Melbourne band Pagan have just released their highly anticipated debut album Black Wash. The album does not disappoint and cements Pagan as one of the must know new heavy bands in Australia. We caught up with the bands vocalist Nikki Brumen to learn more about the album and upcoming August 2018 Australian headline tour.

SCENEzine
Firstly what’s the feeling like of finally having your debut album Black Wash out?

Nikki Brumen
It’s definitely surreal and it’s a humongous relief as well. It was something that we were working on for so long. Being our first album it’s a surreal feeling. It’s pretty incredible.

SCENEzine
Did “Death Before Disco” come together quick in the writing process?

Nikki Brumen
Some of the songs on the album were easier to write than others. Our latest single “Silver” that for me personally was the easiest song to write. It has such a hooky chorus so I knew where the guys were going with the song so I wrote it really quickly. But a lot of the songs took a long time to write because I’m such a perfectionist. We would get in the room and write the music. I’d take a demo away on my phone then write and re-write vocals. I usually do about ten different drafts of a song. “Death Before Disco” being the first single it very much epitomises what Pagan is. It has all of our noticeable elements like the screaming, disco beats and a blast beat in there.

SCENEzine
So “Silver” was written around that main riff?

Nikki Brumen
Yeah with our song writing we would always all be there, the four of us. We all put in input for what we want from a song. When “Silver” was being written it was weird I had this moment as soon as I heard the song I knew how it was going to go. That very rarely happens with me. With that song I knew straight away how I wanted it to be.

SCENEzine
What was it like making the video for “Silver”?

Nikki Brumen
My best friend is not only probably the best photographer in Australia but she also owns a beautiful winery and wedding venue on Mornington Peninsula. Being my best friend she’s the best and gives me anything I want for free. So I said to her can we film in your chapel, she said of course you can. We went down there one morning with Aiden who’s a very good friend of ours and also plays for one of my favourite Melbourne bands Private Function. He is a cinematographer, director and colour grades all of his own video footage. He shot the whole thing, directed the whole thing and I was the other creative eye on the set. We did it all in a day. He colour graded it after and edited it all. The video is very Pagan. We wanted to do a live performance video so people who’ve never seen us would know what they would get if they come to a live show.

SCENEzine
Was there a worry wearing white you were going to scuff your knees and get dirty?

Nikki Brumen
Totally, and we totally did. There’s a funny story actually. At the end where there’s the instrumental bit I get down on the floor, lean back and do a few windmills. I stood up and my jeans were filthy by the end. But when I stood up I felt something stinging my leg and I looked down and there was a giant bull ant. I’m talking a bull ant the size of a one dollar coin, it was so big. I kicked it off and was screaming. The next day the welt on my leg was eight centimetres in diameter.

SCENEzine
Apologies if you’ve been asked many times but is there a story behind why you are called Pagan?

Nikki Brumen
There’s no real reason why we called ourselves Pagan. We just wanted something sharp and punchy. I think it was our drummer Matt who said why don’t we call ourselves The Pagan’s. For some reason because it was the first suggestion and we all liked it then it stuck. When we booked our first show at my favourite venue in Melbourne The Tote. We were playing upstairs with a bunch of sick hardcore bands that we loved. The booker at The Tote actually said to us his favourite band from the seventies was called The Pagans. He said maybe you should think about changing your name. We were like fuck we didn’t know. So we cut it to Pagan after that. It’s kind of ironic because the pagan mantra is be true to yourself and don’t follow any rules.

SCENEzine
We had our first Pagan experience seeing you support Rise Against in Sydney. How was that show for you?

Nikki Brumen
That’s so cool that you were there. That was such an amazing experience. The whole tour was completely surreal. Being a bunch of kids growing up listening to punk bands for years then being able to play a stadium tour was very surreal. We are all very appreciative that we got to do it.

SCENEzine
Lastly can you give the Pagan fans some insight into what to expect on your headline tour dates?

Nikki Brumen
There’s going to be a hell of a lot of red wine. There’s going to be a lot of Italian disco beats. Basically a party for everyone who is the newest member of our family. It’s going to be a fucking Pagan cult that’s going to take over the world.

(interview by Christian Ross)

 

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