better time is there for the EDER-tors of THE VOICE to sit down with Linda
for another interview than
NOW! The timing couldn't be more perfect
as Linda reflects on her successful career in the music business and celebrates
the release of her 13th solo recording. Linda's fans couldn't be happier
for her as she enjoys her well-deserved accolades as well as the enthusiastic
reception this collaboration with her "old gang" has been receiving
of late. A Linda Eder/Frank Wildhorn reunion that many fans had dreamed
about and hoped for has been realized with the release of NOW.
VOICE: Going back to 1991 when you released your first solo recording,
LINDA EDER, can you recall your dreams and aspirations for the future
at that time?
LINDA: Back then it was all about making records and trying to get to
Broadway. It was a struggle that consumed so many years. The time just
flew by, and somehow in the process I made quite a few albums and eventually
landed on Broadway.
VOICE: Did you ever imagine that from that first recording you would go
on to release 13 solo albums, including the eagerly anticipated latest
LINDA: No. It always seemed so amazing to me that a record company would
pay to make an album with me. I wasn't exactly singing music that was
all over the radio. But the fans made it happen. They came to the concerts
and bought enough CDs that the records just kept coming. I had to move
around to different labels, but the next one always seemed to come along
just when I thought that I had made my last.
VOICE: Can you pinpoint the reason behind your longevity in the music
LINDA: Loyal fans. Beyond that it's not really for me to try to figure
out what it is about my voice or the music that they like. I don't think
it's good to do too much analyzing about that. I might lose my "mojo."
VOICE: How did you come to find a "new home" with Sony Masterworks?
LINDA: They were working with Frank and they wanted this reunion. They
came to see my show at Feinstein's and the next thing I knew I was on
Sony. I really like them and their reputation is excellent.
VOICE: Did you always know you and Frank would work together again one
LINDA: Sure. I knew some time "musically apart" was going to
be good. I grew into myself a little more by being on my own. Now it's
a very even collaboration. I'm much tougher. [smiles]
VOICE: From your point of view, what makes your musical collaboration
with Frank so successful?
I understand his music innately. He writes melodies that fit my voice
and his stuff is always dramatic. It's also Broadway/Pop so someone who
is too Broadway doesn't fit as well.
VOICE: What do you like most about the music Frank writes?
LINDA: The same reason I like any good song, I guess. Not everything Frank
writes is great but he has a fairly high "batting average."
When he teams with a great lyricist, then magic starts to happen.
What factors went into the decision to make a record similar in many ways
to some of the early recordings you and Frank did together? Did comments
from your fans play a part in that decision?
LINDA: It's just what Frank writes so if it was going to be a Wildhorn
album, then that is the music it was going to be. Hopefully we and all
the lyricists who came back have all grown and it is reflected in the
music. I get such a wide range of comments from fans that I can't really
go in one direction. I know I can't please everyone, but I think I'm reaching
as wide an audience as I can.
VOICE: How have you changed as a person since the last recording you and
Frank worked on together in regard to the recording process and your role
as the artist?
LINDA: I'm much more in control now and not quite so ready to say yes
to everything. I know what I like and I am always learning what works
for me, so now I am not afraid to say it.
VOICE: Before NOW was in the works, were there any of Frank's songs from
those that made it onto the CD that got you to thinking, "Gee, I'd
really like to record that song one day?"
LINDA: Some of the songs are what they call "trunk songs," or
in other words songs that were written for shows that never happened or
songs that never made it into the show for one reason or another. In many
cases, the songs were great but there was an abundance of riches and no
room for the songs. Frank always writes so many more songs than are actually
needed in a musical. Ideally the song is supposed to advance the story.
As a result, wonderful songs found themselves homeless. Now they have
a home on NOW.
Why did you choose the title, NOW, for your latest recording? Were you
already familiar with Maury Yeston's song of the same name when you chose
LINDA: I actually didn't come up with that title. The creative team at
Sony presented that idea, and as much as I'd like to take credit
I can't. [smiles] I can however take credit for being wise enough to know
it was the right title. Everyone loved the song and the title fit the
Eder/Wildhorn 2011 theme.
VOICE: How did you come up with the final list of songs to record? Were
you given suggestions or did you compile the list on your own?
LINDA: As I said, Frank writes many more songs than needed. I was given
CDs to listen to, old demos, new demos, recorded songs from his recent
shows, lyricists singing the melodies, Frank singing the melodies (not
a good selling point), and Frank played some ideas live. I was fussy.
I frustrated Frank a lot because I wouldn't say yes to some that he really
How special was it for you to revisit memories of the magical summer of
CAMILLE CLAUDEL as you were choosing the songs for NOW?
