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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ED HALE AND THE TRANSCENDENCE FRONTMAN INTERVIEWED IN ABSOLUTE PUNK

AbsolutePunk.net Interviews Ed Hale and The Transcendence Frontman Ed Hale   

03.27.12 Interviewed by: Linda Ferreira
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
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ED HALE SHARES HIS “TOP 25 FAVORITE SONGS OF ALL TIME” LIST

What if someone asked you to turn them on to “the top 10 greatest pop-rock songs of all time”? Where do you begin? How is that even possible? It’s not. That’s the answer. Unless of course you’re willing to make a list of at least 500 to 1,000 songs. And that’s a maybe. Of course Rolling Stone and Mojo and other music magazines attempt this feat every few years and sell them for ten bucks a pop, and most of the time they’re a good read, create a bit of controversy, and piss us all off a bit because there’s just no way to decide what ORDER to put all these great songs in… Besides the fact that there are so many that we are forced to NOT include.
Ed Hale was recently assigned this impossible task by the super-cool music magazine Magnet. Says Hale, “I thought about the idea of this list for a while,  in terms of the “how” of it. What’s most important? What’s not? Eventually I decided that the goal would be to assemble a list for these groovy people not of “the greatest songs of all time” but rather a “list of my own personal favorite songs of all time” instead. I tried as hard as I could to resist the urge to be “political,” as in dropping names of the hot new indie artists currently swelling underground, as well as to equally resist the urge to “just go old school”; which was also tempting.”
“What we’ve ended up with I hope is a good mix of everything, both old and new, famous and not so famous, well known and not so well known. More than anything else at least, I think the list is a very real and sincere representation of some of the music that has been most influential on me and my own output as an artist.”

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BACKSTAGE: TRANSCENDENCE’S ED HALE ON IRANIAN DIPLOMACY AND WHY D.I.Y. WORKS

Featuring Roger Houdaille, Ed Hale, Bill Sommer, Allan Gabay, Fernando PerdomoOriginally 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…

          When translated into Latin, the word Transcendence suggests an upward motion and a feeling of going beyond, freely tempered by shifting historical or cultural connotations. Fortunately, Transcendence, the group with South Florida roots manages to live up to its banner, with five ambitious albums released over the past decade, as well as the various solo outings from its individual members.Formed in Miami at the start of the millennium, the members of Transcendence are scattered across various locales, but three of its chief mainstays remain the same — singer/songwriter/guitarist/keyboard player Ed Hale, guitarist Fernando Perdomo, bassist Roger Houdaille and drummer Ricky Mazzi.


