Edward Joel Kowalczyk was born on July 16, 1971 in York, Pennsylvania and is exactly one week older than his fellow band member Chad Gracey. Kowalczyk grew up – just as his fellow band members – in the small town of York, PA. He saw the band ‘First Aid’ play at the local talent show and invited himself for rehearsals the next day. Since then the four were inseparable and that friendship still forms the basis of the band.
Artists that were of great influence to Ed are R.E.M. and U2. Bands who LIVE would often be compared too at a later stage. “I will never forget my first U2 concert. It was 1987, JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. It was as if they took us to church. There was so much love from their music and passion.” Ed remembers that it was also the moment he realised he was doing something similar and wanted to keep doing that. “I’m living proof of the impact that a rock and roll band can have on an individual.” As far as looks go, Ed really showed his chameleon side. Chad Taylor recalls how Ed used to look: "I met Ed in middle school. He scared the hell out of me: with his long hair and ‘OZZY’ written on his left hand.” Lot’s of youngsters in York were totally in to heavy metal, but because the guys went to a more or less ‘black school’ Ed didn’t really fit in with his heavy metal looks. “I believe he even smoked hash and always thought he was just a creepy guy. Which is funny, because if you see him today, well he did clean up quite ok,” says Chad.
Over the years Kowalczyk was crowned with really shortened hair, dyed blonde hair stiff with hair products, curly hair with an enormous beard and in between those all the – very well known and almost his trade mark – a bald head. And despite the fact that Ed is in the full spotlight as the singer and songwriter of the band, there is little known about his character. During interviews he talks your ears off about his music and religion, but when you ask him a personal question he smartly knows how to direct the conversation back to music in general, or LIVE's music in particular. From the little things about his personal life he does share in interviews you can make out that he really wasn’t the ringleader when he was young. “I’ve always been somewhat of a loner; an independent person that sometimes has had a hard time integrating in the real world,” so Ed says, “Making music in a band was my ultimate form of therapy, because it forced me into a position where I can get into very intense relationships with people. But at the same time I can easily be left alone for several weeks without a lot of contact with the outside world. I’m happy the way I am right now.”
Kowalczyk established a solo career in 2009 and has had success with the solo album 'Alive' in 2010 and 2013 saw Kowalczyk release another solo album titled "The Flood and The Mercy". Over the past 7 years Kowalczyk has continued to tour as a Solo artist and with a touring band.
In late 2016 Kowalczyk and his LIVE band mate Chad, Chad and Pat all reunited and the original LIVE line up returned.