Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Peverett Phile Interviews: Bryan Eden From Tribe of Eden

Hello, welcome back to the interviews, phans. How are you this Saturday? Today's interview is with the lead singer of the band Tribe of Eden. I bring you Bryan Eden.

Me: Hello, Bryan, you are the lead singer, songwriter, and manager for Tribe of Eden. Who else is in the band, and how did the band come together? 

Bryan: First of all , Jason , thanks a lot for the interview. We truly appreciate it! The band lineup is: Ruslan Moiseev on drums, Mike Bowman on guitar and Dylan Kelehan on bass. How we met is interesting. I met Ruslan, who hails from Moscow (as in Russia), through an ad I placed on Craigslist looking for hard rock musicians who wanted to play music with a positive message. Besides being an amazingly talented drummer, Ruslan is a deep thinker and very philosophical guy. Like me, he believes that music can be a positive force in the collective mind that feeds people's spirits and changes the way we think about life. He's extremely picky about who he plays with -- he's an award-winning composer of six of his own albums. So to say I was honored that he believed in me and my songs is an understatement! He literally sold everything he had in Russia to come to New York and join an artistically powerful and commercially successful rock band. I'm blown away by that level of guts and passion! So Ruslan and I started searching for star musicians who believed in the concept behind the band: maverick rockers who want to wake up the world with self-empowering messages while blowing your brains out with the music! We roamed through the clubs in NYC, we checked out a lot of bands and players and we worked Craigslist for months. Ultimately both Dylan and Mike found us online. They are both very different, but they share with Rus and I a high level of musicianship combined with the inspirational vibe and raw power that the music demands. We all strive for our rock to reach the level of art while being as visceral as rock can be.

Me: I normally ask bands how they got the name, but yours is kind of obvious. Did you always want to call the band Tribe of Eden, or did you have any other names in mind? You have a perfect last name. Tribe of Peverett would sound pretty stupid, if it was my band. 

Bryan: The band name of course began with me -- like Van Halen! But the idea was deeper than that . One message I broadcast through my songs is unity -- that in the big picture we're all sisters and brothers and we'll sink or swim on Planet Earth together. So there's really only one tribe that matters -- the tribe of humanity. The word "eden" harks back to the story of creation, where paradise existed. It is my belief that humanity is slowly working its way to the unity and brotherhood that will free us from hatred and war so we can work together to build something better. So "Tribe of Eden" is a way to bring people together through music and a positive philosophy. I believe that people are starving for positive change, so I trust that there's a big audience for what we're doing out there.

Me: Your debut album called "Supernova Soul" is getting some good reviews on-line. Normally I don't listen to much progressive-rock, but there are a few tracks on your CD I really like, "Mysterious Power" would be one of them. Anyway, who do you listen to? Who are your influences? 

Bryan: In a way "Mysterious Power" is both the story of my life and my vision of love saving the world , so I'm glad you dig it! I do believe that it will stand the test of time -- it's written in a classic style and has a timeless message. My influences are anyone who has set me on fire with the desire to live and create. In terms of artistic heroes, Shakespeare, Beethoven, Coltrane, Van Gogh, Tolkien, Kerouac, Monet, Pavarotti, Sinatra, Michaelangelo to name a few. Spiritual heroes include Lincoln, Lao-Tsu, Jesus, Wilhelm Reich, many teachers in the Buddhist lineage, and myself. Because no one but myself can design my unique path to freedom. I believe in following my own soul. In terms of rock -- that list is endless ! But major influences include the Beatles, Zep, U2, the Who, ACDC, Rush, the Doors, Elvis, Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, Yes and Audioslave.

Me: The first band I thought of when I listened to the full album was Simple Minds for some reason. Am I way off track or is Simple Minds a band you grew up listening to?

Bryan: To tell you the truth , I can only name one song by those guys! But my low range resembles their lead singers'-- maybe that's what you were thinking of. Or were you just high LOL! What was their big song -- "Don't You Forget About Me" I think. Great song! But they didn't have the energy/intensity level to grab my attention growing up .

