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.
Mixing Has Officially Begun On New Ed Hale Albums
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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.”
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LOS ANGELES, CA –WABC NEWS — 07/27/12 — Modern rocker turned accidental Adult Contemporary star Ed Hale (www.edhale.com) is back in the studio working on his latest solo album — and he’s letting fans in on the action.
Beginning July 30, the singer, joined by drummer Bill Sommer and bassist Roger Houdaille — both members of his longtime band, indie rock stalwarts The Transcendence — will offer an intimate glimpse of the sessions, video streaming live from NYC as they record the final tracks for the release, scheduled to drop this fall.
The as yet untitled collection is the follow up to Hale’s solo album Ballad On Third Avenue, which has spawned two Top 40 hits for the singer, the dreamy acoustic protest ballad “New Orleans Dreams” and the romantic “Scene In San Francisco.”
The project is being produced by Houdaille, frontman for the band Ex Norwegian and longtime member of The Transcendence, and features contributions by all the usual members of The Transcendence and honorary members of the band.
The Transcendence’s long awaited new album The Great Mistake is scheduled for release September 18.
Hale and his band will soon embark on a ten-city tour that will feature songs from both Hale’s solo albums and all the Transcendence albums. The shows will feature the entire crew of Transcendence alumni reunited and playing on stage together for the first time since 2008.
The tour kicks off with a homecoming show at the Gibson Showroom in Miami before heading to other Gibson Showrooms in nine major U.S. cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Seattle, Las Vegas and Nashville.
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.
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!