Today’s Feature – October 30-31: Eric Hutchinson

November 1, 2008 at 1:45 am (Today's Feature)

Today’s featured artist is a PEV favorite for sure, a local guy who grew up in Takoma Park, MD and never stopped believing in his talent, and never let an obstacle (no matter the size) stop him from releasing his self-released debut album, “Sounds Like This.” Now, a phrase like self-released shouldn’t be read over quickly without noting the proper admiration for such a feat – especially in Hutchinson’s case.

After all, Eric was on top of the world, recording under his deal with Maverick Records, preparing to take the industry by storm. It came to a brief halt however, when Maverick’s parent company shuttered it; recordings lost to business and politics. Hutchinson didn’t slow down however, touring all over and eventually releasing the album “Sounds Like This” on his own label, Let’s Break Records. The soulful, playful album was #1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart in September 2007, and rode its way into the iTunes top 10. It made it all the way to #5 – and in the end became the highest charted album released by an unsigned artist in iTunes history. Pretty damn impressive.

“Sounds Like This” includes every little tweak and curve of Eric Hutchinson. He says, “I tried really hard to keep it organic. Music is human expression and what’s more human than to make a mistake? So to record something and then take out all the mistakes leaves the project with no soul to it.” Eric says this, but trust me, “mistake” isn’t a word that should be used around this record. It has rhythms you can take out on a Saturday night and melodies you can take in on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The man has become a show machine, so get up and check one out. He’s coming to our neighborhood with PEV alum Charlotte Sometimes, and you know we’ll be there. Wanna learn more? Jump into the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Eric Hutchinson

Richie: Hey Eric, where’d I catch you?

Eric: I’m in Orlando right now.

Richie: How’s the tour going for you?

Eric: It’s going good. We’re just getting started. We’re in week one of many more. So  it’s… I mean, you have to keep going. It becomes your lifestyle for a while so you have to get used to it.

Richie: So how is road life treating you? Does it treat you well?

Eric: I think it does for me. I wake up every morning doing what I love to do. That was a goal for me. It gets tiring, always having to go somewhere else but that is a lot of the fun too. You always have to keep moving.

Richie: Is there city that you’ve found to be the best to play for you?

Eric: Um, I like all kinds of cities all over the country. I like to think that every city has potential to be a great show.

Richie: What can we find you doing in your spare time when you’re not touring?

Eric: I like to go to the gym – stay healthy. I think though when I’m not touring, I’m still trying to write songs.

Richie: When writing songs is there a certain kind of environment you have to be in to write?

Eric: The only thing I really need, is to just focus and be by myself. I mean when I work on a song, that’s really all I need.

Richie: What can fans expect from a live Eric Hutchinson show?

Eric: Yeah you know, I think the live shows I try to be high energy and fun. People clap, dance, sing… I want people to leave happy at the end.

Richie: How has your stage presence changed since you first started out?

Eric: When we first started you know, I was pretty shy. I’d sing the songs a lot slower. But then I got more and more used to it. The songs now are a little more upbeat, the shows were a little more upbeat. I just started to have more fun.

Richie: Success has been treating you very well. Most notably, being named one of VH1’s You Oughta Know – Artist On the Rise. How has that affected your career?

Eric: Yeah you know it gives me good reason to keep on going. I cannot believe it when my manager told me that. But it is good to see the songs on VH1 and the attention. I try to do as many things as possible for press, like this, and just really make myself available. I want to spread the word.

Richie: I’ve been listening to “Sounds Like This” for a while and really love it. What can fans expect from this album?

Eric: Um, you know I just try to bring some soul music, some singer/songwriter music to it. I want to show people a part of my life. It feels good to be who you are on an album and that’s what I tried to show.

Richie: What do you do to stand out over other artists in your genre?

Eric: I think it’s just about the strength of the product. I mean at every show, every performance. And also not charging like crazy for music. You look at some guys and they are selling like a double CD for $50 or something like that. I also think it’s a lot of hard work, doing tours, radio shows. Just thinking about the fans.

Richie: What do you think you would have been doing if music wasn’t your career?

Eric: I always wanted to go to film school and become a writer or director. I would definitely want to do down that road. I was always into that in college.

Richie: What college did you go to?

Eric: I went to Emerson College in Boston.

Richie: What’s one word that best describes you?

Eric: What one word that best describes me?…

Richie: I know it sounds like a college entrance question.

Eric: (Laughs) No, no, um… how about constantly-optimistic… well that’s two words.

Richie: Don’t worry I’ll but a hyphen between them.

Eric: Cool, thanks.

Richie: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?

Eric: Most people would be surprised to hear that I like sports (laughs). I think there is sort of a stereotype about singer/songwriters that since we sing about our feelings and stuff like that, that we can’t be good athletes or like sports.

Richie: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career?

Eric: They are really supportive. I mean it’s a double edge really, I mean if you are doing well, you are on the road more so you don’t get to see them as much. You know I’m still the guy I am. I’m still lying over the couch.

Richie: So, what’s next for you?

Eric: Well, we’re touring all through the rest of this year. Then we’re going to Japan, Germany, maybe Australia. It’s going to be exciting. Hopefully working a new album for next year as well.

Richie: Well Eric, thanks so much for taking the time with me today. I really appreciate it.

Eric: Oh, thank you for taking an interest in my music.

Richie: Have a great tour and best of luck.

Eric: Thanks again.

For more information on Eric Hutchinson, check out: www.EricHutchinson.com

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2 Comments

  1. hutchead said,

    Nice interview, glad to see more of Eric around the net.

  2. Update « Hutchead - Eric Hutchinson Fansite said,

    […] penseyeview interview […]

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