A CHAT WITH EDWIN MCCAIN

Photo Credit: Zach Arias

Atlantic Records, in my book, was the little-engine-that-could, which in very short time became the powerhouse bullet train: A vital reference point from which the powers that be were able to make the subsequent selection of Record Men who would turn this business of Music into a mighty motherfucker. A Mount Rushmore of Record Men took their places in History as a result of Atlantic Records’ existence. Names like Ertegun, Wexler, Ostin, Waronker, and Geffen are indelibly linked to Atlantic.

I think $12 Billion dollars qualifies as a motherfucker, don’t you? The biggest corporation I ever inhabited prior to Music was only a $4 Billion dollar business, so I’ve got just a bit more respect for the Music Business. I have even more for Atlantic. Atlantic is HEAVY. So when I walked through the doors of the elevator and saw all the Platinum & Gold records on the walls, I wasn’t blown over or anything. I was more like, yeah…this feels kool.

Edwin McCain is a hulking, unassuming fellow who probably was the linebacker you never wanted to meet coming through the hole at the other side of the line, but would buy you a beer after the game. I don’t know much of him, aside from the fact that he came from Greenville, SC where I spent 3 of the worst years of my life. Turns out, there’s a little trepidation on both our parts once we get settled into the interview and the milk begins to spill.

Edwin McCain is a singer-songwriter in the chain of writers whose links contain the likes of Randy Newman, Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell. The wedding of Edwin’s words to music is a celebration attended by people who drink from a spring of consciousness sourced high in the mountains of the universal heart.

I saw Edwin McCain play recently to a crowd at The Troubadour who knew the words to his songs and vibrated with an exhuberance I’ve not felt since I saw Jonatha Brooke do a similar thing- at The Troubadour. Edwin McCain’s music moves people. It moves me.

The interview began by finding common ground upon which to walk in the language of writers. A writer’s symposium attended by two. At certain points, the interview dissolved, just two people across the table from each other talking about life.

EC: You grew up in Greenville, South Carolina.

Edwin: I still live there.

You still do? I thought you moved to Nashville. They made it sound like you moved to Nashville.

We stayed there for a while, to do the record.

Where in Greenville did you live?

I grew up for a short period of time in a place called Cleveland Park. Then we moved out to Gower, which is like a suburb of Greenville, if Greenville could actually have a suburb.

Is Gower close to Greer?

Yeah, it’s not too far. Greer and Spartanburg and Anderson are pretty much in the same place.

So you went to school there?

I went to Christ Church Episcopal Compulsive-Hand-Washing-Anal Retentive-College Preparatory High School.

Then where’d you go after that?

I went to The University of South Carolina for a semester.

The Gamecocks.

The Gamecocks, and I lasted a very short time there, I was a little too wild for them there. Then I went to The College of Charleston [SC].

Down by the water.

Yeah.

Are you a water sign?

I’m an Aquarian.

There’s aqua in that, so did it cool you out a little bit?

No, actually, Charleston’s a pretty crazy place. It solidified my notion that I wanted to be a Musician fulltime.

I spent some time in Greenville.

Really?

I went to Bob Jones University.

Oh, did you? [Ruefully]

Three years…

So what’s your take on it now? [Edwin starts interviewing Emery]

I think my dad’s got problems with his eyes for not looking at that school before he sent me there.

Good Grief! So the Christian Coalition, huh?

What it did for me was it drove me to listen to Music in order to keep my sanity.

Actually, to be honest with you, I have a certain amount of trepidation about this interview, now that I hear that you’ve been there. [Laughter]

Why?

I had quite a bit of experience with Bob Jones people…This is really funny how this is circular, tying into everything. My friend Tim, who I wrote Solitude about, off the old record- the song that did the best on the radio, lived in this big house downtown. His mother rented a couple rooms to some Bob Jones students, and we were like 12 and 13 hanging around the house, and their major mission in life- daily- was to save our souls. By the time I had gotten a certain amount of reasoning skills- and I have a strong faith, a deep belief in God and Jesus Christ- I was absolutely amazed at the tactics, it was almost brainwashing. I was really sketched out on that, it turned me off pretty bad.
I felt kind of sorry for these kids, looking back on them now, they were younger than I am now. I think they had lost their sense of identity in a lot of ways and had adhered to this militant, evangelical army. But I don’t know enough about Bob Jones to really be able to say. I don’t know enough of the whole schedule and everything, and I don’t necessarily want to crack on it, because there are some really beautiful things like the art [museum] that it brings. I lament the fact that it’s a little unrealistic in a lot of ways and it creates a lot of tension and a lot of negativity that could easily be dispelled with a little bit of kindness and understanding, but the doctrines would prohibit that kind of understanding.
I was ashamed that the torch had to be put into a van and skipped Greenville on its way to the Olympic Games because of the climate there about Gays.

