mkdir(): File exists » interviews Ed Hale and The Transcendence
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Brand new studio album!

 
March 13, 2012

Pens Eye View Transcendence Interview

We’ve found a name that best represents some of the best talent the east coast of the USA has to offer – The Transcendence. Ed Hale and his band include artists from all the way down in South Beach to the intense scene of NYC, and they’re damn good at what they do, having been together in one shape or another for a dozen years. This includes 5 core members, 5 more members on every record, in addition to another 5 artists who sit in with the band for the live production… a huge stage presence you can expect from Hale’s shows in 2012.

Read the full story here: http://www.penseyeview.com/content/ed-hale-transcendence

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February 27, 2012

Ed Hale Live On-Air Radio Interview at 4PM EST on HealthyLife.net Radio

Transcendent singer/songwriter Ed Hale will be interviewed live on air by PJ Grimes on the Backstage Gourmet radio show broadcast over the internet radio network HealthyLife.net, 4pm EST. Fans can tune in and listen live by clicking the stream on HealthyLife.net or check out the archive of the show after broadcast here: http://www.healthylife.net/RadioShow/archiveBSG.htm. Tune in to hear The Ambassador discuss his favorite vegetarian recipes, in addition this his music, activism and other healthy passions.

Healthy Life features eclectic talk programs with a positive twist. Their mission is to help eliminate fear, advance positive thought and encourage the concept that we are all one here for the greater good of all.

November 15, 2011

Transcendence Singer Ed Hale Talks Death and the Band’s New Single “Solaris”

Out of the 11 songs on the new Ed Hale & the Transcendence album, All Your Heroes Become Villains, there are only 3 that offer any kind of hope, optimism, or hopefulness: track 3 entitled “Solaris,” track 6 “Here it Comes,” and the album closer “Last Stand at the Walls of Zion.” The rest of the album is a dark heavy brooding downward spiral into the lead character’s disillusionment with everything in his life. From the album’s trance-hop/operatic instrumental opening, which starts with a slow dirge-like pace and rhythm and then builds to a climactic crescendo of dissonance punctuated by two competing melodies – one played by trombone and the other sung by guest vocalist Dee Dee Wilde’s gospel tinged moaning and wailing — all the way through to the album’s closing track, All Your Heroes Become Villains feels like the soundtrack to the end of the world.

Song by song the lead character vents his anger and disappointment with the society he lives in and his own personal life, aiming his rage at everything from the political system (“Blind Eye” and “We Are Columbine”) to God and religion (“Waiting for Godot”) to friendship and romance (“Indian Princess” and “Messed it Up Again”). The climax of the album is track 10, the majestic seven minute ‘suicide letter in a song’ entitled “After Tomorrow” where it appears that the lead character has had enough of blaming the world around him and has turned inward only to discover that he doesn’t have what it takes to continue any further in a world full of hate, war, disease, crime and betrayal.

And yet amongst all this drama and pathos there is the beauty and hopefulness of the song “Solaris.” In their traditional Britpop meets post-modern rock style, Ed Hale and company deliver a near perfect pop song clocking in at three minutes and thirty seconds that shines a bit of light on the stage of their apocalyptic rock opera. Sweet and tender and yet mysterious, “Solaris” seems at first to be a love song. But the female character being sung to doesn’t appear to even be alive, at least not alive on planet Earth. Rather, the lead character sounds as if he is singing to someone far removed from all his earthly troubles, someone who is far far away, living in another galaxy called “Solaris.”

Lead singer Ed Hale summed it up this way, “A girl I knew, someone very close to me, had just passed away. And I found it impossible to deal with emotionally. Right around the same time, I had a chance to see the DVD of this old film called “Solaris” starring George Clooney. The film was based on the book by Stanislaw Lem. Seeing that movie just hit me at the right time. I had my guitar with me and while I was watching the film I just started strumming these chords and creating this song about my friend… What I did really, was just place her, Julia, into the movie… in order to bring her back to life for myself. I just felt that because it was unbearable to contemplate her passing that at the very least I could make her alive in some other form, like she’s still living but in a different dimension. So the song “Solaris” is just me, or the lead character of the album if you will, saying a prayer to her, talking to her… asking her how she’s doing… like “how’s life in your new world Julia?” It made me feel better. And although it isn’t enough to keep the lead character alive by the end of the album, I think it gives him some hope along the way to his final decision… like that.”

