20 Questions: Eric Hutchinson
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Eric Hutchinson opens up on giant turkey floats, time travel, and the creative process behind his new album, Modern Happiness.
Eric Hutchinson is opening up with his most personal album to date in his forthcoming album, Modern Happiness. Released on 5 October, Hutchinson returns to the production board while leading his band, the Believers, through a collection of roots-laden pop and rock songs that dive into the human condition. It's the first album that Hutchinson has written since taking Prozac, and one that he has no problem admitting very nearly didn't happen. It took a couple of years away from songwriting to rekindle a passion for it. Albeit, the wait has paid off splendidly for him and the Believers.
Predating the release of Modern Happiness, Hutchinson sat down with PopMatters to answer 20 Questions. In the midst of it all, he reflected on such topics as riding through Times Square on a giant turkey float, traveling 40 years back in time, and borrowing a 1965 Martin from his dad that he wrote and recorded the entirety of the new album on.
1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?
I don't really cry anymore now that I'm on Prozac. I make the ugly-cry face but the tears don't really come. I talk about it on my new song, "happy like a chicken with his head cut off".
2. The fictional character most like you?
I like to keep it real.
3. The greatest album, ever?
Rumours by Fleetwood Mac.
4. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Lord of the Rings!
5. Your ideal brain food?
6. You're proud of this accomplishment, but why?
Riding and performing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Because it was amazing and I'll never forget riding through an empty Times Square on a giant turkey float.
7. You want to be remembered for…?
Being a great person.
8. Of those who've come before, the most inspirational are?
Nora Ephron, Julia Child, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder.
9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your name?
10. Your hidden talents…?
I can hold three drinking glasses in one hand from my days of working at a Jewish deli.
11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?
Don't listen to 'em when they tell you it's bad, but listen to 'em when they tell you it's good.
12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?
My dad gave me his 1965 Martin D-28 acoustic guitar and I wrote and recorded the whole new album on it.
13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or…?
Paul Smith suits! [Editor's note: Good taste!]
14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?
15. Time travel: where, when, and why?
1980's New York City. I live in NYC today and I'd love to get a look at it back then.
16. Stress management: hitman, spa vacation, or Prozac?
I'm a Prozac believer.
17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or…?
18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?
The beach. Or Paris?
19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?
20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?
I've been releasing Modern Happiness all year and I'm getting ready to hit the road in October. We're gonna play the whole new album in its entirety and then play all the fan favorites.
Thu 10/4 Norfolk, CT Infinity Music Hall
Fri 10/5 Cambridge, MA The Sinclair
Sat 10/6 Bay Shore, NY YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts
Sun 10/7 Derry, NH Tupelo Music Hall
Tue 10/9 New York, NY Sony Hall
Thu 10/11 Philadelphia, PA World Café Live
Fri 10/12 Washington, DC Lincoln Theatre
Sat 10/13 Annapolis, MD Rams Head
Sun 10/14 Annapolis, MD Rams Head
Tue 10/16 Atlanta, GA City Winery
Wed 10/17 Nashville, TN The Cowan
Fri 10/19 Evanston, IL Space
Sat 10/20 Minneapolis, MN Pantages Theatre
Mon 10/22 Madison, WI Majestic Theatre
Tue 10/23 Iowa City, IA Englert Theatre
Fri 10/26 Denver, CO Bluebird Theatre
Sun 10/28 Phoenix, AZ Crescent Ballroom
Mon 10/29 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up
Tue 10/30 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour
Thu 11/1 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
Fri 11/2 Napa, CA Napa Valley Opera House
Sat 11/3 Bend, OR Tower Theatre
Mon 11/5 Portland, OR Aladdin Theater
Tue 11/6 Seattle, WA Neumos
Sat 11/10 Honolulu, HI Blue Note Hawaii (2 shows)
Sun 11/11 Honolulu, HI Blue Note Hawaii (2 shows)