The Enid are working on two albums to be released next year, frontman Joe Payne has confirmed.
The Enid plan 2 albums for 2015
Exclusive: Operatic work to line up beside Invicta follow-up - as band release demo of Barclay James Harvest cover
One will be the expected follow-up to acclaimed 2012 record Invicta, their first to be fully led by vocals. The other is an operatic work which will mainly feature Payne alongside Robert John Godfrey.
The veteran composer and arranger has been working to rebuild his band for a future without him, after confirming he's suffering from Alzheimer's disease. As a result Invicta saw more input from the younger additions to the lineup, and that's set to continue with new percussionist Dominic Tofield having recently joined the ranks. Godfrey will remain on board until a replacement is found, but he no longer leads the band.
The Enid are currently writing and rehearsing in Germany, from where Payne tells TeamRock: "We have a title for the third album in our trilogy but we won't release it until we announce the record. The working title is Reset – the concept for the trilogy was originally Robert's and we've been sensitive to his vision, but the process is so organic.
"One of the biggest reasons Invicta was so different to part one,_ Journey's End_, is that there was new blood throwing ideas into the pot. The same is happening for number three. But the emotional themes remain. This new work was always supposed to be about hitting the reset button and seeing what happens. With the new generation taking the band forward, Reset is more than just a concept – we're living it."
Meanwhile, Payne and Godfrey are developing their operatic project, which is to be released before the next Enid album. The singer says: "Although it's going to be a classical work, I have no intention of playing safe for the classical market. All genres are guilty of dressing things up in an attempt to pander to an audience. Fuck that! I want to make people feel so intimate with the vocals that they're nervous. I want it to be dangerous with no going back. And I want to make the climaxes spunkerific – yes, I just said 'spunkerific!'
"We want to make an operatic album because we think opera is great. It's fascinating; I'm learning so much and it's become a bit of an obsession."
The hunt continues for Godfrey's replacement, but Payne reflects: "We can't force someone to be right for The Enid. You either get it or you don't. When I say 'it' I mean the whole culture of the band – we live together, eat together and sleep together. None of us are alike in personality but we love each other like a family. We all have functionalities essential to our survival, and most importantly we're all working towards the same cause rather than pulling in different directions.
"We're looking for a new member, but not necessarily a new Robert. That would be like restocking a fish tank every time you get a floater…"
The Enid will perform at the Resonance Festival in London on August 2 and the Crescendo Festival in France on August 23. Both sets will include performances of Barclay James Harvest track Mockingbird, which the band will never perform again. Payne says: "Did you know Robert was the un-credited writer and arranger for that song? But that's a story for another time." Hear their studio demo below.
The band appear at HRH Prog 3 in March 2015 and plan to add UK tour dates to next year's schedule.