Portland's music scene has changed a lot in the last 10 years. Venues once at the center of the local music circuit, like the Meow Meow and the Blackbird, have faded into memory, taking innumerable bands with them. Despite the losses, some things have endured: In 2003, Blitzen Trapper, our hometown's beloved psych-rock freak-folkies, self-released its debut album. This month, the group commemorates a decade of existence. We chatted with frontman Eric Earley about the band's beginnings, its regrets (or lack thereof) and why Stumptown's changing music scene has not changed Blitzen Trapper—for better or worse.
Eric Earley: For me, touring with Stephen Malkmus and jamming onstage with him during âHeard It Through the Grapevineâ four or so years ago was a highlight. And doing Conan when Snoop Dogg was the guest. I remember walking up behind him on the soundstage and just thinking, âDude, thatâs Snoop Dogg. The guy is just massive.â
How would you sum up the last 10 years at home and on the road?
Weâve been slowly making our way and figuring out what weâre doing. Iâm not one to think about the future a lot myself, but thinking about the past, weâve had a really great run. Sure, there are small personal things I might have done differently over the years, but I have no regrets. Weâve done a lot of things people only wish they could do. Weâve set a precedent for playing what we want, and people never know what weâre going to do next.
Ten Years of Blitzen Trapper in Willamette Week:
Album Review: American Goldwing (Sept. 7, 2011) (http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-17926-album_review_blitzen_trapper.html)
"The Quiet Storm" (July 21, 2010) (http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-20464-the_quiet_storm.html)
Album Review: Destroyer of the Void (June 2, 2010) (http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-12045-cd_reviews_blitzen_trapper_gratitillium.html)
Album Review: Black River Killer (Aug. 19, 2009) (http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-10907-cd_review_blitzen_trapper.html)
Album Review: Furr (Sept. 17, 2008) (http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-21948-blitzen_trapper_furr.html)
Album Review: Wild Mountain Nation (June 6, 2007) (http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-23376-blitzen_trapper_wild_mountain_nation_(self_relea.html)
"Into Focus: Blitzen Trapper lets up on experimentation, hones in on pop perfection" (Feb. 18, 2004) (http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-2942-into_focus.html)