Guitarist, bassist and songwriter Edan Hoy has returned under the moniker of Edan H. Back to Eden member has just released the brand new song “Down in Flames”, a powerful rock piece with melodic
Hi Edan and welcome into Rockers And other Animals’ pages, let me say it’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to interview you.
First of all, how does the need for a solo project arise?
Thanks Valeria. The ‘solo’ thing just happened by chance really. I’ve played in bands on-and-off now for 24 years, and to be honest, I really haven’t had the best of luck with it. Actually, most musicians I’ve worked with over the years hate my songs…haha! I was nearly gonna give up on music altogether a few years back, then I met Aliz Kasim on Facebook (who later became the vocalist for my first solo venture ‘Back to Eden’). I was totally blown away by his voice and REALLY wanted to work with him, so my plan was to lure him in with some free recording. It worked!!! So I wrote some songs, worked together with him on some lyrics/vocal melodies, and just called it a solo project. As for ‘Edan H’, I was just killing time really. Some of the guys from the Back to Eden (live) lineup had other projects going on at the time, so I felt the time was right to work on some other stuff that may not fit that sound. As it turns out, it was more similar than I originally intended. ‘Down in Flames’ was meant to be just a dumb, fun kind of song. Like a throwback to the 80’s Hair Metal era, but somewhere during the songwriting process it just got more serious for some reason. All of a sudden there were piano interludes, and the lyrical content had a message. It just happened that way! At the end of the day though, this was all just for a bit of fun. If other people dig it as well, then that’s awesome! I guess it’s just easier being a solo artist. You have an idea and you just roll with it, without having to run that idea past 3 or 4 other band members. As I said, not many musicians like my writing style, so in a band situation this song could well have been shot ‘down in flames’…haha!
You've had some very vile musicists, including Double Vision singer Chandler Mogel, White Widdow guitarist Enzo Almanzi and Mike Trubetskov. A nice union, how did this collaboration come about?
I have known Enzo for many years now. We both live in Melbourne, and have played on the same bill in separate bands a few times. I’m also a big fan of White Widdow, and know a couple of the guys from that band as well. I’ve always had the upmost respect and admiration for Enzo. Not only is he a phenomenal guitar player, but he’s also a really cool down-to-earth kinda guy. The total package! I’m not the greatest lead player, so it was only natural to ask if he would be interested in helping out on the track. He also laid down a couple solos on the Back to Eden EP, so this was nothing new. Chandler came into the picture when I was searching for session singers (I’m not a very good singer either…haha!). I checked out a lot of them, but felt Chandler’s voice was the best suited to this particular song. It was pretty cool to work with someone who is so well known in the industry. Mike Trubetskov was originally just the recording guy, but later become co-producer and keys player. The only keys in my original demo version was the piano thingy in the middle. The rest is all Mike, and even though it’s just a subtle touch, I think it really helped elevate the song. Overall though, it’s knowing your strengths and weaknesses as a musician. I’m comfortable as a rhythm guitarist, or as a bass player, so I kinda just stick to that. If someone else can do something better than you, let them do it. In the long run, it’s only going to improve the end result. I don’t need to be the star of the show. I just wanna make the best music I possibly can.
How much did the various influences coming from the different musical activities of the members effect on the composition of your single?
Not a lot. I mean, I pretty much wrote everything (except for Enzo’s solos and some of the keyboard parts) but if anyone had any influence over the actual writing of the song, it would have been Mike. As a co-producer, he did have a small hand in the songs direction. He pointed out parts that he felt could be improved. If I agreed with him, I would then go back and re-write that part.
What are Edan H's inspirations for composing songs?
For better or worse, I just write what I write. I’m not trying to recreate a certain style, although some of my influences can definitely be heard. For some reason though, whether I’m writing Rock or Metal, my songs tend to have a European flavor to it. Maybe it’s just because I lean more towards the melodic side of things. I mainly listen to Rock/Metal music at home. Everything from Poison to Pantera; but my roots are firmly planted in the 80’s for sure! Lyrically, ‘Down in Flames’ is loosely based on the controversial artworks of Luis Quiles. His illustrations really make you think about the kind of world we live in today. Although the story of ‘Down in Flames’ is a purely fictional one, the message is all too real for many unfortunately.
What is the most challenging part of writing the music?
For me, lyrics 100%!!! Guitar wise, the basic skeleton of a song usually comes pretty easily for me most of the time, although it can take a while to really refine that. However I can be very analytical when it comes to writing the lyrics. Not only content, but rhymes, syllables, trying not to repeat the same word in two consecutive lines etc. I really do put far too much pressure on myself than is probably necessary. Is it all worth it? You tell me…
In a balance between arrangement, lyrics and melody, which is most important to you?
Oh man, that’s a hard one. The songwriter in me wants to say arrangement, but at the end of the day, if you don’t have a good singer with good vocal melodies and hooks, the whole thing stinks! Despite what I just said about agonizing over my lyrical content, that’s probably not important in the grand scheme of things. Some of the biggest hits in the world have had some pretty dumb lyrics. So yeah, I guess a good singer, and catchy vocal melodies are probably the most important. But every single aspect helps to make a good song. If something else is lacking, it’s not gonna be the best it can be.
If you could describe the upcoming single "Down in Flames", what could you tell me?
What are your programs for the future?
I would say ‘Down in Flames’ is European style Hard Rock, similar to that of Treat, Bonfire, Khymera etc. At least that’s what I’ve been told it sounds like. I have no real plans for the future. I like to just go with the flow…
Will a tour follow after the release of this album?
Unlikely. I’m not even sure this will make it to album stage to be honest. EP maybe??? Who knows. The downside of being a solo artist is you wear ALL the costs, and recording/releasing music properly is expensive. But will we record some more stuff in the future? Sure, I can’t see why not…
How do you think the world of hard rock and metal music has changed in the internet era? Didn't the pleasure of searching for and listening to an album go unnoticed?
I think what’s made it easier these days, is also what’s made it harder. Not only for the musician, but also the fan. Anybody can record something now, upload it to YouTube or whatever, which has caused the market to become over-saturated. The good stuff is still out there, it’s just harder to find. Also, there seems to be no monetary value placed on music anymore. Streaming services such as Spotify/YouTube etc, have changed the way music is being consumed. The physical product has become less important, which is a shame. Back in the day I used to love checking out the album art, the linear notes, and basically learning everything about that particular band. I’m still a sucker for the physical product. Although I do order most of my stuff online these days, there was something cool about going into a store and finding something you liked. I still do that from time to time.
From your experience as a musician, what do you recommend to a band that is in its beginning?
Don’t…haha! I guess it’s just be true to yourself. Once you put your music out there in the public domain, you become subject to criticism. You need a thick skin in this business, but if you really believe in what your doing, none of that is going to matter.
Thank you so much for your time. We hope to see you play in Italy one day!!
To conclude the interview, say something important not yet mentioned.
Yes, I would love to come to Italy, maybe one day. I would also like to invite everyone to come say ‘hi’ on any of my social pages. I won’t bite (hard!). Grazie e arrivederci (I learnt some Italian in school, but I did have to check the spelling of this…haha!)
‘Down in Flames’ is out now on all major digital platforms + you can download it for FREE from my website: www.edanhmusic.com
Back to Eden ‘Blackened Heart’ EP available from Hellfire Records Australia