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…

           The frequent trips to South Florida also allow other musicians to lend their talents from time to time, and in fact, no fewer than a dozen players contribute to Transcendence’s upcoming album, All Your Heroes Become Villains. The title is telling, a dissertation on the confusion and contradictions that confound today’s humanity. There are mystical and spiritual elements imbued throughout, and with its dark, dense tones and textures that enhance the symphonic sound, it becomes both majestic and grandiose. Production plays a key part in its construction, underlying the riveting themes with a progressive gaze. Hale shares billing with the band these days, but there’s no doubt this is a collective effort, and one that benefits from it robust blend.
I recently caught up with Hale who spoke to me by phone from New York as he talked at length about the band, his various world adventures and his advocacy for peace and understanding. A few days later he was in Seattle, dressed in a bathrobe, pajama bottoms and slippers on the streets of the city and marching in support of the Occupy Seattle protest. That Transcendence tag seems apt after all. Here, then, is part one of our discussion.
Hey Ed! What’s been going on since we last spoke?
What’s not going on since last we spoke? The last six to twelve months have been incredible. The short quick answer — I got married. That was big. I still can’t believe it most of the time. I converted to Islam to be able to marry my wife in a “traditional Persian Ceremony” which was beautiful, as she converted to Christianity in order to marry me in a “traditional Christian Ceremony”… so it was a wild experience. I released a solo album, Ballad On Third Avenue, and watched it climb to the Top 100 at college radio for a few months. I toured the U.S. coast to coast and shot a bunch of music videos. I signed a major distribution deal for our record label and watched it take off bolstered by the success of the solo album and Ex Norwegian’s Standby album.
You’ve gotten a lot of notice lately it seems.
Somehow we managed to turn into “a national act” at some point along the way. We did a ton of TV and radio interviews in the U.S. and Canada and got picked up by one of the largest music PR firms in the U.K. The album’s second single “New Orleans Dreams” made an impact on the charts and broke into the Top 40 in adult contemporary where it now sits at #30. That’s a brand new radio format for us. We’ve always been an alt-rock or modern rock act. Now the song is in rotation in 21 different countries around the world. I sincerely hope to see it hit number 1 by Christmas. We’ve never had a national number 1 before so that would be a blast.
It seems you’ve done a lot of international travel recently and even become something of a freelance diplomat. What’s that all about? 
I became a “Civilian Diplomat” and travelled to Colombia, Africa, and Iran where I met with former president Khatami and all the major Ayatollahs to discuss US/Iran relations and peace. I also attended a meeting with Iranian President Ahmadinejad at the United Nations to talk about the same thing. Talk about a trip! I helped build a three-story Community Center in a very poor and remote village in Colombia, and two brick houses in an even poorer village in Ghana. They were amazing experiences, all of them.
Of course right now we are also jumping out of our seats with excitement over the upcoming release of the new Transcendence album All Your Heroes Become Villains, which hits the street on November 15th. I just can’t wait for people to hear that one. We worked so hard on it…
How about giving us some background into the new album?
The last time we spoke we were discussing the new solo album Ballad On Third Avenue, which was a big shift in direction for me and the guys in Transcendence, with me putting out a softer more acoustic adult contemporary album. That was a touchstone for us. We weren’t quite sure where things were gonna go, but we were happy as hell and excited about the possibilities. As a label, we had just gotten major distribution again, which meant we were free to be able to start releasing our music again. That was a big coup. It took a lot of pavement pounding and phone calls, but we nailed it. The three of us released solo albums as a kind of “prelude” to the release of the new Transcendence album. That was the plan, but who knew? Roger’s solo project Ex Norwegian blew up and kicked some serious butt on college radio and with the critics and in the touring department. Ballad On Third Avenue, which at the time we thought was a risky venture — me going “singer/songwriter” — exploded. It was like a whole new world opened up for us. A Top 20 Most Added album at College Radio and the highest CMJ charting we’d ever had up to that point.
What has the advance reaction to the new album been so far? 
The phone’s started ringing. BillboardMediabaseMediaGuide and all these commercial radio promoters and PR firms started calling. Right now as we speak, the album’s second single “New Orleans Dreams” is spinning on radio stations in 20 countries around the world. And now it’s climbing up the Adult Alternative Album Charts. PR Firms that never used to take our calls started calling us. I signed five endorsement deals in six months; all for products that I love. I get free guitar strings for life, and I sing through the best microphones in the world.
Sounds great! What else? 
Someone leaked a few tracks from the album and then we get this call from a guy in the U.K. who said he heard the songs on his phone over the internet at 3 o’clock in the morning at a club and “just had to contact us.” It turns out it was James Parish of Prescription PR. These guys are huge in the UK. They represent Beck and the Kinks and Rufus Wainwright… they’re way big. And now they’ve added Transcendence to their roster, which is great for us, because we’ve been trying to get into the British music market for a long time. Radio and TV interviews keep coming in. We’re in glossy print mags now! It seems we’ve taken it to just a whole different level.
How do you explain this sudden success?
For me and the guys, it just goes to show that D.I.Y. works… if you work it. We’re all very happy and the album hasn’t even come out yet. But the reviews are starting to come in and they look good, and the fans seem to be really digging it so far. We’re all very aware that any success we experience with our solo projects can only help Transcendence, which is “our group project.” We’re also in the process of recording three new Ed Hale solo albums. So yeah, we are working 24 hours a day and seven days a week. But it’s fun. As hard as it is, the payoff makes it worth it.
How is the label operation going? What’s new on that end?
Running a real record label is a mammoth undertaking. It’s 24/7 and then some. To be able to operate at the level where we currently are, we can’t hire enough people fast enough. We’re trying, but we keep realizing that we need more and more people working at the label to handle the momentum. And truth be told, running a record label does get in the way of being your best as an artist. But we’re” in” now, at least a little bit more than before.

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.
Media and PR Requests
Janelle Rogers
GREEN LIGHT GO
1511 Jarvis, Ste 6
Ferndale, MI 48220
Office 877.208.6194 x1
Cell 248.761.9370
janelle@glgpub.com
www.glgpub.com

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ED HALE – LOOKING BACK AT TEN YEARS SINCE SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2001

Ten years after the events of September 11th, 2001, Transcendence lead singer/guitarist looks back and shares his story, where he was, and the makings of one of the band’s most endearing songs and music videos, “Rebuild America.” Read it here in The Transcendence Diaries.
Listen to the song “Rebuild America” — the 9/11 tribute song Ed Hale and the Transcendence recorded in 2001. Download from the iTunes Music Store right from this player. Proceeds from all downloads go to New York’s Robin Hood Foundation to help 9/11 Victims’ Families.

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