EDISUN, A CHAT WITH ETHAN ISAAC
On September 11, 2011 a tragic incident changed every Americans lives, their thoughts, emotions and although devastating, it did bring us closer together as a nation.
After that day a man in the name of Ethan Isaac penned a song about that particular day which changed his life and also his band mates lives forever!!
EDISUN is an alternative rock band based out of New York, NY. This band has wholeheartedly moved me by the heroic mission of giving the music they create to our armed forces. These guys in EDISUN literally have played in war zones, trying to bring joy and happiness to the people fighting for us overseas. They have seen insane and unbelievable events just to put smiles on the faces of people far away from families and loved ones. Beyond anything a band can do these days my hat goes off to this band for the courage they have had to place themselves in.
The passion, courage, strength these gentlemen have, shows in the music they make! The band’s newest disc COLLISION is out now and for me is a hit from start to finish. Opening the disc with the upbeat, melody driven KILL ME WITH YOUR KISS, is a great way to welcome a listener in. PINS AND NEEDLES is an easy going good rock sound with an unforgettable chorus that will have you singing along all summer! I love the ambience of VAMPIRES AND WOLVES, a quaint sensibility in its structure and will move your heartstrings. ARCADE is a bit more edgy and seductive. FAREWELL is upbeat and happiness driven track! Then sentiments of pure emotion pour out to end the disc with OCEAN WAVES.
COLLISION will make you fall in love with rock music and the band that created it, EDISUN. If you know them already cherish this pure talented band. If you are unfamiliar with them get to know them before they take off into stardom (although they should be already taking the ride, in my opinion.)
I had a chance to speak with Ethan Isaac, a pure class act, thank you for your time, your stories and your beautiful creation of music. Enjoy!!
WHAT MADE YOU ALL GET TOGETHER AS THE BAND EDISUN? WHAT YEAR WAS THIS ALL PUT TOGETHER?
ETHAN: I had been in a band called Wooden that had a ranch studio in the Catskill Mountains where we recorded, performed and threw these amazing parties--it was our own scene. My manager at the time was Arma Andon who worked with Godsmack, Cyndi Lauper--he introduced me to Jon Svec who was the guitarist from Splendor and we started jamming. That was really the start of the band, but when we added Joel Kelley on guitar and vocals--this really helped develop the EDISUN sound that people know. When Jon left, Joel became the lead guitarist, and has been my main partner, co-writer ever since.
YOUR BAND’S FIRST TOUR WAS LEGIT IN A WARZONE? WHAT MADE YOU GUYS WANNA DO THIS TYPE OF TOURING AND HOW DID YOU MUSIC GO OVER WITH THOSE SERVING OUR COUNTRY?
ETHAN: I had written a song called “INTO THE SUNLIGHT” about my experiences in New York City on September 11, 2011-- the song came to attention of Armed Forces Entertainment who asked me to perform for our soldiers overseas. We had asked back then about going to play in Iraq, Afghanistan--they said “you boys don’t want to go down there.” We had gone to this base in Ramstein, Germany, and there were no soldiers there--just a hospital full of wounded--that really hit us hard. It made us want to go to where the soldiers were, and play for them. When they finally called and said, “Ok, we’ll send you there,” it was like my stomach dropped. There was an immediate excitement, but when reality hit when we were in a C130 Kevlar helmets, Flack Jackets, doing what’s called a combat landing. That was terrifying. The troops we were playing for didn’t know EDISUN music specifically, but they embraced us with so much love and respect. We kept it entertaining--mixed in several classic covers. I will never forget seeing all these American marines and Iraqi army soldiers jumping up and down singing the chorus of AC-DC “Highway to Hell” with me.
DID YOUR LIVES CHANGE AFTER SEEING THAT SCENERY FOR QUITE A WHILE?
ETHAN: It was an experience that changed all of our lives. Meeting these people who were out there making this huge sacrifice, as Jon (Svec) had said at that time on ABC World News Tonight when they interviewed us: “we all had our own opinions about the war and conflict, but meanwhile there are these American troops out there fighting and dying out there for us...One of these guys shook my hand and he wouldn’t let go...he just said “you have no idea how important this is to us. Thank you so much.” I will never forget that.
WILL THE BAND CONTINUE TO DO OVERSEAS AND MILITARY STINTS MORE AGGRESSIVELY THEN REGULAR TOURING?
ETHAN: We still do military tours--we’ve never stopped. We went to the island base of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean last July 4th, and this July 4th we will be going back to the Middle East. We were there with them this past New Year’s Eve. When they call us, we go. As for regular touring, of course, that’s part of our DNA as well. One of the things about EDISUN that’s pretty unique is our tour bus--it’s not a fancy slide-out that you see on TV-- it’s a 1977 former-Greyhound that we converted to our own rock n roll tour bus, people see it rolling down the highway and if not for the EDISUN branding, you’d think Johnny Cash was coming to town. Dan, our soundman and I drive it, and we’ve been back and forth across the US a dozen times. It’s got over a million miles on it, and still going strong. The bus is named Virginia--and she is the fifth member of the band.
