The Vision


“My powerful voice was reduced to a whisper, but I am still a vessel through which passion emerges.  Take my voice, my hair, my mobility, my memory… but if you want my fire, you will have to kill me.”

Erica Xenne speaks in a whisper and sings in a ghost-like voice. The alchemy between her ethereal voice and rhythmic piano, robust drumming by her brother Jon Brand, and soulful guitar by her consort Prince Ruby Valentine, birthed Erosian Exile. By combining their otherworldly sound with original videos and art as a backdrop, Erica channels her memories of Erosia.

She began studying piano at age 4, and had a career in music as a teenager, singing, playing piano, and composing.  At age 16, Chronic Lyme complications lead to permanent damage on her vocal cords, reducing her voice to a whisper and condemning her to exile from her deepest passion.  But as emotions welled up and songs wrote themselves through her, the ghost of her voice was resurrected.  

 

 

The people of Erosia have no legal system, but nature has its own laws. To love is to channel the essence of Erosia’s creators.

Prince Ruby Valentine was exiled from Erosia for failing to believe in Love, and Erica Xenne, obsessed and consumed, followed him into exile. In doing so, she sacrificed her magic power – her singing voice – which channeled the God of Passion. She was left speaking in a whisper.

In Dystopia, music exploded through Erica’s being, and she learned to channel her songs through her whisper in hopes the music would lure Ruby to believe in Love and return to Erosia with her. Yet Ruby knew her music was fueled by obsession and desire, rather than love, and mourned all the reasons that love could not exist.

The first album, Slave to Freedom, is Erica’s love note to Ruby, conveying conversations between Erica (vocalist) and Ruby (guitarist) which occurred in Erosia and Dystopia.  Desperate to inspire Ruby, she invited his other consorts to sing backup despite her possessive fury.  Ruby’s guitar wailed to meet their sensual harmonies and Erica’s alluring melodies, but the more aroused he was, the darker his nightmares became, and the more tormented he felt.  He remained a slave to freedom.

Art is the blood of the exile.  Since Erica and Ruby were exiled from their homeland, Erica made it her mission to bring the essence of Erosia to everyone.  Through the arts, she hopes to lure others back to their own origins.

Visit Erica’s Memories of Erosia.

 

The Band

Erosian Exile – Live Photos

Erica Xenne

Erica began studying piano and writing songs as a child.  By her early teens, she was consumed by vocal mastery and began singing professionally.

At sixteen, she became ill.  She suffered high fevers, hair loss, memory fog, immobilizing arthritis, inability to swallow or move, and barely escaped death.  After enduring misdiagnoses and maltreatment from several doctors, she finally received a diagnosis of Lyme Disease.  Through intense, ongoing treatment and fierce determination, she recovered many of her faculties, but her vocal chords were permanently damaged. For the rest of her life, she would speak only in a whisper.  

Erica tried to give up music. She studied writing and photography, and wrote novels about musicians, photographed musicians, made videos for local bands, and indulged endless headphone-buried walks. Regardless how deeply she cared for other arts, music ignited her core… yet she could not sing the songs that screamed within.

She was an Erosian Exile, exiled from Eros… her passion.  She adopted the surname Xenne, which came to her in a sudden transmission from her home planet, Erosia.  The prefix, Xen- , means ‘foreigner or stranger’ – as everything from her body to her life path was suddenly foreign.  The suffix -ne means “not” because no matter what she has lost, she has a home in her passion, her drive, and her memories of Erosia.  

Her music kicked and screamed its way out as songs came to life. As her accumulation of songs grew too large for her small town, she moved to New York City and played shows either solo, or with a revolving lineup of musicians.  Soon her brother, Jon Brand, joined as her drummer. After five years of shows and recording, Erica released Slave to Freedom.  Any time she feels defeated, her vocals remind her that nothing can stand between her and her vision, as long as she remains willful.

Erica and Lyme: Related Media

Ladies’ Home Journal

Read more about Erica’s struggle with Lyme Disease in this article from Ladies’ Home Journal. (At that time she was still “Erica Brand” so that is the name in the article).

 

 Zenfully Delicious

Read more about Erica’s inspiring triumph over illness here.

