the same answer from all bands, it's like asking which is your favourite child? That is a tough question. I think you are always more favorable to your new record. I think if you ask the rest of the band it could be a different answer.
This album was produced by you Paul and mixed by Dennis Ward... please tell me more.
"Well we have worked with Dennis now for so long and he co-produced the 1st album with us and the 2nd. I have been the produced in the chair and Dennis has given me that encouragement to go and do the album myself. Whereas the labels are like 'You can't have your name on the album... Nobody knows you!' Dennis name on the album will sell records and I am not a type of person who will fight my name on a album. TK is always amazed by the guitar sound that Dennis gets on the records."
I have to say that the new album is the best you have done, both musically and vocally... well done guys!! Have you ever thought of re-doing some of the older songs with Nikola on vocals?
(P) "I have thought about it but I think we would be better off doing a live album or another brand new album. This line-up is so hot right now & I can't wait to get into the studio with John on drums and Nikola is a dream singer, he is from Serbia and he can do anything type of vocals you want. I would not over rule the idea of a live album but it would have to come from the label but the past is the past and we are moving on now. I look back on what we did with Michael with pride and the chapter has finished and now we have moved on as the new Eden's Curse."
How many singers did you audition Paul?
"God that's a tough question... I had about 40-50 tapes for auditions and we approached several singers but there is no point telling you the names. We had some great auditions from some awesome singers and there was a Finnish guy and Nikola who we took down to the last 2. We feel that Nikola has the voice we were looking for and we had 1 guy who was awesome but he sounded too much like Michael and we thought it wouldn't work. Nikola can sing anything from AOR, Ballads, and balls out Russell Allan type stuff. I found him online through a music website and I needed a European guy for it to work this time around and I found a band from Hungry called 'Dreylands' and watched a video which reminded me of Dream Theater and I thought he looked great and had a great voice. So I sent him a message on face book and I got a reply and Is ent him an audition tape and I got it back pretty quickly and the band loved it so he got the job."
Moving on how long did it take to record the new album?
(P) "I think it took about a year to record and write. (TK) Th whole song writing process is happening all the time and there is no start or finish. We are constantly collecting ideas with riffs and melodies. I think the guitar parts took about 2 months. By the time you get everybody's schedules together and Nikola came over from Serbia to do the vocals for me and we all contribute as a band in the writing of the songs. You do need a producer to co-ordinate who is doing what and at what times. Steve joined the band rather late so we tend to do the keyboards after we have done the guitars and before the vocals go down.
The whole album is done as a demo format to begin with and we fix the arrangement and then TK gets a file with the drum track and bass track and then he can do whatever he wants with his guitar parts."
Why didn't you have any guest vocalists on this album? The last album 'Trinity' had James from Dream Theater, did you consider another guest for the new album?
(P) "Well the decision was made even when Mike was in the band we thought it would be best not to have a guest on the next album. We felt that we could do it ourselves this time around."
OK at this point TK joined the interview so I asked the band what songs from the current album are the favourites?
(TK) "Like Paul said it is hard to tell they are all our babies . The one chorus I like that stood in my head when I recorded it in my studio was 'Where is the Love?', which is the last song. I think that the vocal line is just fantastic!!"
(P) "I have got many and writing this album lyrically was very therapeutic and I was getting a lot of stuff off my chest. It was my time to speak and I had not spoke about a lot of issues which were based on the break up. I decided to put some feelings out there like songs like 'Unbreakable' was a song about the bands bond as we could of easily thrown the band in. It was similar to Dream Theater, we were not going to let somebody's selfishness to dictate to what we were going to do as a band. We just united and decided that was it and to carry on with or without you. So 'Unbreakable' was a very personal song to me. I also like the title track 'Symphony of Sin', just because of the nature of the song and it had the orchestra and giving it to them was just mind blowing."
(S) "Well the standout track for me is 'Break the Silence', it is properly one of the heaviest songs on the album. (Ed: Do you think you have brought some of Power Quest's music to Eden's Curse?) No I don't think Power Quest has come to Eden's Curse. I think to be fair when you talk about the keyboards that there are any parts of Power Quest on the new Eden's Curse. Saying that, it has been the heart of the challenge saying this is what I use to do and this is what I am doing now. I also like the song 'Wings to Fly' is another song I like, and there both in the live set so they get the thumps up from me."
(N) "Well for me my favourite songs are 'Symphony of Sin', is the song I like the most because it has all the characters of the band which has some fast and slow stuff with even higher vocal parts and it has all the diversity of the band can be shown in that song. Everybody who has heard this song that are my friends are blown away by the song and my vocals. I also like 'Evil & Divine' & I also like 'Turn the Page', it is a totally different song on the album it has a softer approach and more melodic."
(J) "I like the songs 'Wings to Fly', 'Rock Bottom', 'Symphony of Sin' are my favorite songs on the album."
So how well has the album been selling for the band since it's release?
(P) "Well it is still early days because it was out in October, we got our 1st balance sheet and it charted in Japan which is awesome! We would love to play Japan, we never have been there and we have so many great fans out there. We don't know what the sales are in the U.S. and we signed to AFM for a world-wide deal and we are so happy for what they have done for us so far. The label really love the band and since we have signed to the band they have never asked for a demo tape. They have total faith in us and they tell us they don't need to hear what rough mixes we have, they totally believe in us. We think it is so fucking cool for them to say such great things about us."
How successful is the tour going so far in 2014?
(P) "Unbelievably well, this is the 4th gig on this tour, Bolton and Wakefield were great shows. We don't have anything else booked only the UK shows at present. We have some dates for Europe that we are talking about in October and we are talking to the right people and if it comes off we will be over there doing shows. I think we will start work on ideas for the next album over the summer and hopefully recording in 2015."
Are you planning on doing any festivals this year?
(P) "No we have no plans at all this time around. It isn't easy to get on any of the bills for festivals you know, every band wants to play festivals. There are band that are bigger than us that are willing to play for nothing.. so why would they want to book us when they can get a bigger band for free? it has become hard for us."
What bands would you like to tour with given the chance?
(P) "Well I would have to say 'One Direction' (laughing) in front of 1000's. I think I would love to tour with 'Dream Theater', we did 2 shows with them and they treated us like royalty and respect and they gave us license to do how much we wanted and when we wanted and it was just a cool experience. It's about boosting our profiles and getting out there to as many people as we can."
(TK) " I would love to tour with 'Symphony X', 'Pagan's Mind', 'Kamelot', these type of bands."
So tonight is the 2ns time here in Grimsby at the 'Yard Birds' club, how much are you looking forward to it?
(P) "We loved the 1st show we did here, so to be able to play here again is great, we can't wait!!"
Well guys thanks for taking you're time out and doing this new interview, doyou have anything to say too you're fans reading this?
(P) "Yes thank you for the interview Jason, it's a pleasure meeting you again it's been a while. To our fan's thank you for your support over the years and for staying with us. Glad you like the new album and look out for a tour in October I hope in Europe and a new CD in 2015."
Thanx to Mike Exley and the band for the interview.