Eric's Trip INTERVIEW ARCHIVE Jan, 1995 - Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
- Unidentified CBC Radio Correspondent
- Julie Doiron
- Rick White
Rick and Julie are my guests here in the Moncton studios tonight. Hi.
Rick and Julie: Hi!
Last year in Details Magazine they did those, you know, those odds things, you've probably..you've saw it of course. They gave you 10 to 1 for making it big. I mean, at the very least it's interesting that they know about you because you were in there in a small list with Ace of Base.
What are your reactions to that and what's your basic assessment of the last year?
Julie: Well I was a little bit confused by that prediction.
Rick: We were just kind of amazed that we were even on it, really. We didn't pay much attention to the odds.
Julie: Well I was trying to figure out what - is it ten to one or?
Reporter: It was 10 to 1.
Julie: I was trying to figure out how really good that was.
Reporter: Well Bellchick did some of the other stuff.
Julie: There's one in there was 18 to one -
Julie: ...And then there's some that were two to one.
Rick: I'm not very good with ratios.
Julie: Yeah, well I did really bad math in grade 12, but, oh yeah sorry...
Rick: Getting off the topic...
So what was your assessment of the last year?
Julie: Well I'd say it was pretty good.
Rick: We did our longest tour ever.
Julie: What was it, five weeks?
Rick: Yeah, it was almost like over a month, anyway, we were getting excited to get home.
Reporter: Yeah, and where did you all go?
Rick: We started here.
Julie: Across Canada..
Rick: Across Canada, like through Chicago, Minneapolis, and then to the Prairies and then to Vancouver...
Julie: ...and Seattle...
Rick: And then we came home.
Reporter: Was the response good?
Julie: Yeah! Yeah, actually. We did a lot better in the States this time.
Reporter: Yeah. Why didn't you do well there before or something?
Julie: Well, it was our second time playing in Chicago and in Minneapolis, and we also played in Ann Arbor which we never played there before.
Reporter: Big college town?
Julie: Yeah, and a lot of people actually came to see us like whereas when we played there the July of the year before, no one was there to see us.
Rick: All of a sudden people know us a little bit more in the States,..
Rick: ..it used to be completely opposite from Canada, once we went across the border no one knew who we were.
Reporter: Did that weird you out a lot? I mean considering that you're a Sub Pop band and everything, you would expect your record will be out there.
Rick: Well, I guess we didn't really expect anyone there to know us.
Julie: Even this tour, the last one we did, we weren't really expecting...
Rick: It still surprises us when people, a lot of people do know about stuff.
Julie: Yeah, and there was this one group of like, kids, well not kids, people our age I guess, who they had driven like 10 hours to get to Minneapolis, and I thought it was really neat.
Reporter: Did you feel like you had to like, feed them or entertain them in any way?
Julie: No, maybe entertain them, but that's about it.
Rick: It was a pretty fun tour, we didn't have too much pressure...
Rick: We had fun on it.
And were you happy with the response that Forever Again got?
Julie: I don't know what the responses its gotten so far...
Rick: It was a weird record to put out anyway, it was like this middle record. We're excited for the next ones, and we really like the record. But it came out at such a weird time and we couldn't tour for it and it was pieced together differently than the other records.
Julie: I really like it though.
Rick: Yeah, I really - it's really good in a different way.
Julie: I think the response was okay, though.
Julie: I have no idea. I don't think I've... Oh, no, yeah, I have seen reviews for it. I always get confuse with - I forgot about the...look.
Reporter: Yeah. Well before we get more specifically though, to Eric's Trip, you guys have been playing around separately but together. Is it true that you did a show that was called vaguely Eric's Trip without Eric, and all four of you played?
Rick: Yeah, well it wasn't really called that, but yeah we did do something like that. We just did one in Halifax a couple nights ago where a band that me and Mark are in playing in...
Rick: Yeah. Me and Mark, and two people from another band from Moncton, Tara and Ron, who play like keyboards and stuff and it's like a different kind of psychedelic music band.
Well, did you guys argue though, for who would open for who?
Oh no, we know we wanted to play earlier, and we ended off the night with Purple Knight, which is Mark's band.
Julie:...And I played first.
Julie:And Chris is third.
Rick: Moonsocket played third.
Reporter: So, there's Sappy Records, that's yours, right Julie?
Julie: Oh, yes.
