The Eden House are a collaborative group of musicians that can easily be considered as a super-group, why?! Look who they are my friends: Stephen Carey (This Burning Effigy, Adoration), Tony Pettitt (Fields Of The Nephilim, NFD), Simon Rippin (Red Sun Revival, NFD, Nefilim), Rob Leydon (Red Sun Revival), Bob Loveday (Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Van Morrison, Bob Geldof), Monica Richards (Faith And The Muse), Louise Crane (Solemn Novena, Raven Adore) and Meghan-Noel Pettitt, and if you look how many others have worked with the band as guests or as ex-members the catalogue is pretty impressive. Talent and knowing how to make and arrange music is obvious here, and the band recently released their 3rd ‘Songs Of The Broken Ones’ LP. We approached them for an interview that they kindly accepted, so dear people, welcome to The Eden House!
Hello Eden House, welcome to Last Day Deaf! Your latest ‘Songs Of The Broken Ones’ release came out on May 19, a 12 song LP that certainly works as a novel to the fans. Tell us please, what are we about to listen, and what are the respective differences to the previous ‘Half Life’ (2013) LP?
‘Songs Of The Broken Ones’ is an album that was recorded over a period of three years, two studio moves and a lot of changes in our personal lives, so it’s more of a document of that period, rather than the usual snapshot that an album recorded in a few weeks might be. The world is a very different place now than it was when we started the album, and some of that change is reflected in the album. We have worked with new guests on this album, but also welcomed back some others from previous releases, so there will be some familiar elements to listeners who have heard our earlier releases, but as always we have tried to push the edges of our sound and bring in more of our influences.
The first video single ‘Verdades (I Have Chosen You)’ is inspired from an old Spanish poem, how old is that poem and by whom? In addition, please tell us what pushed you into composing music for it?
The music actually came first for ‘Verdades (I have Chosen You)’, it was a song we had on the back burner for a while and one that we wanted to wait until the right lyric and vocal came along before releasing it. Once we heard the treatment by Monica Richards we knew it was time to release it. The lyrics are a mixture of English and Spanish, with the Spanish parts taken from an anonymous traditional poem. So we don’t know who wrote it or exactly how old it is, but the words and sentiment expressed in it are timeless and universal we think.
You’ve recently welcomed Louise Crane (ex Solemn Novena, Raven Adore singer), as guest vocalist for your live shows. How come?!
We’d already decided during the music writing stage that we wanted to work with different guests on this album. We’d known Louise for a few years through mutual friends and once the opportunity came up to work together we asked her to contribute to one on the songs on the album. We were so impressed we got her to do another and asked her to do some live shows with us. She fits in perfectly with our creative flow and most importantly we all get on really well. The main rule in The Eden House is no “Rockstar/Diva” attitudes. We have stopped working with people in the past because of that attitude.
Please tell us, are you on a touring schedule or are you on one-and-only performances in clubs and festivals? Also, how long is the track list and will you have any guest surprises on stage too?
We plan to do some Euro/UK dates later in the year. And hopefully some festivals. Its difficult to plan as the band line up for this release is spread out over 5000 miles, but we’ll make it work. Initial plans are to do quite long sets that cover our back catalogue and also some of Monica’s favorites from her own solo work and also Faith And The Muse. There are always possibilities for surprise guests on stage – it just depends on who’s in town when we play!
I always wanted to ask how did The Eden House emerge, considering that you all originate from respected and influential bands? In plain words, what made you launch this project?
The idea for doing something with different singers had been about since the early 2000s, but it wasn’t until I started working with Tony Pettitt that it started to become something more than a small studio project. We’d both been in bands from before that were with just one singer and we felt that we wanted to try something new, where we – the musicians, would run the project and not be at the mercy of one person. The Eden House has had nearly thirty guest artists contributing to the project over the last 8 years. This keeps it fresh and interesting for us and we hope, for the listener too.
Since 2009 you have invited exceptional singers and musicians, as guests in The Eden House project. Being well known and admired musicians yourselves, how easy (or not) is to work with other names of equal status?
Thank you, It’s very easy, as we leave space for each guest to do their thing. There’s no point asking a guest to take part and then limit what they do, or try and force them down certain channels. The difficult part is mixing it all together afterwards!
You have been in the dark, gothic side of music for decades, and I’d like your opinion on the current gothic-death rock scene please.
For me it was the music of my youth and I’ll always love it, but I run a mile away from any of the “bats and coffins” shit. The music I like (The Chameleons/Fields Of The Nephilim/Cocteau Twins guitar based type of stuff) had nothing to do with any of that. Nowadays, I’ve spent so long working on our own music, that the last thing I want to do after a day in the studio is listen to more busy music. So lately for me it’s soundtracks or ambient stuff. Stuff that lets me chill the fuck out, like the Robin Guthrie (from Cocteau Twins) and Harold Budd collaborations.
You are cited as ethereal-psychedelic-dark rock band, words for the people to decode your art, but what kind of music does The Eden House feel they make?
It’s like that old joke, there are two kinds of music. Good and Bad. We think we make good music and we hope people agree and like it. One of the best things about the internet is the way it has allowed people to listen to so much more music, and different types of music. When I was younger, we shared our albums on tapes, so you only ever had access to your group of friends music. If everyone in your group only listened to metal, then you would only ever hear metal. The way things are now there’s more cross-pollination going on between different genres. This is good, as we all know what happens with a shallow musical gene pool. You get bats and fucking coffins.
Who is responsible for the riff making, composing and arranging, and who is for the lyrics, in the House?
Myself and Tony do all the arranging and composing, obviously with input from any guest musicians we have on a song. Once we have an early version of the song we start sending them out to our chosen vocalists to see if they feel they can add something. If so – we let them do their own lyrics. It helps a lot as they can sing with much more conviction and passion as its their own thoughts and ideas they are singing.
Can you share with us few new names that really got your interest in the last 2-3 years please?
I really liked O Children but haven’t heard anything from them in a while. Then again – we’ve been busy with this new album so we haven’t really been listening to much new music. A good friend sent me a Mark Lanegan playlist which I love the sound of. His voice is so gravelly they must throw his microphones away after each gig!
People in The Eden House thank you very much for your time, please close the interview as you like!
We’d like to thank people for their patience and for sticking with us while we’ve been working on this record. We hope they like the finished result! Also to go on our Facebook page and let us know if they want us to play a gig in their city. The more requests we get for a place, the more likely it is that we will go there!