Un-Jaded with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
It’s easy to write off psychedelic super group Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros as one of L.A.’s newest musical shticks. With their whimsical prairie garb, dreadlocks and obvious appreciation of a certain herbal substance, the band is easy to stereotype. And while it is true that their lineup includes a former ABC Family star, an American Apparel model and a cadre of west coast scenesters, including former Ima Robot front man, Alex Ebert who now dresses like the next messiah, it may surprise that Edward Sharpe and their free-loving ethos is a Kool-Aid worth drinking.
One of two women in the ten person ensemble and the ingénue behind their breakthrough single, “Home” is Jade Castrinos. Channeling Grace Slick at her most affable and Janis Joplin at her most lucid, Castrinos’ voice conjures images of wide open spaces and the fantasy of some nameless, long-forgotten west. But the singer becomes humble at the evocation of the icons and seems hard-pressed to claim any rock-idol throne. “That’s a fucking honor, man. My dad and I were in a jam band and we would jam Janis Joplin,” she admits, taking a seat backstage at Minneapolis’ First Avenue nightclub. “Strangely, I just picked up a biography on her and the first page I opened up to was a story about her sleepwalking as a kid and her mom woke her and asked what she was doing and she said, ‘I’m going home, I’m going home.’ That instantly hooked me.”
The sentiment of ‘Home’ has hooked a lot of people on Jade Castrinos too. “The other night we had a show in Montana and it was just incredible,” she muses. “We had one of those moments when everyone is jamming and we become a unit and everything syncs up in the room.” She shakes her head and focuses her eyes on a seemingly empty patch of dressing room wall. “Those are the ones. The soul shakers. The moments when I understand why I’m on earth.”
In an industry where competition is par for the course, Castrinos has a holistic view of her musicianship and why she twirls and wails and bangs the tambourine in the Edward Sharpe rock collective. “It’s not just about me,” she maintains. “It’s about us making a sound together and being of service to song and love and supporting each other. The opposite of jealousy and competition is admiration and sharing. That’s the side of it that I’m on.”
The overall essence of Castrinos reaches beyond the notion of taking the stage. Marveling at the state of the world, our country, and even the music being written she is visibly struck by the sudden magnitude of import. “What really matters when you go to your death bed?” she asks, raising her hands up and letting them flutter back down to smooth her tunic. “It’s not about the fuck-you songs to the government. I don’t think that’s what it should be about,” Castrinos shakes her head. “It’s about shining a light and being a light and not cursing the darkness. We are all born into a world that is at war. Brothers and sisters don’t recognize each other and we all are living in this illusion of duality.”
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