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Light of Eternity cover

“In Kali-yuga, wealth alone will be considered the sign of a person’s good birth, proper behavior and fine qualities. And law and justice will be applied only on the basis of one’s power.”

Srimad Bhagavatam-

the age of darkness

the age of deception

the age of corruption

the age of fear

the age of capitalism

the fifth industrial revolution

the edge of fate

the tipping point

Paul Ferguson title

destruction

rebirth

the architects of our own wasteland

a not-so unimaginable wilderness

light of eternity

lifeless, emerging from the tragedy of the horizon

bereft of humanity

who are your gods?

where are they now?

 

what will you do?

the iconoclast

the prophet of catastrophe

the harbinger of a forsaken world

...and the eternal companion of those taken too soon 

a four track ep

edge of fate-

explode-

lament-

tipping point-

three extraordinary musicians completely in harmony, gouging their visionary landscapes from their instruments of dystopia and humanity- wall of sound riffs that at one turn make your ears bleed, the next offer a tender embrace; seismic percussion born from a fertile imagination and hunger to redefine bold brilliance; vocals that are stylistically astonishing - cinematic, classical, industrial, bombastic and highly original.

Paul Ferguson by Olga Ferguson

photo courtesy of Olga Ferguson

paul-

 

I got a message from an old Killing Joke A&R person. Actually, one of our first, his name's Alec Byrn. I haven't seen him in decades. And he said, 'I've got this friend, he's a neighbour of mine called Pauly Williams and he's got a track that I think you'd be perfect on. Would you have a listen to it and see what you think?' And I was just like, 'Well, yes'.  I'm always interested in looking out for new stuff. It was just one track - actually, the first one on LoE's first EP called Edge Of Fate. So I listened to it and I'm like, 'this sounds .... surprisingly familiar already. Yeah, I'll do this'. 

Light of Eternity lyrics

I put some drums on it. And Pauly, he was really happy with it and he asked me if I fancied doing some more, which I was, but I asked him if he wanted to have a listen to some of the stuff that I'd been working on. And he was amenable to that. And, you know, pretty soon after I'd sent him some stuff, he sent me back maybe three or four of the songs with his guitar on them. And I'm like, 'That's it. That's what I've been looking for'. 

distressed tape 2.png

This was back in August of last year and I'm already getting very enthused by this.

 

Geordie had already written a bunch of demos for Killing Joke. He had had them or a long time, and Roi (Cabaret) had put keyboards on them, I put drums on them.

 

But it just wasn't getting into the studio. I was feeling that I might as well be playing drums on something.

 

So, this started to take shape - we've been bouncing ideas off each other for the last six months now. 

Anyway, Killing Joke were talking again about going into the studio. It was going to be August 2023, then it was going to be September, then it was going to be November.

There was always something that got in the way.

This has been going on for years now - just like conflicts in calendars or whatever. 

And then Geordie died...{pauses}

......What do you do?......what do you do?

 

Everything that I thought we'd be doing {trails off}...

Geordie and I had talked about upcoming plans for Killing Joke.

 

He was writing some material that we both absolutely loved and were absolutely enthused by.

 

He wanted me to re-record the drums on Brighter Than A Thousand Suns and on Democracy.

We were talking about doing the Royal Albert Hall again, but playing Night Time and Brighter Than A Thousand Suns, which would have been epic.

 

I was so looking forward to that...

 

 

 

But yeah, out of the blue, he's gone.

 

So, you know...... it changes everything....{pauses}... changes everything....  

But at the same time, I had this other thing that was giving me enthusiasm each day, you know.

 

It was something to get up for, to not despair.

 

I don't really want to talk too much more about that right now, other than that LoE has given me a real focus on something positive and something good to take out of all this, and also a way to continue being creative and hopefully honour everything that we've done in the past, you know.  

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giles-

I remember when we spoke about in April last year a month after the Royal Albert Hall gig.

And I remember you were saying how you had so much Killing Joke written material, and you were trying to keep the creativity going with Boneyard Skullrings, then - bam - two momentous things happened in that same year - the elation and the grief.