So you asked me what my take on that- I could never even tell you in 1985 that I ever went there, I couldn’t even speak about it after I left there.

Really? [Sensing a twist]

They deported me, man. They mailed me my diploma. I’m from New York, and I had gone to Ohio State for two years before I went to Bob Jones. I mean, there is nothing like that place on the whole face of the Earth. So it’s like when I saw Greenville, SC in the press kit, I was like, do I mention to this guy that I went to Bob Jones? It’s like I try to tell my parents that I went through a Vietnam-type experience there and it changed me.
I saw how you can hate through a thing that is supposed to be about love very easily.

Absolutely!

So they loved me to death, down there. They had these policies about blacks and whites.

Women and Men and personal contact. I’m really astounded by that. We were given these feelings and emotions for a reason. Not to be stifled. It’s amazing, the power of guilt. When someone can apply that to you. When someone can teach you to feel guilty about things that are natural and wonderful and beautiful. I think it’s definitely a shame. But you seem to have pulled through that one pretty well.

It took me about a decade to recover from that place. My sister and I went down there. My sister was going to be a lawyer, a very very brilliant girl, she ended up- they did something to her head- and she ended up getting a degree in education, so she teaches kids in Detroit. She married a guy from Bob Jones- the guy’s family wouldn’t even come to the wedding, because they were white and she’s Filipino.

That’s insane!

This is like a deep thing for me to be talking with you about, but I can relate to you since which is return that energy back to people that don’t have an outlet.
The way I kind of see songs, and you’re from South Carolina. It’s such a beautiful fucking state. I’ve never seen rivers and mills- did you ever go to The Old Mill Stream?

Yeah, sure man. I’ve been all over South Carolina. There’s some things about the South that I’m a little ashamed of. It’s still very segregated in lots of ways. There’s a fine line between the haves and the havenots. For a place that’s so beautiful, it’s just evolving slower than most should.

I was wondering if the ’96 Olympics would change the South, because the whole World was coming there for a couple months. I was wondering what your perceptions were regarding any wind of change coming south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Don’t get me wrong. I find as much prejudice all over, as I do in The South. I don’t think the greed differs, I think the level of expectation differs. I think people get into The South, because the level of expectation is increased, their awareness of it is increased. I think in areas where you think it’s relatively non-biased, you’re just not aware of it. I find the level of prejudice in St. Croix is as high as it is anywhere. It really depends on how aware of it you are. It’s all based on fear. Everything that cripples us as Beings, these amazing spiritual beings that we are, is all based on fear. That’s why when you can actively place the stereotype onto a region, then your fear is increased and you’re walking in with your antenna wide open.

I’ll tell you a couple more things about Bob Jones, and then we’ll get into the Music. They had a thing against Elvis. They hated Elvis. We had hair checks.

Hair Checks?

Walking into chapel, they have this building that’s like the Universal Amphitheatre, they would have monitors checking your hair as you walked in making sure you didn’t have it cut like Elvis, because he had this ‘boxed’ hair style in back. Everybody had to have a tapered back.

That’s absolutely outlandish.

That’s one of the things.

It’s shrouded in secrecy, there’s a lot of the things I never found out about, because you couldn’t know.

They have their own Police force. [Edwin snickers] They drive around on motorcycles. What I did to sneak out was I got to be friends with the cops, so I knew where to jump the fence. I had a girlfriend off campus and we got in the biggest fucking trouble, because she was white.

Now, as Filipinos, did you feel like second class at Bob Jones?

I got to know what it felt like to be discriminated against. For the first time in my life, I knew what blacks go through, because I had never been picked apart. They sat me down in an office this size and told me, Emery your nose is too flat, your legs are too bandy, your eyes are too squinty, so therefore you don’t fit these Caucasian characteristics so we can’t let you date white chicks, but then the missionaries that they were in cahoots with from India and Guam and Samoa, they were letting those kids date white chicks, but they weren’t letting me..

I’m absolutely astounded!

Well that fucked me up for years, man.

