The music group that call themselves ED HALE AND THE TRANSCENDENCE is a tough nut to crack. Like a lot of incestuous rock bands around America, the group is made up of various members of a long-standing local scene who play in many different bands at the same time. Taking it a few steps further, though Transcendence originally formed in Miami and is normally considered a Miami band, one of their two or three (depending on who you ask) drummers lives in Atlanta, and their singer & bassist lives in New York, while the rest of the band still resides in Miami. Tricky.
The band just finished four months holed up in the infamous indie-rock sanctuary known as Dungeon Recording Studios in Miami, FL finishing the mixes for their soon to be released new CD All Your Heroes Become Villains. In another room at the same studio they found time to track another record with a more DIY approach that is called The Great Mistake. While the former sparks of a heavier more modern Pink Floyd, Radiohead, or U2, a sound which the band is already well known for, the newer new reared they crafted sounds like it could be the Raconteurs or the Strokes, or the Stones for that matter. The two albums couldn’t sound more different. But they were made by the same group of guys. At the same time. In the same studio.
“In Transcendence, you have a group of five or more (laughs) totally hyperactive, obsessive, insane guys with severe cases of ADD and an extreme passion for music, all running around trying to make sense of everything they are listening to and each wanting to create their own personal artistic statements — the chances of that translating into any two albums sounding remotely similar is going to be pretty slim,” [New Times] says lead singer Ed Hale, in a recent interview explaining the wide variety of musical boundaries the band has covered in their three CD releases since 2002′s eclectic world-music-meets-modern-rock debut Rise and Shine.
The musical group known as Transcendence is a tight-knit collective of some of the most notable musicians from the Miami and New York music scenes who first came together in 2000. The band is known for their reverence for melody, and an often eclectic and sometimes unnerving yet enticing tendency toward stylistic changes. “Smoothing across genres like a skater on ice, Ed Hale and company show amazing songwriting skills throughout Rise and Shine. They have just released a debut on TMG Records that is one I cannot listen to less than twice a week…fusing such styles as brit-pop, Brazilian, R&B, rock, new wave and classical – among others – Transcendence create a wild array of songs but somehow hold them together with left-field bite. [Marcus Pan, Legends Magazine]
The band was originally put together by singer/songwriter Ed Hale, who first came to local prominence with the legendary Broken Spectacles in his teens and a few solo albums. Drummer Ricardo Mazzi (Tereso, Tremends) joined because of their shared interest in world-music. The already infamous guitarist-extraordinaire Fernando Perdomo (DC3, Paulina Rubio, Dreaming In Stereo) joined just out of high school because of his shared passion for early seventies pop and rock with Hale. Soon followed the cute, quiet, and multi-talented bassist Roger Houdaille (Ex Norwegian, The BJ Experience) who is the youngest member of the group, who also happened to share their passion for early seventies glam rock. This seems to be the core of the band.
Boston native Jon Rose (Jon Secada, Fulano), studying music at the University of Miami, acts as the groups musical director and pianist. New York native and Brooklyn Academy of Music graduate Allan Gabay (Jorge Moreno) then joined, adding additional piano and keyboards, contributing a more avant garde element to the groups already eclectic sound. University of Miami music school grad Bill Sommer (Blinking Underdogs, the Shut-ups) signed on as a second drummer a few years later, adding a more modern and indie-rock vibe to the band.
Various other fifth member local notables regularly contribute to Ed Hale & The Transcendence albums as well including Derek Cintron, Tony Medina, Zach Ziskin, and Karen “Trophy Wife” Feldner, making the group more of a musical collective than your standard rock band. “Basically what it comes down to is if people from the scene hear that Ed is down from New York and we are tracking a new album then they stop by the studio just to hang out or catch up, and then they end up adding something of their own to whatever we are working on. Its like that,” bassist Houdaille comments.