But talking about the encounter with Pauly, he's a fantastic guitarist - I love his work with Chaos 8

-paul

Yeah.

In that sense, I really can't believe my luck. It's a sort of manifestation, you know? When you need a lifeline, and you don't even know it?

 

I turn around, and oops, there it is. I'm nothing but blessed. I am a lucky bastard, in general. I mean, you know, I've had a few ups and downs. But all of the downs could have been so much worse. I'm like, wow, I got away with that, you know, or that didn't happen when it could have, or having a physical accident that makes you not be there when the plane crashes, that kind of stuff.

 

 

And this, really, is another one of those situations that I was very cognisant of as it was happening. 

paul-

This guy, that I was unaware of, suddenly shows up in my life and is a very, very easy writing partner and an incredible guitar player.

So, yeah, it does feel like the universe is looking after me. One way or another. And then there's Fred. I have always loved Fred. He's got an amazing voice.

But we drifted apart when that band that we had together - Crush - sort of fell apart years ago. I went off and started playing with The Orb and then Murder, Inc. and, you know, one thing led to another.

And I always felt a little bit like, you know, I said I'd do something with Fred, but it just hasn't happened yet. 

And then with this, I was actually cycling around the park listening to some of the stuff that Pauly and I had done and I was thinking 'what kind of voice would you put on top of this?' And, you know, with it being a bit sort of industrial or whatever at that point, we could have gone down the road of the typical snarly, cookie cutter sort of vocal, but what would that achieve? And then I started thinking about, well, maybe a bit more of a crooning sort of voice might work, someone with a David Bowie-ish style. So when I got back from my bike ride, I was talking to my wife, Olga, about it and she immediately said “what about Fred?!' Bam! Her idea was just perfect, so I thought, ‘ok, I'll ask him, you know, he's got a family, he's got a job and whatever. I don't know if he's going to be interested in getting involved in something that's like, a little harder sounding than what he's been used to'. And, surprisingly, he said, 'Yeah, I'm in, send me some stuff and let me put some vocals down'. And, you know, Pauly and I were both 'OK, yeah, let's see what it sounds like'. But he did Edge Of Fate. And it was like, 'That's it. That's exactly it.' And we know that he's got such a presence with his voice. You could listen to his voice alone, it's that good. 

giles- 

That's a really good point

paul-

It's texture, it's emotional, it's evocative. You can see the range that he's got on these four tracks.

Take the track Lament, which is deeply emotional. Obviously the riff tears your heartstrings a little bit, but his voice does it all. It does it all.

So again, I'm blessed to finally hook up with with this guy that I'd always wanted to do something more with.

And here it is in a project that I'm feeling very proud of.

giles - 

I agree 100% - at times Bowie-esque and then some more with the dynamics of his range. and also your point about having an almost unexpected vocal, something different to the norm for that expansive, kind of echo chamber sound.

I think it works so well with the huge riffs and huge drums. It'd be quite something to hear you live!

 

paul  

Well, we're hoping to get that far - hahaha! I mean, it's obviously not an easy game to play music.

With us all living in different places as well - as was with Killing Joke - it is an extraordinary expense to

bring people together to get them in the same room....which I hope we can overcome as I do fancy the idea of us doing some shows next year.

 

giles -   

I think that there'll be a lot of excitement if you can sort the economics and logistics out. As we're doing this - about 10 days before your EP release - I can see how much interest is building in it. Not surprising given how strong the tracks are.

 

paul 

Thank you, I almost daren't imagine!

 

giles -   

So tell us a bit about where Fred and Pauly are living now..

 

paul 

So Fred's a New Jersey boy and he now lives near Nashville. And Pauly's in the north east of Thailand and he's going out on tour with Chaos 8 in a few weeks. 

Intense distressed black.tiff

giles- 

What themes are everyone bringing into LoE?

paul-

For me, it's actually the same stuff as my solo BPF stuff and the themes in some of the Killing Joke songs - like I Am The Virus, for example.