That’s abhorrent!

It was hard for me to talk to women for a while, because they put that shit in my head.

And how old were you at the time?

Nineteen.

Oh, no!

37 bells a day.

What was that?

They had a bell system, like a penitentiary. A bell would ring at 7 a.m. And by 7:05, your feet had to be on the ground, a monitor would come by to check that you were standing on the floor and you were awake. I came from Ohio State and I usually didn’t wake up til 10 a.m.
[Ed Note: Edwin is visibly stunned that the place I’ve described is in his hometown! I shift gears, quickly getting him to talk about sailing on Lake Jocassee and that seemed to settle him some.]

So what did you listen to, growing up in Greenville. What makes you a Rock Star?

Nothing makes me a Rock Star. I’m a musician first, I’m a songwriter. I think that’s probably what doesn’t make me a Rock Star. The thing about Greenville that was beautiful- I was adopted by wonderful people. I grew up in a very musical family. Dad played the sax in college, but he didn’t play much after he went to medical school. So I spent a lot of time in church choir, and doing little plays and little theatre, and one of the things I regret- and this goes back to the whole climate of Greenville- was that one of the little theatre directors was kind of a flamboyant gay man and being brought up that something’s evil about that, you get scared, thinking he’s gonna try to steal you away.
At 12-13, you look at gay people as some sort of deviant thing, some sort of horrible aberration of humanity, as opposed to this really talented director who put on great shows. I think I got away from little theatre because of that and didn’t know any better. So I went into church choir, and sang whatever I could sing in and did plays for the school and then got into music.
The first band that I freaked out on was Van Halen. I was around when Ratt, Van Halen and Motey Crue and the whole thing came out and it was just heavy metal man, it was cool. There were people that were way way into the heavy metal thing, but I got turned onto Earth, Wind and Fire early. The Earth, Wind and Fire came when I was 9, 10, or 11 and that was all I ever wanted for Christmas or birthdays was whatever the new Earth, Wind and Fire was. I went through my little rock and roll phase when I was 13 and then I went through my little punk phase right after that when I listened to Corrosion of Conformity and I skateboarded and had the sides of my head shaved: Jody Foster’s Army and The Dead Kennedys, all that stuff…Henry Rollins, what was he in?

Black Flag

I used to listen to Blag Flag…The Police, I got turned onto the Police. But I think the constant was a lot of the Motown, Wilson Pickett, Al Green, that stuff really kind of sparked me. When I was 16 or 17 I heard a songwriter, David Wilcox, an acoustic songwriter who lived in Black Mountain, North Carolina and used to play at this little place called McDibbs, and it was not much larger than this [listening] room. They had benches set up, and everybody would just line up on the benches and he would get up and tell stories like the original troubadour, and give the background of the song, and play them and give the emotional validation to the songs and he would just make people cry, laugh and do what seemed to me music was always intended to do, which is return that energy back to people that don’t have an outlet.
The way I kind of see songs, and songwriting and music is that people in their general lives send out all this energy they don’t really know how to deal with it and it just builds up, and builds up, and it builds up into this huge storm cloud until, POW!, lightning strikes a songwriter and the songwriter kind of diffuses all that energy and makes it an understandable entity, able for people to say they feel that same way and they can relate. I think it brings people together in their emotion, in their confusion, together in their laughter and in the swelling of their hearts. It allows people to feel like, you know what, I was scared to say that I felt this, but everybody here gets it, so I am not alone. I saw the amazing power music has and the songwriting genius this man possesses and it was the most amazing artform to me.
I used to push my car down the driveway, sneak out and drive all the way up to Black Mountain just to hear him sing. That was when I decided I wanted to be a songwriter. I truly believe that music listened to properly and digested well can change the world. We’ve proven that already, in our smallest little offering up.
I set up a foundation for Charleston, called the America Street Foundation, where we put on shows to raise money to rebuild homes for low income families inconjuction with an organization called Charleston Affordable Housing. We’ve managed to raise $250,000 over the last year.

Yikes! Really? In one year? That’s great!

We’re actually in line for a $1.7M grant. Right now I’m kinda sitting on pins and needles as we’re talking, waiting to hear if we got that. I’m real proud of the fact that I’ve made more money for this organization, we’ve helped do more for charity than I’ve done for myself by any stretch of the imagination. I believe that it’s about communities and music is about communities and people and not so much the Soundscans and BDS’s of the world, all that other stuff.

