ED HALE INTERVIEWED IN LIQUID HIP – PART 1

Liquid Hip Magazine interviewed Ed Hale in it’s April 25th edition in a piece entitled Ed Hale On Your Heroes And Villains.
“These bands that get in the studio for two years and are forced to record 50 to 70 songs in order to come out with 10 tracks and the record companies are still not happy … they’re looking for ‘hit singles’ rather than a great fucking album. Well, we haven’t been working that way. — Ed Hale And The Transcendence
Nothing Ed Hale does is by the numbers. Even his band, Ed Hale And The Transcendence, isn’t structured like others. It includes five core members, five guest members on every record, and another five musicians who sit in with the band for live productions. That doesn’t count Karen Feldner, who has provided vocals for the band since their first album, Rise And Shine.
Yet, despite its sheer size and scope, the band has managed to maintain a distinct sound, even if it is one that can be hard to pin down. Their fourth studio album, All Your Heroes Become Villains, has been described as everything from a concept album of Brit-pop and world music to seventies glam rock and progressive alternative, but it is really something else all together. Continue reading…
“It wasn’t supposed to be a concept album, but we were trying to make sure the songs were connected in some way because critics had said our albums ‘weren’t cohesive enough.’ We didn’t know that was one of the rules to making albums,” Hale laughs. “It was only later, with a lot of it coming from DJ Kamran Green, that we started hearing how the songs could be tied together. This guy smoked more pot than anyone I had ever seen in my life. He’s got this medical marijuana card, right? So he smokes out 24-7!”
It was also Green, Hale says, who would stay up after everyone else had called it a night between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. When the band would return in the late morning, Green would still be working — creating brilliant little snippets of music that would be incorporated in all the songs, tying them together, and giving it a “rock opera” like quality.
All Your Heroes Become Villains is a collection of personal insights.
One of the most powerful songs on the album, “Blind Eye”, carries a potent message. Hale has always been regarded as an outspoken social and political activist, but this song throws its hands up in the face of everything, moving from protests that feed the system and toward passive apathy, just to survive.
“Sometimes I want to feel that way. I did when I wrote it. I mean, regarding how evil all the governments of the world are, yes, I feel that way,” Hale said. “You and I know that I can’t get into that here, in a public domain. But that’s what the song is really about … the fact that we are forced to turn a blind eye to all of it.”
Instead, Hale points to a host of entertainers that mostly stay away from politics and take matters into their own hands. People like Bono for his work in Africa, Sting and his wife Trudy saving rainforests in Brazil, and Matt Damon attacking water shortages, he said. Instead of trying to change legislation, he points out, they go out and get it done.
“Blind Eye” isn’t the only politically charged song on the album. “We Are Columbine” is equally poignant, laying the ownership of what Hale considers injustices on the societies that make them possible. Musically, it’s one of the best rockers on the album. Lyrically, it is among several songs Hale says he didn’t write as much as they wrote themselves.
“It’s a hard song to stomach if you don’t agree with the position it takes,” says Hale. “It didn’t take anything to write, but I had to ask myself if I had the courage to write it. To say those things.”
To read the complete article head to Liquid Hip online by clicking here.

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“NEW ORLEANS DREAMS” RISES TO #16! NOW RECEIVING NEARLY 1000 SPINS PER WEEK!

You read it right! Ed Hale’s latest single, “New Orleans Dreams”, is now receiving almost 1000 spins per week on over 150 radio stations across the United States, making it the #16 most popular song in America in the Adult Contemporary radio format, according to FMBQ the radio tracking agency. Congratulations to Ed and his band of merry pranksters! Fernando PerdomoZach ZiskinRoger HoudailleMatthew SabatellaGreg ByersRicardo MazziBill SommerKaren FeldnerDJ Kamran Green, and Cynthia Kivlan.

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NEVER BEFORE SEEN FOOTAGE FOUND OF ED HALE SINGING “NEW ORLEANS DREAMS” IN THE RECORDING STUDIO


