Eric's Trip INTERVIEW ARCHIVE July 21, 1993 - Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
- Chris Jacques
- Rick White
|Stylus Magazine vol 5. no. 1||Tripping The Fuzz Fantastic||Yes|
Eric's Trip (Rick White: guitar/vocals, Julie Doiron: bass/vocals, Chris Thompson: guitar/vocals, and Mark Gaudet: drums) kinda sound like J. Mascis would if Sonic Youth backed him up as he recorded in Daniel Johnston's bedroom with Lou Barlow at the controls. While their music isn't extremely novel, it is refreshing to hear music in a "this is the way we like it so deal with it" nature.
When Eric's Trip played in town recently, I managed to corner Rick White and engage him in a conversation of sorts that ended up revolving around the group's recording techniques. As we spoke about the band's use of the 4-track and the resulting noise, he was quick to point out that the band did not set out to release lo-fi records. "We didn't want to go into studios 'cause it lost all the personableness. Four-tracks were something we could get a hold of. Even though it sounded crappy or whatever, it was more important for us to be at home when we were doing it... Starting with that, we realized how it helped the feel of the records when they were recorded that way."
Granted, Eric's Trip records like the Belong 7", the Peter EP, and their latest single, Songs About Chris, sound kinda rough, but it does set them apart from other bands playing the same type of music. And while some people can get into that and may find it a viable alternative to slick production, I wonder if their methods of recording had any detrimental effects in way of attitudes towards the band itself.
"At first, people were either saying it's cool or the songs were good, and there would be articles saying "this record sounds like shit...it sounds like it was recorded in a basement." Which it was." Says White, "People who understood it liked it, people who didn't, just didn't even try. They were all like "it sounds bad." Now we're getting reviews where people are really starting to understand it. They almost see what we're trying to do."
O.K., but what exactly are they trying to do? For instance, on almost all of their records there are all these weird noises that pop up here and there, like a barking dog, bumping the recorder in the middle of a track, or other background noises. Are these all planned and fit into the songs, or are they simply fuck-ups?
"We're really superstitious," confides White. "We get really weirded out by stuff like that and have to keep it. There have been some very flukey things that happened during the recordings, things that weren't meant to be there but they come at such a perfect time that we have to keep it."
One such instance occurred when the band was recording the "Blue Skies for Julie" track for the Never Mind The Molluscs compilation. At the same moment Julie was taping her vocal part into a ghetto blaster in White's parents' living room, a cat walked in and sat right by the microphone and started purring. It continued to do so for the whole song. and guess what? They used it.
As for the future, Eric's Trip is pretty much set. They have a small tour set up in Europe with Redd Kross, a brand-new full-length record on Sub Pop due out in the fall, and they've just purchased a new 8-track recorder which they're still playing with and learning to use. But other than that, don't expect to hear or see these cats for a little while.
As White explained, "We're just gonna go home and try not to tour. It's nice to get home cause we're all pretty sickly. We always have headaches and stuff, we're a pretty complainy band."
© Chris Jacques, 1993