Portland, Ore., based rock/folk band Blitzen Trapper will be returning to South By Southwest this year, playing multiple shows throughout the week. The band is well known for their fourth album, Furr, and frontman Eric Earley owes all of his lyrical madness to everyday life and past experiences. The five members make up a band that’s a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, which results in a uniquely folk sound.
Earley spoke with The Daily Texan about where he draws inspiration for the music and plans for SXSW.
The Daily Texan: Could you tell me where the name “Blitzen Trapper” came from?
Earley: Something to do with a Winnebago or something.
DT: How did y’all first meet?
EE: Well, we grew up together. [I] met [guitarist/keyboardist] Marty down in Georgia about 15 or 16 years ago.
DT: Did you have part in any other bands before Blitzen Trapper?
EE: I was in a few bands in high school. Me and Brian were in different bands and played house parties.
DT: What has been your greatest accomplishment since you first formed the band in 2000?
EE: Not having day jobs is pretty nice. [Laughs] I worked on farms and factories, and kitchens for a while, that kinda thing.
DT: What’s the inspiration behind the song writing?
EE: It’s just my life and where I grew up and the relationships I’ve had, I write from experience most the time.
DT: I know you draw some inspiration from Bob Dylan and Neil Young, are there any other artists that you admire?
EE: Joe Walsh, I like ’70s hard rock stuff, Sabbath, stuff like that. Sonic Youth in high school, Wu-Tang Clan, I liked them a lot when I was young.
DT: What could you see yourselves doing if you weren’t making music?
EE: I don’t know, I’d either be a preacher or a drug smuggler in third world countries or maybe both.
DT: What are some future plans that you have?
EE: We don’t really make future plans, we usually just go on tour and have a good time. We’ll be in Australia in three weeks. I plan on enjoying the summer in Oregon.
DT: What are your plans for SXSW?
EE: We’re playing a bunch of shows, parties, radio and stuff. We have a pretty full schedule, keeping busy the whole time we’re down there. It should be fun.