Reporter: Okay, now why are you doing this separately from say, Sub Pop stuff? What's the impetus for this?
Julie: Well, actually, I haven't been doing anything for it lately.
Rick: Her times been consumed by a baby..
Julie: Yeah, and even before that it's just been consumed by something. I don't know. But the reason I was doing it was to put out music that I really - that we really like, that wasn't getting put out.
Reporter: So your solo project is on this and there's this Chris Chris' Moonsocket, does he have a seven-inch out as well?
Julie: Yeah, yeah, and I guess we were like...
Rick: Just trying to put them wherever we can if we have a little extra money we try to do them ourselves.
Julie: Yeah, and originally it was just to put out music by our friends, but we started out kind of by putting music by us. I kind of had a feeling maybe we'd be able to sell some of those or just to make a little bit of money to put out the other ones, and I have money to put out another one, but I just can't say what to put out yet.
Julie: ..And I've been getting mail and I haven't had time to answer it, and it's hard.
This is a perfect opportunity to reply to all of those people, who are waiting for their records.
Julie: Yeah, I'd like to apologize to all you people, but I am going to get around to answering everybody soon.
Reporter: Solo projects usually function as an outlet for material that's inappropriate for a full band usually, I mean...
Reporter: Is that the case with this, and what do you get out of it?
Julie: Well, that's what I do.
Rick: I just finished a record too, that Sub Pop's actually put it out on vinyl. I just have to o something different for a change, you know, like, let out a different - cause I write...
Well, how do you know these songs are not going to be band songs, like, have you already tried to take them to the band and they go "ew!"?
Rick: Well, I usually just make these home demos myself of all the songs I write and some of them just, you know, wouldn't be right for a lot of them we have tried. We just pick and choose which ones we want to do with Eric's Trip and then the other ones are done differently.
Is it the same for you, Julie?
Julie: Kind of. Usually I don't plan on ever doing any of mine, but if they like them then we can do them.
Rick: Chris and I pick Julie's ones...
Julie: And, I guess the reason I don't usually plan on it, is because I don't play guitar in the band and I don't usually want to play them on bass.
Rick: She does those songs more herself, live, as Broken Girl.
Reporter: How do you think Sub Pop's recent corporate luck will affect you guys? I guess its 49% share with Warner or something?
Julie: Yeah I'm still learning about that.
Rick: Yeah, I haven't heard much about it.
Julie: I don't think it's affecting us at all.
Reporter: Yeah, so you don't have the option to jump over the other side or anything?
Julie: I think what happens is if they're interested in having us it's our decision.
Julie: I think that's what happens, I've been told.
Julie: Yeah, so I mean, they can't just decide and say well, we want Eric's Trip and then we have no say and then we're on Warner all of a sudden.
Julie: But I think if they're interested in signing us and if we want to go with them or something like that, I don't really know.
Rick: Yeah, we're not really to up on that, the political side or whatever...
Julie: Anyway, we're not planning on it, so...
Julie: I was very surprised that they had done it, but I guess it's good for Sub Pop.
The record Forever Again must seem practically ancient to you now given that you guys produce so much material. Are you living with it well, or you can't wait to get onto the next one?
Julie: I don't know.
Rick: I'm always happy usually, with everything we put out - just collecting more and more stuff to have when I'm hopefully older.
Julie: I really like the record and I'm excited to do new stuff, too, but I'm not like sick of the record or anything. I'm not thinking like "Oh wow, I can't wait 'til we put something else out.", but we are looking forward to putting something new out.
Rick: It was a different sounding record too, like we're excited to do something a little bit different.
Reporter: Was it a four or an eight tracker?
Rick: It was almost all on eight-track, except for...
Julie: In half-inch... ha ha.
Rick: ..for songs, like Julie's "About You" and "Hate Song" and ones like that were done on the four-track.
Reporter: And it was recorded in under three weeks?
Rick and Julie: Yeah.
Rick: Yeah, two weeks.
Reporter: Were all of these songs done? Were they played live? Were they ready to go?
Reporter: You're making stuff up on the spot, then?
Julie: It was pretty much, Rick was teaching them to me, then I'd record it.
Rick: Yeah, they're all done kind of separately, like I said, as demos. Like, this record was done so differently than all the others because we had been on tour and everything was done by me and Chris, mostly on his four-track...
Julie: And I was away.
