My new “Vendera Interview Series” focuses on amazing singers who I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Kicking off this series is Eric Emery, an accomplished recording engineer and multi-instrumentalist, is the lead vocalist/front-man for the band Concordia. In 2010, after Eric posted a cover of Ra’s “Broken Hearted Soul” on YouTube, he was amazed to find that one of the first comments on the video was from Sahaj Ticotin, lead singer of RA. It wasn’t long before Eric was on a plane to Sahaj’s studio in LA to record what would become Concordia’s debut album, Clarity of Perception.
JAIME: Eric, tell me about your singing background. (How/why you started singing, who are your major influences, etc.)
ERIC: Even though I started playing guitar at the age of 8, I didn’t begin singing until I turned 18 (I’m now 21). The discipline I learned while studying guitar helped to make singing a lot easier. The fact that I was a recording engineer, gave me the ability to record and immediately critique my vocals. Some of my biggest influences are Sahaj Ticotin of RA, Brandon Boyd of Incubus and Jared Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars. In fact, I’ve been a fan of RA since I was 12. It was quite an honor to work with Sahaj on my first album, and the fact that I can now refer to him as a friend still seems surreal.
JAIME: What professional experience do you have under your belt?
ERIC: I have been recording bands in my own studio since I was 15. And in 2008, I had the opportunity to study under renowned, Grammy-winning, mixing engineer Craig Bauer of Hinge Studios in Chicago. My band, Concordia, just finished our debut album and will begin touring in April, 2012.
JAIME: I think the debut release is amazing. Great songwriting, great vocals…
ERIC: I’m really proud of our first album, Clarity of Perception. I got the opportunity to collaborate with a lot of talented musicians, such as Adrian Ost of Powerman 5000 and Dope, and of course, Sahaj Ticotin. I invite fans of melodic rock like Breaking Benjamin, Linkin Park, and 30 Seconds to Mars to check us out on our website www.concordiaband.com.
JAIME: You’ve been my student for awhile now, so you know my methods. What specifically do you use to keep your voice in shape?
ERIC: Before every show, I use the personalized vocal warm-ups that you showed me. It loosens up my vocal cords and allows me to sing at my best. For big shows, I’ll take a quick lesson from you the day before the show just to make sure I am in check.
JAIME: How have my methods differ from other methods/coaches you’ve used in the past?
ERIC: The fact that you’re a “rock” singer allows you to relate very well to my chosen genre. Most vocal coaches seem to specialize in classical or opera-style vocals, and that comes across in their lessons—they just don’t get it.
JAIME: Can you share a tip that helped you sing in the studio, or on the road?
ERIC: I’ve learned one thing. There really is no short-cut, it’s practice, practice, practice and then more practice. And just going through the motions won’t cut it. Singing is all about passion and emotion, something you just can’t fake. One should also learn to embrace and accept their own style and limitations rather than trying to imitate their favorite vocalists—that’s probably my biggest tip.
JAIME: So, do you have any memorable stories to share now that you are a touring artist?
ERIC: At Concordia’s very first performance, not more than two weeks after our debut album was released, I was amazed to find the entire front row singing along with me, word for word. There’s just nothing like it.