LINDA: I hadn't listened to any of that music or even thought about the
show that much in a few years. I've sung "Gold" so much that
I can perform it live and be in the moment, but it stands on its own in
my mind now. So listening to "A Woman In His Arms" and "What's
Never Been Done Before" really brought back the show and just how
good the music is. Nan wrote some amazing stuff for CAMILLE.
VOICE: What are some of your fondest memories of the CAMILLE CLAUDEL run
at the Goodspeed?
I loved all of it really. We had a great, fun cast. Aside from the woman
who played my mother, I think I was the oldest woman so I felt like a
mother to the girls. Michael Nouri was amazing to work with. It was like
living out a teenage crush because of my memories of the movie "Flashdance."
Gabe Barre was so wonderful to work with and learn from. Quite a special
man. I also love period pieces so I had fun with the costumes. But most
of all, I loved crawling inside Camille. I loved telling her incredible,
tragic story. It was an emotionally draining show for me.
Digressing a little
it's been quite a winter with the cold and snow
this year. We know you have something in common with Camille
Can you tell us a little about your creation, "Snow Dog?"
LINDA: Well, the snow conditions were perfect for building a snowman so
I told Jake I would make one for him. I got a little carried away on the
first ball. It was huge. So the second ball for the torso had to be pretty
big as well and I could not lift it. Jake was disappointed so I told him
I would make a sculpture. As you can see in the photo, my male Shepherd,
Rodin, became my model. He sat right there almost the whole time. The
snow dog lasted for many weeks.
of all the songs written by the wonderfully talented Nan Knighton for
CAMILLE CLAUDEL, why did you choose to record "A Woman In His Arms"
and "What's Never Been Done Before?"
LINDA: Because aside from "Gold," which I sing all the time,
they are the two best songs. "What's Never Been Done Before"
is a tour de force!
VOICE: Your live performance of "The Mad Hatter" from the Broadway-bound
WONDERLAND is something very special. You actually become the character
as you perform the song. What do you like about the character of The Mad
LINDA: As often happens, I seem to innately know how to sing some songs.
The truth is that I still have not seen the show or read the script. I
am looking forward to the Broadway production so that I can finally see
VOICE: Is there a part of you that wishes you were playing the part on
tried very hard to get me to do the part, but I did not want to do the
out of town productions and everything else that had to go before Broadway.
How could I and still take care of Jake? So I told him, "Make it
a hit and then maybe I can come in for a spell!"
VOICE: We're sure it was fun reuniting with Jack Murphy, who has written
so many original songs for you over the years! Can you tell us about the
songs Jack wrote for NOW?
LINDA: I love Jack! I like his sense of humor. Dry, dry, dry! His lyrics
are always clever and he likes to pick my brain for ideas, so it's a good
give and take. Besides "The Mad Hatter," he wrote three brand
new big band songs. One of them Frank originally wrote as a ballad, but
I turned it into an up-tempo. Jack wrote "Good Bye," which is
just a fun song about saying good bye to a bad relationship. "Not
Gonna Fall This Time" is all about trying not to get into a bad relationship,
and "The Heat Of The Night" is all about who gives a damn! Let's
VOICE: We've missed some of your band "regulars" in the past
few years. Have any of them reunited with you to record NOW?
We had a big band session and so we had the horn players back
Levine, David Mann, Charles Pillow, to name just a few. Pretty much most
of the horn players I've worked with over the years were at that session.
Big band sessions are always fun, hearing the new arrangements for the
tell your fans about the original song written for this CD by Nan Knighton.
LINDA: I really wanted something new from Nan because I love her lyrics.
She wrote "What Did You See Inside The Stars?" Long title, but
cool idea. This one is about one side knowing that the relationship is
not going to last from the very start. Something I suppose a lot of people
can relate to. After all, you are either the "Katie" or the
"Hubble," right? I've certainly been both in the past. It was
great to see Nan. It had been way too long. This CD has been so much about
bringing the "old gang" back together.
VOICE: Which do you enjoy recording and performing more
or the more up-tempo songs?
LINDA: I can't say. On any given day it might be different. Every audience
Frank usually gravitate toward a type of song for you to record
ballad versus up-tempo?
LINDA: I think he writes more ballads than up-tempo just because he likes
VOICE: Do you have a favorite song you recorded for NOW? What makes that
particular song your favorite?
have to wait until I sing the songs live. I need to live with them a bit
before I can answer. Some are love at first sight, others grow on me.
VOICE: What does Jake think of a reunion recording with Mom and Dad?
LINDA: Oh, he loves it, of course. He was in the studio a lot with us.
The hard part for me was to remember he was there while I was singing
in the booth and trying not to swear. He made a dollar for every time
we swore. On a rough patch, he'd score pretty big!
