Singer-Songwriter and Americana Artist, Jason Erie, Talks Debut Album and Food Memories
What was it like growing up in New Jersey? Did you come from a musical family?
I grew up in Dumont, NJ, a blue-collar town about ten minutes from New York City. It was a hard start to life. People don't leave there, they just kind of fade into the background. My father played guitar when I was young and I grew up singing folk songs with him since I was three.
What did dinner’s usually look like growing up?
My Mom's ex Harry was and is an incredible cook. Our normal dinners were always something that you would order at a four- to five- star restaurant. It was usually the three of us sitting at our small table in our small apartment eating like royalty. I think it was an escape for us all.
What’s a typical day like for you (food-wise) when you’re at home and how is that different from when you are on tour?
While I'm on the road I like to try the local dives and hole-in-the-wall joints. They say to always eat where the locals do, and it's true. I think that I would survive on tacos and pizza if it weren't for my wife. I do like to cook, a normal meal at home would be salmon and asparagus or like a pesto chicken with green beans and cherry tomatoes (currently meal prepping).
Tell us about one memorable meal you’ve had during your travels.
I think my favorite memory of a meal while touring has to be when my old band played at UPENN in Philadelphia for their Spring Fling Festival. We were stoked to play the show and we got up on stage and I immediately yell, "How are you doing Penn State?" Needless to say, we didn't go over very well after confusing their Ivy League college for a state school. After the show and all the craziness died down, we found ourselves in a hole-in-the-wall cheese-steak joint. As we sat down and consumed our cheez-whiz-filled delicacy, we all started laughing about how the crowd had reacted. It turned out to be one of my favorite moments with those guys.
What kitchen appliance do you use every day?
I have a lime green Kitchen Aid but sadly only have used it one time (in like 6 years). It looks nice. I wish I had something better to say than the fridge, but I really do enjoy actively using my fridge. I like to bask in the yellowed light and the chilled air, I would say it's the most under-appreciated kitchen appliance. It's a work horse, everything else gets to take a break, but not Mr. reliable fridge. You are cool in multiple ways, my friend.
What's your favorite fast food chain?
White Castle, those tiny burgers are so good but I regret eating them every time.
What’s on your pizza?
I'm a sucker for a Hawaiian Pie, but I haven't had a topping that I disliked. I even love anchovies....
Let’s talk about your debut album. Now that it’s out, which song on the album stands as your favorite? And why?
I would say that the title track, "The Art of Letting Go," is probably my favorite song, at least lyrically, that I have written to date. I was watching the news and became really saddened by the state that our world is in. It's about small-town America and how they are dealing with all the changes. I am really proud of how it turned out.
What song on the album took the longest to complete?
"Black Lung," took the longest out of every song to record. We recorded the entire record in about 6 days, but spent about a half of a day just on the group vocals in "Black Lung," but I am really happy how it came out in the end.
What are some of the artists that you like that are outside your comfort zone? Those that don’t necessarily influence you or your music, but you happily take pleasure in listening to?
My guilty pleasure is probably Avril Lavigne, I have always loved her lol. I usually like artists that really make you think and feel every word that they sing, but sometimes you just want to listen to a song and shut off your brain. Also I used to love Slipknot, I just think their music is fun, it's fun to listen to angry music.
What are your plans for 2019? Can we look forward to more new music?
My Friend Josh Gray and I are going out on a tour in April, so I am really psyched about that. I will also be playing some festivals this year and I am planning on releasing a follow-up album late in 2019. It's going to be a busy year.
Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why?
I would love to be sponsored by something like Top Ramen. I feel like they should sponsor touring musicians. It is really a missed market for them.