Alex Ebert performing with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros in 2009.
|Birth name||Alexander Michael Tahquitz Ebert|
May 12, 1978 |
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Genres||Alternative rock, indie rock, new wave, alternative country, indie folk, neo-psychedelia|
|Labels||Virgin Records, Rough Trade Records, Vagrant Records, Community Music, Echo Park Records, Werewolf Heart|
|Associated acts||Ima Robot, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros|
Alexander Michael Tahquitz "Alex" Ebert (born May 12, 1978) is an American singer-songwriter and composer. He is best known for being the lead singer and songwriter for the American bands Ima Robot and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. On January 12, 2014, Ebert won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score for his musical contributions to the film All Is Lost.
Ebert was born in Los Angeles in 1978, the son of a psychotherapist, Michael Ebert, and actress Lisa Richards. His father would often take the family on long car trips through the desert. On one such trip, his mother shot footage of his father chanting in the desert, cradling Alex's baby sister Gabi, which would one day become a part of the video for the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros song "Desert Song". His grandfather Carl Ebert had been Intendant of Deutsche Oper, Berlin; he also was a famous actor trained by Max Reinhardt.
His full birth name is Alexander Michael Tahquitz Ebert. His father took one of his son's names, Tahquitz, from his favorite climbing rock. Alex later on discovered that the name means "demon" in a Native American language. As a teenager, he had a difficult and tumultuous relationship with his father.
His father influenced young Alexander by playing music by artists like Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash. He also cites 60s R&B, Pavarotti, and Beethoven as influences, as well as his elementary school teacher, a woman from South Africa named Ruth. Alexander enjoyed listening to hip-hop as a teenager, and originally intended to be a rapper.
Following a school project on Marlon Brando, Ebert developed an affection for film and cinematic studies. His mother supported his budding passion and Ebert consequently was enrolled in extracurricular filmmaking classes. After dropping out of college, Ebert directed a short film and wrote several screenplays. He attributes the revival of his interest in professional music to his childhood friends and excessive drug usage during that period of his life.
After Ebert's band The Lucky 13's broke up, Ima Robot was formed in 1997 and it became successful in the early 2000s, signing with Virgin Records. Their first full-length album released on September 6, 2003, was self-titled Ima Robot, and featured the singles "Dynomite" and "Song #1". On September 12, 2006, Ima Robot released their second album Monument to the Masses which featured the singles "Creeps Me Out" and "Lovers in Captivity". In April 2007, the band won their independence from Virgin Records and continued to work unsigned under the management of Alexis Rivera of Echo Park Records. The song "Gangster" premiered on the band's MySpace on April 15, 2008, with its lyrics posted in a blog entry by the band. In 2010 the band announced the upcoming release of their new album, Another Man's Treasure, and released the song "Ruthless" on the Internet. They are now being represented by the Werewolf Heart label. Ebert was quoted as saying that "most of the songs were recorded between two and four years ago", but that he looks forward to making music with Tim Anderson and Filip Nikolic again.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
After years of the Los Angeles party lifestyle and subsequent drug addiction, Ebert broke up with his then-girlfriend, moved out of his house, and spent some time in rehab. During this time, he developed Edward Sharpe, his alter ego. "I don't want to put too much weight on it, because in some ways it's just a name that I came up with. But I guess if I look deeper, I do feel like I had lost my identity in general. I really didn't know what was going on or who I was anymore. Adopting another name helped me open up an avenue to get back." Ebert developed Sharpe into a messianic figure, saying "He was sent down to Earth to kinda heal and save mankind, but he kept getting distracted by girls and falling in love."
One such girl, in real life, was the singer Jade Castrinos, whom he saw sitting on an outdoor bench and immediately knew he needed to have a relationship with. Their resultant affair formed the seeds of what would become Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. They started writing music together, and became a part of the art and music collective The Masses, which was partially started by some seed money from actor Heath Ledger. While their relationship did not last, the group took off in a big way, and their group soon swelled to more than 10 members, some of whom had been Alex's friends since he was young. By summer 2009, they were touring the country. Their first album, Up from Below, was released in July 2009. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman on May 10, 2012 promoting their next album entitled Here, which was released on May 29, 2012. Their most recent album, self-titled Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, was released on July 23, 2013. They again appeared on the Late Show to promote the album, performing the track "Life Is Hard".
Ebert's song "Truth" is featured in the credits of the Oscar-winner short live-action film Curfew.
He reunited with Chandor to score the latter's 2014 film A Most Violent Year.
Alexander's song "Truth" is featured in the final scene of the 4th season, 1st episode of Breaking Bad. (AMC, 2011).
"Man on Fire" is also featured in series 8 of The Deadliest Catch (Episode - "Landlocked")
"Remember our Heart" is briefly featured in a scene from season 2 of HBO's How to Make it in America (Episode - "Mofongo")
"40 Day Dream" is featured on the 6th episode of season 3 of Chuck.
"Green Back Boogie" by Alex's Ima Robot group is the theme song for Suits.
"Mayla", a track by ESMZ titled after Alex's daughter, was featured in Season 1, Episode 1 of the Amazon series "Transparent".
- With Ima Robot
- Alexander (2011)
- "The Watch Newspapers - Dynamic Charismatic and Determined to Set the Soul Free". Telluridewatch.com. 2009-11-24. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- Warren, Katherine (June 18, 2010). "‘Barefoot on a summer night’". Telluride Daily Planet. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
- Advertise on MotherJones.com (2010-01-04). "Music Monday: 15 Minutes With Alex Ebert (aka Edward Sharpe)". Mother Jones. Archived from the original on 30 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- "Face Culture Interview With Alex Ebert". Retrieved Feb 18, 2011.
- "Ruthless - From the upcoming album Another Man's Treasure". Ima Robot. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- kevin (2010-06-24). "Video: Ima Robot, ‘Ruthless’ —". Buzzbands.la. Archived from the original on 25 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- McDonald, Scott (2009-11-06). "Edward Sharpe, aka Alex Ebert, finds himself with The Magnetic Zeros". Sdnn.com. Archived from the original on 31 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- Randall Roberts (2008-07-10). "Heath Ledger's Final Days Among the Masses - Page 1 - Film+TV - Los Angeles". LA Weekly. Archived from the original on 9 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- "Edward Sharpe's Alex Ebert to score J.C. Chandor pic". http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118062496/?refCatId=16/
- Sepinwall, Alan (2011-04-18). "Review: 'Chuck' - 'Chuck vs. the Wedding Planner': Father of the bride". HitFix. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
- Alex Ebert at the Internet Movie Database
- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros official website
- Ima Robot official website
- Alexander Ebert official website