What have been your musical epiphany moments?
Hi, I’m Eric Gynan, Cofounder of the Rock band Leaving Eden from New England USA. Leaving Eden Lineup: Eve Lead Vocals, Alyssa Bailey White Keys and Vocals, Jake Gynan Drums, Eric Gynan Guitars and Vocals, Rich Chouinard Bass and Vocals.
I think one must attribute a big change in music when Nirvana came around. It flipped everything on its head. We talk about full circle a lot and this was one of those pivotal moments where everything was moving towards the best one could possibly be musically, vocally and on the guitar. It kind of went back to the beginning once things got so far and they reached the point of no return, it simply goes back to the beginning and starts over again and that’s kind of the way I look at Nirvana. So you had guitar players like Yngwie Malmsteen, where he reached that point where it seemed no one could get better than that, so it had to go back to basics, and start over again.
Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?
It does all happen differently at different times. Sometimes I will already have the lyrics done, and write the music later. Sometimes I’ll have a melody and record the music and then search for the lyrics that I have already written. And then sometimes I’ll have the lyrics and put music to that. But it all comes from a place where I utilize my connection to the universe as we all have. So lots of times I’ll just kind of listen and and there’s always some sort of song playing out there in my mind's eye. I actually have to shut it off at times. I do believe that other artists that have come and gone are able to have a connection, find a conduit so to speak because I believe that they might want to continue through somebody else. You never know.
Who has influenced you the most?
Well I look and influence kind of like intrinsic motivation. Of course good music is always a catalyst for that. I think that playing so many concerts with so many “rock stars“ has definitely influenced me a long time ago as to where I wanted to be. A lot of it has been surreal actually but nonetheless it all really happened. Leaving Eden has toured the USA, UK & Canada sharing the stage with hundreds of the biggest national bands in the world including; 10 Years, 10 Years After (Woodstock Reunion), Adelitas Way, Alice Cooper, Alice In Chains, Anthrax, Apocalyptic Review (featuring members of Godsmack), Avenged Sevenfold, Big Brother and The Holding Company (Woodstock Reunion), Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell), Blackstone Cherry, Bret Michaels, Buckcherry, Chevelle, Collective Soul, Country Joe (Woodstock Reunion), Damage Plan, (Featuring Dimebag & Vinnie Paul) Days Of The New, Disturbed, Dope, Dropkick Murphy's, Drowning Pool, Five Finger Death Punch, Fuel, Gemini Syndrome, Gin Blossoms, Godsmack, Halestorm, HELLYEAH, Herman Rarebell (The Scorpions), Hinder, Hookers & Blow (featuring members of Guns ‘N' Roses, Quiet Riot, W.A.S.P.), In This Moment, Jefferson Starship (Woodstock Reunion), Killswitch Engage, Kittie, Korn, Lacuna Coil, LA Guns, Lamb Of God, Lita Ford, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marilyn Manson, Michael Schenker (UFO, MSG & The Scorpions) Motorhead, Mudvayne, Mushroomhead, Napalm Death, Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Nonpoint, One Eyed Doll, Papa Roach, Pop Evil, Powerman 5000, Puddle Of Mudd, Queensryche, Ratt, Rob Zombie, Ronnie James Dio, Saliva, Saving Abel, Scott Stapp (the voice of Creed), Sebastian Bach, Seether, Sevendust, Shinedown, Slayer, Soil, Soulfly, Steven Tyler, Stone Sour, Taproot, Ted Nugent, Testament, The Butcher Babies, The Misfits, Theory Of A Deadman, Trapt, Tremonti (Creed/Alterbridge), Trixter, Uncle Kracker, Warrant, ZZ Top, Nickelback, Skillet & many more
Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?
They are again it goes back to the connection to the universe and that intrinsic motivation. I think a true artist sincerely pays attention to detail. There are so many forms of artists that people may not consider. Our Tour Manager, Bryant Jenkins, is a mason. So his life‘s work has been his art of building and drawing lines. You could write a thesis and consider it art. So I think everybody is an artist but I also believe that there are particular people that really again pay attention to detail. I remember when I was a kid somebody told me that they will go through my music with a fine tooth comb and that kind of alarmed me a little bit. Who would’ve known that it would’ve been myself that went through that music with a fine tooth comb, down to the 64th beat.
We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?
I used to live right across the street from where the Boston Red Sox play. I could see every game from my window. The hustle and bustle of the city is so different than living in the suburbs for instance which I have lived also. I love them both. In the city you can walk to most places and in the suburbs you’ve got to a drive. I think it depends on how much isolation happens as well. There are a lot of variables but I do agree that where you come from helps to craft who you become. I think in New England people are more forward and really don’t care about political correctness so to speak. They speak their mind. In Boston for instance, you look at somebody and they say “what the fuck are you looking at“. I remember touring in Europe and you would look at someone and they would say “how are you doing mate”. I think that being from this area has definitely influenced me to say what I want to say when I want to say it and not be afraid to speak my mind.
Where'd the band name come from?
