Norwegian space-prog metal band Pagans Mind played a sold out show at ProgPower USA XV in 2014, that included their full Celestial Entrance album ons it’s entirely along with a set of ‘The best of’. For our fortune that show was recorded for a DVD release that is coming out now on DVD/Blue Ray/CD, and the two hours and thirty minutes of live material are electrifying as hell.
The live show used a mix of multiple angle cameras and GoPro camera shots that give the view a point of view (POV) perspective of certain parts of the show. The DVD was recorded at Center Stage in Atlanta, and venue that has amazing acoustic, which makes the sound post production of the DVD more crisper than many other venues out there.
The use of cameras in the photo pit, among the crowd and aerial shots gives an intimate vibe at the time to watch the DVD, in some occasions (and if you have ever been there) it will make you feel like you were at the venue. The musicianship of the band live is unbelievable good, to the point that I have to question why Pagans Mind is not a bigger band?
Nils‘s vocals on this DVD are amazingly good, and the chemistry of the band it’s just out of this world, one of the things that called my attention on this release was how responsive the crowd was to each of the songs, not only for the Celestial Entrance part of the DVD, but to the ‘Best Of’ set (which at times it could be a hit and miss).
The Age Of Metal reached out to the Pagans Mind camp, and we were fortunately enough to chat with vocalist Nils K. Rue about the DVD, that evening at ProgPower USA XV, how the idea of make it a live release came to be.
The Age Of Metal: Hello Nils, How are you?
Nils K. Rue: I am fine, thank you.
TAOM: That’s good to heard, and congratulations on a great DVD release, it looks amazing.
NR: Thank you very much
TAOM: Now, Pagans Mind recently played ProgPower Europe, how was that experience?
NR: It was great, it was the first time that we headlined the show. We played there three times before, this was out four-time and first as a headliner. The crowd was amazing, we had a great time in all ways.
TAOM: From an unfamiliar perspective with the European version of the festival, what are the main differences between ProgPower Europe & ProgPower USA?
NR: It’s a big difference, because ProgPower Europe is a much smaller festival, in a small city in The Netherlands. I think when we play they were around 800 people which was maximum capacity. Well, in Atlanta it tolls 1200 people, so it’s a much bigger show in the United States but as a band you are treated equally.
TAOM: At ProgPower USA XV in 2014, Pagans Mind recorded live the whole Celestial Entrance album. How the idea of playing the whole album came to be?
NR: First off, it was a wish from the ProgPower guys if we could do the whole Celestial Entrance album, because that was kind of our breakthrough album and also the album we just released it when we were invited over to play at ProgPower USA for the first time. So all this thing about the DVD being called Full Circle it’s a way of saying this circle has ended we have come back for the fifth time, and this time as a headliner and we celebrate our band and our breakthrough album by playing the whole thing, and also the ‘best of’ set in addition to it.
TAOM: At which point did you guys decided that you wanted to record this DVD at ProgPower USA?
NR: We got the idea just before we went over to play, because this would be a once in a lifetime chance to get such a long set on tape, because it was over two and a half hours of playing. So we discussed it within the band and say; ‘Hey, let’s record this and we will see what happens afterwards’. Then our webmaster and cooperator of our manager, he came out with the idea of releasing the whole thing on DVD and he started the whole crowd-funding campaign and everything.
TAOM: What was the most difficult part at the time to put this enterprise together?
NR: I always had lots to do with our releases and everything, but this time around I had nothing else to do with the release except from just playing (laughs)
So, I have not headaches, I just played the gig and everyone else is taking care of everything. So this was a very good situation for me.
TAOM: Center Stage has a capability of over 1200 people, and it was full by the time that you guys took the stage. What was going through your mind when you saw that venue so full of people before the show?
NR: You know, we have played for much bigger venues at festivals like Sweden Rock & Graspop, but the fans at ProgPower USA are very unique, because they travel from all around the world just to see your band, and other bands as well. But, that evening all those 1200 souls that were there were huge Pagans Mind fans and chanted along with the songs and the choruses and everything. So, it was a very electrical vibe in the whole venue, and of course I had goosebumps all over my arms and everything it was a magical night.
TAOM: Now, besides playing at ProgPower USA, would you be incline to tour the US again?
NR: Yeah, probably. But either it would be for a headlining tour with good venues or together with a bigger band, so we could get a good exposure.
TAOM: Closing up, what is next for Pagans Mind after the release of the Final Circle DVD?
NR: We are working really hard on recording a new album, you know everyone works from their home studio now, but we meet up for band’s sessions once on a month approximately. So that is the main focus now, very little live playing and lots of recording and writing for the next album, which we hope it would be out in 2016.
TAOM: Nils, definitely once again congratulations on an excellent DVD, and I look forward to that new Pagans Mind album.
NR: Thank you very much.