Backstage News, Front Row Pics

Meet Canadian Singer/Songwriter Ed Roman



Ed Roman

Ed Roman

Ed Roman is the only artist I’ve met or interviewed (and there have been a lot) who has managed leave me completely speechless and unprepared for what he had in store for me…but I’m not going to reveal any other details ‘til you know a little bit more about Ed and his music ~ and likely start to come to a conclusion similar to the one I did, that Ed is a multi-talented musician who possesses a laid-back wit, a sensitive side, and the desire to use his music to make us think a little…but mostly to smile and appreciate the world and each other.  And that’s a pretty accurate image of Ed.

Ed albumWhen you read his bio, you come across phrases like “…inventive, infectious tunes that shook one’s marrow and stirred the spirit…,” “…continued to mesmerize and astonish, with music that both kissed and prodded, seduced and challenged, hypnotized and enlightened…,” “…the mystery and magic of a lucid, tantalizing dream,” “…the consummate collective of penetrating rhythms and canyon-wide harmonic explorations, glazed with lyrics that are both poignant and whimsical…,” “…The listener is left uplifted, invigorated and enriched by dewy new jewels of insight…,” and “…Sit back, get mellow and listen to this truly skillful musician weave a tapestry of enchantment from an eclectic fabric of musical styles.”  See, there’s a vibe there ~ a very positive one ~ and you’re left thinking that the Canadian  singer/songwriter (who also performs 90% of the instruments including drums, bass, guitars, organ, and even sitar on his latest album, Letters from High Latitudes, an homage to his hometown of Ontario ~ is an experienced indie artist without artifice or ego but with significant talent.  And again, you’re right. He is. Watch/listen  to a “casual” video for “I Told You So” off the new album ~ Ed brings you inside the studio at Area 51 to give you an inside look at the work in progress ~ and you’ll be charmed by the upbeat sound, the concept of the video-in-the-works, and the lyrics.   Purchase   a copy of Letters from High Latitudes and once you’ve listened to it once, you’ll want to listen to it again…and again…it’ll become part of your summer soundtrack because it’s really well done and ~ to use a slightly clichéd but in this case accurate term ~ “feel good” music.

So now that you know a little bit more about Ed, let’s get to the good part, his answers to the questions he chose from our FlashWounds Interview Questions Vault:


FW:  Which do you find more difficult/intimidating ~ performing for a comparatively small audience (especially one that you know includes family and/or friends) in a more intimate venue or for a huge [faceless/anonymous] crowd at an enormous stadium?

ER:   I find none of it intimidating. Music is my life and my life is music. It is such a huge part of me that I find I am more uncomfortable without having an instrument in my hands. Music is my security blanket and my weapon of choice. No bullets, just notes. I think I make people feel great and uncomfortable with themselves, when you’re uncomfortable, you’re learning something.

FW:  Have you built a collection of vinyl over the years, and if so, which is your most cherished album?

ER:  I have a huge vinyl collection that ranges back to stuff from the 1930s… 78s mostly. Everything from Cole Porter and Jerome Kern to stuff from the 50s like Artie Shaw, Little Richard and Tommy Dorsey.  I listen to this great old stuff on a crank phonograph from Columbia. I love it. It’s like a time machine. I also have over 1500 vinyl LPs from the 60s to the 90s. Everything under the sun: Rock, Folk Funk, Classical, Jam,  R & B, Blues and on and on.. I also have a very large 8-Track collection with a wide assortment of Rock and Pop from the 60s and 70s… another one of my time machines.

Healthy eating from the Roman's garden

Healthy eating from the Roman’s garden

FW:  Anyone in the band [Note:  on the new album, Ed collaborates with top Canadian session musicians Dave Patel on drums (Sass Jordan) and Mike Freedman on electric guitars (Tia Brazda), hence “band,” although Ed is technically a solo artist] a true foodie?

ER:  I guess I am the big foodie… Foodie for many reasons. I come from many generations of farmers and cattle men and I am staggered and appalled by what I have seen happen over the last 20 years in the farming and pharmacological practices across the globe. Evil control freaks like Monsanto and Cargill lobbying governments all over the world controlling the way we grow our food. It’s always with the auspices of the fact that it will help with the “ever growing concern for food and climate” yet it leads them right to the bank and leaves us sick and in the dark. My wife Kim and I grow an immense garden every year and have enough food for our families, friends and ourselves. It saves us a great deal of money for six months of the year or more and we save seed to replant for the next year. As far as I’m concerned you should rip up your lawn and plant a garden with your kids and friends. Your kids will love you for it in the future and you’ll be closer as a family and healthier for it in the end…

See?  He’s got all the greats on vinyl, cares about the planet and future generations, is well-spoken…the image is reinforced with each sentence.

FW:  How difficult is it to come up with album names?

