I catch up with singer and songwriter Eden James.
How and why did you start making music?
We had a piano in the living room of my family home; my mother played it often, singing 50s pop songs and that got me interested in having a go.
In fact my childhood played a huge role in my decision to start making music; as well as my mother being musical, my brother had a vinyl record collection that I would listen to when he wasn’t around. That’s how I got into rock ‘n’ roll!
When I was eight years old, I played drums in the school marching band before moving to the drum kit as my first formally studied instrument.
There’s five of you in the band, but they’re named after you. Are you very much the leader?
While I highly value every musician that I work with, I view myself as a solo artist with a backing band.
Once upon a time, I had a band that adopted my name and we all made the effort to ensure things were run democratically. In theory that should have been enough to keep the peace but, inevitably, artistic differences began to show themselves.
As a solo artist, I can hire members like Larry Saltzman – who plays guitar for Paul Simon – and Charles Giordano – who plays keys/accordion in Bruce Springsteen’s band – to collaborate with me on projects. They bring a wealth of experience to the recording but also respect my creative vision, listen to my direction and do their homework on the brief.
Having tried both being part of a ‘fixed’ ensemble and hiring session musicians, the latter is my preference as I just find it more conducive to a harmonious and productive atmosphere.
You now live in New York but were previously based in London and Brisbane what difference does being in each city make to your music?
I am definitely influenced by my environment; the experience of living in several major cities across the world has allowed me to soak up different energies and discover culturally-based perspectives and behaviours. There’s certainly no lack of inspiration when you’re a stranger in a strange land.
Your music evokes the classic rock era – why are you looking to the past?
That’s where I find the most joy, musically speaking.
Rock ‘n’ Roll is an infection with no cure; it has an irresistible charm that people of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs succumb to. Particularly, the 70s was an era that spawned many of my favourite musical icons, such as Iggy Pop, Jim Morrison and Marc Bolan.
It’s testimony to their greatness that many bands from this era are still touring after 50 years (and have more fans than ever before.)
What difference does having Brian Paturalski’s specialist remix treatment make on Something Called Love?
I am hopeful that the EDM remix will make my music accessible to new audiences. Brian and Chass have taken my 70s rock style and metamorphosised it to incorporate a modern makeover with dance/pop elements – something not normally associated with my sound.
I believe this has huge potential to garner interest from a younger fanbase, who may not have previously considered 70s Rock as the genre for them.
Who knows, maybe I’ll find some new fans?
I’m thrilled to announce that I have two more singles, and an album, scheduled for release in 2020, plus some surprise concert announcements in Europe and North America.
So, 2020 is shaping up to be a busy one, but I’m really excited to see what the new year has in store for me and my music.