When pop star Eric Hutchinson released his song “Rock N’ Roll,” it soon became an international hit like a catchy earworm we couldn’t help but hum. After the album was certified Gold, Eric took to touring the world. Now he is back with a new album, Pure Fiction, out now, and a new domestic tour, kicking off right here in Ann Arbor today at noon at Sonic Lunch. I got an opportunity to sit down with Eric Hutchinson Tuesday morning and ask him about his new music, his fans, and what he is most excited about regarding the new tour.
Badger Senate: When “Rock N’ Roll” came out, it was a huge hit. How did that make you feel, and how did that song’s success create your style and state of mind towards music?
Eric Hutchinson: It made me feel happy. (Laughs) By the time the song got bigger I had been doing this for several years. It felt like a long time coming to me. You know, I still continue to play that song, and I just wrapped up tour, and I’ll be playing that song in Ann Arbor and every time we kick into it and people get excited it gives it that same rush of energy that it’s always had. I’m really grateful for that.
BS: So, how has your music changed or evolved between your debut, That Could’ve Gone Better, and this new album, Pure Fiction?
EH: I think with this new album I’ve made a real conscious effort to push the music to make it more modern. I’m sort of a traditionalist usually. I love old soul music and The Beatles; I realized I was sort of trying to make music sometimes that fit into an era that’s gone. I think this is a really great time for pop music and there’s a lot of exciting stuff out there and I wanted to sort of fit into that landscape. It was sometimes a little scary but it was also fun to push the music into new directions, like with the song “Forever,” and now it’s one of my favorites.
BS: What are you hoping your fans will get from the new music?
EH: Well, it’s sort of one great celebration of the music, and it’s great if you know all the songs or have never even heard the music. I try to make the show high energy and I spend a lot of time talking to my band about that and what we can do. I believe that the show starts with us, we set that tempo, and the audience gives that back to us, and we feed it back to them. It’s a circle of energy, and that’s what the shows are, kind of getting lost in the music.
BS: You spent a lot of time traveling and performing between this album and your debut. How has that helped you understand your fans and what effect did it have on your technique or approach to your music?
EH: Well, I’ve never really presumed to know what my fans want or like. When I’m making the music, I just chase whatever I find interesting that day and luckily there are people who find it interesting as well. I think the biggest thing is that I have fun with the fans on Twitter and Instagram and at the show. It’s a fun time to be able to communicate with all the different types of social media stuff.
BS: What caused you to decide to perform in Ann Arbor?
EH: It’s been a long time since I’ve been in Ann Arbor. It’ll be fun. I always love getting to play in the daytime. I go wherever the shows are, you know, I wait to get emails from my booking agent, and they say ‘Let’s do this,’ and I say ‘Alright.’ I just love getting to perform, so I’m excited to be coming back. I’m just lucky to get to do what I do. I love singing the new songs from the new album and some of the old ones, and just having a great time. It’s going to be a fun summer.
Eric’s new album, Pure Fiction, is out on iTunes and in stores now. You can see him today at noon at Sonic Lunch, at the corner of Liberty and Division in downtown Ann Arbor.
Written by S. Elyse Schultz