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Edisun Interview: Band Talks New Album Collision

QUESTION – How is the summer going for Edisun?

JK: Good so far. Finished the new record and did a 10 day tour of Singapore and Diego Garcia for the US troops [US Naval Support, Indian Ocean]. No serious touring till fall.

QUESTION – How was it recording your album Collision?

MR: Enlightening and humbling at the same time! Charley Drayton (Producer) gave us a new insight {into the music we were writing]. He opened up our ears to new ideas on songs we had been playing for several months, and help craft them with a whole new vibe.

JK With Charley, We did a few different things. a few of the songs we setup in a live recording situation doing all the main tracks so the band has more of a heartbeat. I feel that makes a record sound more real.

QUESTION – When writing a song, is there such a thing as investing too much time? What’s the shortest time you ever took to write one? What was your strangest inspiration?

JK: A Song can come up over night and the basic idea done in 5 mins. Some songs take years to finish because as a artist you’re never finish. some times you need to tell yourself its done, so you can more on.

MR Sometimes you have to realize when to pull back from an idea or creative process because you have reached a plateau. And then there is stopping yourself from picking and prodding–the hardest part.

EI: I’m like the painter who never feels his work is finished. Sometimes you have to take the brushes out of my hand and hang the damn thing on the wall!

TB: Ethan writes the lyrics generally, and they always tell a story. He’s one of those guys who always paints a picture with his words, but you never know quite what inspired it. Musically, I get inspired by all sorts of drummers from Elvin Jones to John Bonham.

QUESTION – Vinyl is making a comeback. Do you have a personal preference? Is your band producing on vinyl?

EI: We are going to be releasing vinyl for sure, and we did a run of CD’s too. I just read there are still 85 Tower Record stores in Japan and they have an expression I really love: “No Music=No Life!” Ironically, the way we started building in Japan was when Sony Electronics started using our songs Ready to Believe and Silence (front-loaded) in their Walkman Mp3 players– something like 10 million sold since 2010. So we always had fans writing asking when they could buy our music in Japan. People there love collecting music they can hold in their hands. That’s how it was for me when I was a kid.

JK: I love vinyl, I the quality is much better. I feel like If CD’s never came out, the industry would still be booming, Maybe you could say the same about digital, I don’t know. Most people who have vinyl really take care of their collection. I prefer vinyl.

QUESTION – Touring places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait for United States Armed Forces Entertainment is a great accomplishment. Must feel good?

JK: Thank you very much. It is an accomplishment being to travel to these remote areas, a blessing as well. Having military in my family, I feel somewhat connected to what they go through. It feels great to bring a piece of home to them.

MR: This last trip {Diego Garcia- in the Indian Ocean] was incredible. We flew about 54 hours round trip to play two shows for the Fourth of July. And the island is like something out of “Lost,” white sands, blue waters, palm trees, coconut crabs and a runway. It was pretty spectacular, and one of those places you would never get to see. We have some photos of the trip on Instagram if you guys want to check that out.

QUESTION – How many shows do you play per year on average, and how crazy does the schedule get?

MR: Touring gets pretty wild but we do things a lot differently than a lot of bands. We have our own bus that we call Virginia, she’s a 1977 MCI that used to be a Greyhound Bus. So here’s a funny story…we got it from a Christian group and underneath the Edisun wrap there’s actually a big Jesus head on the back– I remember this old man who came up to us at a car wash and he says to Ethan – “Jesus is with you!” And Ethan was like “You’re so right!” You can see Virginia in both our videos for Medicate and Wide Awake. It’s actually driven by our soundman Dan and sometimes Ethan our singer. On our tour to to SXSW (down the east coast and across to Texas) in 2013, Ethan drove the whole tour. He says it kept him sober. All I know is he would drive overnight, sleep for an hour, and then sing his ass off. I had it easy.

JK: I’d say we do about 200 shows a year when we are in the US. Though last year was mostly in the studio and the year before was a lot of flying. We played in China, Italy, Slovenia and US Virigin Islands… all over the map!

TB: I loved touring in China. The wildest part wasn’t the schedule, it was the food. Trust me, there is no General Tso’s Chicken in all of China. We didn’t know what we were eating. I’m probably the most picky eater. I look for McDonalds wherever we go. Joel is the opposite, he eats everything and doesn’t ask questions.

QUESTION – As the band continues to play shows, I am sure you’ve met interesting fans and have good stories to tell. What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened on tour?

EI: For me, the moment that I always come back to was flying into northern Iraq on a C130 and doing what is called a combat landing, when the plane does an extremely fast landing, You’re sitting there, facing sideways, very uncomfortable, no windows, strapped in with body armor and a Kevlar helmet. All of a sudden, you’re experiencing every emotion that God gives you in about three minutes. Then you’re on the ground and it’s 120 degrees in the shade. Our first tour as a band and it’s in a war zone. The soldiers were incredible though. You played for them and you saw their faces, and you knew why you were there. It’s a part of why we are making music today.

QUESTION – Who would be some of your main musical influences today?

JK: I have many from the past, but a few today that I respect are: Incubus, Foo Fighters, Cold Play, Ryan Adams, The Used.

MR: Recently I have been listening to Alt J, new and old Muse. Between the Buried and me, Mastodon have also been on my radar. Its been a metal summer. One of my new favorite bands which really hits on many different levels is Thank You Scientist. Look out for those guys.

TB: People are always surprised to find out I went to Berklee in Boston, and actually graduated. The thing is I love playing rock, but I listen to Jazz all day long.

EI: I really like singer/songwriters who take you somewhere with a lyric and melody. I went to see Lee Dewyze and he blew me away.

QUESTION – How important is it for a musician in this generation to spend time on social media?

JK: Id say its 60/40. Its so saturated now there isn’t a perfect answer. If you don’t have the songs and ability to produce a good show, whats the point? But the catch 22 is its one of the few ways to connect with fans so they come to the shows.

EI: We spend a lot of time on social media, the band and our whole team. It’s really important for a band like Edisun because our fans are spread all over the world. We were really blown away this year when some of our people in France started calling themselves #EdisunFamily. That’s an honor– you know? The thing is to the kids, it’s not “social media.” It’s just hanging out with your friends through your phone. Fan letters come in 140 characters or less.

QUESTION – In your opinion, which album would be essential to have if someone were stranded on a deserted island?

MR: Mastodon – The Hunter

TB: The Best of John Coltrane.

EI: Led Zeppelin IV

JK: For me there’s only one choice: Bob Marleys Greatest Hits… on Vinyl please.

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