“I’m of the belief that you can look forever for happiness externally and always be chasing it forever, but true happiness only comes from deep inside,”
Edwin comments philosophically on his fourteen year-old career that began when, as a teenager, he would sing to himself continually. “Deep inside yourself is the only place that you will find peace and a comfortable, happy place. Then, you can radiate it externally and see the effects it has on the people around you. I take pleasure from that.”
Another Spin Around the Sun, Edwin’s solo debut, took over a year to write and arrange. It was recorded with producer/engineer Matt DeMatteo (Ashley MacIsaac, Big Wreck) at Presence Sound in Toronto: a small, homely studio, that wasn’t in the best part of town. Edwin recalls the studio’s entrance, which was in a back alley of a building that looked like it was about to cave in. “It’s not pretty at all, but it had the perfect vibe,” he recalls. “A few times when I was leaving, I’d check the door a couple of hundred times to make sure it couldn’t be easily pushed down,” he laughs.
The album was chosen from a collection of over twenty songs that Edwin had written either by himself, or alongside other songwriters from writing excursions to Toronto, Vancouver and Los Angeles.
“We all have the same ingredients: every person has the same emotions and traumas. They may come in different shapes and sizes, but we all have to deal with the same stuff,” says Edwin of his intriguing approach to songwriting,
lyrics and life. “We need a little more understanding from one another, but if you feel like you can’t deal with people, or you feel like you can’t be good to anybody, sometimes it is good to isolate yourself, recharge your batteries and get back out there.”
Edwin lives, writes, sings and performs with the passion of his affirmation. Many people recognize Edwin as the influential and stylish frontman from the multi-platinum and award-winning outfit, I Mother Earth. At the height of I Mother Earth’s career, with two albums and countless sold-out tours, Edwin made a very personal and decisive move in September, 1997, to leave the band and trail his own path, a move that set the media buzzing and fans of the band into a state of disbelief.
“It’s easy for people to get complacent and comfortable,” Edwin says of the change. “Many people are happy just being that place. I’m the kind of person who always feels like there is more to achieve, to be better and stronger.
Whether it’s music, art, writing or anything, you have to keep breaking down those bricks and start over. The most important thing is the foundation and you build yourself up from there. It’s hard to do, and that’s what I’ve had to do with my career. I Mother Earth was at the peak of its success, and that was when I had to break it all down and start from scratch again. That did not start and end in that band. I know now, for a fact, that it was a move that was needed. I made the choice I had to throw the dice and follow my heart. I had to set it, firmly, in my mind, that if I didn’t work my butt off for this solo album to happen, nobody else was going to do it for me. At the time I left the band, the line ‘to thine own self be true,’ kept running through my head.”
From I Mother Earth to Another Spin Around the Sun, Edwin could not be more exhilarated with his distinct, fresh sound and new approach to making music. Edwin has succeeded in shaping a disc that joins burning melodies with lively sounds and his instantly enticing vocal stylings. It’s a voice that Rush’s Alex
Lifeson honoured when he recorded his own solo effort, Victor (1996), and enlisted Edwin for lead vocal duties.
“That was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I got a phone call from a rock legend, asking me to sing on his solo record,” Edwin recalls with disbelief. “It scared the crap out of me, but I figured if it could freak me out to that degree, how could I resist? I went to Alex’s mansion, I was sitting in his studio and he was playing demos and singing the vocal melodies in my ear. That little moment in time will never, ever leave me. If I have any regrets about my solo album, it’s that I didn’t have Alex play on the song ‘Rush’. The whole time I was recording, he was waiting to play on my record and we never had the chance to get him down.”
Edwin continues: “When people think of the name Edwin, they may think about a singer who yells or has an aggressive attack. The reality is that I’ve always been a very organic singer, but it never really showed. I’ve touched on it, but it never truly came across that I could sing. I wanted to tap into the various flavours, tastes and qualities in my voice. I think I’ve done that on this disc. I’ve pretty much covered my vocal spectrum as far as soft, in your ear, breathy and nice melodies, to ripping your face off with a song like ‘Shotgun’.”
Another Spin Around the Sun could not have come at a better time. As modern music fans are skipping radio channels like they’re surfing the web, and bands or solo artists are increasingly sounding like every other band or solo artist, Edwin’s energizing spin on rock, pop, alternative and classic sounds makes him an identifiable new voice, one that is instantly recognizable, loveable and unique.
“I feel that there is a need for male solo artists at this point in time,” says the man who likes to take long, relaxing drives and sing at the top of his
lungs to his favourite artists (everything from Korn to Van Morrison, U2 and Prodigy). “We have an abundance of female solo artists and a huge overflow of bands out there, but there are not that many new male solo artists. That spurred me on. I wanted to do this my way and take in as many new ideas and suggestions as I could. I took the best bricks and build my own house.” He pauses. “Well, enough to get me through. However, I’ll always come back to a
point where I realize that I don’t know a damn thing. Everything I’ve learned, I’ve had to unlearn. Everything I’ve accumulated is really nothing and I had to get rid of it all to start over, because I always want to get to some sort of next level. That is the biggest challenge. To unlearn or forget and look at things fresh again.”