2019 is looking to be a very busy year for Melbourne’s blackened rock and roll legends, Pagan. The Evil Eye Tour kicks off this month and includes The Holy Communion II show in Melbourne. After the Australian leg of the tour, which travels through Adelaide, Melbourne, Geelong, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Wollongong, the Central Coast and Sydney, they then head to the UK/Europe where the tour includes some big festivals in the mix. Not to mention they are supporting The Amity Affliction on their tour in September. With so much going on, Pagan’s frontwoman Nikki Brumen is taking it all in her stride and is looking forward to everything this year has to offer. She starts by explaining the concept of the Holy Communion II.
“This year we are doing an all red theme, which is different to last time we did it where we got everyone to dress in white. We thought it was a fun way to do a heavy show because usually with going to a heavy gig, everyone is in black, everyone is in band t-shirts, which is great. But to do something fun like this, it is more of an event and more of a party than just turning up to a regular show. We like pushing the boundaries and doing something different and true to us. The bands we have are amazing, we have a diverse line up and it’ll be a really fun show! Blind Girls are absolutely amazing, I am so stoked they are joining us, they are so good.”
Pagan are heading back to the UK and Europe in May after only being there late last year, but this has made it all the more exciting and less nerve wracking for Brumen who enthuses about the upcoming journey.
“We are so excited to go back, it is a bit surreal going back so soon after having just been there, we were there in November, early December. We were really lucky to be able to go back and this time it is going to be a little bit different. We are playing some festivals; we’re doing Slam Dunk which is a huge festival in England, it goes for two days. Then we are doing The Great Escape which is a little bit like South By South West. Every year they sort of highlight a different country and this year is the Australian year, so we’ve got lots of friends who will be there. It is going to be a really different experience because last time we did it, it was all just our own headline shows, this time we are doing a little bit of that, but we are mixing in the festival thing as well. I am really excited to see what it is like. I have never done an overseas festival. Last time it was pretty scary going over there, not knowing if there would be like only two people there watching. I remember our first show in England, it was our second day there, it was pouring rain and it was freezing loading into this really cool venue. I didn’t go upstairs the whole time except to watch some of the support bands. I didn’t look at the crowd because I didn’t want to see how many people were there and I turned my back to the audience when we were starting. When I turned around as the first song started, I had to hold back my tears, I was like ‘this is so amazing!’ A full room, a sea of people standing there! It was just so awesome to have that response when you’re on the other side of the world.”
Brumen recently wrote ‘A letter to my former self’ which was published on Killyourstereo.com. It talked about following her dream a little later in life due to fears and things that held her back. We discussed the letter and she went into further detail.
“If I had told my 18-year-old self that I was going to be touring with The Amity Affliction when I was 31, I wouldn’t have believed it. I always knew I was going to do performance art of some kind. I didn’t think the music thing would be such a big part of my life. I have always been a huge fan or punk, metal and hardcore but I was too scared to do it. I had friends who were not very supportive and used to laugh when I told them I wanted to sing in a band. Those kinds of attitudes really do affect you especially as a woman. You are part of the minority already, so it can be really scary because you want to be taken seriously but there is always the fear that you are not going to be. I got to the age and the point where I just stopped caring, you’re never going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Art is very subjective. I don’t care if people don’t like what I do, they can listen to something else. There are people in my life who support me and there are so many amazing people I have met along the way who love Pagan and they have helped me, they drive me forward. If I am feeling tired or run down I just think about how many people who might be a part of a minority, who might be queer or trans or non-gender specific or female or whatever it might be, they might feel like they don’t fit in, I just think about how much I might inspire them to make them want to do it themselves.”
Brumen most certainly is a huge inspiration for many people through her determination, drive and natural talent as frontwoman for Pagan.
The Evil Eye tour commences on April 18th in Adelaide, tickets for all shows can be purchased via the Pagan website HERE.