Welcome guys and before we start I just wanted to say Welcome to The Rock and Roll Report, We Love Your Tunes.
Shaz: What’s the name of your band and what’s the origin of that name?
Eddie Mac: Love & Opium; and the name was originally conceived by Joe. It was a combination of the names of two techno dance clubs in South Beach, FL, USA where he promoted shows. Over time, it took on a meaning of its own and that meaning is whatever the listener perceives it to be. I like the idea of words and phrases that are open-ended, vague or have more than one meaning, and that applies in this case.
Shaz: Could you please list the name, and respective instrument of each band member.
Eddie Mac: On the CD we just finished, its:
Joe D: Vocals
Mike Paull: Guitar, Bass and Vocals
Eddie Mac: Drums, Piano
Shaz: What can you tell me about your instruments? (i.e., Are you subject to brand loyalty or will you play with whatever’s available? What made you choose the instruments you have now? Was it cost or was it a style/model/brand/color preference?
Eddie Mac: Mike has been partial to Gibson SG guitars for the past few years because he likes the cost vs sound and playability of them, although he has a couple others and a full compliment of guitars both owned and borrowed were used on the CD. He changes amps every few years but he favors high-end Mesa Boogies and Marshalls. I have a Kaman drum kit that I rented for the recording of the CD but as the length of time became longer than I had anticipated, I ended up just buying it. I’ve got a set of Ludwig Vistalites that I use live with Zildjian cymbals. Joe has a few real nice acoustics, a Takimine and a Tocoma, and a Aria 12-string.
Shaz: What genre of music do you consider your work to be and who are your major influences?
Eddie Mac: Well, its rock and roll I would say but there are so many different styles with-in the genre now that it’s hard to pigeonhole our sound to one category. Joe calls it “Wrestling Music”, and that’s a good way to describe it. We also have a few mellower ballad-type things as well.
Shaz: How did you guys meet and what was it that inspired you to become the Band you are today….
Eddie Mac: Actually we all knew each other for years but Joe was the on that got Mike and I involved with L&O. We would get together at Joe’s place in his front room which was set up like a small recording studio with Cubase, an electronic drum kit, etc. on Saturday afternoons we’d hammer out ideas and musically and Joe would put vocal parts to them during the week. We did that for a couple of years before we realized it might be a good idea to make a CD. I think that idea was always in the back of our minds, though.
Shaz: Are you a member of any music organizations?
Eddie Mac: We’re independent, baby.
Shaz: Who is it that sits down and writes your songs? Or is this a joint effort….
Eddie Mac: Quite often Mike has an idea for a guitar riff, and we’ll hammer that around for a while with the drums, add things, and take things out. Eternal, on the CD, was one he had all done; I just added the drums in when we were recording. I’d say it’s a joint effort for the most part because sometimes Joe will have an idea for a drum beat or I’ll have a line for the lyrics, etc. We try to use the best of all the ideas we come up with.
Shaz: Could you briefly describe the music-making process?
Eddie Mac: Well, like I just explained basically. The good ideas are the ones that tend to stick and the stuff that’s not so good falls by the wayside over time. Sometimes its hard to tell which is which at first so I think the time element is an important one.
Shaz: How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
Eddie Mac: At first we were searching for what our sound was going to be; what we could do individually that fit best with the way that we all played. Over the years I think we started to develop a formula of writing that has streamlined that process to some degree.
Shaz: What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
Eddie Mac: Overcoming the stumbling blocks that every band has. Digging up the money is a big one but the biggest is probably trying to get a band together to play gigs, which meant we had to find a rhythm guitarist and a bass player, since Mike played those on the CD. Learning to be patient with the whole project has also been an on-going learning experience for us as well.
Shaz: So, how would playing in the United Kingdom differ from playing somewhere like the USA?
Eddie Mac: We are from the US, Boston MA area; but we’d love to have the opportunity to play in Europe. There’s a radio station in Spain that’s been playing our CD lately and maybe that could lead to something…..
Shaz: What are your thoughts on rock and roll, and how would you define it?
Eddie Mac: I think rock and roll is probably something different for everybody; for example, when you are young it might be about pissing off your parents, or trying to identify or be identified with a certain segment of society. My parents have certainly dropped out of the equation for me many years ago, and now, to me, rock and roll is about trying to express an emotion or idea in the context of music that is hopefully interesting to the listener, although that’s not the most important thing. Getting the concept across honestly is what’s most important to me personally.
Shaz: Which of your songs are you most proud of and why?
Eddie Mac: Well, I don’t use the concept of “pride” when I’m discussing any music that I’m involved with, but there are some songs that seem to speak to a larger group of folks than others, so those would be the ones that I’m most happy with, although I like all the songs on our CD. For whatever reason, some songs are just more “likeable” to a larger audience.
Shaz: What is life like as a musician in the age of the Internet?
Eddie Mac: The Internet has changed the whole landscape and made it easier to reach a bigger group of potential fans, as well as contacting with business people. What hasn’t changed is that you still need a good product (a good album) and be able to back it up live if you want to get anywhere.
Shaz: Whom and what inspires you guys, musically and otherwise?
Eddie Mac: I’m inspired by wanting to create some good music, something that is a different twist maybe on the musical form that we work in. As far as bands I keep returning to listen to over the years, well; the Who, Killing Joke, Husker Du, Joy Division, NIN, Zeppelin, and on and on to a greater or lesser degree.
Thank you guy’s this has been so awesome and it always rocks to catch up
We hope To see you Rocking It Live someday soon!!!!
Hugs Shaz (On behalf of The Rock and Roll Report)