Eric's Trip Interview Archive Unknown, 1994 - Mark Gaudets' Residence (over the phone), Moncton, New Brunswick

John Robinson
Mark Gaudet
Publisher Title Transcript
New Musical Express If You've Got It, Jaunt It Yes

Moncton, Canada offers three career options. You can work for the oil company. You can be a fisherperson. Or you can be in a splendidly off-kilter garage band. Like ERIC'S TRIP, for example.

Moncton, as drummer and itinerant hippy Mark Gaudet is eager to point out, is a place where nothing much happens. Ever. Birds teet. Grass grows. Sometimes it rains. And, er, that's it. Compton, it would seem, it is not. So what is it that pulls young people away from the magnetic lure of a life spent in widespread pollution and the pursuit of the perfect halibut? Punk rock, of course.

"We play punk rock that isn't afraid to dream," explains Mark, wistfully. "We think that it is definitely possible to play music really hard and fast, but still make it sound really different."

The punk rock to which he refers is not the snot-filled shoutiness of the unambitious adolescent. Eric's Trip intiailly infiltrated the underground release schedules in 1990 with a series of cassettes. Then came a bewildering array of spiky seven-inch singles and compilation tracks, before last year's Love Tara album on Sub Pop.

Now the Trip - also including Julie Doiron (bass, vocals), Chris Thompson (guitar), and Rick White (guitar, vocals) - have just released their second album, Forever Again, filled with 18 songs whose average duration is one minute, and which concludes with a marathon effort of three - no, almost four! - minutes. But what distinguishes these sprints of noise is that each comprises a) a smart tune and b) a short tale of poignant insight into the state of the smalltown mind at the time of writing.

"It seems like plenty of people can get really irate about issues, and do a bunch of shouting on their records," stresses Mark, increasingly embodying a state of zen-like stability and karmic one-ness over the phone. "But we like to be a lot more mystic than that."

Indeed. Imagine, if you will, a record which begins with the peaceful chirpings of suburban life, and several moments of pastoral calm. Then, there comes the sound of a door opening, Mark's feet clumping down the stairs into the basement of his folks' house and beginning an exciting rumble of drums. A jarring pop tune scuttles in on top of it, gets trapped in your head and a few seconds later it is gone. So what kind of people make these records?

Answer: these Generation X chaps.

"Uh, well, I work in a record store," says Mark. "Julie used to work in fast food retail, Chris works in a photo lab, and Rick... well, Rick just works on being creative."

Do you have any other projects?

"Yeah, I'm in a progressive rock band called..."

Enough! Moncton, Canada: oik, fish, Eric's Trip. And that's all.

© John Robinson, 1994