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November 11, 2011

Transcendence’s Ed Hale on Heroes, Villains, & an “All-Star Lineup”

After catching up with Ed Hale last week in the first part of my interview with the singer/songwriter/guitarist/keyboard player for the former Miami based band Transcendence, today we delve further into the group’s current status and the making of their latest album, All Your Heroes Become Villains.

I encountered an interesting parallel story during a recent weekend in New York. During lunch with musician pals Richard X Heyman and Edward Rogers, an obscure British musician named Jimmy Campbell came up. Campbell wrote a few mildly successful hits in the mid ’60s during the full flush of the British Invasion. Few Americans know of Campbell, but Hale sure does. His label, Dying Van Gogh, has a multi-artist tribute planned and Rogers is contributing a track to the effort! Anyhow, here’s the rest of my little chat with Mr. Hale.

Read the full interview here.

 

August 1, 2005

New article on Ed Hale from NYU Grad student.

In January 2005 NYU Grad student Meera Subramanian, a journalism major, shadowed Ed Hale around for three weeks as a class assignment to write an article for her school paper. Read the article below:
Seek and Ye Shall Find: Ed Hale, Music, & the Meaning of It All Author: Meera Subramanian
Ed Hale is warming up over a steaming cup of Dunkin’ Donuts decaf. He talks about, among other things, his weekly schedule (French language lessons one night, kickboxing classes another), his ambitions for a reality television show where he interviews a famous Bishop and other random people, his novel in progress entitled The Cosmos is Great and Large, Darn Right, (“like Huck Finn with superheroes”), and about the Army General’s uniform that hangs in his closet. Dressed in black fitted jeans, a black DKNY shirt, and black boots, he slips easily into the New York City landscape, recently transplanted from his native Florida. His curly, shoulder-length brown hair is pushed back from his face with a pair of dark sunglasses, also DKNY, and his heavy-lidded blue eyes are eager as he talks about everything and everyone that gets him excited, punctuating his explorations with an easy laugh and expressive stretching out of words like “brilll-yant!” This is all on decaf, remember. But Ed Hale is, by profession, a rock musician. Lead singer of the band originally named Ed Hale and the Troubadours of Transcendence, shortened to Transcendence by fans that filled Miami venues. Singer-songwriter, guitar and keyboard player, Hale’s sound is reminiscent of Bowie, U2, and the Beatles blended with a unique world-beat undercurrent. His music has been described by reviewers alternately as lush, original, bland, well-crafted, perverted, mildly entertaining, and hauntingly familiar yet futuristic. By no means a music critic, I hear good ole rock ‘n’ roll, heavy on guitars and drums, with a solid driving beat. A few of the tracks on Transcendence’s third album, Nothing is Cohesive, which is being released this month, slow down more than usual and become a dreamy mix — love songs to Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso, or Hale’s own sense of becoming.
Ed Hale is a work-in-progress, a man evolving. It’s easy to forget that music is even Hale’s first passion, what with all his talk about emerging consciousness and revolution. And money. And women. Oh, and religion too. Not necessarily in that order.
He says: “honestly, seriously, everyone thinks I’m thirty,” but the faint lines on his high forehead and smile lines around his mouth reveal a few more years. He’s old enough to have become established as a world renowned musician as well as in other more practical realms. “My non-capitalist days are behind me. I’m a capitalist,” he says off-handedly. “I own companies.” Was it four, or five that he mentioned? Vitamins. Real estate. A record company. “I believe in social responsibility,” he says, but he drives around in a convertible BMW. “I dig that stuff. That’s why we have America. It doesn’t mean that you don’t give.” And he does give. One friend, Kerri Huckabee, remembers learning that Hale was sponsoring kids in need all over the world and cutting checks to numerous churches and charities each Christmas. “He didn’t even mention it. He just does it. We go out to dinner and then drive around town looking for a homeless person to give the leftovers. And then Ed gives them money too. That’s how he is.”
Getting Radical
It was in this spirit that Hale sought out protest leaders of the anti-globalist movement when they arrived in Miami in 2003 to oppose the Free Trade Area of the Americas agreement. He’d watched the 1999 WTO protests on television and been inspired enough to write the song, “The Journey (A Call to Arms)” from the band’s 2002 album Rise and Shine that he describes as a “wake-up call for his generation.” He walked into the makeshift welcome center of the protest movement, where organizers from groups such as United for Peace and Justice, SmartMeme, and the Citizens Trade Council were scrambling with limited resources to organize thousands of people. “I’m wearing shiny pants and my hair’s all coiffed,” Hale recalls. “I said, ‘I want to help you. What do you need?'” He offered the headquarters of TMG Records (one of his companies) for the week, located in one of the buildings he owns. They moved in and set up shop.
“I expect rock stars to be assholes,” explained Patrick Reinsborough of San Francisco-based SmartMeme, “But Ed Hale was quite an angel, and he’s got CDs! He sounds like Bono!” Hale set up the new Media Convergence Center for these total strangers with seven phone lines and Internet access on the spot. “We named the space Transcendence,” said Reinsborough, “an incredible place of calm in the middle of a police state.”
