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Reader Spotlight: Todd Erickson

Todd Erickson

Meet bassist Todd Erickson, our player in the spotlight for May 18, 2010.

Bio:

Denver-born, Maine-raised, Boston-honed, lead-singing, songwriting bottom dweller for “hippie-shredder” rock trio “FREERIDER”. Began recording original material in 1983 with “Still Missing” as lead-singing bass player. Received a Boston Music Award in 1987 for “Best Rock Song” with his former pop/punk/metal trio, “SHAKE THE FAITH”. Currently writing and producing songs for two NASCAR-based teams, authoring FREERIDER songs for Rock Band 2 in Rock Band Network and planning FREERIDER shows for summer 2010 with long-time members of FREERIDER. FREERIDER has connected with Operation Troop Aid, two NASCAR teams, Harley Davidson and other sponsors to promote Operation Troop Aid benefit concerts all over the North East this summer in conjunction with NASCAR, AMA Motocross and biker events.

Location:

Portland, ME

Day gig:

Husband/dad/groove-meister/band leader/agent of change. I help people do stuff they don’t like to do.

Years experience:

31 years

Bands & Gigs:

From an interview with Jim Sullivan of Boston Globe/Phoenix/Herald fame:

FREERIDER – Second chances?

You don’t get a lot of those in the music business. Especially after your first attempt fizzles and you more or less put your rock dreams behind you, embarking upon other things like raising families and pursuing alternate careers.

But here is Freerider, a hard rock trio originally from Boston, back at you, with songs from a CD called “No Ride Denied.” It was recorded in 1995 and first released in 2000.

What’s that about?

First, let’s introduce Freerider.

Ask lead singer-lyricist-bassist Todd Erickson, and he’ll begin with what they’re not: “Were not a drunken, sloppy punk band. And we’re not middle America/John Cougar-meets-Bon Jovi band. We’re somewhere in this abyss of guys who can really play their instruments, but who love the attitude of punk and indie. We ended up with his well-produced, well orchestrated, intellectual rock, which for a long time, had no home. When the CD came out in 2000, we put it out knowing we were going nowhere. We did it to satisfy ourselves. But it deserves a place on somebody’s shelf. And it’s cool to be a shredder again, to have chops.”

Put most simply, Erickson defines Freerider – which includes guitarist Steve Coyne and drummer Jeremy Waybright – as “a power trio with thick, melodic guitars with introspective and honest lyrics. There’s a universal element to it, going back several decades from classic rock to grunge and post-grunge and for people who love classic hard rock and as well as the Soundgardens and Pearl Jams of the world, that potpourri of metal/rock that’s out there.”

“Our lyrics don’t suck, either,” he adds. “We would love to find the people who still give a shit about what the singer is saying. We have songs about real places and events. We get involved in the spiritual, mental and emotional battles of life and living it. We try to end up in an optimistic place and avoid preaching.” “It’s a band that lived in obscurity, a phantom of our imagination,” says Erickson. “We stayed alive so we could write or play. Like it or hate it, it’s real and honest. We want to have an incredible amount of fun, and we want to take advantage of the new media pipeline. We’ve given life to something we’d pretty much flushed the toilet on.”

Gear:

Own:

  • Charvel/Jackson – solid neck-through 4-string w/EMG

Used to own/recorded with for 15 years:

  • Ampeg SVT w/810

Want to own:

  • Ampeg SVT w/810 (or three!)
  • Hamer Chaparral 12-string bass
  • Gibson Thunderbird IV

Why I play the bass:

Many things lead to becoming a 4-string lifer. The Beatles made me love the bass and pop songs. Led Zeppelin II made me want to be the bass player and in a band. Quadrophenia made me a bass junkie. AC/DC made me respect simplicity. dUg Pinninck still makes me want to pick up my bass and write/sing/play songs after 22+ years of listening to King’s X.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

Building bridges with bass lines.

My influences

dUg Pinnick, John Entwistle, John Paul Jones, AC/DC, Flea and sometimes Adam Clayton.

More on the web:

We do all our FREERIDER work on Reverb Nation now. Everything is listed here

Old band, “Shake the Faith” is on Facebook

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Share your thoughts

Ronney Clement

Rock on brother Todd!! My band ColonBlow had the pleasure to play at the festival he organized last weekend here in Maine called “AWSIM” (Any Wicked Sunday In Maine). He did a great job and plans on many more throughout the summer. If you have the chance, you should make it a point to attend one of these events. Rock on Todd, rock on FREERIDER!

East Coast Hoppers

East Coast Hoppers

AWSIM #1 was totally wicked AWSIM!! Can hardly stand the wait for the next one!

Robert

Robert

I like the “sometimes adam clayton” part :D I like your style. Take care dude!

Todd Erickson

Thanks to everyone for commenting. I really enjoyed putting AWSIM together and hope we can pull off another one…

Corey + Notreble – Thank you for taking the time to highlight some of us not-so-famous bottom-dwellers! I love reading these Spotlights and getting updates about the famous guys too!

Peace, drums + wicked fat grooves.