You are a few weeks after the premiere of Your new album, how do You rate the „Cardinal” after getting some rest and looking back at the material?
It’s definitely been the hardest album to make as Symphony Of Sin was such a well received album for us and to better it was no simple task. This time we really took great detail over all the parts and said "can we do this better". That whole process took the best part of two years as we worked up 30 songs and got them down to the final 12 to record. Even recording was hard because the songs had some of the most complex and technical passages that we have ever written and to get it sounding so cohesive took many hours of hard work. Listening back now we are delighted on the outcome and having just completed a UK Tour the new songs went over very well live.
I’ve been following the band since it’s beginning, I was even reviewing the debut. It’s been 5 albums since then, but „Cardinal” is definitely the most mature and best album in my opinion. How do You compare it to the previous ones?
It's heavier and it has the more technical aspects and epics songs than we've ever done before. There are of course all the Eden's Curse hallmarks - melody, riffs, big vocals and sing along hooks, that's who we are, but there's definitely some surprises!
The new album has a killer production and a genuine sound. Was it the most important part for You to achieve?
Writing the songs is always the hardest part, but we really wanted this to be the biggest production that Eden’s Curse has ever had. We travelled to Germany to record drums with Dennis Ward at HOFA Studios where Unisonic, Pink Cream 69 and Place Vendome record and the end results were magnificent. We also brought back the Dutch Orchestra who appeared on Symphony Of Sin and we used a Latin Choir too. We threw everything at this production and the end results speak for themselves.
Tell me more about the album cover – I can’t convince myself to it, but the girls look very appealing (laughter). What was the message behind it, except that You like women? (laughter)
We "retired" Eve after ‘Live With The Curse’ and the idea was to go for something completely different, yet still being a typical Eden's Curse cover. We decided on instead of one leading girl, five beautiful girls to symbolize our fifth album would be highly appropriate. The concept is part Assassin's Creed-meets-Game Of Thrones. These five girls are "up to something", potentially on the verge of committing a "cardinal sin" perhaps? The inspiration for the red, also came from the title, as in the colour cardinal red and also Thorsten bought a new red guitar. It really worked wonders the CD comes in a sensational triple gatefold digipack, designed by Thomas Ewerhard (Avantasia, Edguy), making it the best visual production we have ever had to date.
It’s a funny story.. I don’t know if You’re aware that one of the girls from the cover of „Cardinal” that also appears in the music video is not only from Poland, but she was attending to the same school as a friend from my office. It’s a small world, isn’t it?
WOW, funny indeed! Pati, the girl in red, is a great friend of ours and her Husband Wojtek took the photographs of the cover and the band.
„Cardinal” is the second album with Nikola’s Mijić amazing vocals, in my opinion Your best albums were recorded with him on board. What do You think? Do You ever wonder how would the band look with Michael Eden still in the band? Do You stay in touch with him?
I produced both vocalists and there is absolutely no doubt who is better. Nikola is a singers’ singer. I never wonder about it and no we don’t talk since he left and never will.
Speaking about band members – there is no Steve Williams in the band anymore. What happened? Did the responsibilities in POWER QUEST disallowed him to continue the partnership?
Power Quest wasn’t a going concern when Steve was in Eden’s Curse. However, when we were aware that a reunion was on the cards we knew it would take up all Steve’s free time, and sod did he. We parted as great friends!
We have a wonderful new keyboard player in his absence – actually probably the best keyboard player the band has ever had. Chrism was pointed out to me by my friend Carsten Schulz (Evidence One) several years ago and I must have liked what I heard because I bookmarked his page. I stumbled across it again and checked him out and the more I discovered his work, the more I really got the impression that he was technically in a different league from what we have had in the band before. I sent Thorsten the link and he was blown away with his Chrism's soloing and it was a case of reaching out, seeing if he liked what we did and would he be interested in auditioning, which he was. We gave him 'Utopian Dreams' and he knocked it out the park! His original audition is what you hear on the album - no oberdubs! From that point on it was all about getting to know Chrism on a personal level and thankfully he was very cool and down to earth. Thorsten worked very closely with him on the keyboard parts, as we had a lot of them written already and we pretty much let him do his interpretation, which resulted in in a really strong contribution to the songs and the sound of Cardinal. We've never had keys that loud and fast!
