A single camera video capturing the band Ed Hale & the Transcendence performing a rousing live version of the song “Caetano” from their Nothing Is Cohesive album at New York’s Cutting Room for a Fieldhouse/BMG Showcase. Featuring Fernando Perdomo, Ed Hale, Bill Sommer, Roger Houdaille and Ricardo Mazzi. Filmed by Robert Seoane.
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“Monday” is track #3 on the brand new Ed Hale and the Transcendence album THE GREAT MISTAKE, their followup to last year’s ALL YOUR HEROES BECOME VILLAINS. While both albums were created in the same studio during the same time frame, instead of the dark, heavy and bombastic rock opera style of the ALL YOUR HEROES album, the band went in the completely opposite direction for THE GREAT MISTAKE album. A style they casually refer to as Garage Pop or Celebration Rock, none of the 12 songs are longer than three minutes, all of them upbeat, fast paced and uproariously raucous rock’n’roll, sounding like a mash-up of seventies Glam Rock and modern Indie Rock.
Another stand out aspect of this latest album is that all the band members were encouraged to bring songs in for the band to record. They tracked the album over a three day period, learning the songs right there on the spot in the studio, usually late at night into the early morning — after the producer of the ALL YOUR HEROES album had gone home — using the studio’s interns as engineers. They’d then run the songs a few times, recording each run through until a decent take was to be had — which is what lends such a live feel and sense of immediacy to the all the songs on the album. In between tracking the songs live, they took turns adding simple overdubs like their lead and background vocals, extra guitar lines and simple percussion like hand claps, shakers and cowbell to each song. “That was the most spontaneous album I’ve ever recorded,” Transcendence drummer Bill Sommer said about the project. “I hope we do more like that.”
About “Monday”, Ed Hale has said “My whole thing about this album was that I wanted to experiment by bringing in all the songs that I would normally never try to introduce to the band because I thought they would think they were too simple or pop sounding. We started off as such a complex unit, making such complicated music… I never would have dreamed the guys would be interested in songs as simple as “Baby Bop” or “Monday”. They were like throw away songs I thought. Now this is one of my favorite albums we’ve ever made. I’m so freaking glad we recorded it and released it.”
Available now on iTunes, Amazon.com, Spotify, Pandora and wherever you get your music fix!
Longtime Ed Hale and The Transcendence guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Fernando Perdomo talks about the recording process of the band’s latest album, All Your Heroes Become Villains, available at music stores everywhere, amazon.com or the iTunes music store.
“The All Your Heroes Become Villains album was recorded in a very interesting time of my life… a thrilling two week love affair I had with a talented singer had just ended and I was down in the dumps. I had an awful haircut ordered by a Latin artist I was touring with and I was totally ready to make an amazing record with Transcendence. (We ended up making two but that’s another story!)’ [Editor’s note: Perdomo is referring to the band’s often leaked and lauded but as of yet unreleased The Great Mistake album.]
“Upon arriving to the studio, I knew instantly this was gonna be an interesting project. Ed now lived in New York City but he had flown down to stay indefinitely to finish the album with the band. He was so amped up. Everyone was. He had this artist, Gina Rowland, who he had met online, there working on her art for the album cover in the studio with us while the songs were being recorded. She sat quietly and listened to get influenced and inspired by the music. We fell in love instantly…
“Recording my guitars was hard on the record because Ed had strict rules for what he wanted … No Santana, No Blues, No Allman Brothers, No Clapton, No Springsteen… He had all these annoying signs hanging up on the walls. He was constantly making signs with big magic markers and hanging them all over the studio walls. “There’s no such thing as over produced” and “There’s no such thing as not enough production”. Contradictions everywhere. All the time. The process was confusing. He was searching for something…. He was being very fluid. Also, the songs had some heavy metal influences and electronica elements to it that did not make sense to me at the time… but again he was searching for something else, something we hadn’t done before.