ER:  It’s not… When a body of work comes together there are signs that start showing themselves to you and lead to the name that lies in wait…

FW:  Most important lesson you’ve learned from being in the music industry?

ER:   The most important thing I’ve learned from the industry is to be myself.. I find there are so many songs that sound alike that very few in the biz are really allowing themselves out of their box. I think it’s a fear of failure thing and the idea that one may not be accepted if they lack familiarity. The hardest thing and the best thing to be is yourself.

Ed smileFW:  Where you come from, musically speaking?  Have you been a musician/in a band since you were a kid?  Did you take lessons or are you self-taught? And is the genre you play now what you started out in/have there been some musical detours along the way?

ER:  I’ve been playing music as long as I can remember. Long before I spoke. I gravitated to music because of my “learning disability” Dyslexia. I really see it as a gift. So many people from music’s historical past have had this stigmata. I had such a difficult time in school with reading and writing that music allowed me to express myself in ways that I felt held back and I never have looked back. I consider myself as most great musicians do as formally self-taught. I played in concert bands and stage bands in high school and then won the music scholarship at my school to go on to Humber College to study Jazz performance. I feel that life is my school. Let every person be my mentor so that I may learn from them; good and bad…

FW:  Are you ever surprised when the track on your album that you assumed would be your fans’ favorite turns out not to be, or have you gotten to the point of no longer trying to second guess what the public’s taste will be?

ER:  I try not to think too much about what the fans want. After all they are the ones that fell in love with my music. I didn’t fall in love with their requests. I am an artist and a reflector of the rhythms of the times. If there is something to see that elates you then awesome. If there is something I’ve said to make you feel uncomfortable then awesome, I’m doing my job. I try never to think about the next big hit. I just try to keep making good art all the time… When a song feels right it comes to you like a thief in the night, totally by surprise and the realization of what has just happened makes it right…..[FlashWounds readers, remember that last sentence.]

FW:  Name you’d absolutely love to give your next tour even if there’s no way in hell you’d be “allowed” to?

ER:  The Red Omen Tour…

FW:  If you could have been involved in the soundtrack to one film, which film would you have chosen?

ER: Well, that’s a great open question but I’d have to say something like Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. I find this film to be a prolific insight to the day and age we live in. The ideas and metaphors in this amazing film have accelerated a great deal of writing over the last bunch of years. “I Told You So” from my newest CD Letters from High Latitudes wonderfully outlines these allegories…

FW:  Do you think stage presence is a gift someone either has or doesn’t?

Ed gardenER:  I think that people can work on their confidence or stage presence as time goes by, but I find there is an inherent ability or aura, charisma if you will, that people like me have… my mom calls it a gift but I see it as confidence over one’s EGO..

FW:  Which generally comes first in your songwriting process, lyrics or instrumentals?  Or does it vary so much that there is no “generally?”

ER:  I never put boundaries on writing. If you do that you’re in line for a rut. You must keep an open head about ideas and where they come from. Negative ego can manifest in a person to the point that they refuse to listen to anything but what’s in their comfort zone. Some music takes time to arrange and compose and others come in like a freight train full of cargo. The important thing is to follow the spark. With a spark you can make a fire and with a fire you can create an inferno….

[Such good insight into so many topics, not just music…and it’s obvious Ed takes music and the part it has played in his life ~ and the part it can play in others’ ~ very seriously.]

And now, my friends, I’ll ask you to recall the vision you’ve probably formed of Ed…and reiterate that he is indeed an extremely talented, thoughtful, thought-provoking, and gifted musician and person and that his new Letters from High Latitudes is an excellent album and if you’re able to make one of his upcoming live shows (link to dates listed below), GO.

FW:  Any good dirty jokes to share?

ER:  Two winos are sitting on the side of a curb watching a dog lick its nuts. One says, “Ya know, I wish I could do that.” The other says, “You better pet him first, he looks kind of mean.”

FW:  Do you [pardon the phrase] have the balls to do what the Red Hot Chili Peppers did and perform wearing just a tube sock…and just as importantly, would you let us show a photo of you in that “ensemble” to our readers? 

There’s silence for a beat or two, and then Ed’s manager tells me to check my Inbox.


Ed Roman sock

  [After a few moments of the aforementioned speechlessness followed by total glee that someone had finally taken us up…rather completely…on the offer to “Just be yourself…”] Ed, thank you so much for talking with FlashWounds, it’s been a pleasure and we hope you’ll stay in touch about subsequent projects and tours.

ER:  Thanks so much for having me and giving me the opportunity to put a sock on my cock for you…

FlashWounds friends and family, a round of applause, please, for a man completely unafraid of being himself on every level. Ed, you’re great.

ed final

Official Facebook 

Official Website

You can order Letters from High Altitudes here  or (in addition to his previous albums) here

For more chances to listen to and buy Ed’s music (and view lyrics to many of his songs), head here.  

For a list of upcoming shows, click here

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