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Interview with Fred Erskine

Frederick T. Erskine @ 't Lintfabriek
photo : November 14th, 1999

done by Kris Mestdag for Utopia webzine
by e-mail in March of the year 2000
all photo's © Kris Mestdag
for more similar photo's : click here

G'day Fred, do you want to say anything about break up of bands you were in?
It isn't important why bands break up, only whether they do or not. One should only expect to see and hear from bands that are not broken up.
4 years after Hoover broke up you came back together to record 5 great songs (Slowdime#9), "for documentation only". Why this reunion, and do you see more sessions with the Hoover line-up in the future?

that hoover ever "re-formed" was a rare case that is very unlikely repeatable for any of my music. and for the record, we didn't ever intend to do anything except finish unfinished business, which we now have done.
i've heard it said that once music is played, it is dead. if this is so, then all recorded material is dead. no need to be so extreme, but what is now is now. and for me there is a perpetual forward motion. it is the only way to continually breathe life into music or breathe the life of music. nevertheless, to satisfy some part of your inquiry...

Fred Erskine @ Stuc  Nov.1999 November 17th, 1999
I read somewhere that you played trumpet in public school, an instrument you still play today. Was that your first love? And, how were you introduced to the DC-punk scene?
i started playing music when i was four. my first instrument was the violin. i studied suzuki method for two years and only did it because i was too young to know any better. it is only coincidental that this became the one activity that would mean so much to me. after the violin, i played piano for a year or two until i picked up the trumpet when i was eight (maybe nine). i played with school band for four and a half years, until i quit simply because i hated the teacher. besides, my interest in punk music at the time had no room for the trumpet. i was singing in a punk band, and that led to me picking up the bass, when singing wasn't satisfying. that was in november of '87. and i've been playing bass with bands ever since, though the music has evolved for me greatly. at some point, i started using my trumpet again (after not playing it for years) to color some of the recordings i was on. i never practiced it, however. in fact, it wasn't until about a year ago, when the boom was preparing to do a euro tour, that i started practicing the trumpet and taking it somewhat seriously. it was so that we could have two horns full time in the band. it was much easier to replace my guitar playing with someone else than to find another reliable horn player. so......
Fred Erskine @ 't LintfabriekApril 17th, 1999
Can't wait to hear the new Boom album, when can we expect it? And what changed since "Any Day Of The Night", I heard you are working as a 6 piece now?
currently i am writing music with the boom for a new record and beyond. we may tour in the summer some and possibly again in the winter. for now, we'll play mostly close to home (east coast us, etc.) the boom currently consists of myself, carlo cennamo on alto sax, joe mcredmond on guitar, john wall on bass, josh larue on keyboard, and justin wierbonski (our newest addition) on drums. justin is an old friend from west virginia who i met when hoover used to play with his old band 'lincoln'. we're going to debut the new line up in d.c. on april 1. should be great. the new stuff is solid. a lot more improvisation, but with more carefully written detail. hard for me to describe, but what we will perform on the 1st will all be one piece.....
I heard about this new project, "The Destinations" : can you tell me more about it? Who's in the band for instance, and what are the plans with this project? Is it true that it will be offered on Touch & Go records?
carlo and i recorded some music with doug and sean from june of 44 and jon theodore from golden. doug finished mixing it and it sounds wonderful. we're not sure who will put it out, but we're working on it. we're going to do two weeks of tour in may, and to be quite honest, i'm not sure what the exact line up will be, but i'm fairly confident that all persons from the record will perform. we're also planning on bringing a sixth member for some necessary texture, although i can't say at this point who that will be. and no, we will not be called the destinations. that was a working title that isn't standing the test of time. soon we will lock down a real name, and i'll let you know when we do. *
How do you see the future for yourself, music-wise.
it will be determined day to day. as long as i have a love for music i'll continue to write, record, and tour. i'm in very good company with the many musicians i work with these days, and hope that we all continue to feed off each others energy and continue to search and practice for a better music. not to sound pretentious, because i think i personally have a lot of room to improve, but i am sure that because i am dedicated, however slowly, i will continue to improve. this is what we love. i hope this has been helpful. take care. with respect, fred.

Thanks for your time Fred.
Take care too and keep up the great work.
With lotsa respect, Kris

Frederick T Erskine is/was a member of :
The Crownhate Ruin
B. & Jay
June Of '44
The Boom
and new project, HiM (working title Destination, see above)