Alex Ebert is an American singer-songwriter. He is best known for being the lead singer and songwriter for the American bands Ima Robot and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
Ebert was born in Los Angeles in 1978, the son of Michael Ebert, a psychotherapist and musicologist. His mother is an actress. 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 full birth name was "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. His father has been a lifelong ambassador of music and influenced young Alexander by playing him such things as Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash. He also cites 60's R&B, Pavarotti, and Beethoven as influences, as well as his elementary school teacher, a woman from South Africa named Ruth. As a teenager he had a difficult and tumultuous relationship with his father. He enjoyed listening to hip-hop as a teenager, and originally intended to be a rapper.
Further information: Ima Robot
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:
Further information: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
After years of the Los Angeles party lifestyle and subsequent drug addiction, Ebert wanted to make a change. He broke up with his then-girlfriend, moved out of his house, and did a couple of stints in rehab. He spent a year sleeping on a blow-up mattress in a tiny apartment, disconnected from the world. This time alone left him to contemplate 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 was the singer Jade Castrinos, whom he saw sitting on an outdoor bench and immediately knew he needed to have a relationship with her. 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 the late 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 the summer of 2009, they were touring the country. Their first album, Up from Below, was released in July 2009.
In 2011, Alex released his first solo album, Alexander. He appeared on Conan on September 12, 2011 to promote his solo album.
Alexander's song "Bad Bad Love" was the opening song for the 2011 remake of Fright Night, starring Colin Farell and Anton Yelchin