ERIC"S TRIP INTERVIEW ARCHIVE October 19, 1993 - Canada

Chris DeBrunn
Chris Thompson
Publisher Title Transcript
The Queens Journal Just Doing It Themselves – Trippin Out with E.T. Yes

From Moncton New Brunswick, Eric's Trip started in June 1990 while all the members wer still in high school. They released two indie-cassettes before playing live, and with their fourth release 1991's Warm Girl, radio airplay and interest began to take shape in Halifax. In early 1993, the band (consisting of Mark Gaudet on drums, Chris Thompson on guitar, Julie Doiron on bass/vocals and Rick White on guitar/vocals) released the E.P Peter on Sloan's Murder Records. Interest in Sloan lead to subsequent interest in E.T., and the group eventually signed to Seattle's Sub-Pop Records in early summer of 1993, which led to the subsequent release of Songs For Chris.

The forthcoming album, Love Tara, sees the band diverge to a less harsh and more acoustic-based sound. Not to fear, it comes off well. While not a punk band, E.T., by refusing to use a studio, does personify the "Do-It-Yourself" spirit that punk began in 1976. The music is under produced in all its beautiful raw glory. This is something that other bands should start trying, instead of trying to be the latest Pearl Jam rip-off (which isn't a good thing in itself). I jumped at the chance to interview guitarist Chris Thompson, who was both friendly and polite; it made the interview much easier than those musical tyrants Los Seamonsters (arf! arf!).

Queens Journal: Despite being a band from Moncton, how does it feel to be lumped into the whole Halifax (although I hate to use the term) scene?

Chris Thompson: It's kinda weird, 'cause Moncton's totally different than Halifax. In Halifax the bands seem to be more sociable, more naive or something... it's really weird.

QJ: Are there a lot of bands coming out of Moncton these days?

CT: There's a lot of bands, not very many of them are getting recognized right now. A lot of bands are putting out seven-inches now, so hopefully things will be happening.

QJ: What are your particular favourite bands, Canadian or otherwise?

CT: My favourite Canadian band these days would be Grasshopper from Toronto. We're actually doing some dates with them this time when we go out. Favourite bands would be Sebadoh, the early Dinosaur Jr. when they were still just Dinosaur, Neil Young, and Red Kross for sure.

QJ: For myself, I would describe Eric's Trip as a cross between My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth with the acoustic guitar mixed in. How do you respond to this?

CT: Rick and Julie are heavily influenced by MBV. We're not really influenced by Sonic Youth other than we took the name from one of their songs [Off the brilliant 1988 release Daydream Nation]

QJ: As far as signing to Sub-Pop, I read that you initially rejected their offer and then accepted it?

CT: We just weren't sure that we were ready to be on a label. We wanted to stay independent but the second offer was something that we couldn't pass up. When you have world-wide distribution of your music... that's great!

QJ: Do you feel comfortable now being on a major-indie label?

CT: Yes now, 'cause they're signing bands that are more along our lines. Before they had Nirvana and Mudhoney, now bands like Velocity Girl, Sebadoh and punk bands like the FastBacks are being signed. It's great!

QJ: On being the first Canadian band signed to Sub-Pop, can you see Sub-Pop going out and signing more Canadian bands?

CT: Actually they're looking at a few. They signed Jale last May but they're not doing an album until th fall of 1994. They're still in development right now, still learning a lot of the business. Hardship Post is going to do a seven-inch with them... that might lead to something else.

QJ: How did you get to know SLoan and how did your association with them lead to th release of the Never Mind The Molluscs?

CT: We knew them before the big Geffen thing, even before they had an offer from Nettwerk. It was during our first show in Halifax that Chris and Andrew came and saw us play. They were totally blown aay by us I guess... people said after they saw us they change their sound a lot. So hopefully we influenced them a little bit [laughing], but everybody takes a bit from everybody else anyway.

QJ: As far as using male and female vocalists in E.T., is that trying to defy the whole male/macho rock star image?

CT: Macho for sure. If you haven't seen us, we're all really small people. I guess Rick and Julie's voice sound really nice together, like Belinda and Kevin in MBV. I don't know... it just works out.

QJ: Was the new album like Peter and Songs for Chris recorded on a 4-track or in a studio?

CT: It was done in our houses. Four songs were done on 4-track and the rest on an 8-track. So we went one step further, but it's all done ourselves.

QJ: Have you tried a studio or don't you like working in one?

CT: Never Mind The Molluscsem> was done in the studio. [It] sounds like it wasn't but that's just the way we turn out. [When we record in a studio] we don't have any control over what's going on, we're not allowed to touch anything. We have someone mixing for us, turning all the dials... it's not very fun. If we had a 24-track in our basements we'd use it. It's just easier for us to do it on 8-track and take all the time we need. You shouldn't have to pay somebody, it keeps the money from you.

QJ: Who would be your ideal touring band?

CT: We just toured with Red Kross in Europe and they're the greatest people... it was amazing. The tour was great, there was enough people 'cause Red Kross are really big over there... enough people came to see us.

QJ: Now to close things off with, how are things going in general with the band?

CT: So far everything's going well. We don't have any money. Other than that nothing bad has happened... yet. Still living at home with Mom.

Eric's Trip is performing in this years Alumni Weekend concert.

© Chris DeBrunn, 1993