Though they were blessed with an enormous amount of hype from online tastemakers after their first few albums, Portland-based Blitzen Trapper haven’t succumbed to the “Best New Music” curse that often haunts buzz bands that fall off the musical map. After the release of their critically-praised 2007 album Wild Mountain Nation, Blitzen Trapper continued to write and record quality new material for 2008’s Furr and 2010’s Destroyer of the Void. This fall, their latest album American Goldwing takes the band even further into classic rock territory, combining their country influence with a modern take on ’70s rock. We caught up with bandleader Eric Early to talk about his lyrical imagery, what he’s been listening to recently and the band’s favorite spots to play in their native Portland, Oregon.
OS: You’ve said the new album started as a solo album. What made you decide to bring the other guys in?
EE: I think I just started writing songs that were more personal in nature and were closer to me. I just get excited about making records and then say, “Well, let’s make it a Blitzen Trapper record.”
OS: Your music career seems to be punctuated by life-changing revelations and events. Do you think that if you didn’t have these experiences to draw from, your music would be different?
EE: Oh yeah, definitely. Whatever you’re writing is influenced by all these things that you’ve experienced, people that you know and places that you’ve lived.