Rick: And we were playing the drums, even ourselves, barely, to kind of show Mark the idea, but then we pieced it together really strange. That's kind of why the cover is the way it is, its just like looking into..
Reporter: But it sounds consistent.
Rick: Yeah, it's just like a different type of record.
Julie: I think Mark was incredible because he did all the drum tracks without any music and it was just, like, Rick would teach him the song...
Rick: Just the structure...
Julie: And then he'd do the drum track with no music like, as a guide or anything.
Rick: We can do the songs all now, like as a band, but yeah, a lot of the songs were recorded as we were learning them.
Reporter: I suspect that you have theories about for or against an eight-track versus an evil 24-track recording studios, but I'm not sure what the specifics of that is. Is it mostly just you Rick, who?
Rick: It's not as much of this thing that I'm totally against, it's just I'd like to play, you know, with more tracks someday.
Julie: It's a matter of what we have to work with.
Rick: We have that, and it's enough that I know how to use. It's not too much.
Reporter: So you'd want to do it yourself? You wouldn't want to give up the process to somebody and go into a big studio?
Rick: Yeah, it's too fun and it makes it too much part of the band, really. If you produce your own record it's like totally the way you want to hear it.
Reporter: Is that another way of saying you're a control freak though?
Julie: I wouldn't say that, no.
Rick: I just have that - I guess what it's what I see in my head there and I just have to try to get it and if it takes getting other people to help me, you know, do it, I don't mind. We're not trying to be lo-fi, we're trying to learn how to be...
Julie: We're getting there, though.
Rick: Yeah, I like the way it sounds.
Julie: I find each one we put out sounds a little better.
Reporter: Yeah, this one definitely sounds different than the other one as well.
Rick and Julie: Yeah.
Reporter: And how many songs are you dealing with when you started recording this?
Rick: Um just all the ones on it, maybe wanted couple extra ones that didn't get to be put on it.
Reporter: Saving them for b-sides?
Rick: Yeah, probably not. Probably just end up getting put on a seven-inch.
Julie: Yeah, we have quite a few that never get out.
Reporter: I'm always curious about post-production things that go on between bands, like how do you sequence a record and what did you talk about? Like, how did you put it together exactly, other than just piecing it together? Did you decided which was going to be first, did you have arguments about it?
Rick: Um, no, we don't usually argue too much as a band. Things just happen, and usually it's by some sort of fate thing, you just see stuff happens, it gets pieced together in neat ways on tapes and we like the way the songs go into each other and the names for our records all come out that way, too.
Reporter: Well, "View Master" was the first single, right?
Rick and Julie: Yeah. Well, we ended up making the video for it.
Reporter: Did you guys choose that?
Rick: We weren't gonna make it - we were gonna make it for "Girlfriend" first, but everyone talking to us wanted us to do something from "View Master" and then we ended up doing it. We still like the song a lot, too.
Reporter: Is "everyone" the record company, or is everyone your friends?
Rick: Our friends and like, Sub Pop liked "View Master", too...
Julie: A little bit of the record company...
Reporter: Did you do the video yourself? I haven't seen it.
Rick: Oh, yeah, we did it. It was all, like, drawn out by us and everything. We got this girl, Laura Borealis, who helped organize us to get us to do it.
Reporter: She's actually really a curious figure - people are always asking questions about her. Do you guys want to illuminate us?
Julie: Well, she's our friend - she lives in Chicago. She was living in Halifax, so that's probably...
Rick: We met her in Halifax...
Julie: Yeah, we met her in Halifax and she used to do a lot of work, here and there.
Rick: She's just pretty organized. She managed to get us around to getting camera man and stuff, and just organizing the whole two-day, you know, carrying equipment around, because...
Julie: I suppose people wonder about her because of her name. Soon as you mentioned a lot, you know like, with the Sloan pictures...
Reporter: She always gets a credit on records.
Julie: Yeah, she's done a lot, like, a lot of Sloan photographs and yeah. She just did the Thrush Hermit video and she did her record Snapshot by [..], so yeah.
Reporter: So you guys picked Chris' song "Always There", what is the ratio of songwriting credits on this record, because nothing is listed here.
Julie: I only wrote one.
Rick: Yeah, Julie just wrote one on this one. Most of them are mine, I guess.
Julie: I think Chris has about five.
Rick: One of them are Marks', and four or five are Chris'.
