Eric's trip INTERVIEW ARCHIVE March 24, 1993 - Waterloo, ON, Canada
- Dave Thompson
- Dave Fisher
- Chris Thompson
- Mark Gaudet
|Imprint Magazine||The Revealing Science of Eric... Aka: The Kids Are Alright||Yes|
Having named themselves after a Sonic Youth song of the same title, Moncton's Eric's Trip made an immediate impact in Toronto this past October with a kick-ass debut performance backing-up their very mentors. Since then, word's gotten out about their now-legendary Sub Pop signing, (rumoured to have been a five record deal), and their part in a new Maritime vangaurd spearheaded by spiritual brothers Sloan.
Featuring guitarists Rick White, and Chris Thompson, bassist Julie Doiron, and maniacal drummer Mark Gaudet, Eric's Trip recently played a stunning show at Phil's Grandson's Place proving their Concert Hall performance was anything but a one-off fluke. They've just released an EP, and with more on its way, Imprint felt obligated to corner Chris and Mark to get all the shit that's fit to print.
Eric's Trip were billed on the Sonic Youth show as "Punk Rock Superstars". We'd nver heard of you. That doesn't exactly qualify you as "superstars" now, does it?
Mark: That's standard fare for Sonic Youth, as far as advertising their warm-up. It's funny, because we wondered whether Sonic Youth had even heard of us, despite the fact we're named after their song. But it's their standard practice, so the illusion is over. I'm glad we're a punk band though. If we hadn't been, it would've looked silly.
How did you procure that gig, anyhow?
Chris: We got a ltter from Sub Pop's East Coast rep in Boston, Joyce Linehan, and she suggested the Sonic Youth and Vermonstrous shows'd be good ideas to sweeten a record deal.
Chris: It's a two-day festival held at the Metronome Club in Burlington, Vermont. We played with Buffalo Tom, Velocity Girl, Pond...
How did Sub Pop get interested in a little band from Moncton in the first place?
Chris: Joyce heard Sloan on a radio station in Boston and called up and asked about them. The radio station in turn got her contacted with their manager, Peter Rowan, who's also our manager. She asked what was going on, so he quickly set up a showcase with us.
Back to the Concert Hall gig, had you ever played a venue that large?
Mark: Not even close. That was big time.
Were you nervous?
Chris: Not really nervous, more excited....
Mark: I had butterflies. I almost threw up before going on stage because I was so hyper. It was great though because we were running on pure fire energy that whole week.
Chris: Yeah, Vermonstrous was jut four days prior so we were really speeding on adrenaline. Vermonstrous was like our best gig ever....
Mark: And my worst gig.
Mark: We didn't have any hash before playing. Border crap. It's ridiculous, but we'd probably be better trying to bring a loaded weapon across the border than smuggling a simple joint. I don't want to be seen as a pot advocate, but it really annoys me when tokers are treated as criminals. Anyhow, we didn't have any organics.
As young musicians, how do you feel about the pot factor in the nineties?
Chris: I think it should be decriminalized, if not altogether legalized.
Mark: I don't feel ashamed smoking it nor letting people know we're not idiots for doing so. That's why I sometimes get a little vocal about it. It should be like in Holland. Pierre Trudeau tried in 1974 to get decriminalization for posession up to six grams, and as far as I'm concerned, he'll be remembered for that alone. Trudeau was a friend to the smoker, and we have a lot to thank him for, Mulroney though, he's no friend.
Tell us about your record releases.
Chris: Our latest, the Peter EP, was just released yesterday, (March 23rd). Prior to that we'd made cassette EP's, a seven-inch single, and rleased songs on compilations.
What are the details of the Sub Pop deal?
Chris: It was originally publicized in press releases that we'd signed a five album deal, but that was renegotiated to two albums with an option on two more. The first Sub Pop album will be re-recordings of our earlir stuff and is set for release on November 8th. We have to have it recorded four months beforehand, so the first wek of July's our deadline.
Mark: When we first signed the deal in January, Joyce told us we'r due for a single "now" so we handed that in right quick and we'll have our first Sub Pop material released in either April or May.
How did you get to submit "Understanding" on the Raw Energy compilation?
Mark: David Porter was behind Raw Energy and he's a Maritimer. When he was concocting the compilation, I think he didn't want to ignore his Maritime roots, so we were recommended and he contacted us. It was the first time we'd ever played that song.
Chris: It's called "Understand" actually, so the title on the album's a mistake. We didn't really want to do a studio recording so we gave them the demo which we recorded in my basement. That's where we do all our rehearsing and we thought it sounded really cool so we gave it to them.
Mark: There seems to have been a bit of a problem mastring the song though. Most of the other bands submitted songs recorded on 4, 8, or 16-track recorders and we recorded ours not even on a two-track, but on a little one-track. It was recorded on a little monotape deck that we paid maybe $24.98 for, not even a ghetto blaster, but it was cool because we did it so spontaneously. As crude as it is, we feel it's still an extension of what Eric's Trip's about.... kind of mysterious, not too clean sounding. That's why it's such a rough recording.
The Maritimes, and Halifax in particular, seems to be getting a hype as "Canada's Seattle". How's the scene in Moncton?
Chris: Not really much of any scene at all. There's one half-decent bar called th Kelso, but it's hard to get a gig there unless you're a French band. Theere's a campus radio station that sometimes plays us, but as far as press coverage goes, it's really non-existent.
You don't get any ink in your hometown?
Chris: None. We once got a mention in a local tv guide, but other than that there's been nothing. There've been stories on us in Fredericton and Halifax, whre the scene's much healthier, but Moncton ignores everybody except, maybe Def Leppard, or....
Mark: .... Eric Clapton instead of Eric's Trip. It makes us a little bit cynical, but it's still cool 'cause the kids are alright. But then we're just kids ourselves. They'll hear about us yet.
© Imprint Magazine, 1993