 

 

Jon Brand

Jon Brand grew up listening to alternative rock, metal and punk rock. One of his past musical endeavors was drumming for DDF, a pop-punk band which blew up in the surrounding counties of Rockland, NY.

Jon plays DW Collectors Series drums and Pearl Masterworks snare drums with a variety of Zildjain and Paiste Signature cymbals.

 

Album Credits

 

MUSICIANS:
Piano, Organ, Synth: Erica Xenne
Bass: Brian Bankoff
Drums:
Jon Brand: Born in a Box, Sleep on the Ceiling, Slave to Freedom, Ruby Roue, Lullaby for Defeat, Apostasy, Hurricane Ruby, Trysticide
Steve Goldberg: A Muse, Chasing Tigers, Rockless
Guitar: Ira Siegel, except verses on Hurricane Ruby which were Dalton Jobson

VOCALS:
Lead Vocals: Erica Xenne
Mezzo harmony: Meghan Bridges
Alto harmony: Emma Colleen, except Slave to Freedom, Ruby Roué, and Hurricane Ruby which were Evelyn Doorley
Choir: (bottom to top) Linda Johnson, Evelyn Doorley, Jane Kelman, Lisa Spielman

RECORDING:
Mixing & Mastering: Larry Alexander
Drum, Piano & Bass Recording: Larry Alexander, except Slave to Freedom, Ruby Roué, and Hurricane Ruby which were recorded by John Naclerio at Nada Studios
Choir recording & additional recording: Philip Aitken

WRITING:
Music & lyrics: Erica Xenne.
Lead guitar melodies: Erica Xenne & Ruby Valentine
Arrangement: All
Production: Erica Xenne
Album Art: Erica Xenne & Riki Jane Wild

 

 

Purchase Erica’s first album * Purchase on BandCamp * Purchase on Itunes

i was born in a box
where the crazy people sing
i was taught to believe in nothing
question everything
love was just a dream

i was raised in a world
where the happy people lie
i was taught to conceal emotion
only wimps could cry
love was just a dream

love, love, love
i believe in love
i’m a slave in love
i’m in need of love

then you played your guitar
and all my dreams came true
there was nothing i ever had
that i wouldn’t give to you
life was but a dream

all my friends said “look out,
he’s a figment of your mind”
then they said that i should’ve known
when you left me behind
love was just a dream

love, love, love, i’m afraid of love
i’m a slave in love, i’m a fool in love

it can’t hurt me if i don’t believe
it can’t hurt me if i don’t believe
i won’t believe, i won’t believe
i won’t believe in love

bury me in a box where the crazy people sing
then forever i’ll hear your music
and give you everything
life is just a dream

 

i wanna turn my senses off
i wanna turn my senses off
i wanna turn, i wanna turn
i wanna turn my senses off
i wanna burn, i wanna burn
i wanna burn, i wanna burn
i wanna burn the building down
i wanna turn my life around
i wanna love, i wanna fly
i wanna reach beyond the sky
i wanna see you next to me
and never wonder why

i used to sing in the dark
cuz the spotlight showed my fear
but you were laughing
and so sincere
i know your secret
you’re amused

i wanna be a kid again
i wanna be a kid again
i wanna be, i wanna be
i wanna be a kid again
i wanna see, i wanna see
i wanna see, i wanna see
i wanna see the brighter side
with all it’s beauty glorified
i wanna sing, i wanna play
i wanna be on stage someday
and tell a thousand people
that you make me feel this way

i used to rock in the dark
cuz the music took control
but you were ready
to bear your soul
i know your secret
you’re amused

everything i wanna be
living and loving so free
everything i wanna do
i wanna do it with you
everything i wanna know
everywhere i wanna go
everything i wanna say
i’m gonna say it today

how far should i go for a feeling
when i know you string me along?
if i told you i sleep on the ceiling
would you prove me wrong?

is as dirty as lying
to know and say nothing at all?
if i jumped and said i was flying
would you watch me fall?

