Richard Edwards Reborn

Richard Edwards doesn’t sound tired anymore. His voice is still soft, but there is an optimistic vibrancy that hadn’t been there in recent years.

He is in a quiet room in his home in Indiana talking to me on the phone. I apologize for not being able to meet in person; I couldn’t afford a flight halfway across the country. He gets money woes, though. He gets health woes, too. In fact, Edwards gets most woes that come in life. They’ve all knocked him down. He’s gotten up every single time.

The Indiana-based songwriter was diagnosed with C. Diff – an infection of the intestines – and spent most of 2015 recovering from a near fatal attack that robbed him of 40 pounds, his energy, and a tour. He says the rare disease essentially forced him into retirement. He’s since recovered, but the ailment still lingers.

“My stomach issue is a pretty consistent part of my life, but I do have longer stretches where I feel really good. I’m in one of those right now.”

Continue reading “Richard Edwards Reborn”

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‘Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset’ is a vulnerable masterpiece

[Read my feature “Richard Edwards Reborn” for an in-depth look at the album from musician himself.]

For nearly a decade, Richard Edwards released music as a band called Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s. Don’t be fooled; he was the band. The players came in on different albums to help, but he was always the maestro. His lineups changed year to year, as did his music.

Now, Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset is his first true solo album under his own name. I wrote a feature about it that will appear sometime shortly on All Things Go about why this was time for him to step out from behind the Margot moniker.

Continue reading “‘Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset’ is a vulnerable masterpiece”

Richard Edwards announces debut solo album, premieres “Disappeared Planets” single

[Read my feature “Richard Edwards Reborn” for an in-depth look at the album from musician himself.]

Richard Edwards spent the better part of his adulthood as the mastermind behind orchestra-pop-turned-raucous-rock outfit Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s. Then he almost died. Continue reading “Richard Edwards announces debut solo album, premieres “Disappeared Planets” single”

Richard Edwards on his rotted gut and a decade of rarities

[Update: Richard Edwards is releasing his first solo album. Read about it here.]

Richard Edwards is set to release a box set of rarities recorded by his feverishly followed band, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s. The Bride on the Boxcar – A Decade of Margot Rareties: 2004-2014 will provide fervent fans with demos of hit songs, tracks that were cut from albums and as well as different versions of fan-favorite releases from the band’s five LPs. It will be released December 4th via Joyful Noise.

Edwards, who has been suffering from stomach affliction for years, revealed that he “recently re-entered a pretty gnarly stretch with this stomach ailment” that he has been fighting and is “spending a lot of time at the doctor’s and in bed.” He asked if we could communicate via email. The following responses are unedited, and reprinted from his original email. Continue reading “Richard Edwards on his rotted gut and a decade of rarities”

Listen to a demo from Richard Edwards

Richard EdwardsRichard Edwards, the singer-songwriter behind Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, just released a demo on his Soundcloud account titled “Something Wicked.”

Edwards, who has released music under the Margot band umbrella since 2004, has changed his sound over the years. First the band was almost an orchestra with horns and strings. The chamber pop of their first two releases got a little rowdier with Buzzard and even more so with Rot Gut, Domestic. Then he stripped everything down for last year’s Sling Shot to Heaven, which relies heavily on Edwards, his raw vocals, and gentle guitar.

There’s no saying what the new album that he already plans on recording this year will sound like, but it will most certainly feature his intricate lyrics that read almost like extremely short stories. “Something Wicked” is a perfect example. It’s about not caring about a girl’s new man and how certain that the new man is doing her wrong.

Along with releasing the link, Richards thanked fans for buying a little from the band’s merchandise store, but claimed the song probably won’t make the album.

Thanks for picking a few things up from the merch store to help fund recording. Here’s a newish demo of a song that probably won’t be on the record, as a thank you.

It’s slow and emotional. For a demo, it’s pretty perfect. Check it out below.