“Halfway through the making of the record I went off to LA to join the band PRICE. That’s when Zach Ziskin took over… He had already tracked guitar on the album. He’s like the fifth Beatle of Transcendence. My LA and PRICE days ended with my mom getting diagnosed with Cancer. I came back and added my guitars to the album. We panned Zach’s guitar part towards the left, mine towards the right, and Ed’s rhythm guitars dead center. The crazier I played the more it fit the album! That’s Transcendence.
“Years later… I almost cried listening to the finished record in my car… The album is a masterpiece… and a real testament to Ed Hale’s writing and vision and the whole band’s genius… and EVERYTHING MAKES SENSE. And so is life… you never know what will make sense in the end…”
3. What bands are you influenced by?
I think each guy in the band has a different set of influences. So I can only speak for myself. But one thing I will say is that almost all of us are pretty much into anything. We’re IN the music business, you know. So there’s no real style or genre that we don’t come into contact with. I mean, right now, while we’re doing all this promotion for my latest single “Scene in San Francisco” which has jumped into the Billboard Top 30, our keyboard player Jon Rose is out on tour with Julia Iglesias in South America. Crazy. But you know, that’s the biz. All our work right now is centered around promotion, meet and greets, record signings, interviews, photo shoots, so the guys in the band have time to do other things. And this is a great gig for Jon. No way he could take it, sincerely do a great job, or even get the job, unless he was into a wide variety of styles of music. Dig?
Me, I’m into anything and everything. I really NEED music. For my health and sanity. To make me feel good. Like it’s part of my soul or something. I did this photo shoot yesterday that was very elaborate. A lot of makeup and styling and people on deck. And in order to get into it, we had to have music going in the background. They asked me what I wanted to put on. They were using Pandora, which is an incredible tool. One of the coolest things to come out of this new age. And we’re in this photography studio filled with people of all different ages and backgrounds and at one point someone put on contemporary rap. But I just wasn’t feeling it. It totally ruined the vibe of the shoot for me. Plastic, put on, contrived, commercial for the sake of being commercial, all posing and bragging and nothing substantial underneath. This is what it felt like at least. In the room.
But I had to be “on”, right, totally ON… for the camera. So I went for the pure shit, the stuff that created me and who I am. Lou Reed, David Bowie, T Rex, Donovan, Hendrix, The Beatles, Zeppelin, Lennon, Wings, The Stones, Bob Dylan. Even the Dandy Warhols or The Pixies, The Replacements, Radiohead, U2, Muse. At its heart, this is where my music is coming from at i’s core. Plus a few thousand others I suppose.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
The Rolling Stones in the 70s. For obvious reasons. Never has been and never will be another “world’s greatest rock band” quite like the Stones in the 70s. Way before all the bullshit started in the music business. Crafting songs like pottery to fit a specific genre using computers. Narrow-casting to please niche-niche markets based on polls and statistics. This kind of thing has ruined music as we know it today. We’ve got people like Adele or Katy Perry at the top of the charts who use three to ten people to help write a freaking song. And another five to produce it. That’s become the norm now. Everyone pandering to everyone else in an attempt to please a very small imaginary group of music listeners who are scrambling away from regular radio in hordes for that exact reason. They’re out there looking for something REAL and SINCERE and AUTHENTIC and the radio and record exec guys just don’t see it. Albums like DARK SIDE OF THE MOON were made with a small band of four guys and a producer and a few engineers. And that’s it. Real artists who could write great songs, looks be damned. Yeah, I’d love to tour with Pink Floyd if they ever got back together with Roger. For sure. I’d do anything with Paul (McCartney) just because he is still alive and, like many, I feel like I owe him a great deal for who I am today.
5. Best food to eat on tour?
I live on Sprite, coffee and protein shakes man. Among other things. I may not be the best role model for that kind of question.
