Eric Baines

Stuff You Didn't Know About Me

Interview Part 3

by eric on Oct.14, 2009, under Music, News, Stuff You Didn't Know About Me

3. How did you get into music? What does music mean to you and why did you choose to express yourself through music as a career? What’s your motivation? 

 I’ve always been into music since the beginning of time. I didn’t pick music, it’s always been a part of me. My Grandma tells a funny story of when I was really young she took me to the mall and there was a singing Christmas tree. Apparently, it wasn’t a very good singing Christmas tree because I was correcting his wrong words and bad singing.

I’ve had a love hate relationship with music over the years. In the beginning, I loved music and relied on it for survival. I wasn’t a popular kid in school and having spent all of my years in one small town, there was no escaping my status. To add to the pressure, my parents were divorced when I was 9. This gave me plenty of things to sing about and I spent many hours sitting at the piano writing and singing. Music was therapy at that point. It was also a hope for a brighter future. I remember my Dad got up at 5 in the morning and stayed up into the wee hours to record all of ‘Live-Aid’ on VHS when I was a kid. I watched those tapes over and over again everyday after school dreaming of being a rock star some day. I wanted to write songs that a stadium of people could sing along to.

After my first semester of Berklee I ran out of money so I went home to teach the drumline and earn some cash to go back. After the summer I still hadn’t earned enough (Berklee is seriously expensive) so I answered an ad in the local music paper for a bass player in a cover band. I needed money and they paid better than any job I’d ever had. That’s where my experiences in dive bars began. The band was called Chucky and the Cyclones. They played bars, weddings and corporate parties. In some ways I think it was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made and the beginning of a rough patch in my relationship with music. Once you make music your living and start relying on it to pay your rent playing music you love and are passionate about becomes a rarity. You no longer have the luxury of playing the music you love, you have to play whatever it takes to get paid and those gigs are usually the least artistic. I turned into a music machine. I had forgot what it was to play from the heart and enjoy music. It became a job. Eventually, I made enough money to eturn to Berklee and it led to a great and exciting career. On a higher level it can be great. I’ve been all over the world. I finally played that stadium that I dreamed of playing and heard 70,000 people singing the words to the song I was playing but it wasn’t one that I wrote and it wasn’t even one that I particularly liked. It did however provide me enough money to build a studio in my house, take the time to do this record and to start my record label. This record has been such a fun situation because it’s my chance to live the dream again. It’s a chance to really love what I’m doing and be proud. I can’t really complain because everyone has to pay their dues and I’ve had a good life. Music overall has been really good to me. I now look forward to almost every gig I play and I have a lot of fun!

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Interview Part 2

by eric on Sep.30, 2009, under Music, News, Stuff You Didn't Know About Me

2. What instruments do you play? Are you professionally trained, both vocally and instrumentally? Please explain.  I started playing guitar when I was 7 years old. My Dad bought me a guitar for xmas and started teaching me chords. He was in a band when he was in high school. My mom also sang and played guitar so I had musical genes. Around that age we also got a piano in the house so I started teaching myself to play. My mom could also play piano so I picked up what I could from her and the rest came from learning song from records. The eighties was a great time to play piano with all of the ballads on the radio. In 4th grade I started playing the trumpet in band and excelled at that. When I got to middle school I wanted to play guitar in the jazz band but the chords looked like algebra problems so I thought “how about bass? It’s only one note at a time” and that was the beginning of my career as a bass player. They also had a drum set in middle school and I really wanted to play drums. We had more percussion players than trumpet players and I was first chair so the band director wouldn’t let me change but I eventually bought a drum set and figured that one out too. So much so that my junior year in high school I joined the marching band as a percussion player and won the top award that year. I went on to teach the drumline for 9 years after I graduated. I’ve been to 11 band camps. I know it’s nerdy. I studied music in high school and took it very seriously. I could always count on three A’s every semester to keep my grade point average up: Band, Jazz Band, and Choir. Without them I would’ve never graduated. When I went to Berklee College of Music I was a bass player and then I switched to voice. I was not happy at all in the voice department so I switched back to bass. Vocal majors are crazy ;-) . I play a lot of different instruments but I had to pick one when it came time for college. I had learned to read well on the bass because I hated to practice so I figured I would succeed the most at a college on bass. That’s how I decided on that for my career. I’ve never really been that passionate about the bass and I’ve regretted that decision from time to time. That’s why I love this new record which allows me to play guitar and keyboards and focus more on the singing. I relate to the bass more as my day job.

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Interview Part 1

by eric on Sep.24, 2009, under Music, News, Stuff You Didn't Know About Me

1. Tell me about yourself. Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Poughkeepsie, NY but I moved to Colorado when I was 3 years old. I grew up in Broomfield, CO and went to elementary, middle and high school there. I then went to Boston where I attended Berklee College of Music for a bit. After a few semesters of that I moved back to Denver and started my own band. I worked in Denver for a while with many different bands and local artists before moving to L.A.. I’ve been to many places but once I arrived in Los Angeles, I knew I was home. I think starting in a small town was challenging for me because I’ve always been a big city person. I need stimulus or over stimulus. I need the energy, lights and noise of a big city. It helps me create.

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