Two years on we have linked back up with Leaving Eden songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Eric Gynan to catch up with the band. Already renowned for their ear grabbing, imagination stoking rock sound, the band is poised to release its new album this month. One highly anticipated release we join Eric to look into its body and character with more besides…
Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.
Howdy Eric Gynan here from the band Leaving Eden, Boston Mass area USA. It’s great to talk with you again. I think it was a couple years ago when we chatted last.
To remind people can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all?
Myself and Eve are the co-founders of Leaving Eden We had some songs; I’ve always been recording so we wanted to play some of these live. I think one must make a choice as to what they want to do with their life. It takes sacrifice, let downs and one must have a thick skin. Let’s face it most artists are different than others, so not only is there issues with all the variables outside the band, but from within too. I think the current line-up is great where everyone sees the bigger picture.
What are the musical backgrounds to you all; previous bands, projects etc…
Yes myself and Eve were in a band before leaving Eden. The band was regionally successful, but it usually comes down to the members. I remember for instance the drummer wanted no part of having a female in the band. He just hated it. Well, I saw the bigger picture, and after the first 100 people came up to me and told me how great Eve was, I knew I had to really do something about it…Shortly after we formed Leaving Eden.
Tell us about the band name?
We thought that this planet being the entire Garden of Eden has become corrupt full of Deceit and Hate so we thought wouldn’t it be nice to go somewhere else that’s the name leaving Eden.
Did you have a particular aim for the band initially and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?
Originally we wanted two female singers that never seemed to work out. Eve was really 2nd to none when it came to a front person, so anyone else up there trying to almost compete was pretty much a ridiculous situation. Now we do have another female, but she plays keys and sings backup vocals so it’s different now. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have not only the right people for the right sound, but the right personalities for perseverance.
Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?
I think so. I think we are a little more reality oriented and understand more the barriers and pitfalls associated with the business. I think more so now we’re happy doing what we’re doing instead of being unhappy about not achieving our goals to the fullest.
How do you see the evolution of the band’s sound since starting out?
I think first and foremost you must always be listening to what’s out there what’s current what’s new and changing with the times. Also, one must try and be a trendsetter. It’s the new artists that forge the future, the ones out there in the gutters so to speak who are really at the pinnacle. As I said, for me I listen and get these songs kind of fully produced in my mind’s eye and I just go with the flow.
So it is a more organic movement of sound than deliberately wanting to try new things or an equally sided process?
Good question maybe both. We always want to try new things but also I think organically speaking the band naturally moves in a particular direction.
You said you eagerly listen to the sounds out there; are particular inspirations which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating music?
I think playing I’m sharing the stage with many of the best bands in the world has definitely been a great influence on us. Leaving Eden has toured the USA, UK and Canada sharing the stage with hundreds of the biggest national bands in the world including; Lacuna Coil, In This Moment, Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell), Ronnie James Dio, Rob Zombie, 5 Finger DeathPunch, Disturbed, Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZTop, Puddle of Mudd, Korn, Killswitch Engage, Buckcherry (Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and The Holding Company, Country Joe, 10 Years After, 40th Anniversary Woodstock) Shinedown, Dropkick Murphy’s, Alice in Chains, Papa Roach, Bret Michaels, Halestorm,Theory of a Deadman, Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Hell Yeah, Trapt, Dope, Soil, Fuel, Queensryche, Saving Abel, Hinder, Damage Plan, 7Dust, Sebastian Bach, SoulFly, Days of the New, NonPoint, DrowningPool, The Misfits, The Butcher Babies, Collective Soul, MushroomHead, Mudvayne, Chevelle, Godsmack, Powerman 5000, 10Years, Taproot, Gin Blossoms, Michael Schenker (UFO, MSG & The Scorpions) Herman Rarebell (The Scorpions), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Kittie, One eyed doll, Uncle Kracker, Tremonti (Creed/Alterbridge) Lamb of god, Slayer, Stone Sour, Motorhead, Blackstone Cherry, HOOKERS & BLOW Featuring GUNS N’ ROSES, QUIET RIOT, W.A.S.P. Members, Steven Tyler, Ted Nugent, Lita Ford, LA Guns, Trixter, Warrant, Apocalyptic Review (featuring members of Godsmack) Adelitas Way, Scott Stapp (The voice of Creed), Gemini Syndrome, Pop Evil, Ratt, Anthrax, Testament, Napalm Death & many more..
How does the songwriting work within the band; is there a particular process?
Yes I think it’s best for me as the songwriter to make a connection with the universe and listen because there’s always songs out there trying to come in; it depends if they come while I’m sleeping and I have the ability to wake up from that and go record something or if it comes while just almost meditating and communicating again with the universe and just listening.