did you leave without saying goodbye?
do i dare wonder why?
your eyes were already gone
i still held on

ruby’s on a mission to the moon
with a telephone and a bottle of jack
soon he’ll be chillin’ on the rocks
and if he doesn’t crash
he might find his way back

ruby left a legacy behind
for people who were never satisfied
everybody fought for something more
but ruby never even tried
ruby never even tried

i’ve got a tremor in my hand
if ruby were around
i know he’d understand
nobody tells him what to do
a slave to freedom, but not to you

ruby’s pushing clarity away
he wants her but he hurts her every day
she’s the sweetest friend he’s ever known
but ruby needs to be alone

i’ve got a suitor in my bed
if ruby were around
i’d dote on him instead
he won’t make promises to me
he says he loves me, but needs to be free

can someone teach me how to love
teach me how to love
teach me how to love
without believing he belongs to me
give me back my property
if someone else can feel the way i feel
when i’m with ruby
it’s not real

ruby’s playing chase me in the dark
the fire never grows beyond the spark
everybody wants to win the game
but all that ruby wants is to stay the same

whispering, whispering
everybody’s whispering
everybody’s out tonight
i don’t wanna go

just a little bit of fun
ruby nailed another one
i don’t wanna start a fight
i don’t wanna know

i don’t wanna watch somebody
stumble through his door
i don’t wanna wonder
if he loves her more

no real harm done
ruby nailed another one
he never made a promise
there’s nothing to break

just a little bit of fun
clearly i’m the crazy one
chasing ruby valentine
it’s my mistake

how could i expect him
to care if i’m hurt
with a blunt in one hand
and the other up someone’s skirt?

no harm, no foul
valentine’s on the prowl
all the ladies swoon
and wait for their turn

don’t cry, don’t whine
move along, next in line
he doesn’t wanna listen
he’s never gonna learn

don’t ask him to explain
there’s nothing to defend
he’d rather bear his soul
to a stranger than a friend

there’s a light at the end
that he’s never gonna see
now that he’s lost his grip on me

my mind is ten thousand miles away
from my feet
somewhere between my heart and my legs
there’s a cavern expanding
to make room for one more defeat

i once knew a boy who loved his guitar
he asked me to write him a song
so i ran with a rhyme and he breathed in time
and helplessly played along

i struggled to feel what inside him was real
so the light of his spirit could shine
i stripped his extremes to the core of his dreams
but fear was all i could find

crazy
the sun was too strong
i shoulda known
he was hiding in the darkness for too long

so i painted my skin and tried to blend in
just to stay by his side
i slept every day and drank nights away
and ignored what was left of my pride

i gave him enough but never too much
mastered the rules of the game
so he chased other women in front of my eyes
and complained we were too much the same

crazy
for love to be wrong
i should’ve known
i was stepping on his shadow for too long

but how could he expect me to be strong?
he’ll never catch me when i fall
never lift me when i crawl
when i left he fell apart
said he wondered from the start
why do i need to win?
why do i need to win?

my mind is ten thousand miles away
from my feet
somewhere between my heart and my legs
there’s a cavern expanding
to make room for one more defeat

what a scene
your band is rockin’ and your hips are swaying
is it mean
to wanna beat you at the game you’re playing?
maybe i’ll make you chase me
a predator masked as prey

i could tease you while we’re dancing
make you beg for more
won’t give in, won’t let you win
i’ll beat you to the door

or i could dream like i won’t wake
live as though i’ll never die
and love like my heart won’t break

is it wrong
to light a torch and try to change the weather?
been too long
avoiding danger at the cost of pleasure
maybe i’ll let you use me
you’re killing me either way

i’ve been told that chasing tigers
turns you into meat
and if i tread above my feelings
i’ll avoid defeat

but i wanna dream like i won’t wake
live as though i’ll never die
and love like my heart won’t break

if nothing’s gonna stop me
how far can i go?
there has to be a limit
and someone has to know
i’m not sure what i’m searching for
but someone has to know.

