8th February 2014, Interview by Ben Spencer
Having battled against the constant rain it was time to head backstage tomeet four members behind the multi musician scaled project known as the Eden House to learn some more about how this small bedroom project between the two co founders became one of the most expansive band’s in contemporary alternative music.
1. Could you guys introduce yourself and what you do in the band?
Steve: I’m Steve, I play guitars and do most of the recording so far.
Tony: I’m Tony, I play Bass and a lot of recording stuff as well. (Pauses) We kind of initiate ideas together and get people to collaborate ideas together.
Jordan: I’m Jordan and I do vocal parts, so if these guys want my vocals on the track I’ll come along and sing.
Tony: (Leans forward) Also when it comes to the vocalist we have quite a range when it comes to using different singers. If a song doesn’t work with certain song arrangements but we’re always open to suggestions so it’s not a one way street. it’s a two way process.
Jordan: I’m just glad you guys play the melodies that work with what we want to sing, it’s cool (laughs).
Laura: I’m Laura, I’m a singer and I’ve done some songs with Eden House they give me a track and I add lyrics and melody and sometimes Jordan and I will work together as well as performing live together.
2. Could you tell me about Red Sun Revival and Also the Trees and how they came to share a stage with you guys?
Tony: Myself and Steve have always been into and also the trees from back in the day really. They toured with the Cure back in the 80’s. I mean we don’t know them personally, and we found out they were still going so its great to have them here tonight with us.
Steve: I think there is a complimentary thing with our sound with two bands who both sound very different but I think the core idea of what we do is very similar. I mean its not the kind of standard rock, its something bigger, something more. There’s also something very English about their sound and even in he Eden House, there’s a very London based sound to it which is why I think we work so well together and also Red Sun Revival there friends with us so it was nice to have some people along that we knew personally.
3. You have had quite a number of contributing artists feature in your music, could you tell us a bit more about who these people are how they have helped shape your sound?
Steve: (Looks up) That’s a big question because we’ve had so many people that have been around since we started years ago. When we started it was never meant to become anything big and then Tony got on board and it became like a real thing and at that point. Even from before now there have been 26 to 27 artists who have contributed to our sound.
Tony: I mean at the times we thought such and such person would sound great on this song and sometimes they get back to us, sometimes they don’t.
Tony: Bob Loveday, our violinist. He plays live with us, but he’s been round the block. He only flew in yesterday. He’s worked with Lady Gaga, Madonna. Julianne Regan used to sing, she got involved quite early on in the band.
Steve: (Ponders)I mean its bizarre because she was one of the catalysts that actually made this happen. When I was in previous bands the thought of working with a female singer is something I’ve always wanted to do and she was interested in working with us so I asked her to sing some songs which she did. She never did songs with us we’d get them through email so every morning would be like Christmas! You’d download it, play it and just the feeling of being the first person to hear this it’s just such an amazing thing (Smiles).
Tony: Its quite weird because half of working with Jordan and Laura they came up to the studio with us recording which is really nice and then we have Monica Richards she’ll send it over by email. The good thing about Juliann and Monica is that they really know how to record their vocals so all the harmonies just slot right in.
Steve: You don’t have to explain anything to them you get it and its just there. That’s what makes it quite an organic process. That’s the beauty of the whole thing is that we can do both with recording in person and emails.
Jordan: Also everyone in the band is that all the singers have all their own influences which they bring into the band from every kind of direction.
Tony: I think the things is with this band is that its all about the collaboration. Its had a bit of a revolving line up. The other band I play with, last week in Poland and a guy was saying to “People have a bit problem as you guys always seem to have a different singer” and I said it started out as a studio collaboration project that went live and I mean saying that Laura and Jordan have been with us quite a while now. I mean we’ve only got 2 gigs this year and they are playing at both. We do have more plans to play live in the future but they wont get hacked off if they go off if we decide to work with other singers, I mean some people have a hard time grasping that, but that’s what’s made it what it is.
Laura; That’s what makes it unique! I mean if you gave me and Jordan the same track and asked us to record vocals it would sound completely different from each other.
Steve: I’d find it really interesting to do an album with the same song from different singers.
Jordan: yeah like each track having its own twist of the same song and their own interpretation it would be great (laughs).
4. Could you tell us more about the recent DVD that was recorded and what do you think your fans reaction has been so far?
Steve: Well the DVD was called The Looking Glass it was live in the studio the very first time we ever played together as a band. It was remarkable as it didn’t take a lot of work to put all the songs together and we thought it was great. So what happened was we did a sound check and just played together. So yeah it was remarkable and the idea behind it was that we did it as a marketing tool. It was only going to be 2 songs but we did them in about half an hour but we had the studio booked for the rest of the day. So we did it for the rest of the day and we thought lets release it!
Tony: It was a good thing to do as it was played live on multi tracks and then we could mix it properly and we streamed it live and it was my Wife’s birthday.
