Eric Gynan from Leaving Eden took the time to answer my questions. This rock band from the US have toured the USA, UK & Canada, sharing the stage with hundreds of the biggest national bands in the world including; Rob Zombie, 5 Finger DeathPunch and Marylyn Manson. We talked about the origins of the band name, the key parts of a song and pre-show rituals.
Where did the band name come from?
Leaving Eden originally came from the knowledge that this planet is Eden and it would be cool to leave go visit somewhere else. Thus “Leaving Eden”, it also represents the struggle between good and evil.
How did you all get together?
Well, let’s see. First, I was looking for a female singer and found Eve, then Johnny on the bass came referred, and he brought in Ryan on the drums.
What inspired you to become musicians?
Music!!! I’ve been playing since I could walk on the organ first, then to guitar at early age. Both my Great Grandad’s had their own orchestras in Italy and Germany, so I guess it runs in the family. But ultimately, it’s been the music and other bands whom have influenced me.
Was that what you always wanted to do?
Yessa! Since I can remember, working at it my entire life essentially.
What song would you recommend to someone who hasn’t heard your music before?
Great question. I’ll come back to that haha. No really, probably our self titled song “Leaving Eden”. It’s got great hooks, melody, harmony and is quite technical as well, yet easy to follow.
What artists influence you as a band? Who do you admire?
So many, Disturbed, Shinedown, Five Finger, then there’s Lindsey Buckingham and Sabbath, Zeppelin…Then there’s Alice Coopers Stage show as well as Marylyn Manson’s, which other than Zeppelin and Lindsey, we’ve had opportunity to share the stage with.
Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with?
Mark Knopfler, Lindsey Buckingham, and Ritchie Blackmore
My Mum insists that in every interview I ask; what apps do you have on your phone and which one is your favorite?
Ha! Guitar Tuner. That’s about it, not really into apps, they just take up space.
Can we expect to see you playing shows in the UK anytime soon?
Yes, as you may know, we’ve already toured over the pond, and working on 2017!
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
What I call “De-anx”. Chill out to bring the anxiety level down. We definitely like to hang out before the show, but there comes a time before we hit the stage that we head to the touring vehicle, maybe have a shot or whatever, loosen up, stretch and clear the mind. Also, to appreciate the excitement of the moment, that’s very important because soon, the moments gone.
What would you like to achieve through your music?
World peace, haha… No really, yes we got a message like anybody, ours is that struggle between good and evil, how our choices either make or break us. As our song ‘Redemption’ goes, “I ain’t searching for salvation, I already found my way through hell, I don’t care about religion drinking blood from the wishing well…. I hold my faith with no reservation, but I would never put my faith in you. Stay clear from all participation in anything I never want to do.” I’m not a religious man however I am connected to the Universe in all its vast energy along with some kind of creator. We are all one, all part of the same elements that exist and that have ever existed so that when we hurt anything in our paths, we are just hurting ourselves.
To you, what is the most important part of a song?
The drums! No really, everything is important, right? a weak link is just that, so that everything needs to be up to par. With that said, Drums are the most important in terms of audio, you can have shitty vocals, guitars, solos even, but if the drums lack the production they desperately need, then the whole recording fails.
What do you think is the easiest and hardest part of a song to write?
Depending on where you’re getting it from, I tap into the universe for my writing, so it really all comes pretty easy.
If you’re buying music, how would you do so: CD, vinyl or digital?
Digital to be honest.
What is the most challenging song to play live?
We got some new material the world hasn’t heard yet which is proving to be very challenging to play and sing. Lots of 16th notes in there with maybe quarter to full notes with the vocals, so the two are not easy to do live, but that’s what practice is for. If you’re a musician and you’re not practicing hours daily, you’ll probably be less successful.
What’s your earliest musical memory?
3 years old playing the organ.
What’s your fondest musical memory?
Playing in front of 20,000 people! There’s no better high, none!
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
We play anywhere anyhow, anyway we can period. If you refuse gigs for money or distance and stay in your basement, that’s where you’ll remain. I can’t count the times where I may have thought this gig is really inconvenient in all facets, but then when we played it could have been one of the best performances of a lifetime, or we could have met key individuals that could have helped us further down this entangled road of music!
Have you ever met an idol and freaked out about it?
Well, we’ve had the opportunity to share 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, Marylyn 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 Micheals, 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) & many more.. so, Ya really can’t freak out, gotta be more laid back and accept all these stars as regular, normal folks like yourself.
What would be your dream tour?
Metallica or Megadeath!! Oceans of people. We are all drawn to a crowd like every other species on the planet, so with these artists you can count on that!
Where would you be, ideally, in 5 years?
Touring, touring and more touring because that’s where I’m most happy and ya gotta do what makes ya happy right? Other wise you’re wasting your life! My humble opinions here lol… This was fun chatting and hope ta see ya when we come around man!! Peace!
Make sure you follow them on social media to keep up with new releases:
Facebook – Leaving Eden
Twitter – @leavingeden
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