One of the most fascinating of all the bands inhabiting the Fruits de Mer fishpond, the Luck of Eden Hall have been bagged into any number of musical styles, with psych and acid-folk paramount only until you listen to their entire catalog, and catch sight of a band that would be at home being compared to mid-period Beatles as they would sharing an apartment with Polyphonic Spree.
First heard by FdM devotees on the A Phase We’ve Been Through and Roqueting Through Space compilation albums, the Luck of Eden Hall then emerged on the Regal Crabomophone label, two band originals rubbing noses with a couple of covers - Love’s “She Comes In Colors” and the Association’s “Never My Love.” Since that time, Luck of Eden Hall have gone from musical strength to strength. Eden Hall’s Gregory Curvey details the band’s history for us.
GM: You’ve been around a while, haven’t you?
GC: The Luck of Eden Hall formed in 1989 as a three piece with our original drummer Bruce Zimmerman. About a year into it, we added a cellist to expand the compositions. I loved the sound of the instrument and had cello on about 25% of the songs in our set.
We released a 7” on Limited Potential Records in 1990 and then Bruce decided to split. We immediately replaced him, but it took time for the new line up to gel and in 1992 we released a four song EP called Under The Sea to rave reviews, making the cover of CMJ and a video for one of the songs, Man On The Moon, was included in a New Line Cinema film.
“Exit second drummer and cellist.
“Their replacements, Joe Furlong and Eric Remschneider, made our band stronger and both appeared on our first full length CD Belladonna Marmalade in 1993. Four years later, in 1997, I recorded a prog solo CD called Par Crone with Joe Furlong on drums. Mark Lofgren and Patrick Halliwell joined us in a few live shows, but the project was short lived and I decided to call it quits after I returned from an extended stay in India.
GM: I remember that. What brought the band back together?
“Mark and I still got together frequently and record songs on my tape machine and in 2003 I received some home recording software from my wife and friends for my Birthday. Soon after, I experienced a couple life-changing events as my mother passed away and my daughter was born, inspiring the songs that became the Subterrene CD in 2006.
“Having a home studio, and the ability to record every idea, was a dream come true and when we finished our next CD, When The Clock Starts To Wake Up We Go To Sleep in 2008, Mark and I knew it was time to put a band back together. Joe Furlong played drums for the first few shows and then one night Carlos Mendoza sat in because Joe couldn’t make a gig. Exit drummer number three.
“We released some tracks on Your Psych Tunes compilations and then started a relationship with Fruits de Mer Records in 2010. In 2011, we released Butterfly Revolutions, volumes one and two on separate CDs and played a gig with Jim Licka’s other band, Umbra and the Volcan Siege. I asked Jim to play Mellotron with us and behold the current line up.
In 2012, I hand embossed 200 covers for Alligators Eat Gumdrops, which was released as a limited edition CD, and they sold out. This year Headspin Records re-released Butterfly Revolutions as a limited edition double LP on black and colored vinyl and we’re nearly ready to release Victoria Moon, a limited edition of 300 hand numbered and assembled CDs that include an eight page booklet.
GM: Listening to Alligators today, I have to say “A Carny’s Delirium” ranks among my favorite songs of the decade so far. Without me one being able to put my finger upon whatever it is that makes it so great! Truly the mark of a classic song. What are the band’s musical influences... or just the kind of stuff you like?
GC: I really like a lot of musical styles. My first loves were the Monkees, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, because I inherited some of my Aunt’s old record collection. Then KISS and ELO came along. After that, I was turned on to Genesis, YES, King Crimson and Jean Michael Jarre. Then XTC, U2, Psychedelic Furs, Echo and the Bunnymen and the Church. Then the Damned, the Ramones and the Dead Boys…you get the picture. I also love Bernard Herrman sound tracks, Eric Satie and Stravinsky.
GM: Tell us about Victoria Moon - which I’m thoroughly enjoying, by the way.
GC: Victoria Moon’s a throwback to the future. I say that because the title and artwork are from a record we recorded for Limited Potential Records in the early 90’s that was never released. None of the songs are the same (though “Darling Dear” and “Silly Girl” from that project both made their way on to other records), but rather influenced by what I was really into at that time in my life, namely the Victorian Era.
We’ve released a video single of the song “Sassafras Overcoat”, which Mark did a brilliant job editing, and we have plans for other music videos as well. We just need the time to do it. The songs on this project are still popped psychedelic rock and roll, but I tried to confine the instrumentation on most tracks to our live set up so we could recreate them on stage. That said there are a couple tracks that wanted embellishing. Mark and I write loads of songs and as per all of our releases every song must pass our quality control before making the final cut.”
A prodigious writer, fierce music lover and longtime record collector, Dave Thompson is the author of over 100 books, including Goldmine’s “Standard Catalog of American Records 1950-1990, 8th Edition” as well as Goldmine’s “Record Album Price Guide 7th Edition , both of which are published via Krause Publications and are available at www.krausebooks.com