Band Bio

James Byron Schoen

Full Name: James Byron Schoen
Born: April 7, 1983
Originally From: Huntington, NY
Currently located in: New York, NY

Favorite Movies:
Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Favorite TV:
Curb Your Enthusiasm, Game of Thrones

Favorite Books:
LOTR Trilogy, The Harry Potter Series, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, almost any novel by Haruki Murakami, The Dune Chronicles and The Davinci Code.

Favorite Food:
Shanghai Soup Dumplings and Vanilla malted shakes (though possibly not together)

Favorite Beatle:
I’d have to say John; I wrote a paper about him in seventh grade.

Favorite/Most Influential Music:
Jethro Tull, Metallica, Dream Theater, Rush, The Beatles, Michael Jackson

Favorite Concert:
Probably my first Dream Theater concert (c 1997), but also their Metropolis 2000 DVD shoot and my second Yes show at Jones Beach (c 1998) (the skies seemed perfectly synchronized to the music)

5 Desert Island Discs:
Jethro Tull’s “A Passion Play,” Dream Theater’s “A Change of Seasons,” Cat Stevens’s “Teaser and the Firecat,” Coheed and Cambria’s “In Keeping Secrets…,” Red Hot Chili Peppers’s “Blood Sugar Sex Magik,” and many more.

"So lean upon Him gently and don't call on Him to save you from your social graces and the sins you used to waive." -- Ian Anderson

James started writing and recording music at age seven, although some earlier embarrassing "improvisational" sessions are archived on cassette. He discovered at an early age how to transform his karaoke machine, a birthday gift, into a multi-track recorder using a series of overdubs. Utilizing this "advanced" method, he composed his debut solo EP "Desert Storm," which sold three copies in his fourth grade class and has since fallen out of print. Most of his early creative endeavors were collaborations with his childhood friend Benjamin Wigler (currently of New Beard and a frequent Edensong collaborator). When not composing and performing music with their early nineties rock/pop outfit The BJDJ, the two were busy writing and directing movies, drawing and distributing their comic books or designing and programming computer games at the direct expense of a social life.

After a few years of musical hiatus in favor of other projects (specifically the operation of Obsidian Software), James and Ben regrouped in eighth grade along with bassist Alex Hornbake (currently of Wages) and Anthony Waldman (who rejoined James in 2009 to become Edensong’s fulltime drummer after spending years overseas teaching English to crazy Japanese children) to form Echoes of Eden. The band, originally Language of the Mad and later Ashes of Eden, received a standing ovation at their premier performance for a cover of Nirvana's cover of Leadbelly's cover of the traditional folk tune "In the Pines/Where did you Sleep last night?".

Listening now to far more Metallica than Michael Jackson, James and the band adopted an original progressive metal style and released a single album "Beneath The Tide" in 1999 with NYU-based producer Adam Parness. The members of Echoes of Eden went their separate ways after high school graduation and James found himself at Wesleyan University in Fall of 2001, where he formed Edensong during his sophomore year. Here, James built upon his musical knowledge, learning both traditional western classical theory and history, as well as experimental/electronic music and other world traditions, influences of which can be heard in James's music from this time. James graduated from Wesleyan in 2005 with honors in music; parts of “The Fruit Fallen,” which he submitted as a thesis, helped him earn this distincton. Though no band members from the Wesleyan days remain in Edensong currently, this crew can be heard all over Edensong’s 2008 debut album.

After the release of “The Fruit Fallen” and it’s success in the progressive rock world, James began to assemble a new lineup, one that could breathe renewed life into his original vision. Starting with the addition of keyboardist Stefan Paolini and further strengthened by the reunion with old collaborators and the meeting of new ones, the newest incarnation of Edensong sees the band at its most vibrant and close knit, both personally and professionally. James feels privileged to be able to spend his life making music, both through Edensong and through his private studio JBS Recording. He currently lives in New York City. 

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