Interview by Danny Coleman 

“Well, I’ve got no personal experience with it; just some basic knowledge. I’m thankful that nobody I know suffers from it and having a chance to help is a very fulfilling thing,” says Ed Kowalczyk as he prepares to bring his acoustic show into Ewing, NJ as part of the Candlelight Concert for Epilepsy series.

Kowalczyk, best known as a founding member and former lead singer of the premier rock band Live, lefted kowalczyk The flood the band in 2009 and to this day is still engulfed in controversy over his departure; none of which has seemed to deter him from his current solo career path. “I, uh, well,” he started and then paused for a moment as if to choose his words carefully. “Five years ago I was at the end of a chapter. I’d been playing music the same way for a long time; I had started to lose my passion. I started doing acoustic shows trying something different. I reconnected with fans and thanks to them I’ve been around the world four times now; they are really incredible.”

With a recently released CD added to his repertoire, Kowalczyk feels that its title, The Flood and The Mercy is quite apt, given his tumultuous past. “This is my second full length but technically my third release,” he said. “I love the photo on the cover; it was taken by Doug Lusander. He is a great photographer and this picture, with all of the technical camera work that he did really is a great representation of what the album is about. I love how it speaks about the nature of the album and my life as a solo artist. I mean, the flood represents the recent drama I’ve been through and the mercy is the great reception that I’ve gotten from the fans the world over. The picture itself, with all of that water about to come down on me, yet with such a calm look on my face is just perfect; a fantastic representation of what I was trying to convey.”

No stranger to charitable work, Kowalczyk is heavily involved with “World Vision,” a charitable organization which aides impoverished children. Kowalczyk’s championing is bringing clean drinking water to the children of Zambia, Africa; a luxury that many here in the United States possibly take for granted. According to the “World Vision” web site, more than 1,600 children per day under the age of five die from unsafe drinking water related diseases that are a direct result of unsanitary consumption.  Kowalczyk’s desire to help came about as he performed a nightly ritual of getting his young daughters’ their glass of water at bed time. He says, “Yeah, well, I realized that everybody should have clean drinking and bathwater. I began supporting the cause when I went solo; I developed an artist affiliation and endorsed them. Now, they tour with me, they are lining up lots of kid sponsorships; they’re amazing. They have got to be one of the most credible and ethical charitable organizations around. They have signed up over 300 kids sponsorships just from fans that come to my shows; it’s an amazing feeling to see this happen. It’s like this epilepsy show, as an artist, to play and sing for any charity is the least that I can do. To make a difference is what we strive for.”

To date, Kowalczyk is extremely happy with the way this current tour is progressing and his ability to shake off the doldrums of playing both acoustic and electrified shows. “This tour, oh wow; this tour is great!” he said with obvious enthusiasm in his voice. “I finished the month of February by celebrating the 20th anniversary of my own full band. The beauty of it is that we are 50/50, acoustic and electric. I can play acoustically for as long as I want and when I start getting tired of doing things that way I can switch back to full band electric. I love having that option, it’s great!”

EdKowalczyk_7693The man who helped bring us tunes like “I Alone” and “Lightning Crashes” likes his options; and next week on March 27 at The Trinity United Methodist Church located at 1985 Pennington Rd. in Ewing, NJ, he’ll be exercising the acoustic side as he performs the first Candlelight Concert for Epilepsy of 2014. The doors open at 7:00 P.M. for the 8:00 P.M. show; ticket cost is a scant $30 in advance and $35 at the door.  The Ed Kowalczyk’s show is the first of four taking place between March 27 and the end of April. The band Living Colour, followed by Joan Osborne and Paula Cole will all grace the stage in an effort to raise awareness about epilepsy; a condition which affects tens of thousands of people each year. Opening for Kowalczyk is Pete Donnelly of Soul Asylum, NRBQ and The Figgs Fame.

So what does the future hold for Kowalczyk and his band? According to Kowalczyk himself; some very exciting new things are on the horizon. “First, I am looking forward to the concert for epilepsy,” he said. “After that, man, lots more performing, we are going to Europe in June and then I will be going to Poland for the first time; I’m very excited about it all. I’m sure that they’ll be able to say my name much better than I so I’m anxious to go (laughs).”










Ed Kowalczyk of Live Interviewed by Danny Coleman
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