Eric Carter Interview Part Two
In Part One with Eric Carter we talked about Bloodkin's latest shows with The Drive By Truckers. Bloodkin's new CD, Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again, coincided with recent shows with their Athens musical brethren The Truckers. In Part Two, we continue the discussion regarding this double-barrel billing before we begin to talk about the recording of Bloodkin's newest CD, and Eric's life-changes.
Eric Carter:...It sucked that we had to stop playing after forty-five minutes. We're used to playing a couple of hours. Also, by the time we hit the stage the crowd was already there. The show in Richmond at The National was a good place to start. It was a nice show to have out of the way. We could see how the stage was going to be set up because they set it up the same way every night. The stages were all about the same size. It was good to know where you were going to be set up. We actually got to stay and see their show.
I finally got to hear Shonna's song "I'm Sorry Houston". I hadn't heard that song since I took my little vacation. I had that CD. I developed a very unhealthy obession with that song. That's when I was really hitting it hard. I had to give that CD away because I couldn't stop listening to that song. I was in an unhealthy state of mind. I was just listening to that fucking song over and over and over again. I finally had to give it away to somebody. So, I was real anxious to hear that song again. As silly as it sounds, I was almost kind of nervous to hear it. I saw them getting ready to play it.
I had a spot on the upper level--you walk by the dressing rooms down this hallway and there's a door right there and you have a great view of the stage. They were getting into the song and people had been coming up and talking to me about our show. I was paranoid about a bunch of people trying to talk to me when that song started, so I got lucky and found a little seat right on the balcony near the railing. Nobody was sitting there so I went down and got that spot. I could see and hear them perfectly. After it was over I got my fix. I went back to the dressing room and Danny, David and they were all trying to find me--'Did you hear the song? We were trying to find you'. I saw it. I had a perfect spot. That was nice. I don't know what it is about that song, but it had me down Jimmy (laughs)...
James Calemine: I like "Purgatory Line" which Shonna sings on that disc too.
EC: I had such a case of tunnel vision at the time, I probably wasn't even listening to the other songs.
JC: What songs did you get up and play with the Truckers?
EC: It was always at the very end. We did a Jim Carroll song, "The People Who Died". Patterson would give me his guitar--and he's pretty tall and he plays his guitar pretty low. So when I put it on it was real low--I just had to deal with it, and that was fine. It's a pretty straight-forward song to play. You just bang away and don't worry about being pretty or exact. When I'd come out and play, Patterson would sing without his guitar and just play front man. It was funny all the guitars going around. I think between the two bands there's seven or eight guitar players. At one point onstage we had John Neff (DBT's pedal steel player) on pedal steel on "The Viper" and we got Cooley to come up and play banjo, so the total amount of strings between all of us was forty-three.
It sounded really good. In the hands of the wrong soundman or the wrong room it would sound like too much overkill. You get kind of spoiled with all those crack sound guys around taking care of things. You barely have to touch anything. We passed the test, I think. These were big shows for us. We did them well. Each show got a little better.
JC: The second round of shows with the Truckers coincides with the release of your new record...
EC: Yeah, and we've been selling the record at these shows. It will be in stores on the 17th.
JC: The new Bloodkin record was already recorded by the time you decided to change your ways...
EC: After I got back, what was being done was mixing. The meat of actually working in the studio started in October. As far as the actual tracking that was all done before the year was over.
JC: How do you think Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again fits in with all the other Bloodkin records?
We'll save Eric's response to that question in Part Three...