Listen to a new track from Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s

Richard Edwards has been hard at work recording Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s fifth LP as well as filming an intimate 16 mm film that will give us insight into his life, both personal and musical. The new album, which was affectionately known simply as LP5 for a long time was given a title last week as well as a tracklisting and an album cover.

Sling Shot to Heaven Continue reading “Listen to a new track from Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s”

Richard Edwards on his own music

I talked to Richard Edwards, frontman of Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s quite a bit over the past couple of months at places like Drunken Unicorn in Atlanta and at DeLuna Fest  in Florida as well as multiple phone conversations for a feature that will go live in tomorrow’s (March 20) Paste Magazine mPlayer.

At the tail end of one lengthy conversation I asked him to discuss his favorite songs he had written for each album and which one he’d like to change. It was more of a fanboy moment than a journalist moment, but I wanted to share part of the transcript. This particular interview took place on January 30 via a phone call.

On favorite tracks written for each album:

Dust of Retreat – The only one on there that I can still listen to without cringing – I think “Skeleton Key” is a really interestingly laid out song. I get why people like it. I wish the lyrics were different – but the one whole song on there that I still think is pretty good is “Bookworm.” I know it’s probably not most people’s favorite, but that one sounds a little bit mature, I guess, than any of the other stuff on there.

Not Animal – I don’t think it’s the best song on there necessarily, but I really like that “Shivers” thing. I just like listening to it and it was always fun to play. It never seemed to go over that well; that’s why I think we quit playing it. I don’t think that’s the best song on that record. That record has some songs that are pretty good, but that’s definitely one of my favorites.

Animal! – It’s not quite as easy. “O’ What a Nightmare!” is always kind of up there for me. I really like that “Mariel” song. I still think “My Baby Shoots Her Mouth Off” is a creepy, cool song. If I had to pick out of all of them I’d probably say “O’ What a Nightmare!”

Buzzard – It’s tough. I still like quite a bit of those a lot. Probably “Birds.” It’s probably the best song I’ve written in general. It’s number one on there. I think “New York City Hotel Blues” and “Claws” are pretty good songs. I really like “Tiny Vampire Robots” a lot. It feels really cool when I listen to it.

Rot Gut, Domestic – My favorite song on there is probably a song called “Fisher of Men.” It’s kind of another rock song. It’s another one that I don’t really know if it’s the best song on there technically, but I like it the best.

On the song he would want to change the most:

I can’t get into Dust of Retreat that much and I’m happy for people who can. I was still very young and didn’t quite have my voice as a singer. It’s hard to listen to it without wishing I could have discovered my voice which I guess I have found since that record. That whole record is kind of difficult to listen to.

I really, really, really wish “I Am a Lightning Rod” was not recorded the way it fucking is. And “A Love Song For Schuba’s Bartender.” Those are the only two major regrets that I have as far as recordings and they are kind of huge major regrets. I think “Love Song” was a nice kind of funny ballad and it got worked over to where it sounded – I don’t know. It doesn’t sound like us. It sounds like a band trying to record a song that they feel self conscious about being a ballad. “Lightning Rod” was one of my favorite songs and I kind of thought of it as sort of – I don’t know. Forget what I thought it was, but what it ended up being I really, really have a problem with some of the guitar stuff on it. I think it kind of Radioheaded it up. It’s another one that I listen to that when those moments come up it kind of bums me out because I feel less like naturally what comes to us and a little bit more like it’s trying a bit too hard to mess with something as opposed to playing it pretty naturally like we would. I wish that song was a lot more sparkly. I wish I would have just recorded by myself with an acoustic guitar. Then it, at the very least, it will sound like us and not like a stretch.

After those songs specifically I became a lot stricter and proactive about making sure that nothing was happening on tunes that didn’t feel like it came from me or us naturally. I like the songs and that’s the bummer; I just wish that they were done with a bit more whatever-who-gives-a-fuck mentality.