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRTATION FOR THE NEW ALBUM COLLISION?
ETHAN: In terms of how far we’ve come as a band, I would say that COLLISION is about where we are in our lives now, musically and creatively, and the thousands of miles we’ve driven and flown around the world to get here. Twenty-five countries and forty-eight states later, with road miles that were going to make us or break us-- EDISUN [i]is stronger than ever, and still growing.
I’M ALSO CURIOUS ABOUT THE ARTWORK FOR THE FRONT OF THE ALBUM WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH THE OVERALL APPEAL OF THE TRACKS ON THE ALBUM AND WHO DID IT?
ETHAN: There’s a local artist to us in Norwalk, Ct called Camelo Blandino. That’s one of his original paintings. Something about it appealed to me and he gave us his total blessing. One of the things I like is how from a distance it has a subtle red, white and blue look to it. There’s also an air of mystery to who this fire-red haired woman is. It’s all serendipitous-- one day we’ll all know--she’ll walk in the door.
HOW IS IT HAVING YOUR OWN RECORDING STUDIO TO GO TO AND CREATE MUSIC AND HOW DOES THAT HELP YOU GUYS AS MUSICIANS FOR THE OVERALL OUTCOME OF YOUR ALBUMS?
ETHAN: The Factory Underground is the recording studio I started with my partner Kenny Cash, who is himself a producer-songwriter, and part of a group called Che-Val. We’re located in Norwalk, Ct. This is where EDISUN started, and has been based ever since. As EDISUN has grown, so has the studio-- we now have Factory Underground Records, which is how we released the COLLISION album, distributed by Universal Music Group. And lately we have launched Factory Underground Live, which is about developing music content for film and television. We just shot a pilot episode for a cooking/music show that featured Martin Barre, the guitarist from Jethro Tull that we are shopping to a syndicated television network. EDISUN has also been featured as character in another scripted reality show that was shot in our studio--that featured Eliot Lewis of Live from Daryl’s House. At Factory Underground, we have the same DIY attitude as we’ve always had with EDISUN. Having access to this amazing studio and crew, our friends and family-- it’s a lot of work but what a blessing. We wrote, recorded, mixed, mastered, released and distributed our album COLLISION with a total DIY attitude. The same person who mixed and mastered our single “PINS AND NEEDLES” - John Shyloski- is the person who produced and directed the video. It’s a family business. #EDISUNFAMILY as we like to say.
YOU ASKED RON ST GERMAIN TO MIX YOUR ALBUM DID THAT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH HIM WORKING WITH MUSE AND HOW AMAZING THE ALBUMS THEY HAVE RELEASED CAME OUT AND WHAT WAS YOUR OVERALL GOAL WITH HIM?
ETHAN: I love all of Ron’s work-- he has mixed some of my favorite artists of all time, including Soundgarden, Muse, etc -- a very long list. We were very fortunate to get him to mix the first single “KILL ME WITH YOUR KISS.” It was an honor for us as a band, but also an incredible learning experience--I got to sit with him in his studio while he worked--it was amazing. But the rest of COLLISION was mixed in house at the Factory by Kenny Cash and John Shyloski. I’m proud of the entire record-- all the mixes stand together.
YOU DID A VIDEO FOR PINS AND NEEDLES WHY DID YOU SELECT THAT AS A SO CALLED SINGLE AND VIDEO RELEASE AND HOW DO YOU FEEL THE FINISHED PRODUCT CAME OUT??
ETHAN: Well like I was saying, we shot it in house. The window behind Todd’s drums is the glass of the control room. We played in our live room we call “the Soundstage.” The look of the “set” is the Factory, all the wood, furniture and cool lighting. John Shyloski did the camera work, and all the editing. The “B Roll” was shot in a small rehearsal studio we have, and John had the idea of using this one bright light to create a really stark image with the lyrics written on the wall behind me. He had the vision for that. When it all came together, edited by John with all of us looking on-- it was a magical experience seeing it all come together.
DID THE PASSING OF THE ICONIC PRINCE BRING BACK ANY MEMORIES FOR YOU GUYS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
Ethan: Well for my partner Kenny Cash, Prince was his main musical influence, so it had a lot of impact on him. It happened on a day we were supposed to release Kenny’s debut album from Che-Val and that hit him hard. For myself, Prince was so iconic and mega-talented-- that’s always going to be felt by everyone. It was the same way for me when Bowie died. Thank God we will always have their music, that’s all I can say.
WHAT DO YOU WANT THE BAND EDISUN TO BE REMEMBERED FOR WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE?
Ethan: Meeting people all over the world, bringing the #EDISUNFAMILY together, working with charities and helping people when we could-- If our music brought joy to one person, that’s what I hope we are remembered for.
BY: STEPHANIE STEVENS
JUST A GIRL WHO LOVES MUSIC BEING CREATIVE AND WRITING, THAT IS HOW THE EAST COAST ROMPER BECAME WHAT IT IS FOR THE MODERN ROCK WORLD