I don’t dig that stuff.

It’s a horrible marriage. We were just talking about that a minute ago. It’s necessary, because I get to reach a lot more people this way, but I feel I try to bring the career up so all the other positive aspects can be amplified as well, but then there’s that lingering potential yin to that yang that I think is always there. The machine that is the music industry is a choatic, wonderful, powerful, horrible machine, fueled by the gasoline of fame. Somewhere along the line, all the way back to Elvis, people were slowly conditioned into believing what they on the TV and hear on the radio is somehow elevated and special and famous as opposed to the music that you hear and the music that touches you is special- because of that- just because of it’s own thing. One deserves the other, in a weird sort of way.

So you’re not in it just for the quick buck. This is kind of interesting to hear that you’re trying to help out people.

My goal with America Street Foundation is to hopefully take it national. I think it was the first thing I could do to counteract the soulless nature of making money from music. I experienced a good deal of guilt over it. It was easy when I was in debt, I was dying on the road. I was $80,000 in debt trying to get a band to happen. [Laughs] You have that desperation, then all of the sudden, you have this pretty reasonable success. Now we’ve got some money, and I felt guilty about it for a little bit. Everyone has to make a living, I definitely have to make a living, I should be able to provide for whatever comes my way. I think that with success, there’s a certain amount of responsibilty for the community that nutured you. That’s the nature of the America Street Foundation.

Why did you choose Charleston, because you lived there?

That’s where we came from. That’s where our band came out of. That’s where I was living and we were touring out of. So, my initial return would be to Charleston, and then to Greenville, and then on from there. It’s real hard to manage to do this stuff and keep your career afloat, so I have to turn the focus off and be a little microcosmic in my career so that we can do things like this. So it’s good, it’s real good.

So you wanted to be a songwriter, did you sit down and study all these hits ; three verses, a chorus and a bridge or what?

No. I just got a guitar and figured out enough to learn how to play, good enough to put some chords together and write what I felt and started writing songs. Some of the songs off the last record, I wrote when I was 17 years old. The inspiration side of the songwriting is what really intrigues me- that lightning bolt- pow! It just hits you, and all of it just pops out. Let’s see, which songs were like that…[Edwin looks at the inlay of his CD]
Grind Me In The Gears took about 30 minutes to write, that just popped right out. I’ll Be was another one. It took me from the time I left Raleigh on the way back to Charleston in the car. How Strange It Seems flew right out. All this stuff kind of, pop!

So you get hit pretty powerfully by the Muse.

Yeah. There’s like a school of thought that you should sit down and write everyday. And I’m from the crockpot theory, I just kind of gather. I go out and look and do and experience, and it kind of builds up until it crystallizes into one idea, and then everything just goes, boom!, And it pops right out. It starts to be contrived if you force it, you’re stretching, just looking for something and you end up doing it. It’s a trick of being inspired and honest while you’re being inspired.

So when the stuff comes flying out, do you have a tape rolling?

Man, I’ve got little pieces of paper, little match books, receipts, the back of my hand, what ever is available to write it down, and I’ve probably lost a lot of ideas because I didn’t have anything around at the time to write it down, but they all come back, they all kind of recycle themselves.

I read somewhere that you like to write, you’re working on writing a novel.

At some point I’m going to sit down a write about the experience. It’d be almost like an Orwellian task to honestly chronicle the true nature and the emotions that have gone into the last three or four years, it’s just been crazy. I’ve joked about it, but I think that they took me real literally about it.

That’d be one hell of an advance to be able to sit down and write about it.

I’ve talked about it with our old tour manager, Matt, and we’ve definitely said that we’d do it, but I’m not real sure if people are ready for it, you know? I think an honest depiction of what you go through to be able to play music on a national level would be a little disheartening for fans of music and I don’t have any desire to take away from how people view music, cause lots of people are really happy with the way they get their music and listen to it and I would never want to undermine that knowledge.

You know what, you hit on something very interesting, Edwin, because I wish I could go back to the point where I could enjoy music like the public out there. I can no longer be that way, once I decided to go into this, it’s like I can’t enjoy it the way I used to, cause I’ll be listening and going, this guy’s got a fucked up bass part. You start thinking the wrong way, and it’s like what happened to the pleasure of it, Emery?

