Tis the Season to Be Groovy
A Brief History of Edward Tobin (taken from an interview with Joseph Edwards, March 2004) JE: First of all, it's great to finally meet you in person. I've read that you made your first recordings when you were 9 years old. Is that true? ET: well, sort of. I had one of those portable cassette recorders and used to walk around recording all sorts of things. Y'know, birds, people, toilets flushing (laughs), anything really...no music at that point though. JE: And you made your first album when you were 15? Can you tell me about that? ET: It was called 'Berserk.' My brother was playing in a band, gigging all the time and when he wasn't on the road, all of his equipment would wind up at my parents' house. Guitars, effects, and mixers...everything and I had gotten my hands on 2 Sony 2track reel to reels. At the time, I was primarily a drummer. Mind you I never let my lack of knowledge of guitar stop me from playing one. I used to multi-track sound over and over, kind of 'early Beatles style.' I'd fill the two tracks, mix them to one on the other machine, add another track bounce it back, add another track and so on. Very experimental stuff. Not exactly dinner music though. JE: You made a few of those albums. ET: Six...they're in a box somewhere. JE: After that, you got into jazz? ET: No, not right away. I played in all kinds of bands for years. Rock, heavy rock, heavier rock...I was a kid and went through the whole 'Marshall guitar amp on 10' thing. I think I was 19 or 20 when I finally heard 'Tristeza' by Oscar Peterson and was just blown away. This guy had the speed of a jet engine while still playing breathtaking runs, just wild. JE: And then...? ET: Well, to fast-forward a bit. When I was about 21 or so, I wound up getting involved in a jazz workshop playing guitar. We used to get together every Sunday and just run charts. There were five of us at that point I think. After that, I started bringing in my own tunes that I'd written. Well, the keyboard player followed suit. Before you know it, hey, we've got a pile of songs. So, I started booking us gigs. It got up to a seven-piece band; we gigged around for a couple of years and then everyone kind of lost interest. I still have some private recordings...great stuff! JE: Ever thought of releasing any of them? ET: No...too much red tape. Maybe someday, but I'm too busy to deal with it now. JE: Alright, let's move forward a bit. Tell me about 'Blue Bossa' ET: Blue Bossa sort of came about out of frustration. I'd been trying to get musicians together to record an album of nine new songs I had just finished writing. I had just bought a 4-track recorder and was anxious to go. All I kept hearing was, 'Oh, I'm really busy' or 'No way, you can't do it like that...you have to book a real studio' or...my favorite 'How much do I get?' Now, I don't have money to book a studio, or to really pay anyone up front. So, I figured 'Screw Ya!' JE: Which led to you doing it all yourself? ET: Exactly! JE: This has been the case ever since. ET: Yes, I recorded 'Blue Bossa', 'Highway 5' and 'Supercool' myself. JE: And you play all of the instruments? ET: Yep...I recorded, mixed, arranged and played everything. JE: On all the albums? ET: Yes, still do it that way too. JE: And what about the Christmas album, ''tis the season to be groovy' ET: That album was made from Christmas songs I'd done while recording the first three albums. Every year around December, I'd record a couple of Christmas songs, just for fun. After I'd finished 'supercool', I had enough of them for an album. I was never really planning on releasing it. But I'd made copies for various people and over time, I had people hounding me, saying 'When is the Christmas album coming out!' So, I finally did. JE: And what's been going on since then? ET: Well, I've moved up to an old 1/2 inch 8-track recorder and have been writing and recording like a madman. JE: You have a new album? ET: Four of them actually JE: Four!??! What are they like? ET: It's a secret, you'll find out when they come out. The first one should be out around June 2005...if I get the money together by then. JE: Can't wait for that. Well, I've probably held you up for long enough. Hopefully, we can carry this on another time, thank you so much for your time. ET: You're very welcome.