How about the sparks to the lyrical side of your songs?
It’s definitely drawn from reality; all the lyrics are based on what’s happening at the time. Good, bad or indifferent I’m constantly writing lyrics so it’s going back to those and using them for music that I may already have written or writing the music around those lyrics. The skies aren’t always blue, thus our song Skies of Grey. “It’s not too late to open your eyes and sail through skies of grey”. “We’ve been screwed overcharged underpaid and abused, we’ve been exploited avoided and falsely accused, we’ve been cut down let down fucked around, tied and bound but NOTHING could take the music away”. From our Tied and Bound album.
Tell us about the band’s latest release?
Our latest release would be our last album Out of the Ashes (Recorded/mixed By Johnny K. (Disturbed, Pop Evil, Staind, 3 Doors Down,) Mastered by Brad Blackwood (Sevendust, Dave Mathews, Adelitas way, Korn) and produced by myself reinterpreted by Leaving Eden.) We also released a single, Jailbreak and it is going to be on our new album to be released October 19th 2018 called Descending again through Dark Star Records/Sony Music worldwide.
Our new album to be released, Descending, I’m excited about this album because it was recorded at Leaving Eden Studios. We were able to take all the time we needed and really craft this album to exactly what we wanted it to be. I did a premix on it and sent it off to Bob St John for the Final Mix and Mastering. Bob is a Grammy award-winning engineer and has done bands like Duran Duran, Extreme, Collective Soul, Steven Tyler…Such a great guy to work with too.
Can you give us some insight to the themes and premise behind Descending and its songs.
The title Descending, is taken from a song off the album called Shallow Waters. Shallow Waters is very cool because it’s one of those songs where I woke up from a dream and the song was playing in my head; this happens a lot most of the time I can’t pull myself out but this time I was able to. It’s great when you can hear songs already produced in your dreams, takes a lot of work out of it. It definitely comes from somewhere else. We wanted to have different genres such as heavy, acoustic, different key changes and tempos, really trying to have such diversity. We even got some songs you can dance to the beat.
Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?
Yes because studio time is so expensive it’s really best to have it all complete so we have typically recorded the entire album in our studio first working out all the bugs and adding everything we want to add so that when it comes time in the studio we know exactly what we’re doing because there’s usually not as much time as you need, so you try to prepare for that. In the case of our Descending album soon-to-be-released we actually recorded this completely in our studio so we had the time to really craft what we believe is a great album.
Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?
Yes when I have always said that Leaving Eden is best seen and heard live. There’s a lot of energy sharing that goes on with the crowd. We don’t look at it like hey man look at me I’m a rock star check me out I’m too cool man, rather quite the opposite. It’s like hey we’re all here together all night to have a good time so let’s party together and let’s have some fun together. We are all involved in this.
You obviously know how hard it is for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it with Leaving Eden?
Really I think with the onslaught of the internet anywhere you are you can really make a mark. I get it that making a mark by playing the venues that’s in your own region could make a difference. The reality is that if you’re good, fresh, have really put some time into the band look and made a great recording then it doesn’t really matter where you are. You can get it out there with a good publicist, good radio guy, good record label and good distribution also good management. We’ve pretty much always taken care of all of this on our own and hiring certain people and companies. I think it all works together. The most important thing for us is we will play anywhere anyhow anyway, so long as we can because this is what we love to do
You mentioned the internet. How do you work and weave your social media sites to use them most effectively?
The internet is very important to any band because that’s where people are getting most of their information now from and you can do it for free and make an impact on different social media platforms for sure. At the end of the day it comes down to a song, is the song good; is it one somebody wants to listen to? Our song Out Of The Ashes says digging deeper underground faster than the speed of sound. What that means is I feel we’ve always been an underground type band, you know really building its base of friends organically so an underground band able to, with the click of a mouse be in China for instance so that is faster than the speed of sound. It’s definitely referencing the internet and for that you can’t even quantify how important it is when talking about streaming on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon. You know that’s the way people are listening to the music they’re not going out and spending money to pay for music when they can listen to it for free or maybe $10 a month. Now this doesn’t really pay the artist much but if your song caught on and you had millions of listeners every day well then you would be making a lot of money so it’s really the same, only different is the means. People will still buy CDs more at a gig than anywhere else.
Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add?
Well, without our friends, we got nothing so we hope to make new friends here and hope they enjoy learning more about Leaving Eden. We definitely want to say Thanx Much and Peace!!
Pete RingMaster 02/10/2018
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