Me: Tribe of Eden is based in New York. Where is New York have you played? If you want to start out playing in clubs, New York IS the place. 

Bryan: Crash, the Knitting Room, the Shrine (a very cool hip-hop club in Harlem-- lots of history). Washington Square Park and Central Park. Playing outdoors was the high point of my summer. You have to earn people's attention, because they aren't there to see you! We ended up in a lot of videos and a tradition developed where people would gift us with candles, wine, food. Kids really loved us! Very tribal, very cool.

Me: If someone came up to you and said "I want Tribe of Eden to go on tour with Tribe of Quest", what would you say?

Bryan: I'd say the idea has some interesting -- if goofy -- marketing appeal. I'd say let's pitch it to VH1 as a reality series called "TRIBE versus TRIBE". Of course there would be weekly eating and drinking contests as well as a video game spinoff. But the main attraction would be the steamy romance between me and the ubervixen lead singer of Quest. Sort of a Romeo and Juliet rock soap opera where both bands unite against us as traitors but skyrocketing record sales sooth all conflicts and love triumphs in the end. You know -- something like that...

Me: You have no tours planned right now, but are you planning a nationwide tour to back your CD?

Bryan: We're actually thinking of starting in Japan, Australia and Europe. We're looking for financial backers so if any of your readers gives us a lead that works out backstage passes are yours for the asking. And wait 'till you meet our groupies -- yeah.

Me: Congratulations on winning the Progressive Rock Indie Song of the Year with "Empower". I didn't know there was such a reward. Where were you given that reward?

Bryan: We were given the award at the three day 'Power of Prog' festival in upstate New York this summer. Given the people who voted us in , it's an amazing honor.

Me: What are your plans for 2009? Are you writing for a new album?

Bryan: I have a whole next record worth of songs ready to be recorded. To do that at the standards we demand will take a little time. We'll be working on the followup record -- and hopefully touring overseas -- in 2009. The current working title is "Fight to be Free".

Me: You describe your music as "hopeful and unifying, empowering and joyful, sexy and raw. It lifts you up and makes you believe in yourself, in humanity, in life" How is that so, and has Tribe of Eden ever been listed as a Christian band?

Bryan: Some people have thought we must be a Christian band because the songs are all about love, brotherhood and unity. We have passionate fans from around the world and from all religious and spiritual backgrounds. There is positive energy in all these paths -- if you are using them in a positive way! Atheists -- people looking for the truth without any outside authority -- dig us too. Love, freedom and unity know no bounds, so we see ourselves as bringing all the tribes together. I'm not a Christian -- as I said , my path is to look within and follow my own soul. Isn't the state of rock these days interesting -- it's generally so dark and devoid of a deeper and uplifting meaning. I'm convinced that people are tired of the gloom and are ready for us. On a musical-artistic level we offer change and hope. Sound familiar?

Me: You have very strong beliefs either about politics, life, dreams. Have you always been like that? Me, I am no way near as deep as that, and a long of things you write about go over my head.

Bryan: I have always been the most intense and philosophical person in the room. I accept that not everyone is going to "get" everything I'm saying. But that's okay, because I'm not out to be anybody's guru. If you dig the music, and understand that I'm telling you to believe in love and believe in yourself, I'm satisfied!

Me: If you could tell the readers of the Phile one new positive thing, what would it be?

Bryan: If you could look inside and really see the power and beauty of who you are, your entire life will change.

Me: This question is asked to everybody I interview... what is your favorite Foghat song?

Bryan: Dude , there is only one answer to that question -- the ultimate hymn to achieving Nirvana through wild sexual abandon. I refer of course to "Slow Ride"

Me: Thanks, Bryan, for doing this interview. I hope it was fun.

Bryan: I had an unbelievably good time doing the interview! Thanks again for the opportunity and I really think your readers will enjoy it.

That was a very good interview, wasn't it? I wish Bryan and the boys the best of luck. Check out his website and listen to his music. The Phile will be back tomorrow with singer Jeremy Rowe. Until then, spread the word, not the turd.

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