But the good thing is, and I think that’s probably the fact that you think that, is you’re kind of charged with the task of trying to bring that positivity to it, and obviously, you do make that effort to keep that positivity to it, because I see more often than not, people who’ve become jaded and I’ve definitely gone through bouts of being jaded and it becomes directly related to how much time I spend around the label executives. It’s nothing against them, because they’re all really beautiful people with families, and it’s a wonderful thing…but they’re charged with the task of promoting and selling products that make money. I think I offer a difficult task in a lot of ways in that I’m hard to format.

But you know what’s good about you that I find is a relief for me is you’re like a Randy Newman. I mean, how the fuck, if he came out today, I doubt he’d be signed. Because it’s like, “how are we going to sell this?;”

How are we going to sell a songwriter?

“What’s Soundscan going to return on this? I don’t know if we can make the commitment.;” But I think the Old Guard , the Record Men, had more grapefruits and went, we’re going to commit and fuck youse all.

I think I miss that, but I also believe in the Delbert McClinton school where you take it to the people and what you do on stage is on fire an all that kind of stuff will eventually fall in line. I believe the level of performance where we’re at is as good as we can be. The house soundman at The Belly Up-

In Solano Beach.

That’s another thing, we don’t have radio there we don’t have anything going on there, but those 3 or 400 people there knew all the words to our songs and they were into the songwriting, and it really fires me up that people know they’re going to get two hours of songwriting and not some half assed rendition of something they heard on the radio.
The soundman came up after the gig and said he’d never seen a band care as much about playing. He related how our drummer, Dave Harrison, dropped the shaker to play the meat of the song on drums, it rolled off the riser and Dave jumped- as if it were his salvation- off his stool to get it so that he’d be able to play the next part. The soundman had never seen that much care taken in playing. That’s the key to it. The care that goes in to the performance, the heart and soul of the songwriting translates immediately into the people that are listening to it. That’s a real visceral, powerful thing that I feel is going to be my musical salvation. I worry a lot less about formatting and soundscan than I did last year.
When I got thrown into this game, I was like, okay, I’m in the game now, and I’ve got to know all this stuff, and I really want to pay attention and do everything I can do, and get rotations up and do all that stuff-

You can’t fuckin’ do that!

I tried though, man. I tried my best!

What are you gonna do? You’ll fucking go nuts!

I did, I had a real hard time at the end of the tour. I had to take a couple weeks, decompress and get back to who I really am. I’m back there now.

I don’t know you, but I kinda get the feeling that it shows. I don’t see any furrowed brow, and you’ve got a smile going…

Not only that, but it’s in the way the music is coming off and the way we play. It’s just where I want to be. If I could freeze my career and have it be like it is now for the next ten years, I’d be happy as a pig in mud. I would just go and play. You know, in the South we do real well and play to 2,000 people and we come out to Solano Beach, CA and play to 400 people that are just going nuts and know the words to your songs, hey man, if I could have it be like that forever, forget it man!

So you are smelling the rose, then?

[Pauses]…yeah, …yeah!

I’ve heard stories where Dallas Taylor from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young didn’t even remember sessions he’d done with people like Hoyt Axton. There’s only a certain period where you can smell the rose, so I think that you’re lucky.

I’m very lucky. Funny, about Crosby, Stills and Nash- I met Stephen Stills about a month ago and played golf with him.

You play golf? What do you use, Clevelands, Calloways or Taylor Mades?

A Calloway driver and [Titleist] DCI irons.

I want to switch to the Bubble 2.

Yeah, it’s supposed to be a pretty amazing club. I’ve got the new Big Bertha, and I’ve gotten it like 320 [yards]. Totally crushed it!

Really? That’s some torque! You’re a pretty big fella. How tall are you?

Five eleven and some change. I played a couple times with these golf pros in Columbia, SC and they were looking at me like- and of course, the second shot’s in the lake. [Laughter] That’s just the way it goes.

So you met Stephen golfing.

Right, and we went back to Mark’s [from Hootie & The Blowfish] house with Joe [Vitale] the drummer who’s playing with Crosby, Stills and Nash. And we all sat down and played music together til 1 o’clock in the morning. What really amazed me about that whole thing is that Stephen Stills to this day loves playing music for music and he just played and played until all hours of the night.

He must’ve been diggin on you cause you’re like new energy.

We kind of wrote some stuff together and he was really excited about it. But moreover, the whole vibe of being musical and being that excited about music after that many years of success, and the potential to be jaded and not wanting to deal with it anymore, he doesn’t have that at all. He’s probably more prolific now than he ever was.