Steve: as well the studio was right by the Thames and was such a great location, it was ideallic, it was built Charlie Chaplin’s Manager and he built it as a knocking shop to take young girls back too.
5. You guys recently released your second album Half Life, could you tell us about this album and the direction you took? How far do you feel this has come since Smoke & Mirrors?
Steve: Quite a way really, we’ve had an EP and a DVD the Looking Glass, we’ve done a Bjork cover which we released which went down really well and we done the Time cause EP which was half hour music. It was probably as long as some of the albums that were released during the 70’s and 80’s, its as long as that. Then Half Life took a long time to do. I think what happened was we were in the studio and sometimes you cant see the wood through the trees and you think you spend so long working on it and starting re thinking and tweaking things, you start to doubt yourself.
Tony: I think as well with the first album it was just me and Steve and I think we wrote music of the music and it was all arranged and we started firing it out there and the reaction came about very quickly. Where as on this album there was 3 of us with Andy so there was 3 of us and the more of you there are the longer it takes to make decisions. Me and Steve seemed to come from the same sort of page. Whereas Andy was like a top Grammy nominated studio engineer for years so he’s got quite a different view on it. So he was showing us ideas we wouldn’t normally go with, so we’d try stuff out and we’d go back and it just got longer. But that album wouldn’t have been the same album if Andy wasn’t involved and at the end of the day we were all proud of the album.
Whereas I think in the future me I think we will break the rules a bit and if something sounds slightly out of tune to go with it and do something a bit more experimental.
It was a good collaboration with him, he saw the album through with us.
6. If you could perform with any artist in the future who would it be and why?
Jordan: (thinks) For me it would probably be to guest vocal for Industrial bands, m background is metal and industrial. But the prog aspect of The Eden House is what makes it amazing because you cover so many interesting things like combining different time signatures and melodies and the way to chop and change different ideas to create an atmosphere, which firstly makes it challenging as a vocalist, but it helps to develop that very deliberate dissonance which I love painting vocally. I also love screaming angrily about things (laughs). It’s a fantastic band to sing thing as they are open to all ideas, so I’ll just continue with these guys and see where things go.
Tony: yeah I’ll probably try to go and play with the Bad Seeds. I’m back playing with my old band that I played with years ago and I’ve rejoined them, Fields of Nephilim. I’ve played some decent gigs with them and looking forward to making some new music. But I’d love to play with Nick Cave, I’ve been a fan of the Birthday Party since day 1 so that would be my ideal person to work with.
Laura: My ideal person, would Fields of Nephilin, I’d love to do something with them. I’m doing my first solo album at the moment but to have Dave Gilmour playing guitar on that would be amazing.
7. What are your plans for the future?
Tony: Our plans for now is just to get writing again. We just bought some new studio kit. What’s going to be interesting is that I’m working on two projects this year as both Jordan and Laura are so it will be good to have two different things on the go. I’ve got a couple of gigs with Nephilin, so its going to be a year of getting creative. I spoke to someone yesterday who said they wanted to start booking some festivals for us next year so if we get our shit together we could be able to do that. I think that rather than trawling around doing random gigs we’d rather play an event and do some big one off’s because of what we do it needs some volume and it doesn’t really work so well in small sweaty clubs.
Jordan: Like myself I’m working on two things as most people are in the band so for me its all about writing this year. I don’t think there’s a musician in the world that doesn’t have 2 or 3 things going on.
8. Do you have anything you would like to add which hasn’t already been covered?
Tony: No I think we’ve gone off on so many tangents that we’ve covered it all (laughs)
Jordan: (Leans forward) Except for I think that the international streaming thing has taken off and its like the breaking down of the old methods of promoting yourself and your band and now niche genres are breaking out of their confines. I mean like with the Eden House we stream our practises occasionally but the response that we get internationally is incredible as we have an audience in the States but its very hard to get there because of the cost of getting there but because of the streaming stuff your able to set up a base line there before you start touring there. I don’t know when we’ll be able to get there.
Tony: It’s bizarre in a way because after the UK, South America, Brazil, Mexico, some far out places. We were recently looking at where to send our stuff to and even villages up in the Andes know about us.
Jordan: That’s what I like because the former gate keepers of music don’t exist in the world of the internet!
Tony: We always thought Germany was our second biggest following and it turns out it is actually our fourth, but in Poland we’re played on the Polish National radio quite a lot so yeah it’s great because the world is getting pretty small.
I mean I admit I love the old days where music wasn’t as readily available and you used to have to track music down. I liked the way it was a genuine underground scene and you saved up for a vinyl and you knew it was a vinyl inside and out because you played it so much for the love of it. I was heavily into dub reggae when I was younger and the only place you could get it was coming up to London to specialist shops to get it.
Laura: In a way the internet has ruined the way music was before but it has made it easier to express yourself and get yourself out there without being mainstream.