Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Ed Quinn

Photo courtesy of Ed Quinn Facebook page.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Before he became known for his roles as President Hunter Franklin in Tyler Perry’s popular political drama television series “The Oval” and Max Ferraro in “One Day At A Time,” famed actor Ed Quinn was a rock guitarist who studied with Joe Satriani and played in Los Angeles-based bands Mad Theory and Scattergood.

His music focuses on pure rock ‘n’ roll fun, as evidenced by hits like “Lights Out Love,” which involved a cinematic-styled music video that took four days to shoot.

The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Quinn – whose television resume also includes appearances in shows like “NCIS: New Orleans,” “2 Broke Girls” and Syfy’s “Eureka” – about what makes him the most proud about where he comes from, if he ever watches back his own acting performances and much more, which you can check out below.

Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep going?

Ed Quinn – “Patience is the truest fortitude, for it frees man from the apparent tyranny of happenstance.”

Music Bugle – How would you sum up your experience taking part in Tyler Perry’s “The Oval”? 

Ed Quinn – It’s been a dream. When you make a movie or TV Show, the number one thing you hope for is that people will see it. Thanks to Tyler Perry’s incredible fanbase, not only have people watched it worldwide, but it’s also a hit. It was the #1 New Show on Cable when it premiered in 2019 and it’s not slowing down. Also, BET has done an amazing job promoting the show. Billboards for “The Oval” are all over LA/NYC and are the envy of many of my actor friends.

Music Bugle – What was your creative process behind your song “Lights Out Love” and its music video? 

Ed Quinn – The song is about someone I randomly met on a plane coming back from Las Vegas in the late 1990’s. She was a dancer and her personal story and self-awareness really stuck with me. When I met with Director Nick Martinez about creative ideas for the video, we decided to incorporate the Strip Club, but substitute illegal Street Racing for her obsession. I’m very pleased with how both the song and the video turned out.

Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about where you come from? 

Ed Quinn – There is simply no place like Berkeley, California, especially when I grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The University of California, where my father was a professor, is the most renowned Public University in the World. It fosters this incredibly rich and vibrant intellectual environment, but without the stuffiness of similar institutions (cough) STANFORD! (cough). The roots of the counterculture run deep in Berkeley. It’s like growing up on a pirate ship full of geniuses. I will always be a Son of California.

Music Bugle – Looking back, what has been your biggest obstacle to overcome? 

Ed Quinn – Just weathering the attrition of the business. The entertainment industry is a tough place to make a living. It’s rarely a meritocracy. It can be cruel and heartless, but if you’re lucky enough to persevere, it’s so incredibly rewarding. I feel so blessed to be where I am today. Maybe it was meant to be… I don’t know. I’m just filled with gratitude. 

Music Bugle – Do you ever watch back your acting performances once they officially air? 

Ed Quinn – Rarely. Usually once, for reference. I’ll critique it – harshly – and move on and try to do better. Sometimes, people will post scenes from older shows I’ve done and I literally have zero memory of it, but I love that they love it. That’s all that matters. Once you release your work into the world, it doesn’t belong to you anymore. It’s not yours to micro-manage. The audience’s experience is paramount. I celebrate that.

Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise? 

Ed Quinn – (Laughs) That’s sort of an awkward question to answer. I like to listen to stuff outside my genre – hard rock – for influence. So, I listen to stuff that’s hooky or heavy. I’ve been listening to a lot of old Crystal Method and Prodigy for beats… Korn and Slipknot for power… and a lot and – I mean – a lot of pop for hooks and harmonies. Lana Del Ray, Miley Cyrus, Adele, Rihanna, Lady Gaga. I’ll get a playlist going and just cycle through it on a loop while I work out. Then, I drive around all day with those hooks stuck in my head. I’ve got to be very careful not to sing out loud with the windows down. 

Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break? 

Ed Quinn – The Ocean. If I can’t travel abroad – places like Indonesia, Fiji, Hawaii, etc. – I’ll be surfing and fishing the California Coast. In the winter, I mix in the mountains. I absolutely love Mammoth and Whistler. Surfing, fishing and snowboarding keep me sane. Keeps me young, too. 

Music Bugle – What do you see as the next step for your career? 

Ed Quinn – Ha, I wish I knew! If Bono calls and wants the SWAMP METAL ALLSTARS to open for U2 on their next world tour, I’m not saying “No.” That’s the best part about the business. The future is always unknown and full of promise.

Music Bugle – What’s a movie that you can watch over and over again and never get tired of?

Ed Quinn – That a list! I’ve seen all these movies a hundred times: “Jaws,” “Man On Fire,” “Apocalypse Now,” “Fast Times At Ridgemont High,” “Gladiator,” “Road Warrior,” “Unforgiven,” “Shawshank Redemption,” “Big Wednesday” and “Blade Runner.” If these movies are on, I’ll watch at least 10-15 minutes… at least.

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