For an exclusive interview RUSHONROCK’s Russell Hughes caught up with the former Live frontman, where he promised fans new music as well as some of the hits….
rushonrock: You’re only playing three dates in the UK, are you excited to be crossing the Atlantic?
Ed Kowalczyk: I am, incredibly so. It’s a really great line up and a great show, I got really excited to go everywhere especially Europe and parts of the UK.
rushonrock: You’re playing in England, Ireland and Scotland. Is there a particular nation that gives you the best reception?
EK: Overall it’s a really good show. The shows in London are always exciting because it’s a big city, but the fans are really excited to see me and passionate about what I’m doing wherever I go.
rushonrock: You’re playing eight dates in Holland – do you find that you get the same kind of response from a Dutch crowd as you would from an English speaking one?
EK: The Dutch are famously good at English, everybody speaks it there. Over the years the Dutch have responded powerfully to my music and they’re still there. Eight shows is lot in a little country like Holland which says a lot about the fans there.
rushonrock: Do you prefer playing the acoustic shows like you are with I, Alone?
EK: I have to say I’ve become addicted to it. I started out doing it after my new chapter as a solo artist began – the first thing I did was grab that guitar and do entire shows. It’s progressed to become a little more than half of what I do. I absolutely love it. The fans are really receptive to it and to get into the intimate environment was great. I’m having the time of my life. The venues that we pick are really crucial to it. We try and stay in venues that lend themselves to the acoustic experience. My fans really understand that about me and respond to the song writing and vocals.
rushonrock: What can fans expect from new album The Flood And The Mercy?
EK: It’s a little darker than Alive. its big rock record and content wise it’s a deep record which I’m proud of. Lyrically, melodically the whole feel is pretty intense. A lot has to do with the producer Jamie doing creative things, -he’s a genius.
rushonrock: Do you have more freedom now to pursue the type of sound that you really want?
EK: I would say the biggest change isn’t creative freedom, I feel like I’m doing what I’ve always done. The biggest is the freedom to work with other people – to have different musicians interpret what I’m doing from producers to guitar players. The biggest sense of freedom and creativity is the players I’m free to engage with.
rushonrock: Are you proud of your work with Live, and how has it affected your solo work?
EK: So proud, those songs that I still do, I love doing it. Yeah, I do all my hits from Live, Lightning Crashes and Selling The Drama. I get to all the songs that they want to sing too, but now I’m into my third solo release, so fans are switched on to what I’m doing now too. I tend to do a 95-minute show, which touches base with every chapter of my life as a performer and a songwriter and some Live jams for the old timers. There is a pulse and intensity and the line-up is great.
rushonrock: You campaigned for President Obama in his 2008 run for the Presidency. Are you proud of what he has done for the US?
EK: Well without getting into it all, I was happy to be a part of history. I felt there was excitement and a need for change but I had never gone into that world and I haven’t since. I’m more focused on the politics of my soul and my relationship with world around me, because I feel that real change happens within ourselves. If we’re not giving or caring then it really doesn’t matter. I’ve been working with a great charity called World Visions which sponsors kids in Africa and gets them off the grid and into school, digging wells and communities. So yeah, instead of politics I’ve focused on what I can really affect.
rushonrock: And are there any plans to tour the UK again?
EK: I’d like to. We’re looking to come back with the full band. For now we’re focused on getting the album out, but once that’s done we’ll do some dates in support of the album.