Tragedy And Serendipity - The Events That Shaped 'Digital Ritual'

25 July 2017 | 4:01 pm | Rod Whitfield

"These things happen for a reason, every little piece comes together and becomes that experience."

More As Paradise Falls More As Paradise Falls

They say hardship can lead to great creativity, and that's exactly the case for Queensland heavy act As Paradise Falls. They have just unleashed their new album Digital Ritual, and new frontman Shaun Coar joined us from his home in Brisbane recently to fill us in on the often harsh journey the band has been through to get to this point, and how tragedy affected the whole process.

"At the beginning, the boys went over to Thailand to record the album with Shane Edwards at Karma Sound Studios," he explains, "I wasn't in the band at the time, I think they were writing for a good six months before they went there. They finished the album there with that line-up, with Ravi [Sherwell, vocals], Glen [Barrie, guitar] and Danny [Kenneally, guitar] and Jon [Messer, bass] and Christian [Rady, drums]. Then Glen passed away, and then a couple of months after they got back to Brisbane, Ravi decided he didn't want to continue with the band either."

With a vocalist leaving the fold, it was decided that the lyrics and vocal lines from the completed album would need to be re-written and re-recorded in their entirety, which became a long and laborious process. Especially when Coar was already super-busy himself at the time.

"I think it would have been very early 2016 they hit me up to re-do everything," he recalls, "because the vocals were completely done by Ravi before they asked, but he quit when they were about to put an album out, and there's no point putting an album out with vocals on it from a singer who's no longer there. So they enlisted me to re-write and re-record vocals. That was a process, because I was in the middle of doing some touring stuff with Feed Her To The Sharks. So halfway through re-writing the album, I had to stop, go on tour for four months, and then come back and write. So that was just another speed bump we had to overcome."

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However, after all this occurred, the band's fortunes turned around significantly. "After we got it done, we ended up getting signed by Eclipse Records, after we put out the first single."

Coar has quite a philosophical attitude about the up and down journey he and the band have taken to arrive at this point. "These things happen for a reason, every little piece comes together and becomes that experience. And here we are!"

Even that signing to the American-based Eclipse came about in a somewhat unusual manner. The label's director Chris Poland actually heard a track completely by chance on Spotify. "Yeah, it came up on his release radar!" Coar exclaims. "Spotify is a great tool if you know how to utilise it. They do short-change artists sometimes, when you think about what artists get paid. But for a band at our level, it's fantastic.

"Chris has shown a lot of faith in us, and we're going to work hard to make sure we repay that faith."