This never before seen footage brought to us via Fernando Perdomo, lead guitarist for Ed Hale and The Transcendence, and singer/guitarist of the band Dreaming In Stereo. Perdomo engineered and produced Hale’s Ballad On third Avenue album in his Cave Studios. He also played many of the instruments on the album and sang background vocals. What we see here is Hale adding a second lead vocal to the song after singer/songwriter Matthew Sabatella had already laid down his background harmony vocals. Hale had already recorded his main lead vocal on the song and thought the song was finished.
Co-producer and bassist for the album, Roger Houdaille (also in Transcendence and founder/singer/guitarist of the band Ex Norwegian), listened to the completed rough mix of the song and felt that Hale’s vocals “could be better” and urged Ed to give it “one more try.” Needless to say, Hale wasn’t jumping up and down to do so and argued passionately against having to “sing the whole effing song over again!” Especially because the background vocals were already on the tape — which meant that he would not only have to attempt to “sing a better lead”, but he would also have to try to perfectly match all the background vocals that were already on the song or they wouldn’t be in sync. “I can honestly say that I felt one hundred and ten percent sure that the vocals we had already tracked sounded great!” says Hale. “But Roger kept making these ugly faces and saying that they were way out of tune. I just couldn’t hear it. But I trusted Rog. I mean, he’s not a sadist or anything. He had to have a point. Eventually they talked me into it. And yeah, now, obviously, I’m very glad I listened to him.”

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ED HALE JUMPS TO #33 ON THE ADULT CONTEMPORARY TOP40 CHART THIS WEEK

“New Orleans Dreams” — the latest single from Transcendence singer Ed Hale — added an additional 100 spins on Adult Contemporary radio stations across the US last week and picked up 3 more stations, pushing the song up to the #33 spot on the FMQB Top40 Chart! The song is in its sixth week since being released and there seems to be no stopping the politically themed acoustic ballad.
The event is certainly one to celebrate for fans, as this is the first entry into the slightly tamer Adult Contemporary radio format for Hale or his bandmates in the group Transcendence. “We are absolutely ecstatic around here about this,” exclaimed Hale. “Everyone at the radio stations has been so cool to us and the new fans that we’re connecting with on Facebook and Twitter are awesome. It’s been an incredible couple of weeks and we just feel very very grateful…”
The song “New Orleans Dreams” is available for download in both a shorter “radio edit” version and as the full length album version on iTunes (US)iTunes (UK) and Amazon.com as well as numerous other online music etailers. Fans new to the singer can connect, learn more about the artist and hear more songs via Facebook or Twitter.  And for those interested in the long running indie-rock collective featuring Hale, Dreaming In Stereo‘s Fernando Perdomo, and Ex Norwegian frontman Roger Houdaille, Ed Hale and The Transcendence, listeners can head to the bands website transcendence.com or Facebook Page.

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“NEW ORLEANS DREAMS” HITS #43 AND THE TOP 5 MOST ADDED CHART FOUR WEEKS IN A ROW

It’s a dream come true for eclectic singer/songwriter Ed Hale of the rock group Ed Hale and the Transcendence (formerly Transcendence). His latest single “New Orleans Dreams” has risen to the #43 position on the FMQB Adult Contemporary Chart this week and once again hit the Top 5 Most Added Songs of the Week Chart for the fourth consecutive week since its release.
For long time fans of Ed Hale the news has got to be as much a “dream come true” as it is for the singer. Hale has been a favorite with critics and tastemakers since his debut album release nearly nine years ago, but he has never achieved major commercial radio success.  That is until now. Fans can feel free to pinch themselves all they want and still tune their radios to “those stations that play the softer hit songs” on the FM dial to hear the indie artist singing the “Radio Edit” version of  his song “New Orleans Dreams” from his latest solo album Ballad On Third Avenue.
Fans are encouraged to put their listening ears on and get those fingers out. The next few weeks will be crucial for Hale and fans as the higher the song rises so too does the competition. In uncharted waters much like the floods of the post-Katrina South that Hale sings about in the song, “New Orleans Dreams” needs to rise just three more spots to enter the Top 40 Chart where it will be greeted by such regulars as AdeleColdplayTrainOne Republic, and Lady Gaga. A big coup for the New York based boutique indie record label Dying Van Gogh. And an even bigger coup for an artist like Hale who has never wavered from continuously releasing music regardless of which “format of radio” plays his albums or not.
Of course a Top 40 hit single less than two months before the long awaited new Transcendence album All Your Heroes Become Villains is released could do wonders for the modern rock outfit who haven’t released an album of new material in almost five years. Three of the band members released solo albums in the interim: Hale, bassist Roger Houdaille formed the indie rock sensations known as Ex Norwegian, and lead guitarist Fernando Perdomo formed the “prog-pop” super group Dreaming in Stereo.

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HALE TO START RECORDING NEW ALBUM – LISTEN LIVE WITH RYAN SEACREST!

