WYEP Studio Session: Blitzen Trapper
Blitzen Trapper in the WYEP Studios on July 25th, 2012 The Portland-based Blitzen Trapper made their debut at the WYEP Community Broadcast Center to a warm, welcoming live audience. They talked about first starting out in 2000 as a local band in Portland: "We tried to establish ourselves as a band, but it didn't work, so we started touring," says frontman Eric Earley. "There's so many bands in Portland that you can play around there for years, which we did, but nobody cares and notices you. As soon as we got out and became more of a national act, Portland started noticing and coming to our shows in town," explains Marty Marquis (guitar/keyboards/vocals/melodica). Marquis expanded on the moment when Blitzen Trapper first felt like an actual band: "The first sort of real national tour we did was with The Hold Steady. It was five years ago, we were coming over the state line of Oregon and the guy that was managing us at the time said 'Hey, Pitchfork gave you guys Best New Music!' So, I think that for me was kind of an index of us becoming a real band." Earley talked a little about his brief homeless period (about 7 years ago) and how that effect the sound of the band: "I think Wild Mountain Nation was probably effected most by that. To me, that record sounds like it's about to pull apart. It doesn't really feel like a record. It's amazing anyone ever liked that record. To me, it sounds like a mess. It's the musical equivalent of getting knifed in an alley to me. I made Furr and Nation kind of back to back. Furr was a record of me realizing that my life was gonna change because we got signed." After a performance of "Black River Killer," Earley explained a little bit about the origin of that song: "I was really sick for some reason. I was staying down south of Portland with my mom at her place. I was sitting out by the creek in the back of her place and I wrote it there." He went on to talk about the music he heard growing up, "My mom played a lot of folk music, my dad too. I grew up listening to my mom play a lot of Joan Baez and Doc Watson and a lot of traditional folk music. As I got older, I didn't really listen to that stuff. I do now, I think."
1) American Goldwing
2) My Hometown
3) Black River Killer
4) Stranger in a Strange Land