Can you tell us about your change of vocalist since the last album?
Since 'Trinity' we've parted company with our original singer Michael. It was his decision to leave and it was down to money. We'd just come off the two biggest shows of our career supporting Dream Theater and he came forward and made a financial request of the band. We're all weekend warriors, and all have full time jobs except for him.
It had taken six years to get to the point where we were breaking even, which shouldn't be underestimated given our transatlantic set up as it literally costs thousands of pounds to put Eden's Curse together in one room. It didn't matter what he requested as we didn't have the money to give him. But he insisted and was unable to back down. We didn't want him to leave, but it was basically the meeting of two immovable objects. We then found Marco Sandron, who is an amazing singer, but his personality wasn't in keeping with the rest of the band and there was also a language problem. We were all really unhappy so we decided to cut our losses.
Was there any thought when Michael left of saying 'let's call it a day', or even continuing under a new name given his adopted surname?
No, and I think that was the key point. Michael's real name isn't Eden, it's a stage name he gave himself after we named the group. It's not a solo band, Eden's Curse has always been about the collective. Michael never submitted a single original song idea in the six years he was in the band, so it wasn't like we were losing the main writer. Sure, his voice was a big part of the sound, but so is Thorsten's guitar playing. With all that in mind, it was clear we had to continue.
How did you find your new singer, Nikola, and what made him the right guy?
We found Nikola through a website called Lion Music, singing for a Hungarian band called Dreyelands. He also sings for Alogia in his native Serbia, where they're probably one of, if not the, biggest rock band in the country. He's only 33, but has already played hundreds of shows and even opened for Whitesnake in his national football stadium in front of 15,000 people.
We reached out to him on Facebook, encouraged him to audition and it was great. He recorded three Eden's Curse songs and we also gave him a new song to record, which turned out to be Evil & Divine. When we sent it to him it was three minutes long and by the time it came back it was five minutes. He'd added in a whole section after the guitar solo to highlight his vocal, which was great as it showed he was a good arranger and producer too.
Is the orchestral intro to 'Symphony Of Sin' an original piece of music, because it almost sounds like a Morricone score?
I wrote it myself and that's high praise indeed! I play a limited amount of piano but I have a good setup at home where I programmed the whole orchestral piece, with all the cellos and violins etc, into the midi. We found this chap - Frank Van Essen - on the internet who wrote and arranged it for an orchestra to perform. When we got it back it was this 46 piece orchestral part and it blew me away. I can't wait to use it to open shows as that's what it was written for.
'Symphony Of Sin' is undoubtedly an Eden's Curse record but there are some new twists along the way. For example, Unbreakable adds a more commercial edge to your sound. Was that a conscious decision or something that developed during the writing process?
I think it just developed naturally. With this record we maintained the strong melodies but pushed things a little further on Unbreakable which, although different, is still very Eden's Curse as it's got huge melodies, great lyrics and big hooks. I don't mind admitting that when I heard the final mix I wept with joy, because it's the culmination of two difficult years and a lot of hard work. It's the audio equivalent of everything I wanted Eden's Curse to become.
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