To read the full interview Click Here
After catching up with Ed Hale last week in the first part of my interview with the singer/songwriter/guitarist/keyboard player for the former Miami based band Transcendence, today we delve further into the group’s current status and the making of their latest album, All Your Heroes Become Villains.
I encountered an interesting parallel story during a recent weekend in New York. During lunch with musician pals Richard X Heyman and Edward Rogers, an obscure British musician named Jimmy Campbell came up. Campbell wrote a few mildly successful hits in the mid ’60s during the full flush of the British Invasion. Few Americans know of Campbell, but Hale sure does. His label, Dying Van Gogh, has a multi-artist tribute planned and Rogers is contributing a track to the effort! Anyhow, here’s the rest of my little chat with Mr. Hale.
Read the full interview here.
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 Perdomo, Zach Ziskin, Roger Houdaille, Matthew Sabatella, Greg Byers, Ricardo Mazzi, Bill Sommer, Karen Feldner, DJ Kamran Green, and Cynthia Kivlan.
Originally Published in Backstage in South Florida By Lee Zimmerman Wed., Nov. 2 2011 at 7:20 AM
Music vet and New Times scribe Lee Zimmerman offers his insights, opinions and observations about the local scene. This week: Ed Hale talks music, mobility and his attempts to save the world…
Each boast their own back story. Hale was formerly with the South Florida outfit Broken Spectacles, Perdomo helms his band Dreaming in Stereo and his own Forward Motion Records roster, Houdaille fronts the group Ex Norwegian and Mazzi is an in-demand session player. Nevertheless, they find a common bond in Transcendence, which Hale directs from his home turf in New York and Seattle, and which, along with Miami, serve as headquarters for his record label, Dying Van Gogh. “It’s a crazy way to live,” Hale says. “But it’s a blast.” Read on…
Other than that, we’ve got some incredible releases coming out over the next six months, which is very exciting. Besides the new Transcendence and Ex Norwegian albums, Roger already has another album recorded and ready to hit the streets. So does Transcendence. We’re also soon releasing a Jimmy Campbell Tribute album with some really big names on it and we’re in negotiations with that classic band Flash, plus a few others like Arlan Feilis (of Natural Causes), who I just adore. Being able to help other artists that you love achieve their dreams and goals, that’s the mission. But as artists we’re also aware of how much we as artists still need to do every day. So we’ll see. If we can get it to the point where we can merge with a larger indie label and pool our resources together, that’s the direction we’re headed in now.
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For long-time colleagues, coworkers, family, fans and friends — YOU DID IT! The long awaited new studio album from Ed Hale and The Transcendence, All Your Heroes Become Villains, officially hits retail and online music stores at midnight on November 15th. In the meantime, it hit College Radio stations all across America last week, three-hundred and fifty of them to be exact, and debuted at #16 on the CMJ(College Music Journal) Most Added Chart! This is the highest debut on the College Radio Chart in the band’s nine year history.
Each and every member of the band is ecstatic that this album is finally being released after so long and so much work; even better that it was received so well in its first week out to college, satellite and non-comm radio stations. All Your Heroes… is the band’s fifth studio album and was a long time in the making as many of you know. Ed Hale and crew first started tracking the foundational songs for the album at Criteria/The Hit Factory in 2004! After a long hard bumpy ride with all the changes in the music industry, a professional and official release of this album seemed nearly impossible; which was a major bummer for the band, because we honestly believe that All Your Heroes Become Villains is the best album we’ve ever made. But with a whole lotta persistence, years of work in the studio, more phone calls, video conferences, lunches, meetings and pavement pounding than we’d care to remember, it’s now official.
