Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros deliver something unique
“I came up with the name (ESMZ) instead of my own name because I didn’t know who the hell I was at the time I came up with the band.” - Alex Ebert, on his journey of self-discovery through ESMZ.
“I think there’s a certain craving for a human quality in music. Our music isn’t perfect, edited together or auto tuned.” - Alex Ebert, on why folk rock music is winning hearts.
“Before starting writing this music, I broke all the rules. I decided to just really do what felt right at all time. Ever since then I’ve been relatively from all the shackles.” - Alex Ebert, on feeling liberated through music.
March 28, 2010. By Jordana Borensztajn.
A lot of people believe that music acts as a salvation. In the case of the 10-piece ensemble folk rock unit Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, there’s no better way to describe it. Lead singer Alex Ebert says over the years music has helped free him from a variety of battles including a heavy drug addiction.
“I was addicted to heroin – what have you – just about anything. It was when I was quite a bit younger. I went through a period where I was totally sober and that was good but then I became a dogmatically sober robotic individual, devoid of any sort of freedom. So I gave away my freedom again in that sense and then just before starting this band, before starting writing this music, I broke all the rules. I decided to just really do what felt right at all time. Ever since then I’ve been relatively from all the shackles,” he explains.
Ebert, who also plays percussion, piano and guitar, says he formed the band when he was trying to get his life in order and it was incredibly therapeutic.
“It was all part of the upheaval of my life. At the time I was trying to figure out how to get back on track, or get on track for the first time, to find a purer version of myself. It was all part of the same journey,” he explains.
“I came up with the name (ESMZ) instead of my own name because I didn’t know who the hell I was at the time I came up with the band so I guess it was an avenue back towards myself.
“Now I’m surrounded by nine really beautiful amazing human beings that are really fun. We keep each other in line and love each other and remind each other of the truth. It’s really a beautiful process.”
There’s no doubt ESMZ offers something that very few bands have the ability to produce, or even manufacture. The band’s folk rock tunes are emotive and uplifting and aren’t afraid to celebrate life strengths. Following the same path as Mumford and Sons and Angus and Julia Stone, their music couldn’t have come at a better time.
“For a long time the trend was away from imperfections of the heart, or of the spirit, or of the smile. I think it got really tiresome and wearisome for everyone to be subscribing to these bands that are not smiling or always looking down at their shoes or down at ground,” he says.
“I think there’s a certain craving for a human quality in music. Our music isn’t perfect, edited together or auto tuned. You can feel the presence of “non musical” people in the recording – an atmosphere of family sitting by and watching, or cheering on, or playing tambourine – a feeling of community as opposed to some sort of feeling of product.”
“We keep it real and have celebrations along with the darkness – we don’t forget the joy of living.”