A Conversation with Clive Nolan,
Magdalena Grabias: What is the idea behind “Double Vision”? And how does it relate to “The Visitor”?
Clive Nolan: “Double Vision” is not a concept album as such, but as always with Arena there are common threads with tie the songs together. At the moment, I choose not to say exactly what those threads are, but listeners can draw their own conclusions. One song (“Red Eyes”) is dealing with internet grooming for example, another (“Zhivago Wolf”) with the way the mind can merge memories into something that didn’t happen but is still utterly convincing. “The Legend of Elijah Shade” is the first epic we have done for a while, and this is the song that returns to themes from “The Visitor” album. In many ways I think of this as a kind of continuation of the story. Perhaps we learn a little bit more about the nature of the Visitor and the purpose behind him. Hopefully this song answers some of the questions I have been asked over the years, although I’m sure it brings up some new ones.
The aim of this album was to take a bit of a look back over our past albums, as well as attending to some new ideas and influences.
MG: What part does this new album play in your current artistic life - is it in any way connected to or influenced by your other projects (like the musicals)?
CN: I always say it is about wearing the ‘right hat’. When I am working on Arena, I am not filtering in the same way I would for the musicals. Also, the big difference with Arena is that I am working with ideas from other people, which always changes the dynamic. This makes the creative process take a slightly different direction. It’s funny, but I rarely write something for Arena which seems better as material for the musicals… or vice versa.
MG: How do you feel about being in a rock band nowadays? Is there anything new we can expect from this tour?
CN: Being in a rock band is something I have done for a long time now, so I’m not sure I really ‘feel’ anything but normal. I have always enjoyed performing on stage -tThis gives you the reaction that you only theorise while working on an album. Some of my most memorable moments have been gigs! I am looking forward to this tour, as always there is that sense of the unexpected. New? Well, we will be playing a couple of songs from the new album, and I will be wearing a new shirt. :)
MG:Are you working of any new projects?
CN: I am hoping to get started properly on the ‘Dark Fables’ project, which will be a kind of rock opera that can be toured. At some stage I might try and write a third “Alchemy” musical, but not at the moment. I think the plan to turn “Alchemy” and ‘King’s Ransom” into movies is the most exciting thing, but that will also be the longest journey I suspect.