With the success of his new solo album Ballad On Third Avenue still climbing, singer/songwriter Ed Hale of the rock band Transcendence has been keeping busy. One of the activities that seemingly go hand in hand with rock stardom is product endorsement deals. But don’t expect Hale to show up on TV talking about a new car or sporting a new signature pair of sneakers just yet. In the past month though the singer has signed numerous product endorsement deals but so far has been keeping it in the biz, the music biz that is.
First came a two year exclusive agreement to use only Dean Markley guitar strings, both on stage and in the recording studio. Next was a new microphone for the singer known for crafting songs where the vocals are everything. Hale chose to go with American made MikTek. “I’ve been using Neuman U-87s for so long now… I really didn’t think there was anything better. But I was wrong,” said the singer about the microphone company. “A sales guy at Sweetwater actually turned me on to the MikTek CV4 and C7 microphones, and lo and behold days later I received an offer to try them out for myself and endorse them professionally. Total flow. What amazes everyone about these mics is that they sound as good and sometimes even better than microphones that are two to three times the cost! They are absolutely awesome in every sense of the word. And what’s more they’re made in the USA. And right now, at least to me, that’s a very good thing.”
Regarding Dean Markley guitar strings, Hale commented “Man I’ve been using Dean Markley strings since I was a kid. They’re it. Their technology is mind blowing, this new Alchemy Series they have is incredible. The strings are frozen so they last like ten times longer than other strings, and they’re double and triple wound which greatly reduces string buzz and keeps them in tune a lot longer. For someone like me who uses a lot of open tunings, this was a dream come true, a guitar string made for players who stretch the hell out of their strings in ways that aren’t necessarily traditional. I am more than honored to use Dean Markley strings exclusively. Keep ‘em coming. They’re awesome.”
Hale is known primarily as a singer and guitarist. He has fronted the modern rock band Transcendence for more than ten years and also releases albums and tours as a solo artist. Integrity has always been a calling card for the singer and his music. Thus he has attempted through the years to avoid product endorsement agreements that don’t make sense to his basic ethos. “I think random product placement in exchange for cash is bullshit,” Hale stated rather bluntly regarding the announcement of this new series of endorsement deals he has entered into. “There are always other ways to get funding if you’re serious about maintaining your integrity and still raise capital for your projects. Actors wear a different freaking watch every year just for cash. It’s prostifuckingtution is what it is. I don’t wear watches so how the hell can I endorse one? But microphones, guitar strings, these things make sense. I use them. If someone sees that I use a particular piece of gear they can be guaranteed that it has nothing to do with money and everything to do with how much I like the company and its products.”
Next up Hale is set to tie up agreements with keyboard mavens Kurzweil and Nord and is eager to speak with the Gibson and Taylor guitar companies.