What do you think the differences are between your approaches to songwriting? Like what do you think makes this, "Always There", a Chris song?
Rick: Maybe his torment. He always seems to be pretty sad, and yeah, he just has a different way of writing songs. We're all into kind of different bands. He's really into David Bowie and Sebadoh, and stuff like that.
Julie: Wow! I'm really into David Bowie. I would love to be able to write a song like some of David Bowie's, that's what I want to start a band like, the Ziggy Stardust record I wasn't able to, it's hard to find, I don't know...
Rick: I've been really into the Hunky Dory record.
Julie: Oh, yeah.
Reporter: That sounds almost lo-fi, that one.
Rick: Yeah, it's a beautiful...
Julie: Hunky Dory is really good.
Reporter: I suspect these are very personal songs but I'm also not sure what the ratio of real-life experience to imagination is in the songs?
Julie: It's pretty much all real life.
Reporter: You never embellish? I mean if you're the hero of the song, you never make yourself sound better than you might be?
Julie: ...Or worse.
Rick: I find on my part, I usually putting myself down, mostly. Yeah, so I think of myself more of an antihero.
Do you think you ever give away too much, in detail?
Julie: I think we have.
Rick: We never really knew what to write about and really in the early days, like before we got Mark...
Reporter: You look around the apartment and go "Shoot!"
Rick: Yeah, well it was the lyrics never meant as much to me, that once I started writing more and more personal things, I started, you know, enjoying singing more, and just got too - just got so personal. We have people, you know, that know this whole soap opera thing that happened between us...
Reporter: So like, knows you knows you well ,and knows your friends and that you might be singing about...?
Julie: Well, if they really listen, it's possible to really figure out everything that's going on in our lives.
Rick: Yeah, and it's either both totally exact, or it's just wrote in a bit of a...
Reporter: Julie, your song, the one that you sing, "About You". That one is very titillating. You don't say who that is, but that you told your mom, but you haven't told your brother is.
Reporter: Do you think you would tell us? Who's the "you"?
Julie: Well. I can't - I can't. I guess I wrote that one when I found out I was pregnant.
Rick: So it's about the baby?
Reporter: So that's Benjamin's first song?
Julie: Yeah, I'm always worried that he's gonna take it in the wrong way, but I've since then written a really nice fun one about him.
Reporter: To redeem yourself?
Julie: Yeah, like that one was supposed to be nice but I didn't finish it really? Like sort of left it hanging, kind of, you know?
Reporter: Yeah, I know, it's nice the way that it does that.
Julie: so, I'm hoping that he won't ever think that - I hope he won't ever take it the wrong way. But yeah, since then I have written a really nice one and I probably will write even better ones.
Do you think you're gonna be a more careful songwriter now Julie, now that you have an audience? Like with the baby?
Julie: With the baby?
Reporter: Yeah, like he'll grow up and start listening to Mom's records and like reading too much into them?
Julie: Well I guess on some situations, yeah, maybe I will.
Julie: Well you never know. I find I do that much a little bit, yeah.
Rick: A habit...
Reporter: I guess it must be your songs Rick, that our reviewers find rather hopeless and desolate.
Rick: Yeah, I Guess, I think so.
Reporter: Is there a reason for this? Do you think you could write like a really happy pop song?
Rick: Yeah, probably. I have wrote some.
Julie: Yeah, that ""'s one. No, that was like 10 years ago...
Rick: I just find I seem to be able to, you know, it always seems more - it hits you a little more when it's that sad.
Reporter: Yeah, like you know when a song is done. Or, do you keep tinkering forever and every time you play it live you might add an improv bit or add words at a later date? Have you ever done that?
Rick: No, they usually always wrote pretty write on the spot and they stay that way for a while. Yeah, I don't know. I feel I like my lyrics more now, but I got a little sick of being of the really - you know, the sadder stuff. It's time to get over it, I guess.
Reporter: You guys think you're getting a bit quieter?
Rick: Um, we did on this record. I don't think. I think if anything it'll probably go back the opposite now. We had to get that out.
Reporter: What would you say would constitute an evolution or as they say a maturation for the band? Like where do you want to see yourself in two years maybe? Or do you think you'll have your last two Sub Pop Records done before that?
Julie: Oh wow.
Rick and Julie: No.