To promote the album You recorded a music video to „Sell Your Soul”. I know that there was an arousing company during the making of the video, so I guess that the atmosphere was hot. Tell me more about the behind the scenes of the video and whose idea were the red instruments? (laughter)
The idea was to record a fun tongue-in-cheek video with a simple plot and picture and utilise the same five girls who were on the album cover. They all come from Glasgow and the added bonus is that we could do all sorts of promotional activities, like the album launch party at Hard Rock Cafe and they appeared onstage at the Glasgow show. They are a wonderful bunch of girls and we really had such a great time together working on the project. And yes, they are gorgeous and shooting a 16 hour video in such beautiful company was NOT the worst day of my life!
As mentioned above, Thorsten bought a new red Dean guitar and we decided to build on that – red drums skins, microphone stands keyboard – it really made a great visual impact.
Speaking about arousing company – guest vocals on the album were performer by Liv Kristine (ex THEATRE OF TRAGEDY, ex LEAVE’S EYES). How did the cooperation happen and what was the atmosphere during the cooperation?
I had a meeting with our label, AFM Records, about approaching Liv and they agreed to speak to her. Two days later, I'm in a bar in Glasgow attending a leaving party for a friend moving to Australia and Liv walks in! I think to myself "My goodness, she looks just like Liv, but it can't be". Another five minutes passes and a Tour Manager I know from England walks in wearing a Leave's Eyes T-Shirt and the penny dropped - they must have been in town and I had no idea. Anyway, the TM spots me and says hello and I share the story of my label meeting and the next minute I know I am sitting with Liv discussing the song. It was fate! We swapped email addresses and touched base after the tour and she loved the song and said she'd be honored to do it. She recorded at her studio in Germany with her husband and former band mate Alexander Krull. She did an incredible job and it's one of my personal highlights on the album.
I’m aware that Pete Newdeck isn’t a part of EDEN’S CURSE since 2013, but he’s the author of the most songs. Does it mean that the new material was made when he was a part of the band or do You still compose songs together?
All of the songs were written after Pete left. We have been co-writing together since The Second Coming album in 2008 now and we remain very close friends. Pete leaving the band was so he could concentrate his efforts on pushing forward his band Tainted Nation, and explore some other projects like Blood Red Saints and Newman, but it had no bearing on our friendship and writing partnership. We feel very comfortable with each other and our writing styles that we were both happy for it to continue. A good song is a good song in my book - it really doesn't matter who writes it.
„Cardinal” is the first album with a new drummer John Clelland. How did he join EDEN’S CURSE and does his style fit the band?
John has been with us for a few years now, he actually played on our 'Live With The Curse' album from 2015 but this is the first studio release he has recorded. I actually have worked with John for a few years whilst producing some other artists and recommended him for the Code Of Silence album I produced and wrote. So when Pete announced he was leaving it was very natural for me to approach him as I knew he had what it took to become a member of the band and integrate successfully with the rest of the guys. John was also a fan of the band and didn't need asked twice.
You are seen as a band that spreads christian values, which isn’t very popular in the metal world. Do You meet any troubles because of it? I’m asking because it’s hard not to notice a rising antipathy towards this religion, even in Europe. Can You comment on that?
We are not a Christian band, but there are Christians in the band. All of the songs we write are from personal experiences and we tie it back to the band names in titles only, although we sometimes write about history like Jerusalem Sleeps or Jericho – but many Metal bands too. We don’t attract any troubles except the obvious question - “Are you a Christian band”?
Aside to a few November gigs in UK do You plan to tour in the near future? From what I know You’ve never visited Poland, is there a chance to change that?
We are supporting Freedom Call in Germany in February on a 12 date tour. Beyond that we are looking into all possibilities to tour Cardinal throughout Europe, especially at some festivals. We would love to come to Poland, but as of yet we have had no interest from Polish promoters. So until an invite comes …
I guess that’s all the questions I had, unless You want to say something special to the readers of ROCK AREA. Thank You very much for Your time and good luck!
Thank you for your support of Eden’s Curse over the years. Stay Cursed \m/
Conducted by: Marcin Magiera
Translated by Liquor King
Napisane przez RA
dnia grudzień 07 2016 ·
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