I recently had the pleasure of speaking with the awesome Eric Dash. Check out the interview below where we talk about his love for the guitar, his recent song "One More Love Song", and his love of punk, pop, and pop-punk music.
What was one of your earliest recollections with music?
I had my first concert, which was No Doubt. I saw them at the Tweeter Center in Camden, New Jersey, and it was just a surreal experience. I remember having cotton balls in my ears because we were two rows back from the stage, and I was so young. I don’t even know if I was six or eight, or however old I was when my parents took me to it. (laughs) My older brother wanted to go, and it was awesome to see them.
I remember in elementary school, that I wanted to be in a boy band so bad. (laughs) I had the idea of it wrong. I just put together a few of us. I tried to go around and ask people to be in a boy band, and I didn’t ask people based on whether they could sing or not, it was based upon whether they looked good. (laughs). It had nothing to do with singing. And I ran around my house singing all the time. My parents were cool with it, but at the same time, they were very into their business. I have memories of my dad telling me to be quiet. But they were very supportive when I was younger. It’s just those little funny memories.
I know that the first music that I actually listened to was when I was sitting in my dad’s car. I was listening to Alanis Morissette’s ‘Jagged Little Pill’ album. R.E.M. My brother had this Kris Kross CD. We were really super into Weird Al Yanchovic. My first songs were actually joke songs. I just wrote them as a joke the way that Weird Al would write them.
Tell me a little bit about the concept behind the song “One More Love Song”. What was the songwriting process like for you behind this particular record?
Well actually, I did a semi-co-write? I guess that’s what you’d call it? I was teaching a friend of mine how to write. I got some words out of her, we twisted them around, and I wrote this song to try teach her how to write, and we ended up coming out with a great song. That was my first co-write, and that was about two weeks ago. Until then, I’ve never actually written with anyone else.
So all of the songs you’ve heard, they’re my babies. (laughs) So in terms of “One More Love Song”, I don’t know how to write something that’s fake. The words are about an ex-girlfriend of mine. She knows that it’s about her. We haven’t been together for a long time, and the relationship has passed. But…it’s still a difficult thing. You know, when you’re out of a relationship for a year and a half, and then you look back and you’re still in love with the girl, it’s like, “shit. Get over this already!” And that’s really what it was, it was ‘one more love song’.
With that being said, I don’t think it was the last love song, because I still wasn’t out of it. But I was trying to make it the last love song. I had this idea in my head that maybe I could write this about her, and then everything would go back to normal. She’d hear it and then come running back. That definitely didn’t happen. (laughs) But that’s what I thought it was going to be. I had this grand idea.
That’s why we kind of did the video that way. I go into the room of the girl and try to get her back. It was a cool way to do it.
That actually plays really well into the next question. Tell me a little as well about the concept of the video for the song. It came straight from the song then?
I didn’t really think about it that way. My director wanted to do something different, because the song is sad itself. All of my songs, when you look through the lyrics, I think about what I’m saying. They’re very thoughtful, in the sense that I really want to put a message across. Something that’s relatable. Everybody can relate to a ‘happy, let’s go drinking’ song, but I feel like they’re less timeless.
Either way, my point is that why I have that kind of gloom over my songs. That’s why my producer and the other people I have around me have been wonderful at twisting it and making it into something positive and heartwarming instead.
One of the things that stuck out to me in the material that I was sent over, when press sends all of their info over to me, was the fact that you have such a love of guitar. Who were some of your influences when you got started?
Hmmm. You know, my influences weren’t strong when I was getting started. I picked up the guitar when I was about thirteen years old. I just wanted to be the next Blink-182 kid. I wanted to be one of them. I wanted to be in the band.
The funny thing is, I didn’t even learn their songs to be like them, I just listened to them all the time. I just started writing my own songs, because in my head (and not a bash to them or anything like that) I knew that they weren’t that great in terms of musicians. At least the front-men, nothing spectacular.
When it was simple like that, I was just like, “okay, I’m gonna write simple stuff,” and come out with song after song of great songs. I still listen to boy band pop and all that kind of stuff too. But I was this punk kid. So that’s all my influences were in the beginning. Punk, pop-punk, and pop music.
It took a few players, singer-songwriters, like Gavin DeGraw and John Mayer. I love Coldplay. ‘A Rush of Blood To The Head’. I worked backwards from those players and found Billy Joel and Stevie Ray Vaughn, and all these other plays. I found these songwriters that I love, like Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac. So either way, I worked backwards and found music because my parents didn’t exactly teach me about that realm.
When I found Stevie Ray (Vaughn), I kind of fell into love with the blues and I stuck around that. I’m still in that little zone right now. I think I was like eighteen when I really got into it. When I really got into, I was playing six to eight hours a day, trying to work my head around it and trying to understand what it is that he was trying to do. And I still don’t know if I fully understand what he’s trying to do. (laughs). I do have a better concept than when I started, that’s for sure.
And now I have other influences! Because you grow as an artist. Like now I’m on an Eagles kick. I definitely have a love for the guitar because I started thinking, after a while and going back to the beginning, that all you need is power chords and to just write good songs. After awhile, I started thinking how good my songs are, but how good would they be if I actually knew how to play this thing? That’s actually the exact thought that I had. I said, “I’m gonna learn how to play this thing, so I can come out with something great.” When the album comes out, you’ll hear me soloing on the first record. It’s really a feat for myself.
What kind of message would you like fans to walk away with after listening to your music?
That’s hard. (laughs) I’d be happy with them walking away with an array of messages. Just as long as it’s positive or helpful. For instance, if they’re going through a bad breakup or they meet a new girl and are super excited, or they’re anxious. I’m a very anxious person, and I write with that anxiety. That’s really what I find in other peoples’ music. I find solace. I get a divine moment, and I understand. I’m with them for a second. I’m with this other space of life wherever I am, for a moment. And if they cane feel that when they’re listening to my music, that’s what I want.
What does music mean to you?
This is a broad question. (laughs) I’d love to see what other artists have said. I’ll start it with ‘music is my life’. And it’s extremely cliché when people say ‘oh, music is life’, and I don’t mean it in a cliché way like that. I mean in the sense that I wake up in the morning, and I’m pursuing a career in music. It’s something that I love. While I’m not working, I’m still listening (to it) and trying to learn from it. And then I sleep and dream about it. Then I wake up and I want to get better at something. It’s not even work, it’s having fun.
To me, music is really my engine. It makes me happy. There’s a couple things that would make me happy. One is the right woman, and she’ll come when she comes. And two is music. And the third is my family. Not necessarily in that order, but that’s what I think that really defines me as a person. It’s hard for me to give you what it means besides that. I know it’s vague, but it’s kind of my everything. I wake up in the morning, and I can’t wait to play my guitar, sing, and write. And then sometimes, you’re upset and you feel like the only thing you have to take you away from your sadness is your instrument. No matter, you always go back to it (music).
Is there anything else you’d like fans to know about, in terms of new music, shows, anything like that?
I would love to let them know, but right now I don’t even know myself. (laughs). I’m an independent artist, things are just getting started, and they’re starting to move for the first time. I have this CD that I’m doing and I’ve heard bits and pieces. It sounds unreal and I’m super excited about it. I’m excited about what it sounds like. As soon as I have a tour all concrete and everything coming at you, I will let everybody know, because I’m the first person that wants to get that stuff out. I want everyone to hear what I’m doing, so I can get out and play. That’s all I want to do.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.