you never ask me where i’m coming from
or where i’m going
you wrap my image
in a ball of light thats always glowing
you wanna take me home
you wanna take me home

i got my makeup at the pharmacy
thanks for asking
it hides my age
while i give up on love thats everlasting
you wanna take me home
you wanna take me home

i love to play this game
i love to rearrange my name
i love to change my clothes
so everybody knows
i only feel, i’m only real
i only feel when i sing

i watch you dancing
like a martyr to the spell you’re under
i’ve got the patience
of a lightning bolt demanding thunder
i wanna take you home
i wanna take you home

i keep on wishing i could want you
without losing power
i’m growing weaker by the minute
dying by the hour
i wanna take you home
i wanna take you home

i love to play this game
i love to rearrange my name
i love to change my clothes
so everybody knows
i only give, i only live
i only give when i sing

why am i yearning
to play games against a total stranger?
i’ve been in love before
maybe you’re the lesser danger

why am i under the ground
kicking my coffin around
don’t tell me rock is dead
then stash it under your bed

i don’t know which way to be
divide my mind into three
i’ll label one “myself”
and leave the rest on the shelf

i’ll always feel incomplete
i sent my youth to retreat
when ruby valentine
promised he’d never be mine

he told me i’d be a star
and he’d grow old at the bar
he said i shouldn’t wait
i’d never alter his fate

i’ll give change to the homeless
and protest the war
if there’s illness abound
i’ll raise funds for the cure
i’ll heal everyone’s pain
but it’s mine i’ll ignore
and nothing can take it away

i can sing to the crowd
of the souls love could save
with the ghost of my voice
that came back from the grave
but i can’t go to sleep
in the bed that i crave
and i wake up alone every day

why am i up on a stage
trapping a song in a cage
don’t tell me i’m naive
then ask me what to believe

you say i traded my soul
to resurrect rocknroll
if passion had a price
what would you sacrifice?

would you give freedom a chance?
could it stand up to romance?
are you prepared to choose
between your voice and your muse?

i turned my head to the sky
and Ruby kissed me goodbye
before a tear could crack
he told me not to come back

i’ll give change to the homeless
and protest the war
if there’s illness abound
i’ll raise funds for the cure
i’ll heal everyone’s pain but it’s mine i’ll ignore
and nothing can take it away

i can sing to the crowd
of the souls love could save
with the ghost of my voice
that came back from the grave
but i can’t go to sleep
in the bed that i crave
and i wake up alone every day

my heart is breaking
feel like i’m faking
each day i’m waking
to a life i don’t love

i left my hometown
moved to the city
i’ve got so much to do
so much to say
when i look at your picture
it all slips away
you always won
the games we would play
but you gave me a chance anyway

i faked resistance
you kept your distance
oh ruby why do i lie to myself?
why do i lie to myself?
i shoulda told you its never too late
to hold you
to hope and to wait
i left you behind
for my own peace of mind
and all that i learned
was playing it cool only buries the burn

i thought you’d be there
when i came to see you
thought you’d remember
and we’d still have a chance
to surrender
to our twisted romance
just a night in your arms
is worth all the time
i spend giving you space Ruby
just for the smile
that lights up your face Ruby
now that you’re leaving
it won’t feel like home
is this the end?
will i ever see you again?

if you don’t miss me
maybe it’s better
to keep you inside me
and love the memory
if i could want you
if i could love you
but never need you
i’d be your freedom
you’d be my freedom

wake me up with the sunrise
wipe the crust from my dreamy eyes
i’ll go to work, i’ll be alright
the dream is over at least until tonight

there’s no market for passion
devotion is out of fashion
i’ll be on time, won’t miss a beat
pretend i’m strong enough to admit defeat

he said we’re better off apart
and it’s a happy ending
i’ve got a place inside his heart
but it’s not worth defending
i shoulda known it was too beautiful to last
but i’ll change the future before the past

in a world full of faces
pretty lives, pretty places
i’ve seen a lot, its all the same
sometimes i wish i could just stop
and drop the game

i said we’re better off apart
and it’s a happy ending
but theres a crack inside my heart
ive gotta stop pretending
i shoulda told him i would fight to make it last
but i’ll change the future before the past

and theres no better time than now
i gotta show him who i am somehow
i’ll cry until i’m dry
and i’ll admit it when i wanna die
he may never love me
he may act like he’s above me
but id rather be rejected
than be worshipped for a lie

wake me up with the sunrise
wipe the lust from my gleaming eyes
im on the edge, i’ll take the dive
i may be crazy but i love to be alive.