Neo-classic rock band South of Eden is gearing up for a short series of live dates next month. The band’s brief tour features performances at a trio of big festivals. Front man Ehab Omran recently talked with Phil’s Picks about the band’s inclusion in those festivals as well as concerns about COVID-19’s role in live music, the band’s next record and more as the group prepares for everything on the band’s calendar. Omran’s discussion with Phil’s Picks is featured below.
PP: South of Eden has some positive news on the live front. The band is scheduled to head back out on the road next month. The schedule is pretty interesting in that it’s very short, at only four dates. However, those four dates include performances at three very well-known festivals – Riff Fest, Louder Than Life, and the Aftershock Festival. What does it mean to you all as a band to be tapped to play such big festivals and have them be your main live dates right now, especially considering the list of major name acts that you will be joining at each festival?
EO: Thank you for having me on Phil! It means the world to us to be able to say that we are a part of the biggest rock festivals in America, and to be able to share stages with a lot of our heroes is a dream come true. We have to thank Danny Wimmer and DWP for that! Our decision to keep the shows next month to a minimum is due to the uncertainty of what could happen in these next coming months with the pandemic. We are always optimistic things will get better, but for the sake of not canceling shows and letting fans down, we decided a short run until things are certain is the wiser decision.
PP: Staying on that matter, are more dates in the works?
EO: There are actually a lot of pending dates that we are tentatively holding off on until we can maybe get more assurances! So who knows look out for pop up shows near you!
PP: Getting back to the festivals, when did you first find out that you had been tapped to the play the noted festivals and what was the first thing that went through your minds when you got the news?
EO: We found out around Nov. of 2020. It was definitely great news to end the crappy year! It made us hopeful and determined to put on an infertile show.
PP: What do you think the band’s appointments say to the group’s popularity?
EO: I think a lot of people have been craving a different kind of rock n roll. The kind that has real teeth and unpolished audacity, with a hook that makes you dance. That’s what we like to do. Break your neck head banging and then dance when the groove hits haha. It is very fulfilling to have incredible names in the industry recognize us and give us opportunities to prove that we pack a different kind of punch.,
PP: Speaking of popularity, the classic rock movement seems to be getting renewed popularity and attention both among audiences and those within the music industry. Bands, such as yourselves, Horisont, The Hawkins, Greta Van Fleet, Heavy Feather, Dirty Honey, Night, and others, have risen to fame in the past year or so thanks to the renewed focus on the genre. What does it mean to you all to be part of that renaissance of sorts within the classic rock realm? What’s more, to what do you all think the genre’s renewed growth can be attributed?
EO: It’s awesome to be able contribute to the new wave of rock! I think everyone is being drawn to it because they are tired of polished, contrived music. Mix that in with the state of the world and I think it’s easy to remember where the attitude and love for rock comes from.
PP: Changing gears a bit, the last time audiences heard anything new from South of Eden was last year in your then new EP, The Talk. Of course, there was also that cover that you did of Audioslave’s hit single, ‘Show Me How To Live’ not long after the EP’s release. It would suffice to say that audiences will hear plenty from that EP and the band’s 2018 album, Take One on your upcoming dates. Are audiences going to hear anything that maybe the band has worked on during its downtime in 2020 and this year?
EO: The Talk EP was always meant to be a full album because we went and recorded 12 songs of which we only released 4. The ones we thought would be a good stepping stone into some bigger songs we were excited to release. We knew however, with the pandemic going on, it would have been a major disservice to the music to release it without being able to tour properly. All of these songs will be played on these runs we do this year! Now here we are a year later recording a while other album to add to our arsenal! It’s a good feeling to know that when the time is right we are going to have a plethora of music! Who knows maybe we just release a double album haha!
PP: So can audiences expect to hear anything new from the band in studio before this year is out?
EO: The short answer is YES! And the long answer is……………..YES!
PP: Backing up a little bit, I want to touch on the band’s cover of Audioslave’s ‘Show Me How To Live.’ I went back through my notes on that one. According to the information that was sent out at the time, you guys had plenty of praise for Tom Morello and Chris Cornell, but there was no mention as to what influenced that band to take on the song. Talk to me about that item if you will.
EO: The answer to this one is a bit underwhelming. So I had only heard of maybe 3 Soundgarden songs before 2019. (I got into rock very late so it took me a while to get to Cornell RIP). As soon as I got in though, I couldn’t get out. I loved his voice and eventually found Audioslave and wanted to cover every song! I particularly loved ‘Show Me How to Live’ because of its message and amazing grunge feel, a sound we hadn’t tried before.
PP: On a related note, Audioslave was not exactly a neo-classic rock band during its life. Though, its third album did show some classic rock influence. Keeping that in mind, was that cover a hint at the band’s direction in its next studio recording?
EO: I think that when our music is released as a whole it will be more evident that many of our songs have extremely different feels and rhythm. A more classic sounding song like ‘Dancing With Fire’ is very different from the more pop sounding ‘Solo” which is different from the jazz feel of ‘Morning Brew’. This will continue to happen as we release more and more of our music!
PP: One last question for you to get back to the festivals and touring and bring things full circle, which band(s) are you hoping to get to see, even as busy as your schedule is going to be? Are there any bands on the bills that you all have toured with or would like to tour with and why?
EO: We along with everyone are pumped to see MAMMOTH WVH! He’s incredible both in his music writing and his production. It would be dope to be able to tour with a band like that!
Thanks again so much for the time, and I wish you guys the best of luck in your upcoming live dates.
Thank you for having us! Let us know if a show pops up near you we’d love to see ya!
More information on South of Eden’s upcoming performances is available along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:
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