While the band awaits the release of their new All Your Heroes Become Villains CD, and mixing and mastering of their second new CD, The Great Mistake, both due out in early Winter, Ed Hale made a quick mission-trip across the pond to the country of Ghana, on the northwest coast of Africa for a homebuilding trip with Habitat for Humanity. Two weeks. Two houses completed in the small village of Mabang outside of Tepa. Said Hale, â€œWe built almost two complete houses. We kicked some serious butt for a small team of 19 Americans. And we left HOMES for people who had none. It was humbling. It was magnificent. And it is very addictive. Once you go to Africa you never come back. It stays in your heart, beneath your nails, under your skin. The people, the terrain, the sights and the smells, the feelings. It is all I think about now. Africa… Africa is where it’s all at now. It’s the new thing.â€
Luckily, Ed is speaking metaphorically, as he is indeed back and the band is gearing up for the release of two new CDs this year that were a long time in the making. Stay tuned for more updates.
On the morning of September 11th, 2001 TRANSCENDENCE singer/guitarist Ed Hale was at a school in Costa Rica when he heard the news. [For more back story, see the â€œnews sectionâ€ from 2001 of the bandâ€™s website] The rest of the band was in the recording studio laying down basic tracks for their new CD — what was to eventually become the Sleep With You album.
To watch the video NOW on YouTube, Go Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf8W8CEJaSs
When flight restrictions were finally lifted, Ed flew back to the States and into the studio to resume work on the album. But first Hale played them a new song he had written the days following the catastrophe on September 11th. The song was called Rebuild America. They quickly recorded the song, each laying down their own tracks one by one and finished the entire song that first night. Because the song did not fit the content or format of the Sleep With You album â€“ for fans familiar with the disc, this is obvious — it wasn’t placed on that CD and was never formally released. Instead it floated around the Internet and sat on the bandâ€™s â€œunreleased songsâ€ page of their website for years.
Interestingly, it was the bandâ€™s webmaster G2, while browsing â€œviewing statsâ€ of the bandâ€™s website who noticed that the song was receiving a lot of â€œclicksâ€ and plays from that page though it had never been released or even publicized that it existed. Another event that propelled the band to actually do something about the never before released track was that they would occasionally receive emails from Fire and Rescue Workers from around the country who wrote to say that they â€œreally liked the song and send their buddies the link to listen to it.â€
The most recent email the band received about “Rebuild America” was from first response emergency rescue worker Matthew Tartaglia from Perkasie, PA who worked at the World Trade Center site for two months straight after the attacks. Thank you for your email Matthew. So after six years the band decided it was time to get the song out there, and the fastest way to do that was through YouTube. Why not make it showcase the victims and the heroes through photographs.
Bassist Roger Houdaille commented, â€œRebuild America was the first song I ever tracked with TRANSCENDENCE. It didn’t seem to have anything to do with the rest of the songs we were recording at the time like Superhero Girl or Minnie Driver, but I knew Ed was really into us recording it because of what happened and all. I think itâ€™s still one of our strongest tracks so I’m glad that weâ€™re at least putting it out there.â€
“The way this song came together was amazing,” stated drummer Ricardo Mazzi, “the cause was much greater than the need of creating music or art, it was larger than that. And we all knew it. The fact we’re talking about 9/11, remembering fallen heroes, calling for unity in our song is an honor to me and I have this band to thank for it. Everyone put their heart and soul in this song and completed their parts rapidly but thoroughly, from the tracking, recording, mixing, and mastering.”
Hale commented, â€œRebuild America is a hard song for me now, just because of everything that we have seen come out in the last four or five years since September 11th. Itâ€™s hard to know what really happened that day… what we do know is that a lot of innocent Americans died. And you know that’s why we recorded the song. That’s why I wrote it. When you listen to it now you can really hear the optimism of what it felt like those first few days after September 11th. I mean, you can feel the patriotism of the song, which is so different than what we feel in the air now in America. So the song is hard for me now. I was really amazed how the whole country came together those first few months to rebuild. You know? And now with the invasion of Iraq… itâ€™s just hard to know what to feel. I still like the original idea of the song itself. And I like the idea of turning it into a video, just to celebrate how people came together those first few months… and to mourn the loss of the lives of those people who died that day… those were different times… But the song captures that.â€
Indeed Rebuild America may be one of the most emotional songs the band ever recorded â€“ every player contributed something unique and passionate and brilliant of their own to the songâ€™s touching and poignant message. The fact that the band is so associated with activism now and the song has such a patriotic feel to it makes it a slight anomaly in their catalogue to be sure. But as the band members freely admit, it was recorded just after the days of 9/11 when the world was a different place and America was in a different place entirely. So for the first time ever they decided to officially release the song as a photographic slide show in honor of the victims and the rescue workers of that momentous time in American history.