Introducing: Pagan

Pagan - Black Wash 2018 press photo_credit Andrew Basso.jpg

Let us introduce you to Pagan! Who have released this month their debut album 'Black Wash', and it is an absolutely belter! The release is a ferocious record from start to finish, and they certainly have us converted! 

We had a chat with guitarist Xavier Santilli about how the band was formed and the themes of their album 'Black Wash'. 

How did you form as a band?

From about 2010-2013 Myself, Dan and Matt all played in punk rock bands that didn’t really prosper. We always knew we wanted to do something together and Dan had known Nikki for quite a while and always envisioned doing something great with her. We played a few times with a very confusing yet unique sound erupting. Pagan was born.

Where was the album recorded? What is the reason why its called “Black Wash”?

We recorded “Black Wash” in December 2017 – January 2018 at a couple of studios in Melbourne. We tracked drums and bass and a small selection of vocals at the Aviary Recording Studio in Abbotsford. Guitars and most the vocals where tracked at Holes and Corners Studio in Southbank, all by Mike Deslandes. 
We titled the album “Black Wash” simply because a lot of the lyrical content and overall tone of the album is very dark and highly emotional, and yet furious. There’s a track titled “Church of the Black Wash” that appears as the B-side on the Death before Disco 7”. Originally that song was titled “Black Wash” with the idea of the album eventually being titled “Church of the Black Wash”, but we decided to swap them up at some point at the recording stage.

What are the themes of the album? Where did you get the creativity and inspiration for it?

A lot of the themes cover loss and pain, then realisation and clarity, then fury with a pure and ferocious candour. The creative inspiration comes from wanting to create something raw and energy driven, but not focusing on any already established bands style. Disco beats and pretty guitar parts flow freely and we think deep down every metal and hard-core music fan wants to secretly move their hips just a little at a live show. 

You have quite an aggressive sound, do you feel the band needs to be angry in order to sound aggressive?

Not at all! It’s quite the opposite mostly. I think we all grew up listening to hard-core and metal music so naturally the music takes that appearance on, but I think we all just want to have a bit of fun and let loose and party during shows and afterwards with a few bottles of Prosecco and Campari.

Who would you say is your top musical influences when it comes to the band’s sound?

In the early days we were listening to High on Fire and Kvelertak quite a bit, but as time went on other influences like La Femme, Indian and maybe even The Killers came to the table to a degree. 

The album is out! So what’s next?

So we’ve got a run of Album launch shows across Australia that kick off from August 11th, and hopefully in October / November we will make our way over to Europe and the U.K for a month or so. We would love to visit the homeland of Italy in all its glory, so fingers crossed that dream comes true for us!

Pagan's debut album 'Black Wash' is out now via Hassle Records.