Rick: We were trying to space things out a little bit more now, and not get ahead of ourselves, by doing the side projects and stuff.
Julie: Although, I just found out today that Sub Pop wants us to to have our third album out by January.
Reporter: Well you've probably spoiled them, I think, because they think you're really fast now.
Rick: We'll worry about that in the summer.
Julie: Yeah, we'll do that in the summer.
The other thing I wanted to talk about the sort of quality of your songs in particular Rick, is do you have like a really creepy fan contingent, like people who read into your music and then stalk you, or anything?
Rick: No one's actually yet but people talk to me kind of strange at shows.
Reporter: Like, too intimately maybe?
Rick: Yeah, sometimes. But I don't really mind, it's kind of interesting to see what people get out of them.
Reporter: Are you a good counsellor?
Rick: No, I'm not a very good talker to people.
Reporter: What about you Julie? Do you ever get weird stalker stuff?
Julie: Well, just this one guy. I even got a P.O. Box because of it.
Reporter: Oh, really?
Julie: But, I mean, he was just kind of crazy, that's all. It was at a show, and he really kind of freaked me out the rest of the night.
Rick: We seem to have..
Julie: I wasn't allowed to walk around the rest of the club by myself after that. But that was the only time, and that was on tour. It had nothing to do with my songs or anything, he just really dug me.
Rick: We seem to have acquired a lot of fans into strange drugs...
Reporter: What kind of coherency is there in the letters that you might get from people?
Rick: About drugs?
Julie: Well, there's only been... I've only seen a few letters that they got.
Rick: ...And people at shows.
Julie: Yeah, I have gotten a few letters where people have been kind of worried about us and Eric's Trip's future, and listening to the songs, and them saying "Oh my god! What happened now? Are you guys gonna break up?"
Reporter: If there is any place that you could go and have people show up, knowing who you are and singing along to your songs, where would you want to be?
Julie: Outdoors, I think.
Reporter: Is there any particular place on the continent or overseas or anything that appeals to you, like some place you want to play, like Madrid, and you know that an audience is going to show up and they're going to know your music?
Julie: I'd really like, well, not to do a show... but I'd really like to go to Arizona, but not outdoors in the desert, I wouldn't play in the desert. I would just like to drive to Arizona and see it, but not to play. Let me think.
Rick: We've never been down South, to like, the States, except Texas.
Julie: Texas. Yeah, and we played outdoors in Texas and it was beautiful weather. It was a really hot night and it was during the South By Southwest. So there were all kinds of hot clubs and we played outdoors and I was so glad we were playing outdoors because it was really sweaty and we had a nice breeze. It felt really nice an that's why I like it though. We've played three outdoor shows, and they've all been really nice.
Reporter: But you have plans to go out in the Spring?
Rick: At least...
Julie: Well, there's been talk. Something, maybe in April.
Reporter: Is this going to be in lieu of a new EP or anything like that?
Rick: Probably an EP. We're talking, I guess, about doing an EP, maybe on Murder.
Reporter: Will Sub Pop let you do that?
Rick: Yeah, they let us do anything that's not in competition with them.
Julie: Yeah, as long as we don't put an album out with another label or something.
Reporter: What else do you have planned? Any major sort of tour video or anything like that?
Julie: Aren't we doing a video, maybe?
Rick: We were thinking on doing a movie.
Julie: A movie? I didn't hear about that.
Reporter: Will you make it available too?
Rick: Yeah. Yeah, I guess movies are pretty cheap to dub, like the tapes, it should be.
Julie: I thought we were making a video, maybe at some point.
Rick: Yeah, we're gonna make it. I think we might still make a video for "Girlfriend".
Julie: Yeah, that's the one we were originally gonna do and we didn't get a chance to. Rick had it all planned out and everything. They didn't do it.
Reporter: Were you the main actors? I mean, have you ever done that in a video? Mime?
Julie: No, not really.
Rick: Well, in the "View Master" video, we actually - we moved our lips with the song. But in "Girlfriend", we're probably gonna have to get a girl and a boy - stars of it. Some little girl, and then a scary guy. We have lots of guy friends that fit in that we could get.
Reporter: Well, I'd like to thank you guys for coming down tonight and talking to us and let us know when you have Fall tour itinerary and things like that, and of course send us a free copy of the record.
Rick: For sure.
Reporter: Okay, good night.
© CBC Radio, 1995