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ERIC'S TRIP profile transcription



profile of ERIC'S TRIP from *Brave New Waves*
CBC Stereo radio, Wednesday, June 2, 1993  Host: Lane Dunlop
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[plays "Belong"]

>From their 1992 7-inch single, that was "Belong" from
tonight's profilees, Eric's Trip.

The ricochet effect has finally come to Canada, and it
didn't land on Queen Street after all.  A place where
musicians have traditionally been coagulating, waiting for
the big "it" to happen.  Has there ever been a chunk of
geography in this country that one could consistently expect
quality and vitality from?  A Washington?  A New York?  We
now find ourselves in a time when a spatial, geographical
locale can sell a whole pile of music.  It started in
Seattle, now it's happening to Chapel Hill, it's happening
in San Diego, and now it's come to the Maritimes.  A&R
people and journalists are flown in, and mythologies sprout
daily, which leads us to the question:  If something is
happening somewhere, is it only happening there because
someone *says* that it's happening?  Perhaps armies of
Canadian baby bands will head by the rented vanload to the
East Coast, where they can find comfort in knowing at least
somebody's looking around now.

Eric's Trip became the first Canadian Sub Pop band earlier
this year.  They were made an offer months before but turned
it down.  That scores high on the integrity meter.  Now that
Halifax, as some kind of Maritime epicentre, has been put on
the indie pop map, many point to the isolation of the area
as its unique quality.  Julie, the group's bass player,
calls what they do "noisy love garage."  They've just
followed up their *Never Mind the Molluscs* profile-making
release with *Songs About Chris*, another EP that sees them
bravely sticking to the four-track, despite the
opportunities that America's biggest little indie label
could offer them.

[plays "Sickness"]
[plays "Understanding"]

Eric's Trip and "Understanding" from the 1993 CD compilation
*Raw Energy*, and before that, from 1992, "Sickness".

The four members of Eric's Trip have a thing for mall
culture and four-track recorders.  They come from *Moncton*,
not Halifax dammit, and like legions of young folk around
the world, they started, well you know, doin' the "J" thing,
which in this case would be "jamming".  Having an affection
for groups like My Bloody Valentine, Neil Young,
Dinosaur Jr., and Sebadoh, and of course Sonic Youth, they
managed to come out sounding vaguely, and nothing, like any
of the above.  In June of 1990, Chris Thompson (a guitar
player), Julie Doiron (bass player and sometime singer),
along with Ed Vaughn (who would be the drummer), all found
themselves in Rick White's (guitar player and singer)
basement.  Perhaps they'd actually met at the mall for the
first time; it's hard to say, no one really knows.

Their chosen name, Eric's Trip, came replete with a namesake
-- that bug-eyed guy who graces their releases and is their
guardian angel.  They plucked the title from a Lee Rinaldo
song on Sonic Youth's *Daydream Nation*.  Julie says, "You'd
be surprised how many so-called Sonic Youth fans don't know
about the song 'Eric's Trip', 'cause they only got into the
band after *Goo*.   When we took the name, we never thought
we'd get this far.  We thought we'd play a couple of gigs in
Moncton, and that'd be it.  Lee Rinaldo told us that it was
totally cool though, so we're not going to get sued."

>From the Sub Pop compilation *Never Mind The Molluscs*,
this is "Blue Sky for Julie" and "Smother".

[plays "Blue Sky for Julie/Smother"]
[plays "Haze"]

>From 1993's "Peter" EP that was Eric's Trip with "Haze",
and before that, two tracks rolled into one:
"Blue Sky for Julie" and "Smother".

