INTERVIEW: Ednaswap- The 'Wacko'
By: Kristi Crane
Imagine this.. Once upon a time, there was a band called Ednaswap. They were a regular rock band just starting out. One night they were playing a gig at a local club. The unimaginable happened: They were booed offstage; a horrible thing for any band to endure. Before any more happened, Anne Preven (singer) woke up. It was all a nightmare.
Soon after this dream, Anne and her friends decided to name their band after the nightmare. Maybe they called themselves "Ednaswap" for fear of failure. Or on the contrary, maybe they knew they would not fail. Either way, this is an extraordinary band.
This band has always been able to rock a crowd, I know that already. Even though they don't have all the fame the other bands that share their homestate of California may have, they have all the support they need. "Better Than Ezra heard our latest collection of ditties called Wacko Magneto and thought we'd make them look good," Anne says. Before the BTE tour, No Doubt, long-time friends of Ednaswap's, asked the band to tour along with them. (No Doubt even thanks the band in one of their album booklets.) This was Ednaswap's big break and they way they made most of their fans.
Besides No Doubt, Ednaswap likes to listen to, as Anne told, "Radiohead, The Verve, Beck, PJ Harvey and Portishead. Older music [would be] David Bowie, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Billie Holliday, The Pretenders, Modern Lovers" and more.
Influences, on the other hand, are somewhat different. Some of Anne's are "Classical music, since I was forcibly chained to my violin from an early age. Plus, whatever was on the AM radio dial on the way to and from school." Scott Cutler's (guitar) and Rusty Anderson's (guitar) influences are all kinds of rock including The Beatles and Pink Floyd, while Paul Bushnell's (bass) are more of a motown selection.
And then there is Carla Azar (drummer). "Carla's mom was a jazz pianist cool cat back in the day, so I think she got a lot of that plus a good dose of Looney Tunes." Anne says.
Ednaswap's music is quite diverse. There is not another band quite like them, and I say that in a good way.
Anne and I talked about their first single, "Clown Show". "[This song is about] learning to block out undermining influences through a 12-step program. I, personally, have always liked singing "Clown Show" live because I never know if my voice will hold out to the end." This song's video appeared on MTV's 120 Minutes last July. Soon after, I spoke to Carla. "All I can do is hope they keep playing it."
Ednaswap was signed to Island Records in January of 1996. "The (then) President [of Island] saw us play a show in LA at the Roxy," Anne recalls. And that's how it all started for this band of four-and-a-half years. So far, Ednaswap has released three albums (self-titled, Chicken and Wacko Magneto.)
On all of the albums is song, a personal favorite of mine, by the name of "Torn". Recently, a girl by the name of Natalie Imburglia covered this song and released it as a single from her new album. Airplay on such influential stations as LA's KROQ began greatly for Natalie. That is, until the Ednaswap fans caught on. Soon after KROQ's station was flooded with complaints from Ednaswap fans, KROQ gave the fans a deal. They would play both versions and let the listeners vote. Whoever won got the airplay. After more and more calls, the winner was announced: Ednaswap won.
Maybe this is just the beginning for this band. But this "dream" is not a heavenly one, nor a nightmare for Ednaswap. They have not failed in anyway, yet they have not fully succeeded either. If you ever hear of Ednaswap playing a nearby venue, please go. This band deserves all the credit and all the attention, if anyone does. And tell them that Miss Tragic sent you. : )