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BLACKENED ROCK‘N’ROLLERS PAGAN ANNOUNCE AUGUST HEADLINE TOUR IN SUPPORT OF DEBUT ALBUM BLACK WASH

The Black Wash Tour will see PAGAN carry their cross and lead a procession of electrifying live shows across Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart and Sydney over three weekends this August with local supports to be announced. They will be playing from their hotly-anticipated debut album Black Wash (out July 6 on EVP Recordings), which features the blistering lead single ‘Death Before Disco’ and favourites ‘Imitate Me’ and ‘Wine and Lace’.

Tickets to the Black Wash Tour are on sale now – full details below. Black Wash is available to pre-order from here.

A tale of emotional manipulation, destructive relationships and self-realisation played out over a monolithic soundtrack with some of the best riffs you’ll hear this year, Pagan’s newest single ‘Death Before Disco’ has seen praise from both sides of the world, including spins on triple j, BBC Radio 1, and love from the likes of Kerrang! (“Killer”), Pilerats (“riff-riddled stomper of the heaviest order”), frankie Magazine and Kill Your Stereo (“one of Pagan’s best cuts yet.”). STACK Magazine praised singer Nikki Brumen, saying she “continues to verify herself as one of the most engaging vocalists in the country”, while Hysteria Magazine simply called the track “fierce”. The ferocity of Pagan’s live show can be witnessed in the ‘Death Before Disco’ music video, which was filmed at their Holy Communion party held in their hometown of Northcote this April.

PAGAN – Black Wash Tour

SATURDAY 11 AUGUST – CROWN & ANCHOR, ADELAIDE 
Tickets available from Moshtix | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix outlets
SATURDAY 18 AUGUST – CROWBAR, BRISBANE  
Tickets available from Oztix | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix outlets
FRIDAY 24 AUGUST – THE TOTE, MELBOURNE 
Tickets available from Oztix | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix outlets
SATURDAY 25 AUGUST – BRISBANE HOTEL, HOBART 
Tickets available from Oztix | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix outlets
FRIDAY 31 AUGUST – THE LANSDOWNE, SYDNEY 
Tickets available from Oztix | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix outlets

PAGAN – Black Wash [LP]
Out July 6 via EVP Recordings (Aus) & Hassle Records (UK/EU) | Pre-order

 

 

Jen had the chance to catch up with the band.

Hi Guys,

How are you feeling with only a few days left before you release your debut album Black Wash? Have some nerves set in or are you confident that you gave your album everything you had so ……what will be will be?

I would be lying if I said we weren’t all a little bit nervous, it’s our debut album so we have no idea what to expect and the unknown is always a little scary. From the start though, we simply wanted to create something that we were happy with- and we have definitely achieved this goal. To me, this is the most important thing, everyone else’s opinions of our record are secondary. In saying that, I still really hope that people like it but as you stated, what will be will be- it is out of our control now.

 

Do you have a celebration in mind for that day?

We’re actually playing a show in Byron on the day it comes out so it’s nice to know that we will all be together, playing songs off the album. We will definitely be hitting up Byron’s finest bar and draining them of any Campari that they have in stock! I imagine we will all be a little hungover the next day.

 

I like how you have announced your tour. Pagan themes. Do you always stay in character like this when making an announcement?

From the birth of Pagan, we have always made sure to keep everything, right down to our posts on social media, very thematic. I think that a lot of people are drawn to Pagan as there is a certain mystique that comes with the band and it really sets us aside from your next hard-core band. I wouldn’t call it a character though, it is simply who Pagan is.

 

Your first single off Black Wash’ is Death Before Disco has almost hit 24500 listens on Spotify so you have a pretty solid fan base already. Is this a home crowd from touring local? (If so is there anything you can tell me about them? Like signs of loyalty or friendship, a funny story…..)

I think it must be, as we haven’t toured overseas yet! It’s a hell of a lot of plays and it feels amazing to have so many people hear a song that we worked so hard on. I think the most surreal moment we’ve had as a band was when we discovered that someone had recorded a cover of one of our songs (Imitate Me) on Youtube. We met her at our first interstate headline show in Brisbane a few months ago and she was the best! I couldn’t believe that she would want to cover OUR song? It was so flattering and just an all-round crazy moment to know that someone liked our song that much.  

 

Can we expect the sound of Death Before Disco to be indicative of the sound of Black Wash?

This is a great question as, to us, Death before Disco really sums up the entire sound of Black Wash. We actually chose this song as our first single because it epitomises everything we are as a band. It incorporates all of the things that make us sound the way we do (ie: blast beats, disco beats, my signature scream), so in short, yes, it is indicative of how the album will sound. In saying this though, we really tried to make the album as dynamic as we could, so there will be a few tracks that might surprise listeners and that may not sound like Death before Disco at all!

 

In regard to the meaning and themes of Black Wash I understand there is two themes, can you tell me a little about that?

Black Wash is essentially a break up album. I started writing the lyrics in the midst of breaking up with my ex, so the album covers the grieving process but also the healing I went through and my recovery from a dark time in my life. I use a lot of symbolism to draw on the tragedy of the People’s Temple in the late 1970s as a metaphor for destructive love. Being convinced you have found something to believe in, only to realize you were blinded by false hope.

