Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros get ‘a little more all-togethery’

Of the number of Zeros, Alex Ebert, far left, says, “Now there’s 12 of us.
Initially there was 12, or 13, really. And then it got whittled down to 10 for
the sake of touring, and now that we can afford to, it’s back to 12.”

When asked how the writing process differed between “Up From Below,” the 2009 debut from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and their upcoming album, “Here,” singer Alex Ebert is quick to give credit to the 11 other members of his band.

“It was a little more all-togethery,” he says. “We all sat around and worked on arrangements together.”
Ebert may have just coined the phrase, “all-togethery” on-the-spot, but it’s quite an accurate description. A few of the songs on “Here” don’t even feature a lead vocal and are more like group sing-alongs.

“As we became a band, over the last three years, doing all these radio sessions, we would sing together in an acoustic environment, really hearing each other,” says Ebert.

Like its predecessor, the album is full of fun, funky folk, but with more of a focus.

“I don’t tend to put out stuff that has a major thematic through-line,” says Ebert. “I tend to do what my detractor’s would call unfocused albums.”

The theme of “Here” seems to be a sort of reckoning with the evils of the world and finding goodness and spirituality within one’s self, independent of any organized religion.

“I would say it’s an immense amount of defiance in the face of what would otherwise create a dejected character,” says Ebert. “Defiance in the will to perceive things as possible, and hopeful and to be able to dance through the murder and pain.”

Detractors have also used terms like “hippies” and “cult” to describe the big band of Zeros. Ebert doesn’t mind.

“A cult is a cult until it becomes popular and then it’s a religion,” he reasons. “We do have an ethos, I would say, so in that sense we share some ideas that we tend to agree on, but I don’t think that’s necessarily any different than a lot of groups of people.”

Far from ‘Home’

Because of such a long time touring between albums, Ebert and his crew have come up with so much new material that they have a second new album they hope to release later this year. The style of the as-of-yet untitled album is a departure for the group that became famous for their whistle-along single, “Home.”

“It’s much more aggressive,” says Ebert, “not angsty aggressive but sonically aggressive. … There is some distortion, which we rarely dabble in. If ever there was an album that I was slightly nervous about delivering, I would say it would be this album. It’s a little bit outside the realm that we’ve played in, but that’s always fun to do for yourself. … We feel quite comfortable putting out anything that we love, knowing that we have these people to share it with, and a growing number of people to share it with, too.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…