Hooked on street protest, Hale went costume shopping. An Army General’s uniform seemed perfect, and when the Republican National Convention hit New York City, he tucked his long hair under a hat, painted a sign that said “Peace!” on one side and “World – We’re Sorry!” on the other and stood silently, “acting like a fucking pissed off army guy” among the thousands that had gathered.
Getting Religion
Raised Catholic by his single mom as she moved him and his brother from town to town in pursuit of work, Hale said, “I lived sixteen towns before I was eleven.” Now, he explains, “I’m not a believer but I like going to church.” Church is just another place to soak up the nectar of life. “Most people write off religion. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. My soul believes in God, but I don’t, ya know? It’s weird.”
His latest focus is the all-black Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, where he recently inquired about membership, mainly to avoid having to stand in line with the other white people who come from all over the world to visit the house of worship listed in Frommer’s guides in every language. Emerging from a recent service on a cold winter day, he sums it up: “It gives me juice.”
Transcendent Television
But getting juiced up in Harlem isn’t enough. When it comes down to it, Hale’s better at squeezing his own juice than drinking up others’. An idea sprang out of his time with the protest organizers in Miami, where he was inspired to organize an impromptu roundtable discussion with all the activist leaders present. He found a filmmaker to record the session, with the idea of posting it on his website (www.transcendence.com) for fans to experience. Then he thought, why not do more of this? Why not take it to television?
For example, what would a rock singer and an Episcopalian Bishop have to talk about? Hale spent a year and a half getting the runaround before he finally landed an interview with the controversial Bishop John Shelby Spong (best-selling author of the book, Why Christians Must Change Or Die). With cameras rolling, Hale and the Bishop ended up talking for five hours in the study of Spong’s New Jersey home, where they covered everything from the state of religion to Hale’s personal theories. (Done with the “Age of Technology,” Hale claims, the “Age of Personal Expression” is next, and with it will come complete human evolution, where mankind becomes humankind. “That’s where we are now, the Personal Expression Age. But who am I to name an age?” he asks with a laugh, but it’s not necessarily a rhetorical question.)
While the Spong interview was years in the making, Ed Hale is just as likely to have as intense a conversation for just as long at, say, a café on the Upper West Side on a Sunday afternoon, where he recently befriended a Metropolitan Opera singer. Kevin Chap, CEO of Polar Productions, describes Hale as a “true social butterfly. It wears off on the people around him.”
Chap and Hale are transforming the recorded interviews into a pilot for Transcendent Television, which Hale describes as reality TV meets talk show. Chap calls it: “A look at life from the other point of view.”
Whether a studio like 20th Century Fox is willing to pick up a reality television show with people talking, as opposed to undergoing radical plastic surgery or eating worms, has yet to be determined. Chap said, “Ed likes to see the best in human nature. He wanted to bring the hopefulness of humanity back into reality television, but the reality TV business is not necessarily based on that concept. Would people rather watch a baby being born or a car accident? Unfortunately, it’s usually the car accident. Transcendent Television is a brilliant idea though. We will see.”
The Seeking Continues
But for all the flash that Hale portrays – the glossy albums with young naked women, the sunglasses after the sun’s gone down, dropping up to a grand on clothing a week – Chap considers Hale “a stubborn headstrong artist” unwilling to sell out. In an Ink19 review of Rise and Shine, Transcendence’s first album, Hale is accused of just the opposite: “Hale…seems to admit that his brand of cross-cultural consciousness is nothing more than a way to buy hipster credentials and corporate consumer satisfaction.” But Chap contends, “Ed would rather take a loss than compromise his artistic concept.” Whether he is more pure to art than image is hard to tell. “Prostituting my integrity to secure this false celebrity,” he sings on “Bored” from the band’s latest album, Nothing is cohesive.
But really, most people don’t turn seeking into a lifelong quest. Most are quite content to do what needs to be done, settle down to quiet lives (Thoreau would say of quiet desperation) filled with simple pleasures and pastimes. When asked what the meaning of life is, they just shrug or refer to whatever particular religion they belong to for a convenient answer.
Maybe The Transcendence Diaries, Hale’s online blog written under the rubric of The Adventures of Fishy is more honest than Hale intended, when he writes, “Still finding myself obsessed with a quiet secret subtle and almost constant gnawing at my insides about the unbearable sadness of how impermanent everything is. Our lifetimes are short here. I remind myself that it is up to me to find meaning while I am here. I try to live my life to its fullest and even then I cannot shake the deep underlying knowing that they are all just moments lived and then soon forgotten. Where is the meaning in that?”
Meera Subramanian is a grad student at NYU majoring in journalism. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. She can be reached at meerasub@gmail.com

