Kalynda talks with Eric Schackne in Hollywood at the release party for his Hammers and Strings EP. The pop singer says his honesty and do-it-yourself attitude are what set him apart from many artists.
[By Kalynda Simmons, April 29, 2012]
Q. Tell us where you’re from.
Eric: I’m from Fort Lauderdale Florida, that’s in the south part of Florida.
Q. When did you move to LA?
Eric: I’ve been here for about 4 years. In August it will be will be 5.
Q. Do you miss home?
Eric: Sometimes more than others. I have a trip home in June so I’m getting kind of antsy to see my friends and some family.
Q. Briefly describe your musical history.
Eric: My dad started teaching me how to play piano when I was five. We always had a piano in the house and then I eventually started taking lessons and eventually stopped taking lessons because I was just making up my own stuff. I would learn a song and I would ask my teacher, “Can I play this, I have my own version.” I decided to stop taking lessons and just make up stuff on my own. I got an electric guitar in high school, that’s when I really started playing guitar and really owning it. Oh, I played oboe in middle school and high school but I haven’t really played it in a while. It’s kind of an awkward instrument but it was a lot of fun. In college I roomed with a guy who had a drum set and he let me just play whenever I wanted and I just started learning instruments whenever I could. And that’s the instrument portion of my musical history. I was always a writer though so I had lyrics and poems and stuff when I was younger and in high school when I got my guitar I started writing lyrics and melodies and stuff and now we’re here today.
Q. Who are some of your influences?
Eric: I feel like because I like to ride this line between genres my influences come from all over. A lot of my influences come from the punk and pop punk bands that I used to listen to in middle school and high school. Bands like Fallout Boy when they first came out they were way more pop punky then they are now and other emo bands like Copeland and Dashboard Confessional and those bands had a big impact on me as far as my lyrics and some of my melodies but I don’t know I listen to oldies and when I was younger I used to listen to show tunes. Like before I listened to pop music we went to roller rinks to skate around with our friends because that was what you did on a Friday night and I didn’t know any pop music so I would request MC Hammer, Can’t Touch This. Just so I could be like, “I requested this song!” I didn’t know any other pop music. I really just like everything. I mean if it’s new and it’s got a pop sensibility I kind of take note.
Q. What do you feel sets you apart from other artists?
Eric: My hair is longer than most. No really though, I think it’s how much I do for my projects that sets me apart. There’s a lot of do it yourself with the DIY movement going on right now but I just do everything and even recording-wise I write, play, and record and produced my whole album. My whole EP I did everything top to bottom. I just had a guy pushing buttons but he’s awesome in his own right. I don’t know many artist that write everything themselves and play everything themselves. I’d say that and my honesty. Not all music is straight forward these days. People try to be a little too clever.
Q. What was the inspiration for your Hammers and Strings EP?
Eric: To be honest the album didn’t really come out of anything specific. My first EP was really just the first group of songs that I really felt proud of and then as I grew they kind of matured a little bit and the next group of songs was this EP Hammers and Strings, but the title initially was more of like a guitar and piano. I write on both and so hammers from the piano, and guitar, strings. But a hammer and strings is how a piano makes noise so that’s pretty important to making noise. A little engineering lesson. The hammer hits the strings and out comes the noise.
Q. Is there anything else you want Life-is-Awesome readers to know about you? Where can people find your music?
Eric: I’m all over the internet if you can spell my name correctly. Ericrockmusic.com I guess is my main website but I love doing this and meeting new people is the only way that I keep doing what I love doing so I want to hear from people. I’m not a robot. I actually respond to stuff like Facebook. I don’t have a team of people doing that for me so I love to meet people. I just reach out to people that like similar bands and people are so receptive and I just like meeting new people.
Official site: Ericrockmusic.com