[As Edwin and Tom chow away on Linguini & Caesar’s salads from Hamburger Hamlet, which Tom brought in with Glenn.]

Who are other songwriters that you respect in the music field?

Jeffrey Gaines, I’m a big fan of Jeffrey Gaines. Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, obviously James Taylor. Mark Curry, he was like this crazy dude from Sacramento, they kind of polished him up to be this acoustic songwriter guy, but he was really a punk. He was like real hard core, wild man, great performer, cryptic songwriter, just kind of a tortured soul. You know, we were talking about how a lot of musicians got fucked up and my take on that is music is such a savior that where you fuck your life up to where it is the only savior where that desperation is even more powerful when you play.

Cleveland Park is about where you grew up?

The basis of that song is when we were little kids, we would hear the lions in the park at the zoo and it would scare the hell out of us. We were safe in our houses, in our own little captivity listening to these lions crying out about their captivity. That visceral desire to be free was frightening to us. Then when we were in high school drinking beers in the park and listening to our stereos, we couldn’t even hear the lions anymore. We were busy singingn our songs, wishing we were free of parental shackles.

You were roaring.

Here we are roaring at the time, the dichotomy being when it should of moved us the most, we barely even heard it. Which is the basis of that song. It’s not spelled out in the song, but that’s the heart of it.

Tell me about that cab driver in How Strange It Seems, what made him want to open up to you like that?

I was just talking to him a little bit and he just opened up like boom! In broken English- I could barely understand him- he was telling me he had seven kids and was living in New York City working as a cab driver. He had smiling eyes and a weathered face- obviously been through a lot to get to New york. For him he was ecstatic to be at that stage in his life, I was thinking what would it be like for me to be him. Perspective really is the key to happiness. Perspective is the key to happiness. Perspective is what makes you able to enjoy your life, smell the rose as you say.

Punish Me

That was born of the desparation of trying to get somewhere in the old days of driving around in our u-haul truck playing a million gigs a year, trying to make it.

What do you drive now, are you on a bus?

[Tom Bevacqua, Edwin’s Tour Manager] A 40 foot.

Do you drive it, or do you have a driver?

[Tom] There’s a driver, definitely. It’s a beautiful thing.

I have these visions of people on the road

In the old days, our bass player used to drive 17 hours at a time. He’d have three cigarettes in one hand and a bottle of Excedrin, BC powders in the other. There was enough caffeine in those things to keep you awake forever. There were times where we’ve definitely been in horribly precarious positions from being on the road too long. That’s another thing I think is a real shame. There is no intermediate level before you get signed. It is feast or famine. There’s no support for bands at that level, trying to get a leg up. Bands tend to make unsafe decisions. In the case of bands like Four Squirrels and bands like Johnny Quest and I’m sure thousands of others that I don’t know about who’ve crashed and been in bad accidents because of bad decisions to drive, or the fact that it doesn’t make sense to get a hotel room at 4 in the morning when you’re getting kicked out at 11. There’s a lot of different things that make it really difficult for young musicians on the road and I was experiencing that at the time I think that was a bleating cry of a song.

What about Darwin’s Children? I thought that was kool.

That’s kid of a jab at how- if you watch the Discovery Channel and they get loads of Scientists on there being very numerical, pointing at trends, and how mathematically, these trends are leading towards the doom and destruction, and it’s real cut and dry. The say it real matter of fact-ly, there’s no heart and soul. There’s no mention of the human spirit. There’s no real mention of our amazing spiritual power, the ability to pull out at the last minute. We’re such a crisis driven people. It’s a jab at are we destined to evolve ourselves away, or can we be more powerful. Can we achieve a higher sense of spiritual power.

Did you guys have a call for Larry Freemantle in the design of the album?

Oh Yeah! I think Larry is a genius at what it is he does, actually it’ s Hans Neleman’s image of the rose stems.

He just takes stuff and puts it There. He did a bunch of Atlantic people…Collective Soul…Storyville…

Larry’s a genius, he’s wonderful, he’s awesome.

It’s like what I used to enjoy about the big lp’s.

[Edwin lights up] That’s what I enjoyed about the Earth, Wind & Fire albums- the artwork was so kool. They would marry like modern, futuristic space age themes with old Egyptian landmarks.

I’m telling you, you’re missing out on life if you don’t check out Edwin McCain’s Misguided Roses on Atlantic Records for yourself. Trust your ears and your heart.

-Emery Columna

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