What 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 one, NOW?

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 business?

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 day?

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?

LINDA: 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.

VOICE: 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.

VOICE: 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 the title?

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 wanted.

Linda's "Snow Dog"

VOICE: 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?

LINDA: 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.

VOICE: 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… sculpting! 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.

VOICE: Out 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 Hatter?

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 it.

VOICE: Is there a part of you that wishes you were playing the part on Broadway?

LINDA: Frank 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 enjoy tonight!

VOICE: We've missed some of your band "regulars" in the past few years. Have any of them reunited with you to record NOW?

LINDA: Yes. We had a big band session and so we had the horn players back… Dan 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 first time.

VOICE: Please 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… the ballads or the more up-tempo songs?

LINDA: I can't say. On any given day it might be different. Every audience is different.

VOICE: Does 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 beautiful melodies.

VOICE: Do you have a favorite song you recorded for NOW? What makes that particular song your favorite?

LINDA: I 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.

VOICE: How 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."

VOICE: You 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 even more.

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.

VOICE: You 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.

VOICE: Is 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.

LINDA: Sure!

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 it.

MARY JO: Was your voice affected when you were pregnant and if so how? How long did it take to recover?

LINDA: No, 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.

JUDI: Is there a multi-record deal with Sony or just this one?

Click the image above to view some of Linda's personal photos of building her "Metaphor House"!

LINDA: Labels always sign me to multi-record deals, but it's their option to make each CD.

JUDI: Will there be a debut concert to showcase the new CD?

LINDA: Yes, the Town Hall show is sort of the showcase.

RON: Has 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.

LAURYN: Do 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%.

EDEN: If 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 speak it.

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