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Q+A with Blitzen Trapper's Eric Earley



By Max Lowe Contributor

Eric Earley’s writing and performance on Blitzen Trapper’s most recent album American Goldwing staunchly stakes him as a storyteller, musician and songwriter. Stemming from close-to-home life allusions and warm reminiscence of past experiences both sorrowful and carefree, Eric writes songs to shape episodes in the minds of his audience.

I caught up with him for a short phone interview and gained some insight into the band and the album, which was released last September. The band has performed in Bozeman more than a handful of times and will play a show June 29 at the Filling Station.

Max Lowe: You recently played at Sasquatch. What do you like about that compared to playing a show like the one here at the Filling Station?

Eric Earley: I like the big stages, but there is a lot less interaction with the audience. The energy you get at those types of huge shows is somewhat overwhelming in a sense, but super exiting. Playing smaller venues is definitely a warmer feeling, where you can have a little bit more intimate connection with the audience.

ML: You and the band have toured all over the country and the world. Has this had an influence on your creative process?

EE: It’s definitely affected the way we perform and the way we arrange our stage show. Playing so much gives you awareness to the way you play as a group.

ML: What literary, art or other inspirations have influenced the stories in your songs?

EE: A lot of my writing comes from literature. My lyrical writing comes from narrative and literary influence, in the sense that I try and tell a story. I like it to be very visual for the listener so even if the song isn’t literally telling a story, you can envision a scene as the music unfolds. I read a lot.
As far as music, I really like hip-hop and folk music. Gangster rap and hip-hop are both very lyrically powerful. The lyrics are all involved. I also listen to a lot of guitar rock from the ‘70s. Energetically, it’s way more driven by passion, and even though the lyrics are not quite as expressive you can feel the power of the music.

ML: Have you released any solo projects around this last album?

EE: I write all the music we do, so I really only write for the band. There are always songs I’m writing and recording on my own, but I haven’t recorded and released any solo projects.

ML: I recently got back from a travel abroad, and the music I saw in other countries seemed very single genre. The scene here in the U.S. has thousands of sects and off-sects. If you could, how would you describe American music? [/dcs

ML: Exited to be back in Bozeman playing at the Filling Station?

EE: Super exited to be back. I’ve had a great time at past shows in Bozeman and the Filling Station. The people in Bozeman feel like where we grew up in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a small town and northern town, and you can feel that.

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