Blitzen Trapper Get “Wild & Reckless”

Eric Earley discusses the songs he was raised on, the tracks he is most proud of writing, and the band’s new album

Blitzen Trapper

For over a decade and a half, Portland, Oregon-originated experimental folk-rockers Blitzen Trapper have been writing the kind of songs that burrow deep into your head and nestle there for years. Well-crafted storytelling and a strong relationship with the roots of American music make them a perennial can’t-miss live act. This Friday, November 3, the band will release their newest album, Wild & Reckless.

This new LP is a bit different from the rest of the Blitzen Trapper catalogue, yet somehow manages to slide seamlessly into place. It was born out of a musical that the band wrote and performed in Portland earlier this year, and frontman Eric Earley views it as a companion to their 2008 album Furr.

ARTISTdirect caught up with Eric Earley to discuss the songs he was raised on, the tracks he is most proud of writing, and the band’s new album.

First single I bought…

I bought a cassette single of High by the Cure off the Wish album back in ’92, I was a freshman in high school and starting to delve into British music. I think I started there because it was during the Cure’s Friday I’m in Love fame and so they were everywhere on MTV.

First live show I attended…

I went to see Doc Watson with my dad at an outdoor bluegrass festival in the sticks when I was ten or eleven, I remember sitting in this huge field surrounded by woods on rickety folding chairs. He had a whole crew of guys coming on and off stage playing various instruments and telling bizarre stories.

First song I learned to play…

My dad taught me to play Duane Eddy’s Rebel Rouser when I was about five or six years old on his old Gibson. In fact I think I learned the entire Have Guitar Will Travel album.

The song that encouraged me to learn my instrument of choice…

I’ve been playing stringed instruments since before I can remember so not sure there was much choice involved in learning to play. The Battle of New Orleans by Johnny Horton was another song I learned at about five years old on banjo, it took me about a week to learn the pick and the words, I think I was starting to enjoy the challenge of figuring out chords and right hand technique.

The song that reminds me of home…

Unknown Legend by Neil Young always gives me that feeling of missing my own bed and the familiar streets and roads of Oregon when I’m out on tour. I listened to that record a lot when I first got my license and started exploring the valley.

My guilty secret track…

John Wayne by Lady Gaga

The song I wish I wrote…

Mary Jane’s Last Dance by Tom Petty is the greatest rock song of all time in my humble opinion, perfect story, perfect drug reference, perfect riffs, etc..

The finest song from my all time hero…

Visions of Johanna by Bob Dylan, I’ll be trying to untangle those lyrics the rest of my life.

The song I’ve written of which I’m most proud…

Black River Killer

The song that should be played at my funeral…

It ain’t easy , (Bowie or Baldry version)

My favorite track from my most recent project

Rebel from the new album Wild and Reckless

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