Not so long ago, I contacted Chris Thompson and asked him if he would be up for an interview. he was so I sent him the questions and he kindly took some of his spare time to answer and deliver us another point of view on life within ( and outside/after ) Eric's Trip. He also brought us some good news about future releases of his new band ! Once again, this interview is quite long but full of interesting details ! Read it all !
...and thanks chris !
 

You covered once "bolder" by Lou Barlow. Do you personnally know him or is it just a fan tribute to someone who's seen by many as the godfather of the lo-fi ?

I sort of did know him a bit. I think Julie and I both wrote to him and he responded and then met him at a show he did in Halifax that I think Eric's Trip also played. I did that song as a test for recording. Im not even sure the chords are correct or the words for that matter. It was fun to do for sure though. I love Sebadoh so much so that it was sort of an obsession for awhile. I wrote a song called "Blue" that Eric's Trip recorded but never released that has a line in "I'm not really obsessed with Lou".Ungh...what a terrible line.

Do you still record on a 4-track ?

I wish I still did. The motor broke on my 4-track. It would cost too much money to get fixed. I would love to find a nice old reel to reel 4 ot 8 track but they seem to be expensive as well. I just use Garageband as my 4 track now.

Has ron bates always been involved in your projects ? How did you meet ?

He hasn't always. We knew each other in Cub Scouts when we were really young and he was a year behind me in school so I would see him at school. We lived in the same neighborhood.

Did you also want Eric's Trip to break up in 1996 ?

No. I was pretty devastated when it happened. I knew it was coming but it was still shocking. My wife and I were expecting our daughter and I didn't have a job and wasn't sure what to do. I think I became sort of unhinged for awhile. To a certain extent I still am. I'm not a confident person so trying to do music on my own is a huge struggle. Being in Eric's Trip was great. I didnt have to write a whole record worth of my own songs and had the band as a sort of cheerleader when I thought my songs weren't that good.


Wasn't it hard not to see each other so often after the break up , as you practically lived together for a while (if i'm not mistaken )

We actually hadn't lived together for a year a think. It was only Rick and I that lived together.After that I had moved to Halifax to be with my girlfriend and Julie was going back and forth to Ottawa a lot to be with her boyfriend. I think maybe Rick sort of felt abandoned? We still hung out and I even played some drums on a couple of very early Elevator to Hell recordings that I dont think were ever released.

While Eric's Trip was a full time project, none of you had to work ?

Mark still worked at Sam the Record Man. We had all lived at home anyhow. We didnt have to pay rent or anything. It was nice after Love Tara because Sub Pop gave us our recording budgets to live off of. It cost us pretty much nothing to record. We just did everything ourselves so they let us use the budget to live off of. I had a few jobs before the band but not many. I worked in a bowling alley, a hour photo place. Mark worked at the record store, Julie worked at Harvey's (fast food place). I dont think Rick had a full time job. He did some drywall and we worked together for a little bit acid washing the floor of of a new indoor amusement park that was opening.( Crystal Palace).

After the break up, I guess you more or less lost your job...what to do then ? Get a "normal job" ? I heard a rumours saying you sold some stuff on e-bay and such...and kinda remember you told me( years ago through msn ) you took care of your daughter because the nursery was quite expensive...

Yup Eric's Trip was my job. Like I said I sort of lost it for awhile. I did eventually get a job at Sam the Record Man in Halifax. I also sold my guitars and some records and stuff. Getting someone to look after my daughter wouldve been really expensive. Retail jobs never pay very much and I wasn't sure what other kind of job I could do. I suppose I should have gone to school for a trade or something?

After your last moonsocket release, we didn't hear from you for a while, did you just enjoy family times or were you trying a new label to release new materials ?

I really did enjoy the family times but as for music I basically just gave up. I played a few shows here and there with Moonsocket. Elevator to Hell was doing great, Julie was doing great and I just couldnt figure out how to tour or anything so I gave up.

I still wrote songs here and there.About a year an a bit after our daughter was born my wife found out she had breast cancer. I was totally destroyed again. She's OK now but it was really hard for her. She's very tough and I admire he a lot. I dont think I could have done it.So I just worked at the record store and tried to figure out what to do with myself. I still haven't figured that one out. Being weird in a culture that only promotes making money and having lots of "things" is pretty hard. At least on me.

What happened to "end it all before it begins" and the other songs you recorded a few years ago now ( we swapped some recordings at the time via msn )? Did it ever getreleased ?

Those demos turned into song for The Memories Attack album that came out on Little Mafia last year. Ron and I are working on anew LP that will come out on Noyes Records as a 12" plus digital download.

 

You played on Julie's last record. how did it happen ? how was the feeling during recording as it was the first recording together since the eric's trip days ? Did it make you guys wanna record new stuff ?

I think Julie wanted Rick to record that record. I think after he said yes she thought it would nice to have us all the record. Getting together with Mark, Rick and Julie after that long period of time was great. It always seems as if no time has passed. I did get to see Julie and Mark from time to time but Rick had moved to Toronto so I didnt see him very often. I think I always wanted to record new stuff but Julie and Rick weren't/aren't ready for that I dont think.

What's your recording trick to get such distorted voices and acoustic guitars ?

Mostly just set the recording levels as loud as possible. I also had the 4 track hooked up to my stereo so I would record and have the stereo speakers on causing feedback of what I was recording which was picked up through the mic. It was an accident the 1st time I did it but I loved the sound so kept doing it.It worked best in my parents basement. Never got the same sounds in other rooms that I lived in.

Was it a way of hiding quiet and heartfelt music behind noisier soundscapes ?