And, often people's ambivalence towards where we're being herded collectively. I mean, it really does feel like everything's being changed for us, and we're just having to accept it:

if you don't have the app, you're not getting in, y'know?

I struggle with the mindset that we're creating in people....unwittingly taking away their capability of rational thought and reason that's just dependent on the thing, you know.

That disturbs me and you'll see it reflected in so many things, you know, road rage or just general impatience. And, you know, obviously COVID didn't help any mindset at all.

But, to me, it's all really this sort of fragile moment that we're in, where humanity actually doesn't have much of a choice as to the trajectory we're taking.

giles-

-

I often think about Big Tech and how companies like Amazon - for example - have changed our behaviours.

That impatience you mentioned, order something today, get it today and if you don't get it today/immediately/now, you're complaining and wailing.

For all that it was supposed to democratise and revolutionise, I really believe it's made us more materialistic, more impatient, it squeezes small businesses and at the end of it, the ownership structure of Amazon ensured that the wealth stayed in one person's hands.

It's a dinosaur model despite what it claimed to be the future..

paul-

Yeah, absolutely. And it is a systemic thing that is eating itself. The foundation of capitalism is constant growth. We alway get into a diatribe about this, don't we?!

But the thing is, I find the conversations encouraging.

You know, our  rantings about these topics and what's going on might be futile, we might be able to do very little about it, but it's encouraging at least that you can have a conversation with certain people.

That itself is a source of comfort.

I mean, you know, we wake up each day just trying to make the best out of it and find some reason to contribute in some way.

giles-

I went to see a talk by John Robb recently, he was talking about music and his life in music.

And, you know, John's such a great speaker and I find he has such an open mind about life and the future and the title of his talk was 'Do you believe in the power of rock and roll?'

Just that question made me think about whether music does have any real power, y'know?

Music has always been about rebellion of one form another ever since people started playing music, and I thought, you know, aside from the music 'industry' being such a dinosaur, elitist institution, artists do still have the power, it's just different now - some artists have incredible reach through their social media platforms, whether they choose to use it is a different matter - and each small action can have an impact.

Light of Eternity Lyrics
LoE logo.jpeg

paul-

Despite how we are being herded, each one of us has still got control of the one important thing that we possess, which is our mind.

 

It's up to us how we use them.

 

You can use your mind to manifest for good or ignore your mind and just consume. As long as people manage to talk about or create something that reflects a more sustainable - I'm getting a bit sick of that word being so overused - life or way of being, then yeah there's a chance.

 

But having said that, the rot has already set in to corporatise everything.

 

And they're desperately piling money into it, or bombing it, or whatever they need to do to hang on to power and to the structure that they've been feeding off for generations.

 

But, yeah, Rock and Roll has a chance at least of being a termite!

giles-

I imagine the feeling in the LoE camp is pretty inspired...

paul-

Yeah, and it's a feeling I haven't experienced in a while and not to this level.

I mean, it's been well documented that with Killing Joke, that it could be really difficult to get consensus on ideas, so to keep bringing ideas to the table knowing that there might be a struggle to get that consensus takes resilience.

I mean, that creative tension worked so well in many respects, but it can take its toll.

So, with LoE, to have the three of us very much aligned, it's kind of refreshing.

It's a different thing. 

giles-  

Has what other people think of what you do bothered you over the years?

paul-

Oh yeah, absolutely. In the early days, yes, of course. I mean, you know, that's kind of why I fell out with certain people a long time ago, because I saw their actions as a reflection of me. And I was embarrassed by it. But, I'm happy to say that, you know, through the school of hard knocks, I've learned a lot from not being in a band. I learned a lot about life, you know, about having to get a job and take yourself out of that ego space and just do the job, do the work, you know, do something meaningful or whatever. And I'm very thankful for that. Because, I learned far more about what I was capable of doing. And it also knocked the ego right out of me. And, you know, I'm happy for that because self-delusion is a disease. 

giles-

Well, I guess that it can be difficult to have a different perspective on your situation unless you're removed or you remove yourself from it...

paul-

Yeah, indeed.

So, I'm with people that have had similar experiences in the sense that they've had professional careers outside of music.