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June 5, 2005

Everything Is Cohesive: The Documentary.

Last year, Diane Doyle of Journey of Dreams productions followed the guys around with a camera crew for a documentary entitled Everything is cohesive designed to explore the band’s music and history as part of a series of short features they have created.

November 4, 2004

Ed Hale interviewed in New York Metro about Bush Reelection.

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November 7, 2003

Ed Hale and the Transcendence on WVCG!

Ed Hale and the Transcendence is being interviewed on a radio show entitled Inside the Music Business: The Weekly Radio Show this Sunday (November 9). They will play tracks from the new CD Sleep with you. The show which broadcasts live 2 – 4pm ET from Miami (1080 am WVCG) also streams live (courtesy of myrealtalent.com) and is archived on www.InsideTheMusicBusiness.com.

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July 25, 2002

Ed Hale interviewed on the radio at NOVA University

On Thursday, July 25th, Ed Hale was interviewed by DJ Jason from WNSU Radio (NOVA University, Fort Lauderdale).

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July 18, 2002

Ed Hale and the Transcendence featured in Miami New Times

Read the article here.

or scroll down:

Not a Rock Band
Ed Hale and the Transcendence travel the world right here in Miami-Dade
BY OMAR PEREZ
feedback@miaminewtimes.com

For a long time, Ed Hale’s sense of geography depended on rock and roll. “I knew about England, of course, because of the Beatles and the Stones, and I knew about Ireland because of Sinead O’Connor and U2,” Hale says matter-of-factly. “That was the way I related to the rest of the world.”

So it makes sense that it was FM radio, not CNN, that turned Hale on to the globe. More specifically, it was the sad state of music spewing out of the mid-Nineties. Grunge had just blown its brains out, and headless, flannel-wearing chickens rode the momentum over the airwaves, waiting for an inevitable death. Hale’s interest in music almost died with it. Then he opened up to new sounds from other countries, plunging into everything from Brazilian to West African to Italian songwriters and artists. “It started to inspire me,” he says. “You can hear in their music the joy and the passion that they have for making the music, as opposed to here in America. [Here] it’s like they’re making music just to be famous.”

In Dungeon Studios in North Miami, Ed Hale and the Transcendence (drummer Ricardo Mazzi, keyboardist Jon Rose, and newest members Roger Houdaille on bass and guitarist Fernando Perdomo, who’s known for playing in seemingly every South Florida band) are making music too. When high-fives fly around the room after Perdomo lays down a guitar track — a squealing, feedback-driven intro to one of the band’s newer songs — it’s obvious that the members of the group see music notes instead of dollar signs.

