Eddie Lives plays music for fun, joy and change…
Hello, Eddie! It’s a pleasure to be speaking with you. You have led an interesting life where music had a constant presence, no matter how big or small. What led you towards picking up the guitar again after losing almost everything you owned?
I started to play on a toy guitar from a very young age, so I guess part of it was that I wanted to go back to my roots. For 10 years I had been so focused on my career as a self-employed horse trainer, my guitar was collecting dust and I became very stressed. I was heading towards a burnout. I came to a point where I just made the decision to change my life. It felt so good to express myself through music again. I even started to get inspiration to write my own songs.
What made you turn your attention to Neil Young and the harmonica? Did you feel his music deeply resonating with you?
Yes, resonating is the perfect word. I had never really listened to his music. I started to put a repertoire together for my solo gigs and added the song Heart of Gold. At one performance I mentioned to the audience that we don’t have to search for a heart of gold (as the lyrics say) because you have one yourself. It felt so warm in my heart to say that. I looked up more songs from Neil Young and so many songs resonated. I love his strange voice, the fact that he always stayed true to himself (even though he made some weird music I don’t like) and he’s a rebel, just like me. Because I started to play solo, the harmonica was great to add to my guitar.
How do you usually go about writing your own songs?
First of all … ditch all the rules. You need some music theory to be able to play, but in the end, all that matters is how it sounds and how it makes you (and others) feel. I usually just start with a few chord progressions and strumming pattern that sound good to me. I’ll have a concept of what I want the song to be about. Then it starts to grow. Some songs take days or weeks to develop. Sometimes the lyrics just come pouring out and a song is finished in a few hours. That’s great. And heard Neil Young says in an interview that this is the way he writes songs. He doesn’t know where it comes from, but just comes to you. He has a great gift and started at early age. I started to write songs when I was 42.
Your tunes sound fantastic! Where do you record and produce your music?
Thank you, glad you like them. New songs I record with a Sony HDR-MV1 camera. I just use the audio option, not the video. Then I copy it into Garageband on a Mac computer. For fun, I make a movie with pictures and lyrics to go with it. Next time I make an album again, I’ll go to the same studio where my first CD was recorded, mixed and mastered by Jose Leijnse at JRL Sound Studio. He has a great hearing and made us feel at home.
You seem to love the slide guitar. How did you pick that up?
That actually happened in the period I was chasing my career. Not many people play Dobro and I needed a positive impulse in my life. I love the sound and the looks of a Dobro. A good friend of mine, Peter de Smet who also builds great acoustic guitars, plays it on a professional level. He inspired me. I still have a long way to go, but that’s the great thing about music, you’re never really finished. You keep learning and exploring.
How did you get into the habit of playing in 432Hz? What qualities does it give to your music?
Everything in life is vibration and has a frequency. Even solid objects. To attract something in your life you need to resonate with it … like-attracts-like. It is really handy that there is a worldwide standard to get all musicians to play in the same tuning A= 440 Hz. This way we can jam and collaborate. But I started reading about why it had to be 440 Hz and also who decided this. I am not saying if this is true or false, but since many things in society seem to be about mind-control, it wasn’t a surprise to me that this could be true. It is said that 440 Hz tuning resonates with the thinking, the mind. Even the tone you hear when you pick up the phone before you start dialing is 440 Hz. A lot of music in history was played in 432 Hz. It is said that this resonates more with the heart. To me, heart means wisdom and love, nobody can mess with that. You can only disregard it or block it away yourself. I do not know details and have no proof of any of this. It is just a feeling, resonance, a good vibration. My next challenge is to find harmonica’s that are tuned in A= 432 Hz … or I’ll have to take a file and do it myself.
Do you feel humanity has disconnected itself from its true nature and deepest desires at large? How do we get things back where they are supposed to be?
To me, it’s about the balance of collective consciousness. There have always been good and loving people and people who do bad things. What worries me is that news, media, school, religion, politics are using so much propaganda and have been for thousands of years. When you look at the news, it looks like the world is falling apart. When you go to a music festival (as an example) you see humanity in its true nature. There is joy, peace, harmony, dance, hugging … sometimes a few hippies get naked … and it is all accepted. As long as alcohol and drugs are limited to the level of enjoyment, there are never any big troubles. To get back where we could be … humanity needs to wake up to the fact that the wisdom is in their own heart. When everybody follows their heart’s desire there is harmony. The mind just records and plays back everything it experiences. Many native tribes lived in peace and harmony with nature, without school, religion, news, government, and internet (they did have music ). We the people need to start taking our inner power back and share our talents. We shouldn’t wait for governments to do it for us. Look where that took us after so many years of …. (fill in the blank). Spread truth and love. And allow me to say that Drooble is a fantastic community with good intentions and opportunities to assist in this.
How is one supposed to write songs from their heart, and not their mind? How do you open your heart as an artist and let the music pour out, so to speak?
That is a tough question. To explain how, one needs to think and thinking happens in the mind. Like I said before the mind can only record and play back. So if something is not there, you’ll never find it. Sure you can write a song about things that happened to you in the past and these experiences might give you good lyrics coming from the mind. But the music, the sound, the thing that makes your song unique can never come from the mind. It would have to be a copy of something that already exists. In that case, make sure you do it better and people will like it and it can still have huge value. But to send out YOUR message. It needs to come from the real authentic YOU. In order to open your heart you need to let go of any fear, shame and (self)judgement and try to think as less as possible. Thoughts are like clouds hiding the sun… to let it pour out, there needs to be clear sky and only sun. Simple, but impossible to do trough thinking. I still struggle with it, that is why sometimes it takes weeks to write a song and sometimes it takes an hour. Writers-block just means that there are to many ‘clouds’, to many thoughts. Everybody has a good story to tell or song to sing…. But we also need good listeners 🙂
What is the most memorable gig you ever played?
A big highlight was being the supporting act of our Dutch band Golden Earing (known from the international hit Radar Love) … and this was the first band I played in. But more recently, playing solo, I was asked to play on a market place in a pretty town in my neighbourhood. It rained so they moved the gig into the church that is now being used for art and as a music stage. There were not a lot of people there, but everybody was listening so intensively, I felt so much connection. Somebody cheered when I started playing a song they liked (One of these nights from the Eagles). It was there that I started talking more in between my songs and mentioned the thing about Heart of Gold I mentioned earlier in this interview. I always played in bars and on parties where people just enjoy the entertainment. This was so different, I felt a connection I’ll never forget.
What is your biggest musical goal?
To get my message across …”follow your heart’s desire”. The best way I know how to do that is to play live for a small listening audience, like in a small and intimate theatre .It is going to take some effort and action out of my comfort zone to get out there and actually reserve and book these places. But is seems do-able and it is starting to happen. Stay tuned, I’ll post it on my Drooble Wall.
How has being on Drooble helped you as a musician?
I found Drooble, because I was looking for more positive alternatives for Facebook. I signed up for an account and very quickly noticed the positive atmosphere in the community. It is very international, but not yet so many locals. So I posted about Drooble on a few music Facebook pages and a number of musicians actually signed up for Drooble. That is how I quickly gained enough karma for this interview. It is a great system. I also made contact with a few performance coaches and I am getting feedback on my songs. A LOT more than on any other platform. I am sure Drooble will grow fast and we’ll be able to reach a lot of people with our uploaded music and boosting events and gigs. So Drooble team … thank you very much.