Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter Eddy Mann released his new album, The Consequence, on November 8th. The album touches on Mann’s vision of a peaceful and understanding world through the eyes of a loving heart, and mind that considers the consequences of one's actions and words. A few weeks after its release, Mann kindly called to speak about the album, the significance of its title and more.
You have been pursuing music for two decades, while also teaching and being a worship leader. How did everything fit together for you?
I started playing early on in high school; I was the shy kid, but when you put a guitar in front of me all of a sudden I had all of the confidence in the world. I always pursued music full-time and played professionally, but when I had young kids and a family, I cut back because I was teaching, but as soon as my kids became independent I delved right back into it. On the back end of that, I was asked to be a worship leader, which I did up until a year and a half ago. All of the pieces flow together, but I don’t think I necessarily set out to do them at a specific time, they just kind of happened.
I’ve been very fortunate as an independent artist to be able to make records and have each project make money and provide for the next one. You hear horror stories about bands signing with labels, spending money and then spending the rest of their time touring to pay off their debt and I never had to do that, which is kind of cool. It's worked out well for me.
On November 8th, Election Day, your latest album, The Consequence, was released. Was that intentional?
Initially, it was going to be released in early Fall, but I pushed it back because I had a compilation that I wanted to release. So once I saw it would be released around November, having it come out on Election Day was a no-brainer.
The premise of the single itself is that we have the opportunity in our lives, by how we respond to a situation, to actually sway the consequences a little bit. All day long we have situations where the way we respond - whether it’s in word or action or in the emotional look on our faces - has an effect on how a situation is going to play out. We never have complete control but if we’re actively involved we have the opportunity to push it one way or the other. For me and the election, I had enough of people telling me what to do. The news doesn’t seem to give you information to make up your own mind, rather, they tell you what to do and you get to the point where enough is enough. I’d love it if they gave information to help me make a decision, but I don’t want them telling me what to do. I suppose there are people who want to be told what to do, but I’m not one of those people. I get offended by it and it grates on me.
I definitely have to agree with you on those points.
As you mentioned, the title of the album is The Consequence, which is also a song on the album. Why did you choose to use that song as the title of the record?
I write and am inspired all the time, which means I’ve got an abundance of material, so when it comes time to do a new album I go back and look at the songs I’ve written to see the theme that runs through them - because inevitably, whatever I’ve been living is reflected in the lyrics of the songs. Right off the bat, these songs seemed to be a natural follow up to my previous record, Big Love, whose underlying message was for people to try and realize a peaceful and compassionate world. The period when I was traveling and supporting Big Love I found myself writing songs that were darker in nature, so I thought this album was the next step: still having that compassionate world view, but also realizing that people still go through darkness in their lives with economic problems, job loss, or the loss of someone close to you.
So for me, the common theme was that the power of love gets me through everything, but really, I don’t see that prevalent in our world. I see divisiveness where people don’t embrace the fact that we’re all different and bring different things to the table. To me, there’s beauty in the fact that you and I don’t agree, but in this world today it’s like the conversation stops and people won’t talk to one another if they don’t agree….and that freaks me out because that’s the opposite of how I see the world. I love when someone challenges the way I think because it makes me use my brain. In the end, I may change the way I think or I may not, but I’m not offended by a differing of opinion, to me, it’s a natural way to be.
Again, I think you’re correct; especially in this election cycle.
Another song I wanted to ask about was “Storm in a Teacup.” Could you share the story behind that song?
That title catches a lot of people right away. Maybe three years ago I got involved with photography and decided I wanted to do a year-long photo diary, so I signed up for an online photo-based platform and saw a photo called Storm in a Teacup. I liked the metaphor of having little storms in our lives that eventually pass, so I wrote the story of two passionate people who bump heads and are losing their relationship over time. Lyrically the verses are much darker than the other stuff I had been writing, but it’s real. I had an album release a bit ago and was talking about how although the song is fictional, we all know this couple who have lost their way. The song went over really well and I’m excited to hear more people’s responses and how they engage with it.
The closer, "Howlelujah," is quite unique. What is the significance of ending the record with a dog’s howl?
We had a beagle for 18 years whom we lost last Spring. She spent endless hours hanging out with me under the console in my studio and was a major part of my life. At the end of mixing the record, I got called out of the studio and heard this howl from a vocal clip that I had saved from a track I wasn’t using. As soon as I heard it, I liked the sound of it. I had already decided to dedicate the album to her and thought her signature howl was the perfect way to end the album.
That’s incredibly sweet.
What are your plans in terms of touring for the remainder of 2016/early 2017?
Six months out of the year, I am in the Philly, New York, and Maryland area and twice a year I go to Florida and play shows in states on the way down. I’d like to book outside the area because, like any artist, you want to strike an emotion in people and reach as many people as you can.
I love what I do, and most of it, I don’t consider work - maybe 10% is work and the other 90% is creative and enjoyable. The next six weeks I am very busy. I’m really excited and I can’t wait to get started.
As the year comes to a close, is there one album that you would consider your favorite?
Not a favorite, but I do have a few that keep cropping back up. My list varies enormously week to week and day to day - that’s nature of who I am. I played Vince Gill’s new album a lot and I also loved Anthony D’Amato’s and Foy Vance’s albums this past year.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I encourage anyone that hears my music to be in conversation with me. Technology allows us to converse in many ways whether it's email, Facebook, or Twitter and I love being in conversation with people; I think it’s a lost art. I’d love to know which songs they like, which songs they hate, or which songs struck a nerve and why. I’m not offended by likes or dislikes, good or bad – it’s all a matter of taste.
For more information visit his official website
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Purchase The Consequence here