The Band


The Sound of Edensong

What words define the Edensong sound? Even a term as unwieldy as ?epic orchestral progressive acoustic metal-infused rock? does little to categorize Edensong?s music.

Edensong draws deeply from classic symphonic progressive acts, with complex song structures that resemble those of early Genesis or Yes, but Edensong does not simply rehash the music from this Golden Age of prog rock. Edensong experiments with wide-ranging musical styles, adding orchestral instruments like the flute, and Japanese instruments like the shamisen and koto into the live lineup of a versatile hard rock band. With what other act would you hear heavy metal guitar riffs, a classical guitar, flute and cello, along with Balinese gamelan and esoteric Swiss steel drums all in the span of a single album?

Edensong?s music can be as serenely melodic as the music of Simon and Garfunkel and Cat Stevens, or as aggressive as that of Metallica or Opeth. Using sophisticated and unpredictable compositions, not unlike the large scale works of Dream Theater or Rush, Edensong?s music tells a story, at times attaining the epic feel of the scores of Hans Zimmer or Nobuo Uematsu, while at others achieving a ?folkier? simplicity, a singer/songwriter sound that might be more reminiscent of Billy Joel or The Beatles.

Edensong gains inspiration from many styles and eras of music, whether it be from the millennium-long history of Western classical music or the past half-century of rock. With influences ranging from grunge to Gregorian chants, Edensong forges its own path through the droves of homogeneous sound-alike acts. Edensong, along with other new convention-breaking bands, such as Thank You Scientist, Bent Knee, 3, and The Tea Club, to name a few, attempts to creatively revitalize rock music toward artist-driven freedom in a movement away from both the corporately-constructed ?mainstream? and the droves of "sound-alike" prog bands..


The History of Edensong

Edensong is a progressive rock quintet from New York City that Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson has described as "a great example of the contemporary face of progressive rock."

Edensong's history as a band is just as long, epic, and unpredictable as its music. In order to properly explain the 2018 incarnation of Edensong, one must travel back to the mid-1990s, when a young drummer named Nicholas DiGregorio brought his friend Tony Waldman to a Long Island Drum Clinic to see Mike Portnoy. The two Junior High students were awed. While Nick would eventually become a master jazz drummer and move away from playing rock, Tony was instantly transformed into a wild-man prog and metal evangelist.

Joining forces with his two closest friends, James Byron Schoen and Ben Wigler, they formed Echoes of Eden, a high school prog metal band that had no business being so ferociously good. This awkward teenage version of the band was rough around the edges, but the raw talent was there - their single LP "Beneath the Tide" featured several fiercely creative songs, including the title track which has been a mainstay of Edensong's set. Copies of this album still float around on the internet, and we will warn you: the songwriting is great. The performances are pretty OK. The sound quality is... rough.

After High School, Tony, Ben and James went in different directions for college, swearing to one day reunite to conquer the progressive rock landscape. Tony moved to Massachusetts, where among other subjects, he studied Balinese gamelan and the Japanese language, eventually moving to Japan, becoming a legendary beast fluent in Japanese language and culture. Ben went to the University of Rochester and lost his mind in a snowdrift, eventually becoming a prominent singer of endearingly sensitive and vaguely psychedelic music at the dawn of 2000s era indie rock. James headed to the crisp climes of the quaint New England hamlet of Middletown, Connecticut to study at Wesleyan.

James spent his nights entertaining otherwise occupied audiences as they sipped double-shot-half-caf-vegan lattes and studied for their upcoming Gender Archaeology final with his own blend of progressive rock infused acoustic folk, and an occasional Cat Stevens or Jethro Tull cover, but he was growing evermore nostalgic for the days when he could don his leather pants and rock out with his high school prog-metal band Echoes of Eden. After some fits and starts, which were about half avant-garde brilliance and half complete disaster, Edensong was born.

With music inspired by the breadth of the school?s music curriculum, embracing western classical, experimental, and world music traditions, mixed with James?s own guilty (not guilty!) passion of progressive rock, Edensong continued to perform in Connecticut, and later in New York, when the band relocated after graduation. The tumultuous early years saw many members come and go, some of whom went on to pursue careers in dentistry, veterinary medicine, filmmaking, and one who left to form the popular indie rock band MGMT. For his college thesis, James set about creating the band's debut, "The Fruit Fallen." In the creation of this album, he linked up with his old Echoes of Eden collaborator Ben, who by then had become infected by magical nano-spiders and was already undergoing his painful transformation into the 4-string wielding behemoth known to Edensong fans as TD Towers. While they did not know it at the time, James and TD Towers were to become the only members of Edensong to perform core parts on every Edensong full-length recording.

