Wreckless Eric will tour Australia for the first time since 1980 in November. Ahead of the Australian tour Eric talked to Noise11 about his on and off career over the past 40 years.
“It’s a funny old business, he said. “They said I was pop music but that first album definitely wasn’t pop music. I think I invented the punk-jazz genre. It was this weird hybrid. I don’t know what I did on the guitar. I can remember just playing a really cheap Japanese guitar. It was all done very quickly. It’s got something”.
After coming in on that new punk/new wave scene alongside Elvis Costello, Ian Dury and Lene Lovich Eric dropped a second album he didn’t really like. “The second album is much more polished,” he tells Noise11. “It was done in Pink Floyd’s studio with session men. I didn’t like it. I like some of the songs. It was very kind of confusing making records. I didn’t know how to make records and people didn’t tell you how to do it because they were protecting their position about how to do it”.
After a third album in 1980, Eric stopped performing. “I became a roadie for awhile. I didn’t like being a musician so I became a roadie and then I became a sound engineer,” he said. “When I started making records again I thought I don’t like the way they are doing this. I thought I could do this, so I got a tape machine and mixing desk and started doing things myself”.
That next album came in 1991. He didn’t release a fifth album until 2004.
Back on that first album, one of the songs ‘Rough Boys’ was written by Ian Dury. “He wrote that song for the band he was in Kilburn and the Highroads. I liked that song at the time. He would always say he wrote a song called ‘Clever Trevor’ about me or for me. I loved Ian,” he said.
Eric says he much prefers playing than writing. “I never wanted to be a songwriter. I live with one of the best songwriters on the planet. She writes songs and they are all great and I go ‘how do you do that’. I do know about making records, so I do tend to make records instead of writing songs”.
As for his most popular song ‘Whole Wide World’, Eric doesn’t consider it his signature song. “I don’t have walk-on music,” he says. “Yes, it is my most well-known songs but to me its just one of many. When it’s at home it doesn’t have any heirs and graces. Its one of the family.”
Wreckless Eric Australian dates
November 11, Melbourne, The Tote
November 14, Adelaide, The Gov
November 15, Sydney, Factory Theatre
November 16, Sydney, Petersham Bowls
November 17, Hardys Bay, Hardys Bay Club
November 18, Canberra, The Basement
November 22, Brisbane, The Triffid
November 24, Melbourne, Northcote Social Club (matinee)
November 24, Melbourne, Caravan Club (evening)
November 26, Perth, The Rosemount
Get tickets at https://davidroywilliams.com/tours/wreckless-eric/