Eric Baines

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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