Image top and bottom left by Steph Czapla.
Artwork for her album Medusa was created by: Todd Cookman @Cookmantodd.
T-shirt artwork was created by @ish_dish.
Hey thanks for doing the interview. Loved your set at Century. I only caught half since I got there late, but have since been listening on Spotify to your newest release, Medusa.
What is your musical background and how long have you been at ?
I've been singing since I was 5 and playing guitar since I was 12. I recently, (within the past 2 years) have picked up some ukulele.
I overheard you talking about moving from Colorado out here to the east coast. What brings you to the City of Brotherly Love?
I've always wanted to go to the East Coast, though I've strongly considered moving to Chicago twice in my life. The first time, I ended up in the West Coast in Oregon (almost, right?), and the second time brought me to Philly (0-2 on actually ever making it to Chicago). I was freshly single, had just cut an album in 2 days and had a fist full of cash. I had no plans. My friend told me he was looking for a roommate in the coming months so I grabbed my dog and everything I owned and drove to a place I'd never been, in an area I knew nothing about, to really start making moves for my musical career. That was in December.
Any places you are looking forward to playing out this way? I know I'd love to see you live again and would suggest 1984 , Oddity Bar and Bar XIII as some spots in Wilmington, DE that would be lucky to have you play!
Thank you for asking! And thanks for the tips. I have no idea where to begin, and would love any and all help my community wants to offer me. I love the culture in Philadelphia. I love the vibrancy in the streets, and the color in the artwork, and the love people have for each other here. The music here is incredible. It's fierce and precise and loyal. I honestly feel like I couldn't have picked a better city to bring my music to nor at a better time.
Where can people find your music and any merch?
Merch can be purchased through my bandcamp page, though I'm pretty low on physical merch right now .(https://erincookman.bandcamp.com/track/medusa)
In addition to finding my music on bandcamp, you can also find it on Spotify, Pandora, Google Play, YouTube, pretty much wherever music is sold these days. In addition, you can tune into wtyw960, IMCradio, Pirate Radio of the Treasure Coast, and Indiecast radio to hear the title track and first single, 'Medusa'.
What are some influences and how do you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
I have a difficult time describing my music to people. I think most musicians do. It has been described as lyrically stirring and honest and powerful. It borrows from several genres, with major roots in indie, folk punk, pop and punk. I really do take influence from everywhere. I have a playlist called 'nihilism' that's comprised of any song I think just totally goes for it and doesn't give a fuck. Contenders include: 'Shangri-La' by the Kinks, 'Think Positive' by Rich Kids on LSD, 'I'm my own grandpa' by Willie Nelson, and 'Delilah' by Tom Jones. I think my music is reflective of that.
Do you plan on using social media to gain fans or at least get them out to the shows? Do you find it easier now with the internet to get music out ala bandcamp, soundcloud, etc?
I use social media to promote every show I play, though I'm admittedly terrible about posting through my artist page on Facebook. I can't help it, I just get a more organic response from my personal Facebook friends list. If you wanna keep up with shows or book a show, add me on Instagram (@erin_incoherent) or message me on Facebook.
And to answer your second question, yes I do find it exponentially easier to share and send music with the accessibility of the internet. Literally anybody could stumble upon it. I've found out about so much cool music from dear friends who are always sending something fire my way. The internet makes that possible.
Destroy is such a great song. What's the background on that?
Thank you so much! Destroy is the darkest hour before the dawn. It's acknowledgement of the cycle of abuse. Accepting your loss, and picking up your shattered heart. Not knowing what to do or where to go. But it didn't truly become 'Destroy' until it was mixed. We created such a large song. Its urgent and longing just the way I'd always envisioned it. And its placement in the album is not coincidence, either. It changes the theme of the album. It is the break up. Medusa tells the story of these last few years of my life.
Another song that was a stand out was Disturbia Suburbia. Can you let readers know the background of that one?
If 'Destroy' is the breakup, 'Disturbia Suburbia' is the Epilogue. It had been waiting to come out for a very long time. Some days, it's like i can feel the creativity in my chest just pushing me to make something. And when it took hold of me on Sep 14th 2017, it was like I was finally able to purge all the pain from the past with it. I was able to give myself breathing room and healing about what I'd just survived. It was the brutal truth and the uncomfortable adjustment of moving forward from the shadows and out into the sun again.
It's an anthem for the damaged and depressed, the struggling and the brave. It's easily one of my favorite songs I've ever written. The lyrics, the vocal harmonies, the way the drums slowly come in, the xylophone in the chorus, the guitar in the outro. It was also not supposed to be on the album. I scrapped a song I originally had for the album after writing 'Disturbia Suburbia'.
Clearly music means a great deal to you. I'm glad you have an outlet for yourself. As someone who has issues with anxiety and depression I've turned to music for comfort. You getting your story out there will also bring comfort to others. So thank you for that.
Thank you Joe. I really want people who also struggle to find some sort of solace in my music; it has definitely kept me going before and I hope it can offer the same reprieve for somebody else going through a hard time.
My last question is a wildcard. You get the chance to play on a bill with any artist(s), past or present, who would it be and why?
That's a tricky one, there's so many different artists I would love to have shared a stage with. So many in different genres, too. If I gotta hammer down a few, let's start with
Chuck Berry and The Ramones, for bands who helped revolutionize a scene.
Then there's Queen and Lady Gaga, for the queer diva in me just dying to rock a stadium dressed in glitter and something scandalous. (Besides, nobody orchestrates a song like Freddy Mercury)
And finally, in an homage to the angsty 15 year old in me, The Distillers, as they were a huge influence in my youth. I have always loved what Brody has done with her lyrics, and her voice is phenomenal as well.