Ed Roman is an Ontario-based indie rock singer/songwriter, who just released his new album, Letters From High Latitudes. A full college and AAA radio promotion has his music playing on radio stations across North America and around the world. Ed plays 90% of all the instruments on his album, and he actually has a 250 year old upright bass that was used in battles during WWI and WWII in Canada. Enjoy our interview with Ed Roman below!
Entertwine: When did you get your start in music? It’s awesome that you’re a multi-instrumentalist. How did you learn all of these instruments? Or what motivated you to?
ER: .I’ve been playing music as long as I can remember. We had an old Heintzman upright piano in the front hall of the house and an old acoustic guitar missing two strings made by the World Famous Knapsack Co. and I was always making music and experimenting at a very young age. I grew up in a house of three generations of people and was exposed to such a wide variety of music. My grand parents listened to very old eastern slovak music but my grandmother loved such a wide range of popular music from the 50’s up into the late 90’s. Sinatra, The Beatles, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel… and on and on. She was aways singing as well.
My parents were into the Jazz era with music like Buddy Rich, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and also classic rock. My brothers and sisters who are much older than I were into the 60’s and 70’s rock era with artists like Bob Dylan, John Denver, Deep Purple and early funk like Tower of Power. I guess my yearly years were very influential and motivating. The house was such a busy place that a big part of my motivation was being heard amongst all the commotion.
We lived on a farm and were far more isolated than most and as I got older I started to experiment with other instruments like the drums and bass. When I got to high school I found myself falling in love with the bass and music in general. I found a great deal of healthy competition amongst my other musical peers that really excelerated me as a player and motivated me to pursue it in college. I really feel music has a way to bring peace and harmony to our day to day lives as well as greatly impact the social consciences of society as a whole. Since then I have never looked back and learning and growing musically is a life long passion and dream. I will never stop learning until the day I push up the daisies.
ET: When did you find your sound? What attracted you to creating your sound?
ER: I remember one day a close musical friend Tobias Tinker said to me that he loved when I was just myself and not trying to imitate others. As young players we are all defined by our influences and our limitations, and it can be difficult for some to find their voice or sound as you put it. I remember thinking about what he said and I felt as though I was hit with a diamond bullet that being yourself was the hardest and best you you could do. I just try to be myself and put what I have in my heart out there. I just like life. Some of us live facades and pretend that we are not who we are and others are comfortable with themselves no matter what people think. I was about 16 or 17 when Tobias said that to me. I have always kept that statement close to my heart.. Truth….
ET: How does your music and your sound stand out from the rest in your genre?
ER: Well I guess my genre would be “The Kitchen Sink”… Not sure how many of us are in there but I tend to find that my diversity is what people seem to notice. I feel it can be very dangerous to place art into boxes and the consequence can be and is catastrophic on a prejudistic level. Charles Mingus would say that europeans would consider him an american artist and not just a jazz musician. These categories of death can detour people from otherwise new musical life opening experiences. It’s all music……My music tends not to sound the same from song to song or record to record but approach difficult subject matter and throught provoking questions that may make the listener uneasy about their current situation and at the same time uplift the moment with sheer delight and melody that will pull on your heart strings.
ET: How did your local music scene of Ontario influence or shape your sound as your career progressed?
ER Toronto is a very multi cultural city with such a diverse musical community that it was very hard not to be exposed to such a variety of music. We have Little India with some of north americas finest Tabla and Sitar players, Greek Town with amazing Bazooki players, China Town, Little Jamaica,Little Italy and on and on.. With this we also have the international Jazz festival and Beaches Jazz festival that boasts internationally renowned musicians from around the world. Toronto has always been a music hub like Montreal and Halifax. It was very hard not to be exposed to such a diverse musical cosmopolitan setting. Lucky really.
ET:You’ve been featured on multiple radio stations, correct? Tell us what the process was like in order to make this happen? What is it like to hear your own music on the radio?
ER: Yes I’ve been doing a great deal of radio and TV to promote the newest CD “Letters From High Latitudes” and I can’t thank Michael Stover at MTS enough for all of his help with the radio work. Mike is one of those guys that when you talk to him you can hear a golden light of truth and honesty coming from him. He is one of the hardest working cats in the entertainment world. I feel so blessed and lucky to have met him and that he believes in his artists and what they are doing.. Without that it’s very hard to get your foot in the door. Feels more like family that just a business partner.. I can tell you how great it is to hear the songs on air and play them on TV for people. Ive been getting such great feedback and it’s great to see the fruits of your labour being enjoyed by others.. Fantastic.
ET: What is next for Ed Roman in 2014?
ER: I have a bunch of projects on the go; one of which is a documentary about my 250 plus year old Acoustic Bass that belonged to the Canadian Military during the 1st and 2nd world wars. I also have a plan for a Music Bus, like a bookmobile that helps kids in the West Indies get a musical education. I also plan on heading down to the US to do some playing in the fall of 2014, and do some more promoting the new CD. I’m always writing and ya never know when I will pop out another album…