Wayback in the day this whole planet I considered the garden of Eden. With all of its deception and corruption wouldn’t it be nice to go somewhere else even for just a little bit. Thus, Leaving Eden.
You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?
Weir, Ironically, I wrote a movie. It has not been finished yet due to the lockdown.
“We are excited about this new album also, because the entire album and lots of tunes from our previous albums will also be featured in a new fake reality comedy movie titled “The Nitwit”
Watch the teaser trailer For THE NITWIT MOVIE
“Originally I had written The Nitwit movie script loosely based on real life events with the intention of having Leaving Eden’s music throughout the movie and procuring other pros to make the movie. Where Leaving Eden has been involved with having our music placed in different movies and TV series this simply made sense. While in Iowa after wrapping up on a shoot I sat down with Nitwit Movie Producer, Ray Van Blarcom and Actor, Matt Moody over a scotch and threw the script down on the table. They started reading it, thought it was hilarious so we decided let’s make the movie. For me being the director of several music videos it was a very simple transition to direct The Nitwit Movie. Finally, I was intrigued by Matt Moody’s experience not only in production but as an actor. Ironically Matt fit the leading role as The Nitwit perfectly. He then brought in Jordan Smith as his co-star and Nitwit Movie Producer, Fran Huges, the rest is history. We expect the movie to be released in 2020 by SGL Entertainment.”
You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?). You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?
I think I would write about John Lennon‘s all you need is love. I would write about the man, the mission and the martyr.
Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?
I remember that I was on this stage that had no back wall to it there was just a tarp. Myself jumping around on stage I ended up falling backwards thinking that what was behind me would break my fall. I didn’t realize at the time that it was just a tarp. A few days before that show Bob, the head of my security died. He was always behind me in the back on stage. When I hit that tarp, A distinctly Felt somebody pushing me back into play without a doubt. I was a good 6 feet above ground so had a fell backwards I could’ve definitely broken my neck. Do I believe in ghosts? Yes I do.
Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans? Live performances?
Live performances is really what it’s all about for us. Right now with the way things are it’s been tough as we’ve always been booked straight through. We’re now getting dates for the spring and summer which is very cool. So I guess some of these venues are thinking that they will be open and ready for business. I’ve always said, Leaving Eden is best heard and seen live as we can all share the energy together.
I really enjoy the connection that we have with our friends and that sharing of the energy between us. We’re just having a party.
What makes a great song?
Lots of energy, great lyrics, melody and harmony. Then there is the arrangement and production.
Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?
“How I Miss You”
This was one of the first songs that I’ve ever written so it's definitely close to the heart. This was released off of our first album Between heaven and hell.
What piece of your music are you particularly proud of?
One of my favorite tunes, the title track “Out of the Ashes”.
Our self titled song “Leaving Eden”
It’s a pretty technical song all around so it’s fun to get it right live on stage.
Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?
I really enjoyed Five Finger Death Punch and Bands like Disturbed. At the end of the day for me it’s all about production and listening to those tones. I’ve worked with Johnny k a lot he’s a friend of mine and he did the sickness album for disturbed and a lot of other bands. He definitely gets it. Now you listen to those bands now and the production has definitely changed and I think it’s great just the same.
Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?
We make CDs as well as streaming platforms. I don’t own any albums. I think it’s Cd still put something physical in peoples hands but they can look at. Obviously an album is bigger so visually it’s a better avenue. They are a lot more expensive to manufacture.
Whiskey or beer? And defend your choice
A long time ago my doctor told me that every man should drink Single malt scotch every day. As long as you’re not prone to be an alcoholic. I said well I guess I would be if I drank every day. He said “Do you trust me, am I your doctor?” He said scotch has the same things that red wine has minus the sugar. He said that it’s good for your heart, cancer and really anything as far as cleaning your blood. These are not my words, they are his. I guess beer can give you gout. So I’m gonna choose scotch whiskey. It ends up being an acquired taste for sure.
What's next for the band?
We just finished a live album/DVD titled “Leaving Eden live the lockdown sessions”
We finished off one album and released it in May 2020 and finished our next album as well. Our next release titled Fable, Dark Star Records/Sony/Universal Release date:
Jan 15, 2021
The World Is Yours
In a World That’s Lost
We also Released our album Dream with me in May, 2020.
“Dream With Me Official Video (in a time of the CoronaVirus) By Leaving Eden”
“House of the Rising Sun Official Video By Leaving Eden”
We have songs in a lot of movies. Tracks from this album and other Leaving Eden albums will be featured in Massimiliano Cerchi’s movies: Painkiller, Mayday, Lockdown and Penthouse and Bloodthirst starring Michael Pare (The Philadelphia Experiment, Eddie and the Cruisers). Newest movie and song Black Wolf Featured on Leaving Eden Fable Album.
Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?
Well I would definitely like to say that I really feel for people that are out of work right now, people who have lost their businesses, and of course people that have gotten sick. My heart goes out to all of these people and one can only pray that things get better world wide. Because we are all in this together. The sooner everybody is awake and to the fact that we all are looking for the same things I think the better off we will all be. For us, without our friends we are nothing so we value our friendships all over the world.