In 2002, in the midst of a year of sleeplessness, and novel-writing, Alex Ebert created two things: A distracted, deformed, and hopelessly romantic messianic character named Edward Sharpe, and a new kind of mathematics called Magnetic Zeros. The novel was never completed and the math’s application is yet-to-be determined, but Ebert liked the sound of those two inventions combined, and a band who’s members were yet to be met was born. (Note: “Edward Sharpe” is not an alter ego of Ebert’s, but rather “a vehicle that delivered me back to myself”).
Several years later, disillusioned with just about every aspect of his life, Ebert dropped nearly everything- his relationship, his home, his phone, and even Alcoholics Anonymous, and embarked on the journey of self discovery and liberation that gave birth to the material that would be the first Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros album, Up From Below. Inspired primarily by the simple, rag-tag, jangly sing-a-longs at his elementary school, Ebert wrote songs designed for a large group to have a childish, unprofessional, and irreverent feel.
With (at the time) odd instrumentation, the songs required upwards of ten musicians to play, and it was during the recording process that the band truly formed. It would be a member-less band no longer.
Ebert’s “partner-in-liberation” during his time of transformation, singer Jade Castrinos, helped co-pen the song “Home”, and in it the band had a platinum-selling song.
In the time since, the band has released three albums and toured much of the world, but in the process something else happened: “we went from social experiment to accidentally becoming a great band”, Ebert says. Indeed, they became known for the power of their live shows.
In light of this revelation, the band feels a new purpose: “to write music especially designed to perform live, and to become the very best band we can possibly be.”