Eric's trip INTERVIEW ARCHIVE July 14, 1993 - unknown

Gene Kosowan
Chris Thompson
Publisher Title Transcript
See Magazine Vol.2, Iss. 2 Eric's Trip: Trippin with E.T. Yes

Whether it was via a happy accident or a just reward for pursuing a hook-or-by-crook ethic over the last three years, Atlantic quartet Eric's Trip is still resonating surprise over being the first Canadian band to be signed to the Seattle-based Sub Pop label, original stomping grounds for the likes of Soundgarden, Mudhoney and Nirvana.

"It's hard to belive that we're even on S.P.," wistfully says guitarist Chris Thompson. "We're just happy that somebody's going to put our records out for four years and hopefully distribute it overseas. It doesn't seem that we're on a label yet. Maybe in a couple years it might. They're just so nice. They're just like our friends, so we don't have to worry about anything."

Currently touring Canada with rostermates Pond and Six Finger Satellite with a stopover at Bronx, July 25, Thompson, guitarist Rick White, bassist Julie Doiron and drummer Mark Gaudet have finished recording their next project destined for the shelves November 5. Aside from the material being a lot cleaner than previous four-track projects (the seven-incher "Belong" and tthe mini-CDs Songs about Chris and Peter), fans of their swirling sturm and drag reminiscent of Dinosaur Jr. and My Bloody Valentine may be surprised at some potential detours in the grunge sound that E.T. is sometimes lumped into.

"On our album that's coming out in November, there's a lot more acoustic stuff," said Thompson. "Not quite folky but a little bit different from what we've done before."

Contending with the grunge image may be tough enough to swallow, but there's also the site of the week stigma often attached to trends, namely Minneapolis, Seattle, and now (thanks to Geffen signee Sloan) Halifax. Thompson himself is bewildered over the pandemonium that tastemakers attach to locale.

"Maybe people just want something to call the next Seattle. Any area in the country could be called that, because there are so many more bands than here, but there are only three here that have gotten any attention," he ponders, citing examples of his own group, Sloan, and recent Sub Pop signees Jail.

The attention drawn to the Maritimes could have been a fluke. The hubbub all started when a Sub Pop rep inadvertently heard Sloan being broadcasted over a Boston college radio station. She tracked down the group's manager, Peter Rowan, only to discover that they were already signed to Geffen, but stated she was planning to visit her grandparents in Nova Scotia. That was when Rowan invited her to see Sloan in actiom.

"He didn't really have a show," noted Thompson. "He just said that so she'd come. He organized the show that day, and called us up and got a couple other bands from Halifax." The rep was so knocked out by Eric's Trip that they were invited by the label to play a festival with their other acts. Once Eric's Trip stepped off the festival stage, the ink was as good as dry.

The Halifax craze and the wallop wielded by Sub Pop in the alternative market hasn't staved off any hometown bugbears, however. "They still haven't looked at us very highly in Moncton, that's for sure, notes Thompson. They don't even recognize us as a band. There are two or three bands who don't have record deals and don't get out of town, and sound like Haywire. And they get all the attention in the world. They get playd a lot on the radio here."

But some fans had taken notice when the group initially got together three ears ago and copped their name from a Sonic Youth song from Daydream Nation. Admittdly sloppy when they first started, Eric's Trip issued two demos, each of which sold 200 copies before they hit the clubs.

Their increasing audience often compares them to Dinosaur Jr., although Thompson claims tastes vary within the band. Citing his current fave as Sebadoh, Thompson also likes early Fugazi, Neil Young, and even Madonna ("She can do whatever she wants and she does whatever she wants").

But whatever their inclinations, they're unconcerned about the pressures of being associated with a label often reputed for germinating seeds of the Next Big Thing.

"We want to do what we want to do. We don't care if there's a hit on the album or anything. I don't think Sub Pop is looking for a hit, just something different."

© Gene Kosowan, 1993