[Interview Number 53]
This time, we get to know Ed Eagle. Ed is the founder of New Artist Spotlight. His track "It's Fine" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.
Link To New Artist Spotlight Playlists:
Okay, let’s get into the Ten questions for Ed Eagle!
𝟭. 𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗵𝗼𝗯𝗯𝘆?
I'm from Pittsburgh originally, but I've spent the past 14 years in Toronto. My hobbies? Well, until about a year ago, playing guitar was my main hobby, but it has become more than that -- thanks in large part to NAS.
I also love sports and spent my childhood and early adulthood switching between baseball, football and basketball depending on the season. I've tried over the years to remain active in sports as an adult, but the older you get, the harder it is to find friends to hoop with, so I've had to learn to golf!
𝟮. 𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗱𝗶𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝗠𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰/𝗠𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻?
My mom and late father were both music lovers. They'd sing in the car or around the house all the time. There was always music on.
My dad was an avid record collector who also played guitar occasionally. My grandfather was an accomplished banjo and guitar player. There is absolutely music in my blood.
𝟯. 𝗪𝗵𝗼 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝗶𝗴𝗴𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗹𝘂𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀?
As a music fan, I'd say the Beatles were far and away my biggest influence. But I was also lucky enough grow up listening to everything from Stevie Wonder and Sly and the Family Stone to Hank Williams Sr. and Patsy Cline. That led me to appreciate a wide range of music, and to this day my all-time favorites include the Beatles, Stevie, Metallica, Radiohead, Ben Folds Five, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Fiona Apple, System of a Down and Ice Cube.
As a musician, and as someone who has been playing guitar since around 1984, the hard rock and blues guitarists were my biggest influences -- Eddie Van Halen, Tony Iommi, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, SRV and my all-time guitar hero, Randy Rhoads.
𝟰. 𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗱𝗶𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗯𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰?
I began "making" music the moment I picked up a guitar and tried to learn "Smoke on the Water." But I didn't start recording it until the late '90s, when I finished grad school and could afford a 4-track recorder/bass/drum machine to go along with my meager guitar collection.
I still have all of the tracks that I did then (all instrumentals), and I cringe at my tone and playing, but it definitely gave me the bug to be a music creator and not just someone who learned other people's songs.
After moving to Canada and switching jobs to one that didn't have me spending half of my life in hotel rooms and baseball stadiums across North America, I had a bit more time to play and record. I started using a Line 6 pod and recording software to make some more (and better) instrumentals for a few years.
Then came the "boy and two girls, two dogs and a cat, what a busy world," and I just kind of stopped creating music. Then, about a year ago, when my best friend -- who has been a pretty well-known musician back home in Pittsburgh since the 90s -- inspired me to start doing something productive with all of the cool guitars, amps and pedals I was collecting. It was also about that time that I started to feel a lot more comfortable singing in front of friends and strangers.
I did a few tracks, mostly Gary Clark Jr. covers, that I just shared with my friends and family. Then, while watching the Trump impeachment, I was so disgusted by the behavior and blatant lies of politicians on both sides of the aisle that I was inspired to write "The Team." Through absolute sheer luck, a pro producer liked the demo and offered to mix and master it for me for free after hearing it on a Studio One Facebook page that my best friend had encouraged me to join like a month or so earlier.
Less than a year later, here we are. The New Artist Spotlight wouldn't exist today if all of those things didn't fall into place exactly as they did.
𝟱. 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗴𝗼𝗮𝗹𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘆?
I have no illusions that I'll be a rock star or anything near it. I'm damned near 50 (makes me vomit a little in my mouth just to type it), and my time for the spotlight has long past.
I decided decades ago that I would take a career path that assured me of at least a middle-class life that I didn't have as a kid. I couldn't afford (literally) to take a chance on something like a music career, where the odds are so stacked against you. It's a bummer, because I realize now that I have a lot of natural talent that I am only just beginning to hone. But I don't regret my decision at all, because I could not stand to be poor any longer.
My goals now are to write songs that are essentially social commentaries about issues I have strong feelings about -- the absurdity of the modern two-party political system with "The Team;" mental health struggles by people who seem to have their shit together with "It's Fine." In between, I like to collaborate with friends and family on covers of songs that inspire me or work well with my voice.
On a wider level, having grown up poor in what is now ranked as one of the 10 most violent cities in the US, my passion is in helping other folks who are also willing to bust their tails to reach their goals, even if they lack the resources to do so. That's why NAS exists today. If you are reading this, you are likely one of those people.
𝟲. 𝗜𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗮 𝗹𝗼𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗶𝘁 𝗯𝗲?
I've read so many answers to this in these interviews, of course, and I always try to come up with one for myself. It's difficult. I have only sang "live" with a band a couple times, and have only played guitar live once or twice other than in front of family and friends, so I don't have much of a point of reference.
Would it be cool to play to massive crowds in Rio? What about an intimate show at some famous old blues dive bar? How about somewhere in between like Red Rocks?
They all sound great -- and absolutely terrifying -- to me. Hopefully someday, Evan Thomas will ask me me come up on stage with him and his band when he's in town. That's my dream location for now. :)
𝟳. 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗮𝘃𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗴?
For many, many years, it was "I Am The Walrus" by the Beatles. But in the past 10 years or so, it has changed to "Paranoid Android" by Radiohead. To me, it's pretty much the perfect song.
𝟴. 𝗠𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁?
My most embarrassing moment has nothing to do with music. But it does have a lot to do with Penn State football, drinking too much and mistaking a a fraternity brother's book rack in his living room for a urinal. Did I mention that his mom, who I'd only just met earlier in the day, witnessed the whole thing in the middle of the night, as it was just outside her bed room? Good times. Good times.
𝟵. 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗱𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗔𝗰𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗵𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁?
Putting myself through university and grad school, staying out of trouble and raising a family. It might not sound like much to a lot of people, but it was always a dream of mine. And it made my parents proud, which was an added bonus.
𝟭𝟬. 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝘀𝘁 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗮𝗯 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗶𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝘀𝗲?
Paul McCartney. I used to fall asleep to Abbey Road when I was a little kid. I still do at least every few months.
He's the GOAT. Although I've had the opportunity to meet and interview a lot of famous people in my life (mostly pro athletes), I think I'd still be utterly starstruck just to see Sir Paul in person, let alone to work on a song with him.
"It's Fine" on Spotify
and follow his socials
You will not be disappointed!
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