Ed Hale is returning to New York this week to begin working on a new solo album. Transcendence bassist and Ex Norwegian front-man Roger Houdaille is set to produce. The album Hale was originally scheduled to begin recording was supposed to be a followup similar in sound and style to his last acoustic whisper-pop Ballad On Third Avenue; it was titled Born To Lose, based on the song of the same name. But word now is that Hale and Houdaille have changed things up and have been discussing Hale creating an album blending more commercial, pop, and electronica styles into the mix. The album has been tentatively titled Knee Deep in the Apocalypse and contain a whole new batch of unrelated songs to the original project. It is scheduled to begin production on April 2nd. “The Born to Lose album was already finished, you know, in my head, the album is finished. The songs, they’ve already been written. This new album was supposed to just be an extension of the Ballad On Third Avenue album. Same vibe, same style, just more raw, less instrumentation, you know. And we may still do that. I’m not sure really,” Hale recently commented. “But it’s true. We are really excited about this whole new idea of going a bit more mainstream. I mean I just, who would ever think it? You know? It could sound incredible.”
Hale will talk more about the new album, as well as his hit single “I Walk Alone” live with Ryan Seacrest on New York’s Z100 radio station on Monday morning, April 4th. Listen in to catch the show or look for it online.

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ED HALE TO BE INTERVIEWED FOR ONE HOUR TV PROGRAM TO AIR IN VANCOUVER BC NEXT WEEK

The power of pop music, the challenges of life on the road, converting to Islam, making babies, getting in and out of Iran, Peace in the Middle East, the illegal invasion of Iraq. All topics surely to come up in the next episode of ICTV’s television program The AfterHours Show, the full hour which will be dedicated to the American singer/songwriter turned activist Ed Hale. The one hour show will air on SHAW Channel 4 in Vancouver, BC three times next week, Monday and Tuesday at 11:00AM and Saturday at 10:30PM. For fans who want to get in on the action and on TV, the Channel 4 camera crew and the show’s host Ebby Mohseni will be filming Hale’s final concert of his West Coast tour at the Railway Club in Vancouver at 8:00PM. Full details are available on Hale’s Facebook Page.
Hale has been mesmerizing audiences touring the West Coast of the United States and Canada for the last two months with a four piece band made up of his hypnotic vocals, Cheshire Cat grin and signature open-tuned acoustic guitars, two cellists, and virtuoso keyboardist Peter Capelle who provides everything from ambient electronica to straight up mind-blowing piano embellishments. The band has performed in major cities from Los Angeles to Seattle promoting Hale’s latest solo magnum opus entitled Ballad On Third Avenue. Their final concert of the tour in Vancouver is being filmed for use in the next episode of the weekly television series The AfterHours Show. The show will also feature extensive interview footage with the singer, who will hopefully shed some light on the recent rumors about the breakup of alt-rock supergroup Transcendence, which Hale has fronted for ten years, which also includes Ex Norwegian singer Roger Houdaille and Dreaming In Stereo guitarist Fernando Perdumbo. The critically acclaimed indie band’s record label is months away from releasing their long awaited new album All Your Heroes Become Villains. Leaked copies of the band’s last recorded work have garnered hyperbolic raving reviews in the music blogosphere for over two years, but rumors abound about the album’s release date being delayed due to the band’s secret demise while the members have busied themselves with various solo projects.
Regardless of whether the Transcendence mystery is cleared up or not, Hale will certainly make for an intriguing subject on Mohseni’s AfterHours Show. Controversy, mischief and intrigue are as ubiquitous when Ed Hale is in front of a camera as are his always present scarves and eye makeup. History, politics, art, music, beauty, truth, philosophy, sex, technology and design and just about anything else pop-culture usually abound whenever the singer is interviewed. Not to mention a conspiracy theory or two. Viewers can also look forward to discussions about Hale’s recent interfaith wedding and subsequent conversion to Islam, his upcoming trips to Pakistan and Israel/Palestine, as well as his non-profit organization PeaceWithIran.com and his controversial meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last year at the United Nations. All this while openly professing to be “an active practicing Christian and member of the United Methodist Church, but entirely understanding and empathetic to our fellow atheist brothers and sisters around the world…” make Hale an enigmatic figure. Perhaps Mohseni and company are biting off more than they can chew in a one hour show. But hey there’s always the sequel!
ARTIST WEBSITES: www.edhale.comwww.myspace.com/edhalewww.facebook.com/edhalemusic
ASCOT MEDIA’S CONTACT INFORMATION
Rodney Foster – Ascot Media Group, Inc.
rfoster@ascotmediagroup.com
281-324-2180