VOICE: Has Jake shown any signs that he has inherited a talent for writing
music from you and Frank?
LINDA: Incredibly so. He takes piano and at his very first lesson he played
what he wrote for the teacher. I keep warning him that his Dad is going
to steal his melodies. Seriously, he is really talented and seems to love
music. He already has a band. He writes all their songs.
difficult was it to temporarily "abandon" the personal musical
path you had been on as far as recording and writing?
LINDA: Well, I don't write that many songs, just whenever an idea strikes,
so my life hasn't changed that much. I'm always building songs in my head.
The house project put it on hold more than anything else.
VOICE: Will you include songs from "the other side of you" in
your upcoming shows since those songs are very different from those on
NOW and your earlier recordings?
LINDA: Yes. The band can play anything and we are keeping the "All
Of Me" format that allows me to do it all. I love it that way. I
never get bored.
VOICE: Will we hear more of the songs you've written in the future?
LINDA: Yes. I have gotten such good feedback on the few songs that I have
performed. It's an incredible feeling.
VOICE: What might we find you listening to these days on your iPod or
in your car?
LINDA: These days I play NOW constantly because I am trying to learn the
lyrics. I also love The Script.
VOICE: Please tell us more about The Script for fans who may not be familiar
with this band. What draws you to their music?
LINDA: Everything. I love the guy's voice and I think their songs are
just really good. I love "Break Even."
recently did a show in Clearwater, Florida where you were backed just
by Billy Stein and Peter Calo and the audience was very receptive. Do
you think you might do more shows like this in the future?
LINDA: Yes, we will. It is really scary to go that bare but it is also
fun. They are both so talented and you really get to see that. I think
I will add a bass player in the future so that it can free the guys up
VOICE: Is the transformation of your Carriage House into Metaphor House
complete or is it still a work in progress?
LINDA: It's still in progress and on hold now until Spring. It's just
too cold and too dusty to work in the basement. It's not good for me to
breathe all the dust that wood working produces. The house is very livable
though. It's all finishing work now.
recently reached a milestone birthday. How does it feel to be fifty?
LINDA: So far the only time it has hit me is when I have to answer interview
questions about how old I am. This is the second time I've been asked.
It's a little shocking to see "50" in print.
VOICE: Looking back over the years, can you tell us a highlight or two
from your career of which you are most proud?
LINDA: I think my first solo concert at Carnegie Hall will always be at
the top. It's something I aspired to as a kid. "Star Search"
is a close second. It's something I never dreamed of. It just seemed to
happen, but I am still proud of myself for having been able to overcome
my terrible nerves enough to perform in front of cameras and judges.
VOICE: How do you picture your career going forward? Is there anything
you like to do that you have not already done?
LINDA: I would love to do a CD of my own songs. It's the most amazing
feeling to sit with a guitar and paper and come up with something and
then take it all the way through to a recording and then live on stage.
there anything else you'd like to say to your loyal fans?
LINDA: Yes. LO -VE - YAL! Get it? Honestly I consider myself so lucky.
Loyal fans are something I am made more and more aware of and do not take
for granted. It's a beautiful partnership.
VOICE: We'd like to ask you a few questions submitted by your fans on
THE VOICE Facebook page.
MARY JO: Do you plan the material for your shows? What factors do you
take into consideration when planning a show?
LINDA: Yes. I plan my own shows. I've gotten pretty good at learning how
to make a show flow, where to put the peaks and valleys. It's hard when
I have a lot of new material that hasn't been tested live. It's a learning
process that requires feedback from audiences.
MARY JO: What is your process for learning songs?
LINDA: Just listening to them a lot. Memorizing lyrics is a pain. I hate
Was your voice affected when you were pregnant and if so how? How long
did it take to recover?
my breathing was affected simply because my diaphragm was being squeezed.
I also think my voice dropped a little. Some say pregnancy can cause that,
but it may also be just the natural aging process.
there a multi-record deal with Sony or just this one?
the image above to view some of Linda's personal photos of building
her "Metaphor House"!
always sign me to multi-record deals, but it's their option to make each
there be a debut concert to showcase the new CD?
the Town Hall show is sort of the showcase.
Metaphor House become what you had hoped for you and Jake?
LINDA: Yes. My design came to life and it amazes me to walk around in
it now and still remember it as it was. Jake and I love it.
you ever get nervous before a show? Do you have any rituals you do to
get past being nervous?
LINDA: I get nervous if I am under the weather and I know my voice is
going to be tough. No one likes to go out there and do a bad performance
and they always make it really hard on you to cancel or postpone - that
old "show must go on theory," but I hate to not be 100%.
you could learn any language in the world, what would it be and why?
LINDA: I would want to be fluent in German because so many of my relatives