Last Day Sect - Interview

  by Fiona Hutchings

published: 4 / 2 / 2019

Last Day Sect - Interview

Fiona Hutchings talks to Tom Wilcox from Last Day Sect about tarot cards, talented collaborators, and their debut album of eerie tales.


Last Day Sect's recently released debut album 'The Gothic Novel' is a fascinating concept piece based around the band's impressions of writers such as HP Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. The band - Tom Wilcox, Paul Cuddeford and Terry Edwards - have a huge amount of experience playing with artists from Steve Harley to PJ Harvey, and adding to this potent potion are a variety of renowned special guests. The resulting musical work is a fascinating mix of sounds, words and stories that demands but also rewards the listener's attention. We sat down for a chat with the multi-talented Tom Wilcox: producer, vocalist and keyboard player. PB: You've worked with a real variety of artists between you. How did you find each other and form Last Day Sect? TW: I first became aware of Paul Cuddeford and Terry Edwards in the 90s when they were playing with Ian Hunter and Gallon Drunk respectively. However we only became friends about six years ago when we worked together on some live music projects with David Bowie’s old bandmates. We all have extremely varied musical tastes, but the common theme is an interest in the dynamic between the mainstream and the avant garde. PB: How did the idea for 'The Gothic Novel' album come about? TW: I’ve enjoyed the dark earnestness of classic gothic literature since I was a teenager and wanted the opportunity to re-tell impressions of some of those seminal stories in songs. Most of the writers whose work we have referred to on the album – HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Ernst Hoffman and others – come from the late 18th century through to the early 20th century, a span of time in which science becomes increasingly important relative to religion. You can see this curious blend of the metaphysical and empirical playing itself out in the canon of gothic literature of the time. PB: How do you approach creating music? Do the words come first or the music? TW: It tends to be music first with us, although we often write music with a theme or gothic story in mind for the song. We push each other very hard to be more causative and to avoid obvious approaches to songwriting. Sometimes it even works! PB: You work with a lot of guests and the album features a variety of different musical styles. Did you already have a clear idea in your head about how you wanted it to sound? TW: All of our collaborators brought something distinct and new to the album that we wouldn’t have found otherwise. You can hear the influence of Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie, The Cure) in particular. Reeves’s sound as a guitar player is unique and we were very fortunate to have him play on a number of tracks and for him to co-write 'The Witch House' with us. Keyboard player Morgan Fisher (Mott The Hoople, Queen) also contributed a couple of tracks to the project. He’s like an explosion of wild creative energy in the studio. PB: What would you like listeners to be left with after hearing The Gothic Novel? TW: It's more an album of texture and a subtle sense of unease, rather than being instantly gratifying. I’d like people to be left with the impression of pop songs, Dadaist art and a Victorian cemetery being shaken together in a box, and then run over. PB: Were there any Gothic stories you wanted to include but were unable to this time? Will this novel have a sequel? TW: There were many other Gothic stories we wanted to include and a few demos which didn’t make it to the album, but I suspect we’ll work with a different theme next time. If we can’t agree, Terry, Paul and I will have to settle it with tarot cards, absinthe or with a duel, or something. PB: Is there anyone else you'd like to collaborate with in the future? TW: I’d do anything to write and record a song with Steve Harley. Paul Cuddeford from our band plays guitar for him. He’s a singular, eccentric, innovative English songwriter of the highest class. PB: Do you have any planned live dates? TW: We will play some live dates again towards the end of 2019, but we don’t have the details yet. PB: Thank you.

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Last Day Sect - Interview

Last Day Sect - Interview

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The Gothic Novel (2019)
Mesmerising and terrifying concept debut album on Gothic novels from supergroup trio Last Day Sect

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