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ED HALE NEW SOLO ALBUM DEBUTS AT #14 ON COLLEGE RADIO MOST ADDED CHART

Turning the volume down low and showing a softer side has paid off for Transcendence singer and chief songwriter Ed Hale on his newest solo offering. The life or death drama and pathos and over the top emotionalism and passion that listeners are accustomed to hearing from the vocalist are still intact on the new solo set; in fact they’re even more highlighted due to the toned down and hushed atmosphere created by Hale, who co-produced the album along with fellow Transcendence guitarist (and Dreaming In Stereo frontman) Fernando Perdomo. Not only will Ballad On Third Avenue be the singer’s first album to receive airplay on commercial radio nationwide out of the gate, but the new acoustic whisper-pop collection of 11 songs debuted at #14 on college radio’s CMJ Top 200 Most Added Chart this week, the highest debut in the singer’s 20 year career. Out of 200 albums currently spinning on college radio this week it is a remarkable achievement considering Hale has not toured in several years and is a relative unknown compared to the behemoth his better known band Transcendence has become over the last ten years.
Besides a praise-worthy debut, the album also notably picked up several key taste-maker stations including WKBU of Drexel University, WONC in Chicago, IL, and Newark’s WSOU – stations that usually indicate just how well an album might fare months before the final numbers are calculated. If commercial radio follows suit and is successful for Hale’s new solo effort (his first single “I Walk Alone” will be released to Triple A stations all over the United States on August 2nd), Transcendence may find themselves attempting to transcend not only thier own past successes, but the current success of a very edgy strategy – three members of the group have all released successful solo albums this quarter (bassist Roger Houdaille fronts the indie rock sensation of the month Ex Norwegian who have taken the music blog world by storm). The success of the singer’s new solo album only adds to the excitement and anticipation for the band’s new album All Your Heroes Become Villains due to be released in September of this year.

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SINGER ED HALE AND TRANSCENDENCE SIGN NEW WORLDWIDE DISTRIBUTION DEAL

The atmosphere in the Dying Van Gogh Record’s office in downtown New York is infectiously joyous and celebratory this afternoon. The label is home to music artists Ed HaleTranscendenceEx NorwegianDreaming In Stereo, and Andy Pratt among  a few others, and just minutes ago, finalized the signing of a new distribution agreement – with Burnside Distribution Corporation – that will put the label’s new releases – as well as prior-released back-catalogue titles – in thousands of retail stores worldwide as well as make the music available for sale on over 250 digital music stores and music portals online including Amazon.com, iTunes, and Rhapsody.
For new bands to the label’s roster such as the indie-rock sensations Ex Norwegian or Dreaming in Stereo, this was great news. For singer Ed Hale and band Transcendence this was a much needed turn around from a dark period when they were unable to release any new music for almost two years. Though the band has had three new albums recorded and ready for release since early 2007, they were unable to release them due to the alleged bankruptcy of their record label’s former distributor Synergy Distribution. Synergy, a Colorado company owned by Michael Fitts and managed by Paul Schulman, had hundreds of independent labels signed to its roster at one time, but in early 2006 stopped paying the labels for sales of CDs and digital downloads, claiming that the closing of record store giant Tower Records created such a negative impact on the company financially that they were unable to pay the labels whose music they were selling. If the labels weren’t being paid then neither were the artists.  This of course put the band Transcendence in a tough spot.

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ED HALE IN STUDIO RECORDING NEW SOLO ALBUM