One more reason for the band to celebrate is its Rise and Shine debut, which thrives on a mélange of musical influences without paying homage to any one in particular. The opening “Better Luck Next Time” draws from early Bowie elements, with Hale’s English enunciations sprinkled over classic-rock-honed guitars and frolicking pianos, which keep their momentum on tracks like “Do You Know Who You Are?” and “Mother,” where a dreamy haze of guitars gives way to a rising chorus. A rumbling funk bass line starts “The Journey (A Call to Arms),” while a more international flavor makes its mark on songs like the franglais (French/English) “Ma Petit Naomi,” where mariachi horns serenade as electric guitars toast to Americana and beer-and-chicken-wing rock. The upbeat, tribal backbone of “Trés Cool” sees Hale spit out a list of pop culture references and figures.

Considering his rhymes, Hale wonders out loud, “I love rap, but I don’t know if I can rap.”

“He raps like a white boy,” Mazzi jokes.

A military brat, Hale moved from city to city while growing up. While in Atlanta he met Murray Silver, a music critic who co-wrote Great Balls of Fire: The Uncensored Story of Jerry Lee Lewis and taught a music class at an arts college that Hale pursued in lieu of high school. The professor took the young Hale under his wing and signed him to his small label, releasing Eddie in 1987. (The album has since been re-released by Hale’s current Miami-based TMG Records label.) Hale landed opening spots for area acts including the Georgia Satellites and the Alarm, but the musician lifestyle demanded too much of the teen. On his parents’ advice, Hale returned to South Florida, where he once lived in West Palm Beach. “I think I was too young to take care of myself very well,” he remembers. He enrolled at FAU and started taking courses in philosophy.

One day while listening to the radio, Hale heard a woman win a contest who had the same last name as an old friend of Hale’s from junior high: Sabatella. Hale got in touch with her brother, musician Matthew Sabatella, and the two formed Broken Spectacles, a band that made a name for itself in South Florida during the early Nineties. Despite modest success, the relationship among the musicians grew tense. “The only time we would talk was during rehearsal, and when rehearsal was over, we would all go our separate ways,” he remembers. Finally the Spectacles called it quits in 1994. “Years later I get a call from Matt, and we asked, ‘Why did we stop speaking?’ And we both couldn’t figure it out.” Today the two are friends once again.

Broken off from the Broken Spectacles, Hale picked up his guitar and traveled the East Coast as a solo artist for about a year, landing in New York City and releasing the appropriately titled Acoustic in New York . “I was very excited about the music I was making, and the things I had discovered that I couldn’t do in a band,” he says.

Unfortunately he also encountered financial hardship. “I was sleeping on couches and I was really, really broke, and it was becoming unbearable,” Hale says. “I remember standing in front of this McDonald’s on Broadway hoping that I’d get a dollar or two for playing just so I could go in there and get a cheeseburger. As an artist, every day you just wait for that phone call.” Finally around Christmas of 1996, Hale headed to Miami.

The post-NYC period was tough. “I was associating so much negativity with music-making,” he explains. “When I picked up a guitar to write a song, I would feel bad instead of good.” He put away his guitar for about a year and traveled the world for two, immersing himself in every type of music he could find. For a while Hale was hooked on country. “I’d set the nightstand radio to a country station and I really started falling in love with it,” he says. “I liked the way they can fit a thirty-year story in two-and-a-half minutes. And the musicianship is great.

“Who knows, maybe in ten years we’ll be doing country,” Hale quips.

Perdomo counters: “I’d like to try gangsta country: drive-by-on-a-horse kind of thing. Yo yo yo with a cowpoke.”

While Hale was shedding his bad associations, the Bolivian-born Mazzi was looking for a project. “I just wanted to play music,” Mazzi says. “It didn’t matter what it was.” Mazzi, who also was going through a period of musical experimentation, teamed up with Hale in 1998. “His songs are infections,” Mazzi says. “At first you hear them and you think, ‘Why is he doing that?’ and then you go home driving and you realize he has some catchy stuff.”

It was catchy enough for the folks at MTV, which signed a licensing agreement with the band to allow the network use of six of its songs on Road Rules and The Real World. The single “Better Luck Next Time” has been getting airplay in such far-flung burgs as Fairfax, Virginia and Indianapolis, Indiana.

“We all wanted to do something completely different than what we had done in the past with other bands,” Hale says. “We purposely tried not to be a modern-day rock band.”

miaminewtimes.com | originally published: July 18, 2002

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