 

Can you choose one song and tell me a little about the writing process and meaning of that song?

One of my favourite songs on the album is our most recent single, Silver. It looks at someone staying in a relationship, even though they are incredibly unhappy. I have seen so many people I know stay in toxic relationships (myself included) even though they bring out the worst in their partner- and vice versa. As soon as the music was written for this song, I already had a melody in mind, so it was actually one of the easiest songs on the album for me to write. I usually take weeks to perfect a song but this one came to me almost instantly.

 

How does your writing process go? Is it a whole band approach?

Yeah, it is definitely a whole band collaboration. We usually start with a guitar riff then Matt and Dan will work drums and bass around that. I always record a really rough version on my phone after we’ve come up with the basic structure of the song, then take it away and write to it in my bedroom. I always have a solid concept of what I am trying to say and re work the song until I’m 100% happy with it. More often than not, I’ll usually do about 10 different drafts of a song before I am happy to show the band. I think I may be what some call a perfectionist!

 

Nikki, your vocals have been described as fierce, engaging, incredible, do you have a preparation and wind down for your vocal cords? A set routine perhaps?

I always warm up before a show. Always. I studied acting several years ago and one of the most invaluable lessons I was taught was to always warm up before going on stage. Obviously, at the time, I wasn’t aware I would be using these warm ups for screaming- but vocal health is all relevant, no matter how you are using your voice! I always start with some basic stretching and then I usually like to do a ‘siren’ (to warm up my pitch), then some scales and lots of humming to get my voice ready. A lot of people find my warm up routines quite funny to watch but I don’t care. I believe that looking after your voice is so incredibly important, so if I look like a fool in the process, then so be it! It’s my tool and I don’t want to damage it. Unfortunately, I don’t often get to warm down after a show, as one of my jobs is to run over to the merch desk when I get off stage. At the very least, I’ll always try to do some soft humming while sitting there, selling merch is also a great way to cool off as I’m always a sweaty mess after a show!

 

Do you all have a preshow ritual?

Other than my vocal warm up, I do a lot of breathing to get me into the zone and help me focus before going on stage. If I’m around heaps of people right before stepping on stage, I find that it can sometimes affect my headspace and therefore how I feel about my personal performance. As a band, we always try and do a cute huddle before going on, although this isn’t always possible. I find that if we are all together right before going on, it’s usually a great show as we are all in tune with one another.

 

I notice that you are including Adelaide and Hobart in your tour I think that is great as many bands don’t. This is your first headliner tour, have you toured with other bands?

We have had the opportunity to tour with some amazing Australian bands- Totally Unicorn, Clowns, Frenzal Rhomb and King Parrot. In all honesty, some of these bands have become our best friends. We’ve been so incredibly lucky that we’ve met them and they’ve helped us to get where we are today. We also toured with Rise Against at the beginning of this year- we had the opportunity to play a bunch of stadium shows which was epic! It was something that none of us had even imagined happening, so it was surreal to say the least!

 

Can you tell us in 5 words what we can expect if we attend one of your shows?

Welcome to the Italian Disco!

 

Good one! Thanks guys. I wish you well on the tour and the release for your album.

Grazie!

More info on Pagan here

Pagan’s forthcoming debut album Black Wash is a collection of 11 songs (‘spells’, in Pagan speak) brought to life by producer Mike Deslandes, in part at Abbotsford’s The Aviary and South Melbourne’s Holes and Corners studios. Together, Nikki Brumen (vocals), Xavier Santilli (guitar), Dan Bonnici (bass) and Matt Marasco (drums), play like their lives depend on it, paying homage to their punk rock and heavy music ethics (‘The Greatest Love Songs’), drawing inspiration from the dancefloors of neon-soaked discotheques (‘Year of the Dog’) and back-alley rock and roll clubs of old (‘Silver’), rebelling against the rules and nostalgic romanticism that seem to plague underground music to this day.
 
From the album curtain raiser ‘Il Malocchio Si Apre’ (‘The Evil Eye Opens’) Nikki bares her soul, her ferocious and haunting howls navigating swiftly between the theological world the band have created through striking imagery and lyrical symbolism, and the real world in which she has lived and survived. Her emotional landscape is addressed by references to the earth and the moon, light and dark (‘Death Before Disco’), two forces which seem to play the role of the chorus in this story – the ever-important voice of reason in all great tragedies – culminating in Pagan’s deathblow, ‘Il Malocchio Si Chiude’ (‘The Evil Eye Closes’).
 
Embracing their Italian roots in an almost sarcastic fashion until it’s pretty much become serious, Paganhave charmed audiences with their unique candour and straight-up saucy attitude since forming in 2015. The past 18 months have seen them play coveted spots on UNIFY Festival, Yours & Owls and BIGSOUND, plus tour their blistering live show across the country with the likes of King Parrot, Clownsand most recently Rise Against this past February. They have baited us with a string of single releases including the “thunderous” (The Music) ‘Good Grief’ and ‘Imitate Me’, which was released after being named Feature Artist on triple j Unearthed. Last year Pagan announced their signing to worldwide label EVP Recordings and just recently signed with Hassle Records (frnkiero andthe cellabration, Casey, Petrol Girls) to release their debut album in Europe and the UK.

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