Drummer/vocalist Erik Eimiller has released his first solo effort – a piece, with video, titled “Cross The Ocean.”
What’s the influence of the song?
The lyrics to my song? It’s almost a twisted morbid song, actually from the perspective of the virus. The source of the inspiration was from a dream where I felt that it was impossible to get away from the media. Then COVID struck and I came up with the lyrics – the chorus’s melody line is running away from the TV.
The musical seed was planted by my babysitter when I was a kid. She would play the piano for me and my siblings. She taught us to play and to sing, and turned us on to pop music. From there, I told a fib to my chorus teacher in 6th grade that I could play the drums for an upcoming musical performance. But I couldn’t. She got a set of drums and picked the song “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.” I just kinda played and actually had a natural ability – it was a 1-2-3 waltz and I just went with it. Then my brother introduced me to The Who and that’s where it all spiraled.
In-between the babysitter and The Who, my family moved down to Virginia, and I remember listening to 80s music on my dad’s radio. That was a big influence….something I’m coming back to now.
It’s like a fresh take on this sound from my childhood. Other songs that I’m working on have a similar vibe – modern synth with an 80s throwback vibe… new wave with post punk – the verses are dark with bright upbeat choruses.
Are you still playing in a band, or is this solo effort taking up most of your time?
I’m still playing with Carina and The Six String Preacher – I just recorded a drum track in my house for a new song. They are a team, so they did their part of the song and then sent it over to me for the drum track. We’re still making music, although not playing live has given me more time for my solo work.
I heard that Ron Hawkins from Lowest of the Low mixed the track “Cross The Ocean”?
Ron and I have become really good friends. I was introduced to him by Jeremy Hoyle (lead singer of Strictly Hip). I’ve played for the Strictly Hip quite a few times to help them out, including with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. I used to play with Dirty Smile – the band had a great run… lots of potential. But things happened… things tend to happen.
And how did Ron fit in?
Hoyle thought Ron would be a great fit to produce Dirty Smile back then. I produced “Cross the Ocean”, with Ron co-mixing it with me. Ron and I really hit it off. Now we are breakfast buddies when he comes to Buffalo, and we love to talk about music. He heard the new demo and said that he wanted to take a stab at mixing it. He did a great job and ended up playing bass on it. The feedback has been great.
Where do you go from here?
I had a PR guy from Toronto reach out to me. It’s the first time that ever happened. He felt like I had a really good song – now they are talking about pushing it in the Canadian market.
Who else helped you out along the way?
My sister Amy captured the video – it was her first attempt at a video. I felt that I wanted something that people can watch, aside from listening to the song.
Written & Produced by Erik Eimiller Mixed by Ron Hawkins & Erik Eimiller Vocals, Guitars, Synthesizers & Drums performed by Erik Eimiller Bass & Trap Drums performed by Ron Hawkins Video & Cover Art by Amy Eimiller Rogers
erikeimiller.com (under construction)