The Fruit Fallen was self-released in 2008 and hailed as a "masterpiece" by critics. Tony was returning from his 5-year adventure in Japan, and Ben/TD Towers was winding down a career with an indie rock outfit (whose music you should definitely check out) called Arizona. While James had assembled a line-up of live musicians to play this music, Tony and TD Towers swiftly murdered those people and regained their rightful places at the right and left hand of a now totally bald and thoroughly bearded James Schoen. Joining forces with virtuoso keyboard player Stefan Paolini and improvisational flutist Barry Seroff, the band held notable festival appearances throughout North America, including Progday in North Carolina, Three Rivers Progressive Rock Festival in Pittsburgh, PA, and Festival Terra Incognita in Quebec City, where Edensong shared the stage with acts ranging from Ozric Tentancles to Kings X to Discipline.

Edensong's followup, Years in the Garden of Years, was released in September 2016 through Laser's Edge. Composed by the entire band, the concept record further explored the band's intricately composed eclectic orchestral rock style, but infused it with the energy and sheer power of that old band, Echoes of Eden. The album's melodies are more memorable, the riffs more powerful, the flute playing more inventive and propulsive. The songs prominently feature immersive new textures, from lush keyboard and orchestral arrangements to esoteric percussion from around the world performed by Tony, such as hang drum and Balinese gamelan.

Thanks to the massive response Years in the Garden of Years received from the progressive rock community, and sagacious guidance from some of the genre's luminaries, Edensong made a stunning return to live performances in 2017, with a US/Canada tour, and several festival appearances including a prominent appearance at RoSfest 2017. By the end of the year, Edensong had appeared with Pain of Salvation, Neal Morse, Anglagard and many more.

But sadly, after their final tour, keyboard player Stefan Paolini and drummer Tony Waldman both announced to the band that they would be leaving the band to pursue other interests. Both made many invaluable contributions to the band over the years. Stefan was largely responsible for keeping the band alive in the post-college years of tumultuous personnel changes. And, as many of you reading this likely know, Tony is a force of nature and truly one of the most singular personalities you will ever meet. From his incredible composition skill and endlessly infectious melody writing, to his virtuoso mastery of the drums, keyboard, and bizarre antics, Tony Waldman is unquestionably one of the greatest and most iconic heroes this genre has ever seen. But, for Edensong, the road ahead leads onward and upward...

Which brings us to 2018. How do you follow up that kind of energy, particularly as your desire to create a new album emerges, and as you've finally been offered a chance to tour not only North America, but the UK and Europe?

You find yourself another beast. Another force of nature. You dig deep into your roots.

You bring Nicholas F*ckin DiGregorio, the OG drum virtuoso who turned Tony onto prog in the first place, out of retirement.

Lucky for us, Nick is a stone cold juggernaut of talent. Dare we say it? We dare. You are going to freak out over his approach to the drums. Nick brings all his years of intense jazz mastery and improvisation to Edensong, breaking every single rigid barrier the band had erected over the years and turning Edensong's live band into a fire-breathing demon of energy, dynamics, scope, and vision. Nick is a true artist and man of great taste, incredible composition and lyrical skill, and he is every single ounce the force of nature that this band needs and deserves. We are so lucky to have him in the band, and we highly recommend that you bring along an extra pair of underwear the first time you see him play live with this band.

Oh, and what else do you do, particularly if you're a genuinely insane person like James Byron Schoen? You shake stuff up even further and, just as the band is crystalizing around its new drummer, you find Kento, a virtuoso koto player and have him play on every single song. That's right, folks, no keyboard for Edensong. Kento's koto playing has brought the majestic side of Edensong's music to full maturity, just as Nick brings nuance and might in equal measure.

Indeed, Edensong is at the top of its game. With TD Towers having arrived at his final incarnation, flutist Barry Seroff giddy with glee, and James Byron Schoen at his most wildly bearded, this band has become a full-on leviathan force to be reckoned with. Prepare yourself. This "contemporary face of progressive rock" is about to MELT YOUR FACE.

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