Transcendence first and foremost is a “band.” Featuring Ed Hale on vocals and guitar, Fernando Perdomo on guitar and bass and vocals, Ricardo Mazzi on drums, Allan Gabay on piano and keyboards, and the inimitable Roger Houdaille on Bass guitar and vocals. But we also had a ton of help from other local and national guest musicians while creating this album, which is the darkest, heaviest, moodiest, “thickest” for lack of a better word and most ambitious album of our career together. Singer/songwriter/producer/engineer Zach Ziskin added some additional lead guitar work. Karen Feldner as always lent her beautiful vocals. Dee Dee Wilde added additional background vocals. As did Matthew Sabatella. Leor Manellis added extra drumming. And Emiliano Torres added trumpet. (We still cannot remember the name of the guy who played the trombone — if you know, please drop us a line). DJ Kamran Green flew in from California to add trance-hop loops and beats.
The album was produced and mixed by Ed Hale and Fred Freeman at Dungeon Recording Studios. Rudi Meewuen and Joe Syring acted as second engineers. Gina Rowland took care of the artwork and band photography – along with Starbucks every morning. Susie Aminian and Flavia Molinari took care of the CD packaging. The album is reaching national media in America by Janelle Rogers and her team at Green Light Go PR and European Media by James Parish and Jay Taylor at Prescription PR in the UK. Ariel Publicity and Cyber PR are handling online promotions. Reverend Moose and Ryan Prieto at The Syndicate are handling College Radio Promotions. And Commercial radio at Adult Contemporary is being handled by South Beach Marketingand Promotion’s Amanda Alexandrakis. Big thank yous also to the DJ Holly Haze for her ears re the first single “Blind Eye.” And also to Johnny Chiba at CMJ for all his support. We couldn’t have created this album, nor the buzz around it without any one of these talented individuals. Thank you to all of you!
Endless war, exploitation, lies. Turn the anger and outrage into a guitar riff, and you have the pulsing heart of “Blind Eye,” the latest release from All Your Heroes Become Villains by Ed Hale and The Transcendence. The riff, accomplished by some tricky open-D tuning, and then mirrored by syncopated bass (Roger Houdaille) and drums (Ricardo Mazzi), sets the emotional tone, giving the listener more than a hint where the song is going.
“It’s cynical as hell but I think it’s how a lot of us feel right now in the US; and around the world,” says Ed Hale. “You [politicians, elected officials] can do whatever the fuck you want to. I’m sick of your lies. I’m sick of your endless wars. So here’s the deal: do whatever you want to. I’m sick of fighting you. So I’m going to turn a blind eye to you and your wicked bs. But just don’t mess with me or my family. Don’t come near my home. And don’t ask me to help you in your quest to destroy the world around us.” Hale’s haunting lyrics, “Everything I hear/And everything I see/I won’t be afraid/You won’t bother me/All your evil ways/With everything you do/I will turn away/You won’t bother me, ” are delivered with such steady resolve that you can almost picture him turning his back silently afterward. The refrain, “Murder Greed Destruction Exploitation Rape Sex and Violence/Take your money Take your money Take your money” whispered quickly and venemously, came from a list Hale wrote at Fred Freeman’s, the producer of the album, suggestion. About halfway through, “Blind Eye” begins to spin, vocals, guitar, drums, bass and effects coming together in a representation of the chaos and evil present in the world today. Download “Blind Eye” now.
The fourth studio album by itinerant project Ed Hale And The Transcendence brings together new contributors and a collection of songs intertwining the talents and influences gathered together. The album opener offers uplifting soul vocals accompanied by a blissful piano and trumpet melody which ebbs and flows during the eleven tracks. Intermittent phrases of dialogue, another recurring motif carried throughout, consolidate a cinematic feel of the LP as the prelude segues into the next.
‘Here It Comes’ is the track infused most with the spirit of Britpop; the anthemic instrumentation, the rousing chorus and the soaring strings all present and correct. Hallmark elements of the Britpop sound also surface in ‘Solaris’, where Hale’s vocals, carried along by jaunty acoustic guitar chords, echo Bono and Alex Kapranos in parts; ‘After Tomorrow’, seven minutes in length, apes the likes of the mellow vibes and extended outro of ‘Champagne Supernova’ and the close backing harmonies of ‘Hey Jude’.