Ethan Isaac, Vocal
Joel Kelley, Guitar
Todd Budich, Drums
James Cruz, Bass
When vocalist Ethan Isaac (then of the band Wooden) was introduced to guitarist Jonathan Svec (ex-Splender) by one-time partners Arma Andon and Claude Villani (Godsmack, RA, Petshop Boys, Sinead O’Connor), the two musicians became kindred spirits. They were both big fans of classic but divergent American rockers like Bruce Springsteen as well as European superstars like Led Zeppelin and U2. Once they got into the practice room to jam, their cumulative influences gelled into an explosive blend of motion and emotion that eventually became EDISUN's new self-titled debut.
The son of an NYC playwright, Isaac selected his remaining EDISUN brethren for many reasons. Bassist James Cruz is another New Yorker that brings complementary background vocals to the table and his edgy professionalism along with it. Prankster/Drummer Todd Budich doesn't fool around behind the kit – “he is the embodiment of passion and precision,” says producer Claude Villani from his experience working with Budich. Svec was looking for the right guitarist to complete the band's twin guitar assault and Joel Kelley was the perfect fit. His steadiness and technical ability completed EDISUN and they were ready to move forward.
It’s easy to see why. EDISUN’s wildly eclectic self-titled debut is passionate and euphoric, brimming with energy, attitude, melody and dynamics. “Wide Wake” kicks off the disc with a rhythm that ebbs and flows like the ocean at high tide and a guitar line that cuts through the vocals like barbed wire. “Right Beside You” builds from delicate strumming and ringing guitar tones into a shower of yearning vocals and cascading Beatlesy harmonies. And “To Die For” combines a sinuous, distorted blues riff and a deep, echoing bass line into a churning slab of molten volume heightened by Isaac’s impacting tenor vibrato. Isaac adds his own explanation, “‘Wide Wake’ and ‘Too Pretty,’ are good time rock and roll / Saturday night party songs. Our first single, ‘Medicate,’ is about how they make a pill for everything these days. You can feel pretty much any way you want just by medicating. Simply put, it is a call to take action and not just try to escape your problems.”
After hearing the diverse sounds of EDISUN, it begs the question - Why did it take five years for the band to record this album? The answer is that it took just a few months. The rest of the time was spent answering the 'call' to play for U.S. troops in the Middle East. Since 2005, Edisun has performed for tens of thousands of American soldiers in 20 countries. The band’s tours of duty include shows across Europe and the Middle East with five stints in Iraq alone.
Why did the military approach EDISUN, you ask? “I wrote a song called “Into the Sunlight” about the Trade Towers being attacked,” Isaac explains. “I was about 25 blocks away from the building that day... After people heard the song we got some press that caught the attention of the International Entertainment Committee for the Military and the Department of Defense. We were asked to do tours in Europe and the Middle East and couldn't wait to get out there.”
Their experiences talking to soldiers and interacting with each other impacted them deeply and inspired the lyrics to “Fly” and “Voices,” two of the many outstanding tracks from their self-titled debut. The soldiers that inspired them were inspired in return by the band’s style of heartfelt rock and roll. The more they played, the more seasoned they became as musicians. By the time they returned to the U.S., EDISUN had an abundance of material that was road tested and ready to record.
As they prepared to enter the studio to work on their full-length debut, they had something they hadn’t anticipated – the eye of the media, which admired their patriotism.“ Rolling Stone, Howard Stern, Charles Gibson from ‘World News Tonight’ and the Wall Street Journal all did stories on us,” Isaac says. “And [sports radio show host] Dan Patrick became a really big supporter. He has had us on his show and told his fans to check us out. That has been huge for us.”
With spirits soaring, EDISUN finally entered the studio in mid 2010 to track their album. The debut CD is produced by Claude Villani, a long-time EDISUN collaborator, and mixed at NRG Studios in Los Angeles by Jay Baumgardner. EDISUN not only captured the excitement of their live show and the cavalcade of emotions that come from being away from home in the middle of a war zone they created an aurally rich, musically diverse record that reflects the universal hunger, creativity and vulnerability of youth.