By December 1990, they had released their first cassette.
The "Caterpillars" cassette followed in April 1991, then
"Drowning" came out in August.  They lost drummer Ed and
found drummer Mark, then went on to record "Warm Girl" in
January of '92, and "Belong" in July.  All the time the
group had been commuting to Halifax, where the night life
apparently rivals Moncton's, which is probably similar to
Saskatoon's.  Being cosy with Halifax's Sloan turned many
eyes and ears in their direction.  With Sloan scoring a deal
with DGC, they were in a position to talk about the
Maritimes: the music scene, and their favorite pet band,
Eric's Trip.  Constant comparisons between the bands,
generally unwarranted, drove Eric's Trip to distraction.
Says Julie: "We don't get compared to Sloan so much anymore.
It's kind of weird though, because it makes me nervous --
there's just too much hype.  It's great that Sloan's
bringing all this attention to the scene out here."

The hype in question began when Sub Pop's East Coast rep
started snooping around.  She landed in a whole heap of
bands when she travelled northward to investigate.  Sub Pop
made an offer -- the band declined.  Last fall Sub Pop
organized a little music festival called Vermonstress.
Eric's Trip and Sloan were invited down.  When the Sub Popes
Ponyman and Pavitz saw the show, they sweetened their
original offer considerably.  A four-record agreement was
struck between the two parties.  But first, Eric's Trip
would release, through Sloan's MURDERecords label, an EP
they called *Peter*, in January of this year.  "*Peter* was
a weird record," explains Julie, "It's a four-track
recording.  We recorded some sixteen-track and it didn't
really sound like us.  We started recording in a sixteen-
track and hated it, then we did a four-track after that.  As
a result, only two of the seven cuts are sixteen-track."

Back in the belly of the media machine, things were getting
hectic.  Apparently, Warner also had been interested, but
they sat on the demo for a long time.  When they heard that
Sub Pop had been sniffing around, they sat up a little bit,
but it was too late.  The chunk of geography called the
Maritimes suddenly seemed for sale.  Other signings loomed.
Island looked at Jale -- and Jale went with Sub Pop as well.
Of the Eric's Trip situation, Rick said, "We didn't want to
sign to *any* major label because we didn't feel ready and
our music wasn't very accessible."

[plays "Listen"]

>From *Peter* that was Eric's Trip and "Listen".

The watchful eye of the industry was thrown a bone when Sub
Pop released the double seven-inch package compilation
called *Never Mind The Molluscs* a few months ago.  Idee du
Nord, Eric's Trip, Sloan, and Jale all threw in a song.  In
a way, it appeared that Sub Pop was lifting its hind leg and
peeing on the area -- marking out its territory, if you
will.  The first Sub Pop record for Eric's Trip would be
*Songs About Chris*, released a month or so ago.  On it they
stuck to the four-track basement principles that made them
feel comfortable, and even threw in a ditty called "Sloan
Song".  Besides the warm, fuzzy quality of the group's
recorded material, they stick to some vague construction
ideas.  Rick says, "We try to keep our music poppy.  Even as
noisy as we get, we keep a catchy melody, but with a twisted
edge."   Chris adds, "We just want to make it interesting,
so even if people think we don't play that well or
something, it'll still be interesting to hear."

[plays "Listen" again]
[plays "Sand"]

"Sand" from Eric's Trip off of *Songs About Chris*,
and before that, "Listen", from the EP "Peter".

It's been about three years for the Trippers, and though
they appeared to suffer from some amount of shellshock at
first, they're settling into indiedom nicely.  There are
three more records to do in the coming years; in the
meantime, the band plan to tour in that very Canadian way
-- transcontinentally -- in July.  For Rick, the rock'n'roll
road may be something he just happened to travel along
through a series of fantastic coincidences, but he says his
dad was hoping he'd have turned out a little different.  "My
dad wanted me to just be a hockey player.  I guess I wrecked
my childhood for him. Now I have to compare the band to
hockey for him to understand.  I tell him we've just been
signed to a farm team.  He figures that's pretty good."

[plays "Sloan Song"]

Eric's Trip, tonight's recipients of the Waves' profile
treatment, and "Sloan Song" off of *Songs About Chris*.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
James R. Covey         <JRCOVEY\!/ac.dal.ca>        What syllable are you seeking,
..........................................        Vocalissimus,
Department of English                             In the distances of sleep?
Dalhousie University  Halifax, NS  B3H 3H5        Speak it.