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.
Just hit PLAY:
“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!
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
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.
Media and PR Requests
GREEN LIGHT GO
1511 Jarvis, Ste 6
Ferndale, MI 48220
Office 877.208.6194 x1
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’.
A lot can change during the recording of one album. Make that two. Transcendencesinger/guitarist Ed Hale, along with fellow bandmates Roger Houdaille, Bill Sommer, and Ricardo Mazzi, has been in the recording studio in New York City for the last three months purportedly working on his next solo album, which was tentatively titled Born to Lose. The album was supposed to be a follow up to last year’s Ballad On Third Avenue, one of the most successful of the singer’s career; (its third single “New Orleans Dreams” is currently climbing up the Adult Contemporary charts in the United States and receiving airplay in twenty-one other countries).
But that was before the band started attempting to choose and arrange the songs that would go on the new album. Hale presented Houdaille (bass) and Sommer (drums) with some forty-plus songs that he felt would be “good for the album.” “Ed kept telling us that we were recording an even softer more acoustic Ballad On Third Avenue, something more like Rubber Soul. But he kept bringing in these songs that were all entirely different from each other,” laughs Sommer. “We kept asking him ‘when are we going to start recording the soft acoustic album?’ Only a few fit that style.”
Instead what they ended up with was eighteen songs with two very distinct styles being represented. “I’d say about eighty percent of the songs sound like really good upbeat light pop songs, perfect for this new “Adult Contemporary” kick he’s on,” states Houdaille, who is also producing the album. “Then there are a handful which really do hit the mark and sound like the softer acoustic style he originally intended to record. We’ve been calling it ‘Sunday morning’ music. He’s been doing a lot of listening to groups like Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver and Iron and Wine I guess. But the bulk of what got recorded was not that. It was more pop if anything. And that’s actually a good thing because that is where he’s doing best right now, in terms of radio airplay.” After two months and fleshing out more than forty songs the band finally agreed what they had was two half-finished albums, rather than one finished album with extra songs to choose from.
So what to do? According to Hale the answer is simple. Original drummer Ricardo Mazzi “will fly up and we’ll cut another ten or so songs, five or so for each new album and end up finishing two completely different albums. One will be the original soft acoustic slowmo album that we started out trying to make.” One assumes Hale is referring to the Triple A style that Ballad On Third Avenue attempted to be. “And this other album, the one we’re closer to finishing now, will be a totally new direction for us. More like a lite acoustic pop album.”
So what about the Born to Lose album? “Well I still think we’ve got it in us. The songs are there…” Hale comments. “The songs are not there,” quips Sommer. “Ed wants the songs to be there, but his songwriting is his songwriting, and it is still skirting along that “Brit-pop” style more than anything remotely folky or Sunday morning sounding…”
“That’s not a bad thing,” Houdaille chimes in. “This new album, even though it isn’t what we set out to make, is really good. All the songs are cohesive for once. It just took us a while to get here. But they’re all tight, catchy, pop songs that fall under the four minute mark. That’s a big achievement already for Ed, cutting his songs down under four minutes. I think it has the chance to be his most commercial album.” “Exactly! And that’s what worries me,” Hale exclaims. “we’ve worked so hard to not fit into any mold that could possibly be called “commercial”… but now that I’m listening back to the songs…. I mean, you just can’t help but hear it. It does sound very modern.”
“Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll find a way to sabotage that by the time the recording is finished,” Sommer jokes, referring to Hale’s tendency towards over doing the sonic experimentation. “Not if I can help it,” Houdaille comments. “Ed is closer now to breaking big than he’s ever been. I don’t think it will kill him to have one commercially successful album in his catalog,” he laughs. “You can still record your avant garde noise album after this if you want to,” Houdaille says to Hale, referring to the oft-rumored “M3II” album of experimental guitar noise that Hale has been talking about releasing for the last ten years. “Yeah yeah… right… just as long as we don’t get trapped into performing concerts of all like ‘welcome to the best of the light pop commercial music we all love to hate’ type stuff,” remarks Hale.
Any idea what this new new album might be titled yet? The band dropped a series of phrases out ranging from “The Stranger” (from the song of the same name) to “Memoirs of the Prince of New York” (again another song title). All in all, an artist could be facing much worse problems. The good news is that fans can look forward to at least four new albums of new material from Ed Hale and his Transcendence crew over the next six months when the two unreleased Transcendence albums, All Your Heroes Become Villains (November 15th release) and The Great Mistake (no release date set) are included. The bad news? What bad news?