Eric Friend Interview

(Done for this website, April 2012. All copyright laws apply.) Were you a Reivers fan before joining the band?

Eric: I moved to Austin in 93, and had not heard of the Reivers before moving here. While living in Austin, I met many Reivers fans, but I wasn’t familiar with their music. How did you come to join the band?

Eric: I knew John through mutual friends. He called me up and asked if I would be interested in playing with the band. I wasn’t sure what they were looking for exactly, but I really enjoyed playing with them. I didn’t know if they wanted a permanent keyboard player, or someone to just sit in for some shows. I kept showing up as long as they asked me back… haha! What’s your past musical background and what were some of your formative musical influences growing up?

Eric: I grew up in Michigan and played jazz and classical piano in high school and college. I was also very much into recording with various tape machines, and recording/ performing “experimental” music. I was lucky to study jazz with some of the best musicians in the Detroit area. I was fortunate to be there at that time. My entire family are either musicians or music lovers as well. Had you played in other bands before Right or Happy?

Eric: Yes. I played with jazz bands in Detroit, and I played with many Austin jazz musicians when I first moved here. I played with Spoon for 3 years, and with Sally Crewe and the Sudden Moves after that. I have also played in many recording sessions and one time shows with rock bands. Can you tell us something about the collaborative song-writing and recording process in the band?

Eric: John will sometimes have a fully completed song, or just a beginning sketch. He brings the music to the band and it grows and changes continually. Everybody in the band is open minded, which makes for a great collaboration. Even the older Reivers songs are open to changes. It really encourages creativity for everybody. Do you have any favorite songs you like to perform?

Eric: With the newer songs, I like Confidence, and Red Hands. When we perform the older songs, I like watching the rest of the band transform into the Reivers (that I never got to see back in the day). They are an amazing band, so I like to watch as a fan off to the side, just tinkering on the piano… haha. Are there any plans for the band to tour or perform outside of Austin?

Eric: No solid plans yet. And, last but not least, what would be your top 10 favorite albums?

Eric: Oh my…. just 10?
NRBQ- At Yankee Stadium
Black Sabbath- Paranoid
Thelonius Monk- Monk’s Dream
Sonic Youth- Daydream Nation
Chuck Berry- The Great 28 (compilation)
Meat Puppets- Up on the Sun
J.B. Lenoir- Passionate Blues
The Stooges- Fun House
Neil Young- American Stars and Bars
Charles Mingus- Mingus Ah-Um