Eric Hutchinson talks Glamorama

Rock 'n' roll and fashion have always had a delicate and important relationship. But on the same token rock 'n' roll has always held a bad-boy reputation - that is until Eric Hutchinson came along with his fan-favorite single "Rock 'n' Roll." We have come to learn that this fresh faced, approachable young-man comes with his own dichotomy of genres. Easy-going and dance-friendly songs keep Eric Hutchinson at the top of his game; especially here in Minneapolis, where our radio stations have come to honorably recognize Hutchinson's emerging talent.

This Friday, Macy's Passport will present Glamorama in Minneapolis. The Orpheum Theater will house a generous event in benefit of the Children's Cancer Research Fund. This year's show is a wonderful combination of fashion, music, magic and fantasy. The night's event will consist of Grammy winning artist Macy Gray and of course, Eric Hutchinson. The fashion side of Glamorama may just be the grandest part of the evening with the list of designers including: Jean Paul Gaultier, Just Cavalli, Marc Jacobs, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, Sonia Rykiel, SportMax, Versace for men, and for the first time - Issey Miyake.

Eric Hutchinson was delighted to speak with City Pages regarding his participation with Glamorama, particularly noting his recognition in Minneapolis, and his lack of fashion knowledge.

Gimme Noise: How did you get called upon to participate in the Macy's Glamorama event?

Hutchinson: I don't exactly know how it happened, I think because I get a lot of airplay in Minneapolis - and I think the Macy's people had heard the stuff and were interested in getting us involved, and when I heard the proposal, and heard it went for a good cause and everything, I thought it would be a great thing to get involved with.

I read that your goal was to tour in all 50 states -- how close to your goal are you, or have you surpassed it already?

I am missing 5 states, and it's just sort of difficult because there aren't many people there; The Dakota's, and Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska. I am going to try and get them eventually it's just hard to route them into touring. I don't want to go there and do a show and have it be horrible, so maybe I'll got there and do a college show or something.

Of course, do something just to say you've played there.

Right exactly.

I have come to understand that a lot of people feel very comfortable speaking with you, and even expelling personal information, or something of that like. How much of that do you feel has effected in your song-writing?

There is a song specifically on my album called "Oh!" and it's just all about a period where I was just kind of walking around, and people were coming up to me and just talking to me about their lives--whether it was at an airport, or a restaurant or whatever... I didn't really read into whatever a lot of people were saying, but it almost felt like there was some reason people were talking, and a lot of what they were saying had something to do with my life. So actually I was always on the lookout, or just kind of observing the way people live their lives, because that's what really interests me in writing songs.

How comfortable do you feel about sharing your life through songs with the public?

There are definitely some songs that are pretty personal; there is a new song I have called "The people I know" which talks about trying to be close with family and friends--just talking about people you want to be close with. Every time I play that song live I always get people that come over to me saying- "What you're talking about in that song is definitely what I feel with my family." I think a lot of times the more specific you are, actually the more general you are. Every one kind of has the same issues but people don't always talk about them.

How much do you actually know about fashion? Or are just going to stick to the music end of it?

I am definitely into the music side more-- I am a little worried about what I am going to be wearing, I don't want to be embarrassed. I am looking forward to it, I don't know a ton about fashion, but it should be a good time for sure.

I looked at the list, and my first thought was, I am wondering if there are going to be any extra guy clothes laying around that might disappear into my guitar case [chuckling]. There are some good designers for sure, I just don't know that much...

What do you and Macy Gray have planned for the performance here in Minneapolis? Are you splitting the performance, or might you come out as a duo, that would be quite unique.

I think we're doing separate performances; I haven't actually met her yet. Unless she's got something worked out, getting ready to do a Diana Ross/Lionel Richie kind of "Endless Love" Duet or something. But that's a joke by the way.

That would be very unique, I still think you should pitch it to her, see what happens!

[Laughing] Sure, I'll see what I can do.

Might we get a chance to hear your new single "Talk is Cheap" at the Glamorama event?

Maybe yeah, maybe I am trying to figure it all out. I am only playing a few songs, so I've got to sort of see what's going to work. I have a feeling; it's a nice 'pick your price', so I think people are there they want to hear something they've heard before. But it should be a really nice night; I am looking forward to it.

Eric Hutchinson performs with Macy Gray at Glamorama this Friday, August 6 at the Orpheum Theatre. $60-$750. 8 p.m.

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