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As Paradise Falls

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AS PARADISE FALLS

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Just when they should have been celebrating the imminent completion of their debut album, Brisbane’s As Paradise Falls were left devastated by the untimely passing of guitarist Glenn Barrie.

This tight knit band were left reeling by the sudden departure of their band mate and friend and the future – if there even was one – looked suddenly bleak.

Taking time off to reflect and grieve, the band also parted ways with their vocalist and only recently revealed Shaun Coar (Vessel Born, Bound for Ruin) as the new focal point, with Jimmy Upson filling the coveted guitarist position.

After taking more than twelve months to rediscover their passion for the band and music in general, As Paradise Falls recently released their first single and video with Coar, ‘Star Blind’, a scathing critique on the modern day celebrity which also, as does the upcoming album, retains the guitar work laid down by Barrie at Karma Sound Studios in Thailand before his passing.

“He did all his tracks before he passed away,” explained Coar, “so they were actually in the mixing stages when it happened. That’s a big thing and it’s important to get it out and show what kind of guitarist Glenn was. He did some great work on the album and he was involved in putting the pieces together as far as writing so it was important to us to keep it the way it was.”

Although not being with the band at the time of Barrie’s passing, Coar says he still feels great empathy towards the situation, and says the remaining members of the band have each had to deal with the tragedy in their own way and time.

“It isn’t easy,” he agreed. “I wasn’t there when it happened but I’ve always been friends with the guys but I think they are gradually moving on past what happened. Getting the album out and getting it finished was a big part of the closure of everything and when it comes out I think they’ll feel a whole lot better about things. It was a big part of me joining up because I felt as though – because Glenn put all his guitar tracks on the album – and I feel as a last piece people needed to hear it and see what a great guitarist he was and I wanted to make the best possible album I could and honour that. The guys too wanted to put out the best album possible to pay tribute to Glenn and what a great guy he was. They’re getting there slowly. I don’t think it will ever be the same but it goes a bit step forward.”

The first step towards that recovery came recently with the release of ‘Star Blind’, a song which was not only therapeutic for the band themselves, but also the legions of fans who had been patiently waiting for new material. It marked a new direction vocally for the band, a move that while necessary, was also unchartered territory.

“It’s been great, a lot of positive feedback,” Coar gushed. “It was a bit of a risk getting it out there because the previous sound of the band before I came along there was a lot… there was no clean vocals, it was all straight heavy so we’ve changed things up a little bit and the positive reaction has been pretty much the majority. A couple of people here and there wanna hear some heavier songs which they’ll get on the album.”

The single itself is an indictment on the modern celebrity culture and is a worthy introduction to As Paradise Falls with their new line up.

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“It’s more about celebrity culture and the culture of fame in this day and age with the internet,” Coar disclosed. “People think the best thing in life is to be famous and what people do to get famous these days is completely different to what it was twenty years ago. It used to be something where you would contribute a lot more in the way of science and literacy and that sort of thing but these days you can stumble on it and not contribute anything to society and it’s more of an observation on that than anything else. I really don’t have a problem with people being celebrities; it’s just that aspect of it.”

The album, Digital Ritual, will be released in mid June, with Coar noting that the title pretty much gives away the lyrical direction.

“The album is about how people centralize their lives around digital media,” he affirmed. “When you wake up your phone is the first thing that you look at and its often the last thing you look at before you go to bed and we kind of build our lives around that and these days more than anything people are looking at their phones and not up and around them and having real life experiences. Its more observations of every aspect of that: how that has changed things… Obviously there are a lot of great positives for it. Everything is more convenient but there’s negative aspects as well and I’m just covering those things.”

“There’s some heavier tracks on the album,” he continued, “and there’s some melodic ones as well. I think ‘Star Blind’ has the most traditional song structure but there’s other songs on there a bit different. It’s definitely varied but ‘Star Blind’ is a pretty good representation but there’s a bit of light and shade in everything to give it a whole body of work.”

Considering the bulk of Digital Ritual was finalized before Coar and Upson came on board it is feasible to assume that the pair would be keen to stamp their ascendency on future material, with Coan admitting that the sound could deviate a little from its current format.

“I think we struck a note in certain parts of the album that we’d really like to explore,” he confessed. “So there will be a big chunk of that album as far as feel and mood that will be taken on but of course there will be some new stuff on the next album that I think will be interesting to pursue. That’s what I was going for. I think we’ve just scratched the surface of it musically and I would like to explore that further. As we’ve been getting through all this we’ve also been building up material for the next one and I’m really liking where we’re going with it. It’s got a nice dark mood to it that hopefully people enjoy.”

This sort of swing from totally heavy vocals to a blending of clean throughout isn’t a decision any band takes lightly but it is something that Coar says is a conscious decision and has been spoken about as a band.

“That’s just the type of vocalist I am,” he shrugged. “They knew what they were gonna be getting when they asked me to write for them and there’s definitely some clean vocals on the album already so I probably wouldn’t wanna go all out on the other end of the spectrum but I will definitely be exploring cleaner vocals. There won’t be anything too happy though (laughs). I think we’ll still be a dark band and that’s the way I wanna keep it. It’s about finding that line where everything just works well. I know sometimes when you listen to bands and you get cleans it’s too much of a juxposition from where you are full out screaming to this happier part. It’s what throws people off so if I can get that mix right I’ll be really happy.”

Written by Kris Peters

 

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AS PARADISE FALLS, MIRRORS, TROJANS
THE ‘STATE OF MIND’ TOUR

Friday, March 24th – Melbourne 18+
Last Chance Rock N Roll Bar

Saturday, March 25th – Melbourne AA
Wrangler Studios

Friday, March 31st – Newcastle 18+
Hamilton Station Hotel

Saturday, April 1st – Sydney 18+
Bald Faced Stag

Sunday, April 2nd – Wollongong AA
Mix N Mosh II – Towradgi Surf Life Saving Club

Friday, April 7th – Brisbane 18+
Crowbar

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