His breakout single may be called "Rock & Roll," but the singer swears his touring habits are far from what you'd expect. "I'm not doing the rock star lifestyle," he admits. "I can't really drink on tour because my voice can't handle it." With his pitch beautifully in tact, the party begins and ends with Eric's on stage sets. Lucky us!
Lindzi.com: At what point did you decide to become a singer professionally?
Eric Hutchinson: I think Iím still waiting for that point. [laughs] I finished college in 2002 and was doing music a lot as a hobby. I wanted to see what I could do with it. I got into it without really knowing what I was getting myself into.
Lindzi.com: How have things changed for you over the last year?
Eric Hutchinson: Things have changed. Everythingís bigger. Iíve got more people helping me get the music out there. Everythingís gotten bigger, but the art is still the same thing. Itís still me playing songs Iím passionate about.
Lindzi.com: How important was Perez Hilton in helping you break?
Eric Hutchinson: That was a big moment because it gave new attention to the album. I made the album independently after being dropped from my label. I put the album out by myself. When Perez put it on his website, it went into the top 10 on iTunes. Suddenly, I had all these labels calling. It was a big spotlight for it at the right time. Since then, itís been even more work than it was before that. It was a great moment and a great break.
Lindzi.com: What do you attribute the success of Rock & Roll to? When you wrote it did you know it would be a break out song?
Eric Hutchinson: The main comment I get about the album, that I wasnít really prepared for, is when people come up to me and say, ďI put your album on when Iím in a feel good mood. Itís my feel good album. All these songs make me feel happy.Ē Itís great to hear, but it was surprisingly at first because I wrote the songs when I was frustrated and depressed. I looked at the songs as having a lot of despair and isolation in them. Because they sound upbeat, everybody feels like theyíre happy. Thatís good though.
Lindzi.com: At the time you were writing the songs, what were you frustrated about?
Eric Hutchinson: After I was dropped from the label, everyone I was working with had given up on music. I was becoming discouraged myself. It was a frustrating time. I was living with my parents and broke. I wasnít really sure what to do with myself. [Background noise interrupts.] Sorry weíre in the car here.
Lindzi.com: Thatís ok. Where are you headed?
Eric Hutchinson: Weíre playing Chico, California tonight. Itís a college town.
Lindzi.com: Whatís the biggest misconception of living the rock star lifestyle?
Eric Hutchinson: I donít think Iím living that lifestyle. Iím not doing the rock star lifestyle. I guess the biggest misconception is that people donít realize how much work it is. Iím traveling all the time. I canít really drink on tour because my voice canít handle it. I canít do what I need to do during the day if Iím drunk or hung over. For me, thereís not a lot of partying, but its fun. I enjoy what I doóthough itís also a lot of work. Youíve got to keep moving all the time.
Lindzi.com: Is your home base still living with the parents? Or has that changed?
Eric Hutchinson: That has changed. I live in New York now. Iíve been there for about two years nowóthough Iíve been traveling almost the whole time.
Lindzi.com: When youíre traveling, do you get a chance to see each city?
Eric Hutchinson: Iíve been to every city in America at least three or four times now. I kind of like getting out. Itís fun to have a constant variety. There are so many great cities in the country.
Lindzi.com: Whatís been your favorite city to visit?
Eric Hutchinson: Weíre going to San Francisco on Friday, which is one of my top favorites. Itís an inspiring city with a lot of energy. Weíre going to Australia in a month, which Iím really excited for.
Lindzi.com: Who would you love to collaborate with?
Eric Hutchinson: Kayne West is my number one! I love his stuff. Heís my favorite musician out there these days. All of his albums are excellent. Iíd love to do something with him.
Lindzi.com: What would that collaboration sound like?
Eric Hutchinson: It would sound like amazing-ness. I donít know. I like a lot of soul and hip hop.
Lindzi.com: Where do you draw inspiration from for songs?
Eric Hutchinson: These days, I have an iPhone which has been helpful. When I have ideas for lyrics or a song, Iíll type that stuff in there. If I have a melody idea, Iíll record it on the phone. I donít have as much time to write songs these days, but Iíve been stocking up on ideas. Iím interested in writing about everyday life. I like writing about the little things that mean a lot to people.
Lindzi.com: Say what you will, but things are really blowing up for you. What has been your ďIíve made itĒ moment?
Eric Hutchinson: I feel like maybe Iíve gotten out of the minor leagues, but I feel like Iím in the major leagues at the lowest end of the totem poll. I still feel like Iím playing for people to know the musicóbut we did The Tonight Show back in September and that was a moment that was personal. It felt like, ďNo matter what happens from here, I got to play The Tonight Show.Ē
Lindzi.com: When youíre doing these gigs, Iíd imagine you meet some of the guests. Who has made you star struck?
Eric Hutchinson: Youíre doing these things and you know who they are and sometimes they know who I am, but what do you say? Itís like, ďCool. We know things about each other, but weíve never met each other before.Ē Itís more, kind of, awkward. I do get to meet some really cool people though. I met Conan OíBrien and Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter, was the guest that night. He was a big fan of the music. That was cool.
Lindzi.com: Whatís the best piece of advice someoneís given you for what youíve set out to do?
Eric Hutchinson: Itís not really advice, but it was a lesson I learned from my manager which is that people will treat you as well as you let them treat you. If you donít have any respect for yourself, then people will walk all over you. You also have to love what you do before other people can love it.
Lindzi.com: Whenís the last time you found yourself in that situation?
Eric Hutchinson: Itís interesting because Iíve ended up mixing my profession with my passion. That can get a little sticky because youíre mixing art and commerce. Itís hard because I want everyone to like the music and I want to get it out to as many people as possible, but every now and then an opportunity comes up that doesnít quite feel like itís something I want to be a part of. Itís about figuring out what Iím comfortable with.
Lindzi.com: Whatís something youíve learned about yourself in the last year?
Eric Hutchinson: One thing Iím constantly amazed with is how much or how little I can get done in a day. Sometimes, we wake up at 5 am and fly around the country to do a show at a radio station. You can do so many things in a day. Thatís been exciting to see.
Also exciting? Watching Eric's career progress. Listen for his new single "Ok, It's Alright With Me."
photos by Autumn DeWilde
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