Eric Hutchinson on life in New York, the Beatles, and why he's not cool

Eric Hutchinson on life in New York, the Beatles, and why he's not cool
Jeff Lipsky

It was a combination of talent, hard work and an online boost from celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton that helped singer/songwriter Eric Hutchinson launch his career. After releasing his debut album Sounds Like This independently, Hutchinson signed with Warner Bros. Records and has recorded a new album, Moving Up Living Down.

Hutchinson kicked off his 'The Almost Solo Tour' this week, and Gimme Noise talked with him in advance of his show at Pantages Theatre on Saturday night about life in New York, his love for the Beatles, and why he's not cool.

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Gimme Noise: What inspired the title of your new album, Moving Up Living Down?

Eric Hutchinson: The songs on the albums are about transition. I moved from Maryland and started writing the songs in my new home, New York City. I love how New York is always a few steps ahead of me. You feel like you make progress and then there's a step back. That's moving up, then living down.

Your tour is called 'The Almost Solo Tour' and you've talked about how you're going to get up close and personal with the audience. Why is that important to you?

I believe that the audience is 50% of my show and I feed off their involvement. I started out touring solo for many years and wanted to reconnect to the crowd that way. I'll be telling jokes and stories, stripping the songs down to their roots. I can't wait!

In the song 'I'm Not Cool,' you sing about being a regular, non-cool guy. What's your dorkiest obsession?

That's probably a three-way tie between Fantasy Football, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

In that song you also sing about dropping money on bottle service and designer labels. What's the craziest thing that you have ever spent money on?

I recently went to a late night sushi dinner in New York where the chef just kept bringing us plate after plate until we told him to stop. It was amazing.

What inspired the song 'Best Days?' What is your idea of a perfect day?

That song is about taking a look around and being grateful for what you have. I got to sing that song in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, riding through a completely empty Times Square in New York. It was one of the coolest things I've ever done.

The first label you signed with, Maverick Records, ended up folding and you were dropped from the label. What made you decide to release Sounds Like This independently?

I didn't have any other choice. I just needed to make my album and I wasn't going to let anything get in my way. It was a really fun time for me.

What was it like working with a label for Moving Up Living Down?

It was really great. They took care of all the small details and I could just focus on writing and singing my songs. I also got to work with two amazing producers, Mike Elizondo and Martin Terefe.

I read that you're a big Beatles fan. Do you have a favorite Beatles song?

It's always changing, but lately 'Something' has been hard to top.

The song 'Not There Yet' talks about how you've come a long way but you're not there yet. What's next for you?

I'll be touring through the end of the year and going to test out a few new songs on the Almost Solo Tour. Then I'll start working on a new album soon.

Eric Hutchinson will perform at the Pantages Theatre on Saturday, October 20 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $31.00.

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