Xombiewoof.Com secured an interview with Shadow Eden Guitarist and front man David Mercado. We spoke about their group, their future and what makes them the popular metal band of prominence and popularity that they have come to enjoy.
David Mercado recently appeared at the Charvel Guitar booth at the NAMM convention in Anaheim, CA where we met and talked about what’s been going on.
Randy Coven (of Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteem, Zakk Wylde fame)-Bass;
Their Title Album was released in May 2010 and has received some great reviews, In the words of the “Shred-Lord” Joe Stump…..”A power trio of excellent players, Shadow Eden combine elements of progressive rock, fusion and guitar-driven metal into well structured, highly musical, and very listenable tunes. …” Our self-financed and promoted release reached 36 with a bullet on the CMJ Chart.
The group has, and continues tour the Northeast extensively (NY, NJ, PA, & Boston) and has made appearances at the last two NAMM Conventions in Anaheim, CA. After the 2012 NAMM Convention, where David Mercado made a recent appearance as a featured artist for Charvel Guitars, the group begins pre-production work on their next CD. The target release date for the new album is September 2012.
Shadow Eden have some concert dates booked beginning in May 2012 (with fellow guitar Icon Rob Balducci) but we will concentrate mostly on the CD’s release. The album will be even more guitar driven & with Randy Coven on bass, get ready for some serious SHRED!!!
How did you all come together to form your line up, and how does the dynamics of each person fill the music so well? (This is a good place to talk about each member, their strengths and how each member is important to the combined effort to create your unique sound).
I was the founding member of the band. I had a newly acquired endorsement with Charvel guitars, and rather than play second fiddle in a band with some mediocre singer, I broke out on my own in search of the best players available (sort of like Malmsteem leaving Alcatrazz to form Rising Force). Drummer Kenny Lane and I were introduced by our original bass player. We hit the ground running and we became so successful, so fast, that we needed a bass player who was tried, true & tested and not afraid of success. So with one phone call, Randy Coven joined the line up having heard of our musical pedigree & recent successes.
I’m a lyrical guitar player. My solos are intended to please musician & music lover alike. I play solos which mimic vocal lines, interwoven with just the right amount of complicated, charged/prog’ish runs to keep ’em guessing.
Kenny Lane is a linear drummer, he not only gives a strong pulse to the song, but he often plays fills in unison with some of the progressive runs I play, which helps to fill out the sound. Randy rounds out the sound, laying a groove down with Lane and playing runs that most guitar players only dream about.
When either rehearsing or in the studio recording, how do you imagine your space to give you the drive and audible emotion to your music? Do you envision yourself performing for Fans or do you put yourself in a specific mindset.
It depends upon the song which we are playing, really. I very often view digital artwork by Canadian Artist George Grie, drawing upon the inspiration derived from his art. So, if we rehearse a song which was written while reviewing one of his pieces, I personally become immersed in the piece imagining that it is the audio portion of his work. Some songs, like “Diablo Cody” or Coven’s “Manhattan Mama” I think about playing in front of the fans. Just give those a listen and you’ll know what I mean!!!
All musicians and artists have the “long road” story, the trials and troubles that, for people with lesser spirit would cause them to give up, only inspired you to continue, what was your make or break moment?
When I first announced that “Shadow Eden” would be an all instrumental band, many thought I was crazy!!! I initially lost some support (only to later gain it back) but everyone was telling me there was no market for all instrumental music. I said, some of the most played songs on radio are all instrumental: Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein;” TSO’s “Carol of The Bells,” Van Halen’s “Eruption,” & many of Joe Satriani’s songs are used in commercial spots. The problem with many bands trying to break in on that segment is that they have vocalists so they are serving two masters-we can really concentrate on the groove and melodies in our songs, which sets us apart from others who have tried & failed. In the words of “Background Magazine”, “….the strength of Shadow Eden is in their songs….no regular guitar virtuoso compositions, but songs with a twist, Very well done!” A lot of Shredders write songs around their solos. I actually write songs first, and then deriving catchy melodies/harmonies-the guitar solos are last written.
I had a point to prove and prove it I did!!
I am sure you have been asked “what are your inspirations, or how did you get your sound” but, I want to ask, how did you create your sound that it makes you stand out from your contemporaries, how does your sound define you?
It’s simple. I’m a Metal Guitar player who has training in classical & jazz guitar techniques. Kenny Lane is a jazz-rock-soul drummer and Randy Coven is a “Funk” bassist with amazing chops to match. Rather than being a dictator with the music and writing parts for everyone, they get a well written framework and are allowed to incorporate their style. When a song is first brought to the band, we shake each other up, and when the bread crumb settles, fans bite into it!!! We’re all confident in our ability, so this works for us. I know that anything I ask of either Kenny or Randy to perform, they are capable of doing and vice-versa.
Years from now, when you are considered “legendary”, your songs are Classic and people are breaking their brains trying to do what you have done, how do you want to be remembered?
I want the songs to sound just as relevant then as they are now, whether you’re a musician or not.
Last and hardest question, who would you say is the one band you most want to open for, and who do you want most to open for you?
We would love to open for Steve Vai, and we would love for Steve Vai to open for us one day!!!!!
Where can people find out more about you?
Web site: www.shadoweden.net
Reverb Nation: http://www.reverbnation.com/shadoweden
Where can we find your records?
Do you have any Last Words for our readers and your fans?
It’s all about the music!! Stay Metal !m!