Interview Joe Payne of The Enid

"The Bridge was always intended to focus solely on the classical side of The Enid's music"

(June 2015, text by Henri Strik, pictures by Angelo Hulshout)

Most recently the British band The Enid released two new releases. First their DVD En Concert À Crescendo (2014, see review) and later on their latest studio album The Bridge (2015, see review) could be welcomed. This was for Background Magazine a good reason to ask the bands lead singer Joe Payne to tell a bit more about both new releases!

Joe could you first tell a bit about yourself and how you did get involved in the Enid?
It all started in 2009 when I came to their home - The
Joe Payne
Lodge Recording Studio - to make a record with another band. They quickly introduced me to their music, and I fell in love with it. Then when they started advertising for backing vocalists to sing on the Journey's End tour, I couldn't say no to that. It wasn't until about a year later that they really heard me sing solo, but they wanted to give me a chance and I knew it was the perfect band for me.

Is it true that the new album The Bridge is the first part of a trilogy and does it have a concept?
The Bridge trilogy is a set of albums used to focus on the musical development of the youngest members of The Enid. The first was used to help me develop my voice, and I think it was of great benefit. It really motivated me to exceed my potential, and I feel even closer now to knowing where my voice fits in this vast world of music. The next one will focus on Jason Ducker's development at a guitarist.

How do you work with Robert John Godfrey to get your lyrics to fit perfectly with his written music?
Robert gives me complete freedom to write whatever lyrics I like, and I'm very grateful for that freedom. But the easiest lyrics come naturally with the music when I've written the melody myself. Most of Invicta was very easy to write lyrics for, because I co-wrote the music. The Bridge was a lot harder because we didn't use any of my music. We've been saving all of those songs for the next album, Dust.

Robert John Godfrey Jason Ducker Dave Storey Max Read Dominic Tofield

How does it come that drummer Dave Storey and bassist Dominic Tofield can't be heard on the album and that the entire album sounds rather mellow and laidback?
This album was always intended to focus solely on the classical side of The Enid's music. Think of it almost as the follow up to Robert John Godfrey's The Art of Melody album, which was also designed to appeal to a classical audience.

Also it seemed that guitarist Jason Ducker has a minimal role on the album or am I wrong?
Jason's role on The Bridge is very modest, just like his personality. He is not an attention seeker or egotistical and I love that about him. It means that his parts on The Bridge were very thoughtfully created. You may notice that rather than creating lead guitar parts, he has constructed complex and complimentary layers of guitar which blend perfectly with the orchestration to give the tracks that unique sound.

Dominic Tofield was responsible for the fantastic artwork of The Bridge. Was the band right from the start aware of the fact that he wasn't just a great musician but a fantastic graphic artist as well?
Yes, absolutely. Dom was a professional graphic designer when we met him, and he has a lot of experience with it. I think he's really enjoyed making artwork for us, because we trust him to always do something amazing for us. He has complete artistic freedom, and as long as he is proud of his work we can be proud of it, too.

Can you tell me what the images on the cover of The Bridge mean? For me it looks very religious!
I have never liked having to explain what things mean to people. I would rather they used their own mind to find meaning for themselves in the art they enjoy. Dom's artwork will mean something different and personal for each person who looks at it. The same thing will happen with my lyrics. I happen to know that no-one could possible understand or relate to the true meaning of my lyrics, because they did not write them. But that doesn't matter, because it's more important that they connect with it in their own way.

The album has a hidden track titled Silence. Why wasn't it mentioned anywhere on the whole package?
The hidden track is our way of saying “thank you” to all of the people who supported us by buying this album. It isn't there for us to brag about or draw attention to. It is simply a nice gesture which we hope will surprise and bring joy to many people when they discover it.

You also have released En Concert À Crescendo on DVD, Blu-ray and CD. A release which wasn't to be expected at all. Am I right?
Yes, that was a big surprise, because we didn't know the concert was being filmed. But once the footage had been sent to us we were delighted with how great it looked and decided to release it. But we are also about to release another new concert video in September. This was our performance of The Bridge Show Live at Union Chapel, London. I feel it is our greatest performance so far, and I hope everyone takes the opportunity to watch it. You can pre-order it now on our website and there is also a trailer you can watch on YouTube (link).

Finally what are the future plans for the band and yourself?
We have a tour planned for 2016 which will be the DUST tour. We're very excited about it, and we will be working hard to make sure it is our greatest performance yet. The feedback from our shows recently has been very good, but it's so important that we keep exceeding our own standard!

More info about The Enid on the Internet:
       fan club

       review album Arise And Shine, volume 1
       review album Live At Town Hall, Birmingham
       review album Journey's End
       review album Invicta
       review album Live With The City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & The Warwickshire CYCM
       review album The Bridge

       review DVD Live at Hammersmith Odeon
       review DVD Live at Town Hall, Birmingham
       review DVD En Concert À Crescendo

       review concert 3-Sep-10, De Pul, Uden (NL)
       review concert Progdreams 14-Apr-12, De Boerderij, Zoetermeer (NL)

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