Eden’s Curse are storming across the UK this May showcasing fourth studio album, Symphony of Sin. Interested to see how the band was preparing for the tour after several changes of personnel, I caught up with bassist Paul Logue to pick his brains.
WWRS: Cheers for speaking to the Wyrd Ways Rock Show. You describe yourself as ‘Bassist, co-founder, songwriter and General Dog’s Body’; are you the one who gets lumbered with all the weird jobs while on tour? Are you the ‘sensible one’ in the band?
Paul: Not weird per-say, I guess, but most of the mundane yet wholly necessary jobs. I’m acting Booking Agent and Tour Manager for the UK, so that encompasses everything from contacting venues, fee and contract negotiations, financial projections, routing, logistics, travel and booking accommodation….. Coupled with my band leader role of over-seeing the rehearsal files (we send MP3’s of each track to all the members minus their parts) and set-list voting; not to mention rehearsing my own musical parts – it’s a full time job.
WWRS: Tell us a bit about the new album, Symphony of Sin. What was your goal with this album?
Paul: Symphony Of Sin is our fourth studio album and the first to feature new vocalist Nikola Mijic and new keyboard player Steve Williams. It’s us doing what we do best; Big Guitars, Big Drums, Big Vocals, Big Hooks and Big Production! The ultimate goal was to make a record that 100% sounds and looks like Eden’s Curse. When our fans hold the CD in their hands they see the same imagery and logo they have grown accustomed to; and when they hear the opening riff they say – that’s Thorsten, that’s Eden’s Curse. I think we have succeeded in this! Of course the change in voice will always add new ingredients into the mix, but I personally think it’s a better flavour than ever before and the album sounds like classic Eden’s Curse with a new an improved taste. It’s fresh, it’s vibrant, it’s exciting and it’s 100% us.
WWRS: Do you have a favourite track off the album? Why?
Paul: I love every one of them, but two that spring to mind would be the title track Symphony Of Sin, because it is such an epic song and the marriage of rock music and the symphonic orchestra is always something I wanted to try out on a song. I also composed the orchestral piece in it, so to hear that come back from a professional arranger and orchestra was pretty special indeed.”
“Also, I love the track Unbreakable because writing it was very cathartic and uplifting. It’s also a bit different for us – it’s very melodic, almost like a pop song – but with a hint of a Mr Big added for good measure.
WWRS: What was the biggest challenge in the production of SoS?
Paul: Probably securing a visa for Nikola to come to the UK to record vocals. His first one was denied due to a mistake with the paperwork, so that set us back a little… But the second was fine. He now has a European passport so he can come in without any issues. The recording process itself was probably the smoothest we have had ever.
WWRS: Obviously you’ve had a bit of a line-up change recently; in general, how easy is it to settle in with new band members, and how weird is it not to have the ‘old guys’ around anymore?
Paul: That’s very easy, because in all honesty, it’s the number one ingredient for me. Obviously talent is huge, so we don’t look at people we don’t think can play our music, but how they are as a person is even more important. We’ve had our fair share of trouble with egos, so now we are extremely picky about who we wish to spend our precious time with.
Current line up L-R: Steve Williams, Paul Logue, Nikola Mijic, Thorsten Koehne and John Clelland
WWRS: You and John (Clelland, new drummer) had worked together before; were you pretty confident he was the right man for the job?
Paul: There was absolutely no hesitation in my mind whatsoever, no; and he is proving me right with every single rehearsal. Great guy and great player!
WWRS: How excited are you about the UK tour this May? Are you revisiting any venues? What’s the one you’re most looking forward to?
Paul: Very excited. It’s our first headline tour, so getting the chance to play 90 minutes every night will be special, showing off the new album songs and line up, and playing some of the songs for the first time to the UK public is beyond exciting. We return to The Yardbirds in Grimsby for the second time, where we held our first ever headline show previously, and we complete the hat trick of Wolverhampton venues with our show at The Slade Rooms which makes up the “Holy Trinity” of three venues in the same complex, having appeared at The Wulfrun Hall and Wolves Civic before. Glasgow should be special, as it always is; as it’s my home town and is heading for a sell-out… Also, can’t wait to play the famous Underworld in Camden, London.
WWRS: Do you prefer touring to studio/writing time? For you, is music more about creation or performance?
Paul: They go hand in hand with each other and I love both very much. Previously, I would have always said I was a studio guy until Eden’s Curse started playing live. Being able to get that instant reaction and feedback is just so amazing. It’s such an addictive feeling.
WWRS: What inspired you to start playing in the first place?
Paul: Some friends at school started a band and needed a drummer. I had never been behind a kit in my life but knew I had rhythm, so I said I will give it a go. I then taught myself how to play guitar and moved to bass. Going to my first concert in the early 90’s – which was Winger – just blew my mind. I thought “how cool is that” and just worked and worked at it.
WWRS: Is there one musician/performer you look up to more than any other?
Paul: There are many, but I use people like Tobias Sammet as a constant source of inspiration. Succeeding in today’s musical world isn’t easy – yet those guys have and continue to do so on their own terms. He is a super talent.
WWRS: How do you balance family life with touring?
Paul: It’s rather difficult, but having an understanding wife is key. She has seen me come from empty venues to getting somewhere, so she has been in it for the long haul. Luckily our touring only really comes around every album, with a handful of shows here and there; but what people don’t see, for a musician and their partners, is the pieces being picked up months before the event. The rehearsals, etc and me not being at home leaves them solely responsible for everything. It’s tough.
WWRS: And are your wife and daughter big fans of the band?
Paul: Yes, they are, but through their own choice, never forced. It’s difficult not to hear the music because I work from home in my own studio. So they hear me creating the pieces and then recording them, right through to completion. My wife religiously won’t listen to anything until the master is completed. I think that’s more to do with my singing voice to be honest, haha! I’m battling One Direction for my daughter’s attention right now, but she loves Eden’s Curse. She is only seven so can’t make the shows, but we will be rehearsing in Glasgow this time around (normally it’s in Cheltenham), so I will bring her to rehearsal one day.
WWRS: Do you have any crazy fans? What’s the weirdest fan request you’ve had?
Paul: We have lots of crazy fans, but their passion is channeled the right way, thankfully! I’ve had many strange ones, like, “Here’s lyrics I have written for you; please use them on the next album”; to “I’m coming to visit you, what day suits”. I’m sure they all mean well!
WWRS: What’s next after this UK tour?
Paul: Give some well-deserved time back to the family who have sacrificed, summer vacation then start working on ideas for the next album and possibly some European dates later in the year.
WWRS: And finally, where would you like to see Eden’s Curse in five years’ time?
Paul: Continuing to headline in the UK, getting lots of gigs in Europe too and with another solid selling and well received album under our belts…. Possibly shows in other territories, where we haven’t reached yet like Japan, South America and back to the USA as well. Baby steps!
Don’t miss Eden’s Curse this May, I for one will be catching them at the Wakefield date- make sure you’re following Wyrd Ways Rock Show so you don’t miss the review!