Eric earned a degree in music composition and plays piano/keyboards for the Keystring Duo, the D’Sievers, Incognito, and several tribute bands. He has written music for the Rochester Community Band and the Rochester Concert Band. He also wrote the musical score for Shadowlands, a dramatic play about C.S. Lewis. In addition to his musical projects, he works for Rochester Civic Theatre and Dunn Bros. Coffee.
What sparked your interest in music?
I started piano lessons in kindergarten – cello, clarinet, and tuba came next. I went to college on a clarinet scholarship, but when the college found out I played tuba, they told me I was playing tuba instead. After that I played tuba for 10 years with the Classic Brass Quintet. The tuba is such a solitary instrument; I am usually the only one playing the part. I am at the low end, the foundation for the group. I like that feeling of being the foundation.
Most memorable Rochester
John Sievers and I played for a bathroom warming party a few years ago. These folks decided to redo their bathroom and then have a party to celebrate it. They hired us to play in their basement for the party, and there must have been 50 people in their house. It was the oddest gig.
If you could run sound for one artist no longer among the living, who would it be? Why?
I am a huge Prince fan. I never got to go to a concert, but I have every single album. I could sing every single song. I love the creativity of his music. It reminds me of how I like to write music. He wasn’t afraid. He was boundless. He created music, poetry, art, movies, even clothing. And he didn’t apologize. His attitude was saying, I am going to do my art. I don’t know if you are going to like it, but you know what? It’s art. Then again, I would love to turn around and go to a party where Mozart was playing.
Top three artists at the moment?
Lana Del Rey. I love her electronic sound, and her voice is haunting. Sophia Shorai. She has a killer jazz singing voice. Joni Mitchell. I like her individuality, her octave range capability, and her sense of composition. She writes what is on her mind.
One book you think everyone
“Inferno” by Dan Brown. It’s a thought-provoking book. It made me ask, could I really make that decision? People who read it will question their own thought processes, but it doesn’t mean that they will have to change as a person.
Kindest words from an
It is comforting when people take the time to tell me they really like the way I sound. One person told me, “I just can’t take my eyes off of your fingers – they’re moving so fast!”
Show rituals or superstitions?
I am always early to a gig. I like to make sure that I am set up and then look at the venue to gauge how it is going to go. I believe in the saying, “If you’re on time, you’re late.”
If you had to outlaw one song
from ever being played again,
which would it be and why?
I would like to outlaw karaoke and just offer live bands instead. If someone wants to sing – just sing along with the band!
What challenges you?
Music is a challenge for me. It is something that I don’t feel I will ever master, but yet I can always come back to it. Music comes easy to some people, but I’ve always had to work hard at it. The only thing that has ever come easy for me is reading music. I’ve never had a problem with that.
What makes you stand out
as a musician?
I am an easy going, open-minded guy. If you want me to learn something for you, I will learn it. If you want to make music, let’s make music.
Eric will be playing with the D’Sievers at the Doggery on Thursday, October 27.