They know what it's like to relate to real people in real jobs. And they're still very talented musicians with something to say, and now with a project that they can put their talent into.

 

And, you know, we'll see where it takes us.

Light of Eternity cover

giles-

what was it like getting back in touch with Fred?

paul-

I haven't been close to him for years, but we never lost contact with each other.

Maybe it's a male or age thing or whatever. But in my case, in particular, I feel like I don't really need to talk to everybody that I know and all my friends because when I see them and talk to them, it's like, we're right back there again.

I know that so much happens in everybody's life in those intervening times, so it can mean that you're not actually seeing the real path that they're on or whatever, but with Fred, I love the man and to ask him to do this and perform to a level that is probably the best ever in his life is just fantastic.

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giles-

I had a similar experience where I lost touch for 30 odd years with my best friend at school. I remember us, at a school house party, trying to convince the rest of the party that putting on some Einsturzende Neubauten was a great idea for cranking up the party. And us getting very short shrift on that idea {laughs}. And then when we got back together, it was just like we'd spoken the other day.

paul-

When I met Fred at a bar in New York, I lived right above a really cool bar called The Mission. They played 80s music - gothic, industrial and so on. I lived above it and Fred was there all the time. And that's when he was starting his band The Ancients.  And the man that owned the bar, Rob Sacher, he was always feeding me free drink. So, I was like "OK, sure, this is my local!" {Laughs}. But Fred asked me if I would play drums on a couple of The Ancients' tracks. I had this other project - Crush - going on at the time. And Crush were recording some stuff and the singer and guitar player that we had did not get on at all. It was getting to be a really tense situation. Anyway, the singer walked out right at the end of this record. So, Fred came and auditioned for us. We needed a singer, you know, this material is all recorded, lyrics are written, everything but we needed to replace the voice on a lot of the songs. Fred came in, and it wasn't his thing at all. And it took a lot of goading, you know, like, 'no, again, do it again, do it again', to a point where he and I almost fell out because I was pushing him so hard {laughs}. But he nailed it. He absolutely nailed it. And that's where we started. It was through this really uncomfortable situation. But, you know, kudos to Fred. He's also a really funny guy. And, you know, his humour has managed to see him through some very difficult situations. It's an absolute pleasure to be working with him again and on a project where he's doing what he's comfortable with doing.

giles-

And I assume from that, that each of you come with your own ideas that convey your own interpretation of what the band means to you.

paul-

Yeah, absolutely. We have not put any guardrails or anything on this. Whatever you feel you can be proud of. Do that.

giles-

So......timelines?

paul-

Yep, the first EP is out on 1st June and there's another EP in the pipeline. Pauly and I have both got a few commitments and Fred's got some family stuff that he needs to deal with over the next couple of months so so we're not going to be able to get these next batch of songs finished immediately but the plan is to have the second EP out before Christmas and then another one following that. We've got lots of material that just needs knocking into shape. So yeah, this first one is coming out - digitally initially on Bandcamp - on 1st June and we're working on getting some vinyl editions together, T shirts and all that stuff.

giles-

I'm so excited and pleased for you all, but especially for you, Paul, after going through so much.

paul-

Thank you. ...{pauses}...

 

I'm starting to get emotional again....

 

I hope that it actually touches a spot that will help other people get through their grief about the demise of what we were all really excited about at The Royal Albert Hall. I hope it fills that little void that's been left until whatever transpires next.

 

But for me at least, it is filling that hole for me and with the power of good intention as well.

giles-

Music is always there for you, isn't it?

It's always your friend

it's so powerful when you go through loss as significant as you've been through.

paul-

It's amazing. There are songs that I haven't listened to for decades. And something can come on, and I know every single word of it, and I'm back in the room when I first heard it. And that in itself is magic. Because, you know, we get on with our lives, our brains are full of what's happening now and what we're doing next, all these projections, and that little trigger to take you back to exactly where you were, exactly what you were doing, things that you haven't thought about in years. 

-it's a touch of magic, right?

dedicated to the memory of Geordie Walker

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