The TRANSCENDENCE lead singer/songwriter and guitarist is at it again. Ed Hale is in the studio once again recording 11 new songs for a yet another “new album.” TRANSCENDENCE just released a 14 song rarities collection entitled The City of Lost Children on the Dying Van Gogh record label in September, which featured their September 11th tribute song Rebuild America — the first time the song, recorded in 2001, was officially released for sale to the public. The label has announced that they will be releasing two other new albums – both of new material – All Your Heroes Become Villains and The Great Mistake this year as well. Good news that should finally satisfy frustrated fans since the albums have been completed, hyped, and talked about since late 2006, but were being held up due to various business problems in a constantly changing and challenging industry which has seen CD sales drop dramatically and the closing of Tower Records, many Virgin Music Stores, the bankruptcy of the band’s distributor, and thousands of smaller mom and pop music retailers around the country.
So in predictable untraditional fashion, fans will get THREE new albums by the band in one six month period. It is a sign of the generally confused state of the music business itself at this time. To make matters more confusing the band was almost finished recording the 24 song two-disc set nicknamed “the girls album” (due to all of the songs being about and having girl’s names in the titles) – the actual title being L’intrigue de Femme and Finding Francesca – but the recording of that album was postponed midway through production in 2007 with no word on when they will resume work on it.
So what to do? Evidently, record another album! Less than a week after meeting with Iran President Ahmadinejad during the United Nations General Assembly Meeting, Hale flew down to Miami, Florida to spend five weeks in the studio with fellow TRANSCENDENCE guitarist Fernando Perdomo – who is also playing the role of producer on this one – to record a new solo album set to be released in early 2009. This will be Hale’s first solo album since 1996′s Acoustic in New York.
It is becoming increasingly more commonplace and acceptable in the music community to see solo and side projects by individual members of bands while the bands still stay and play together (Unless you’re in Metallica that is.) 2007′s favorite ingenue Feist is a member of Broken Social Scene; the Stroke’s Albert Hammond Jr. just released his second solo album; Eagles of Death Metal is a side project of Queens of the Stone Age members; Gnarls Barkley member Danger Mouse releases albums both solo and with his group, and just finished recording a critically acclaimed new album with Beck. Closer to home, TRANSCENDENCE bassist Roger Houdaille’s solo project EX NORWEGIANjust released their second single (Dance Trance Pants, a catchy little number. Check it out here) and just performed at this year’s CMJ Music Marathon in New York.
Ed Hale started his singing career solo, releasing his first album EDDIE at the age of 18, then joined a band for several years, BROKEN SPECTACLES (which also launched the solo career of singer/songwriter Matthew Sabatella), then went solo again, releasing Spectacularly Broken and Acoustic In New York, and then formed a new band, TRANSCENDENCE, who have released six albums to date. So does this mean Hale is going solo again? The band and its label insist not at all, but that instead the album simply affords Hale an opportunity to record and release songs that are not “typical TRANSCENDENCE style material.”
The new album, which is still untitled, will contain 11 songs the singer has written over the last year that are a complete departure from the glam, Brit, alt, indie or modern rock sound of TRANSCENDENCE and instead are said to be “slow, soft, personal, intimate, and primarily acoustic.” The album will not have any electric guitars and very few drums, but instead will feature many makes and models of acoustic guitars (both Hale and Perdomo are avid acoustic guitar collectors) and other stringed instruments such as mandolin, viola, cello, and even balalyka, and piano. Fans of Hale’s YouTube channelwill recognize a few of the songs, including “Everywhere she is there,” and “Architect’s Daughter.”
“I wouldn’t call the album folk,” Hale says. “It’s more like singer/songwriter music, or “whisper pop” if there is such a thing. Because the sound of the album is so quiet and intimate.” When pressed for more of what the album will sound like he mentions Nick Drake, Donovan, Kings of Convenience, Jack Johnson, David Grey, and even Bob Dylan. “In TRANSCENDENCE we are really lucky in that we’re all pretty open minded so we are able to get away with recording a wide variety of styles of music. More than most bands are able to get away with. But we’re still essentially a rock band and limited to that TRANSCENDENCE sound, whatever that is. So these are all just songs that would never make it onto a TRANSCENDENCE album, because they wouldn’t fit our sound. And frankly I dig that we’re all doing little side projects like this now. This is an album I’ve wanted to do for years. I’m very happy and excited to be doing this. It’s like I have to pinch myself. It’s the most personal thing I’ve ever done. That’s for sure. A lot of just me and the guitar.”
The band’s label believes the new album may expose Hale to a whole new base of music listeners. Hale says Perdomo was the natural choice to produce the album. “We’ve worked together for six years now. He’s the most brilliant musician I know. He’s crazy and a total fucking pain in the ass. But we all are I guess. But he’s also this organically genius musician on so many levels.” Old bandmate Matthew Sabatella has also been enlisted to sing harmony vocals on the tracks. “Matt and I have been singing together since we were in Junior High. I’ve waited a long time for a project that we could work on together again. I can’t wait to hear what he does on this album. Our voices work really well together. And he’s awesome at coming up with good harmonies. All and all we have the makings of a good little album here.”
Hale is currently blogging about the recording of the album on his Transcendence Diaries blog, and will be posting photos and clips of the songs as they are completed to his website www.edhale.com and Facebook page. Stay tuned for more.
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