It became that. Going back to shyness and hating my voice and guitar playing. It was a good way to hide that for sure.

 
In "stupid shyness", you sing " things in life pass me by , just because I didn't try, just because I'm much too shy, don't have the courage to just say hi", is this shyness something that really stopped you from doing thigs you would have loved to do ? Isn't is something that slowly goes away with time as you perform on stage in front of so many people ?

Exactly. I wasted a lot of time not doing stuff because I was shy and had no confidence. I always wanted to take and sell photos but never had the confidence. I took photos but never did anything with them. As for being nervous I dont think I was ever nervous playing with Eric's Trip but playing by myself is very stressful to the point of not wanting to play Moonsocket shows at all.

What's the song you're the most proud of ?

Hmm...thats hard. I guess maybe "Swing" and "Feeling Around"? Im not really sure. Im liking the songs for the new The Memories Attack record a lot.

All the songs ( alone and annoyed, now a friend, always there, feeling around ) that got released on both moon socket albums and eric's trip albums were first recorded for moon socket ? If yes, how did they end up on the eric's trip releases ?

They were all Moonsocket songs first. Sometimes they came out on Moonsocket records after they were released on Eric's Trip records. Sometimes before. They usually ended up on Eric's Trip records when Rick heard them and thought they would fit well. I dont think I ever said "this should be on the new Eric's Trip record!". Again back to having no confidence. It always made me feel good that Rick liked them enough to put on an Eric's Trip release though.

You're soon gonna play with Eric's Trip in Europe, what are your thoughts about it ? Nervous ?;)

By now Im sure you know that the tour is cancelled. I was really looking forward to it. Ive always wanted to play Europe. I think we have more fans over there that we do in North America. Maybe we can re-book the shows and do it later on.

Are you planning on doing some solo shows on that tour ? ( along with julie and rick ?) It would be nice to see a all-ET-related side-projects show !

It was actually going to be Moonsocket, Rick White Album, Julie Doiron opening and then Eric's Trip. Sort of a family package. I was quite stressed about playing but it would have been good for me. Maybe I can get a tour with someone over there someday.


You're in a new band now called "the memories attacks". how did it begin ? Where can we get a copy of the release ?

I think I had a few songs that I was going to release as Moonsocket. Ron had played in the Moonsocket band and I had played in his Orange Glass band. People always said we should record a collaborative record someday. With the songs I had and some songs Ron had we decided to record them as a "new" band. It was awesome. I can get you a CD for sure. :)

Where do you live now ? In the same city as ron ? if not, how do manage to rehearse and write together ?

I live in Fredericton, NB and Ron lives in Halifax,NS. Its about 5 hours way from me. We only get to rehearse if there is a show coming up and at that I usually only get to run through the set once or twice with him. Ron practiced with our rhythm section in Halifax since they all live in Halifax. I think are shows went pretty well. I had a good time playing anyhow.

What was your favourite distortion unit during the ET days ?

I dont think I ever found one that I loved. I tried so many pedals it boggles the mind. I think I finally settled on a russian re-issue green big muff. I sold that after we broke up to pay a bill. The only thing I have right now is an Electro Harmonix LPB-1 which isnt worth anything otherwise I would have sold it. Im looking at tons of different pedals now. I would prefer to just plug into an amp and use it without pedals but Im not a very good guitar player and using a pedal for distortion hides a multitude of sins.

You began in Eric's trip as bass player,right ? What made you move to the guitar instead ?

I think I wanted to switch because I thought I was a terrible bass player and guitar can be more forgiving than bass, especially with distortion. Looking back on it I guess I wasn't that terrible.

What are the bands or artists you listen to these days ?

I still listen to most of the same bands from the old days. Dinosaur Jr., Neil Young etc. Newer bands I love are Boris and Dog Day. The newest Sadies record is also fantastic.

If you could go back in time and change something, is there anything you'd like to change ?

The break-up of Eric's Trip wouldnt have happened. Getting my front teeth smashed out right after they had come in.

I checked the list of your releases and noticed that almost all your albums or EP's have been released on different labels, each time. How come ?

I dont think anyone would want to do another record after they've heard what Ive given them to release!(i kid) Its mostly just really small labels and usually they only do one release for an artist. Also, I dont sell very many records so Im sure that has a lot to do with it.

Now that Sappy is up and running again, do you have any plans on releasing stuff on that label again ?

I would love to do a Sappy record. Not sure what their plans are though.




Have you already hear the tribute to Snailhouse that they're releasing these days ?

I have. Lots of great stuff on it including Moonsocket doing "Radio". I always loved Mike's stuff and was proud to be asked to do the tribute.

Does your kid(s) like to sing with you ? Do they like your songs ? Do you catch them singing your songs while they're under their showers and stuff ?;)

She does like my stuff. She has all the Moonsocket records and The Memories Attack records and copies of the Eric's Trip stuff. Ive heard her singing my songs before. Its awesome when your child likes what youre doing. :)

Our band Paperweight plays "alone and annoyed" at EACH gig. It has become over the years like a "gri-gri"( as we say in french ) song for us, like a song that you HAVE to play otherwise something terrible will happen during the show, you know, that kind of song;) We always have good response from the audience to that song. Do you also have like a fetish song that you always play live ?

Im glad you guys do that. Its funny how many people like that song. 99% of the time at shows I play "Swing" at the very end. Kind of a good way to end a set I think. I may start playing the Alan Parson's Project song I did years ago, "Eye in the Sky".Ive never played it live and I think I can do it now.

last but not least, if there was a question you would have liked to answer to but that I didn't ask, what would it be ?

That's too hard for me right now. :)

   
 
 

Moon socket Warren's guitar

I never kewn the secret