I suppose that by now, most of you who have listened to “Erikson” are wondering, “What’s the deal with all these Eriksons? Why? What for? What’s it all mean?”
Well, here it is-Erikson Explained. And if you’re not curious as to why 2/5 (.4 or 40%) of the tracks on the album have the name “Erikson” in them, good on ya! Just keep enjoying the music and sharing it with your friends. That’s what it’s all about, anyways. But for those of you who want to plunge deeper into the world of Eriksons, follow me…
It all started in 2006 when Nick Spurrier and Matt Hart decided to do a project on Erik Erikson for their psychology class in high school. To make a long story short, they wrote a song about Mr. Erikson, which was later rediscovered by myself and Spurrier in college just a few years back (to get the full scoop on the old-school Erikson tune complete with nitty, gritty details, check out Spurrier’s blog post about it).
Upon re-hearing the tune, we decided it was reasonably catchy and that with some tweaks here and there, could easily join Lindby’s current lineup of songs. After changing the subject from Erik Erikson to Leif Erikson (c’mon-vikings are totally “in” right now), and cutting out a LOT of unnecessary verses, we were set. We felt, however, that good ol’ Leif deserved some counterparts, each with the surname Erikson and a musical style to complement the life they have lived (or were meant to live). We decided to keep them short (“Erikson, Leif” was only about a minute long anyways), and to have them act as vignettes on the upcoming album. Why?
Why, you ask? Well…because we thought it would be funny. And goofy. And hopefully clever. And unique. There wasn’t really a deep, philosophical meaning to why we chose to have six “Eriksons” on the album or even why we chose Erikson at all. It made us laugh and remember the good times (which, ironically, to Erik Erikson this probably WOULD hold deep, psychological meaning…but that’s a different story altogether). We wanted to give the listeners something they could just sing along to and not have them be burdened with finding a deeper meaning in every single verse we sing. After all, there are plenty of other Lindby songs out there that are saturated with metaphors, allusions, etc. We just wanted to have some fun and explore the Eriksons of the world and share them with, well, the rest of the world.
And speaking of the “Eriksons of the world” (which by the way, there are many, many more than the ones we chose to write songs about), here are each of the “Eriksons” from the album briefly broken down for your enjoyment. So…enjoy!
OH MY ERIKSON
As mentioned before, this is about Leif Erikson, viking extraordinaire. You can read more about him HERE.
MUSIC: A sing-songy melody in 6/8. We imagine a houseful of vikings sitting around a large wooden table, drinking and laughing about the day’s activities. A fire crackles in the corner as they slap each other heartily on the back and merrily sing:
Erikson, Oh my Erikson
You sacked and sailed and drank
You loved your mother, Oh my Erikson
EXPLAIN: We can only infer that Leif did, in fact, love his mother, and that he drank, but hey-he was a viking. Everyone knows that Vikings love their mothers and enjoy a stein of mead from time to time. And even though he may not have “sacked” any villages, he certainly did sack our hearts. (sidenote-keep an eye out for Tuesday, Oct 9th. It’s Leif Erikson day in the U.S. and Lindby is DEFINITELY going to be doing something special!)
An avid business man, Sheldon Erikson has been the Chairman of the Board for global provider of pressure control, processing, flow control and compression systems, The Cameron International Coperation, or CCC, since May 2, 1996. That’s one business savvy Erikson, right there. Read more about Sheldon HERE
MUSIC: A medium-tempo jazz tune in C minor. We imagine a medium-size room, probably upstairs, filled with the aroma of fine cigars and expensive pipe tobacco. Well-to-do business men and women fill the room and talk of fourth quarter profits, synergy, expanding their markets, and the latest NASDAQ reports. In one corner of the room there is a bar with a lone bar tender serving only the finest spirits, and in the other corner a small jazz quintet is starting up their next tune. The singer steps up to the mic and pleads:
Erikson, Oh my Erikson
You drilled for Triple C
You chairman of the board, Oh my Erikson
EXPLAIN: This one pretty much speaks for itself. Sheldon was a business man, so we figured we’d write a song that business men at parties probably don’t really ever notice, but is more than likely playing: a jazz tune. He is the a chairman of the board for a Company named “CCC” and, while he didn’t actually himself “drill” for them, his company sold the parts that did the drilling, and hey, he WAS in Forbes magazine. Oh..just on the website? Well still, that’s pretty darn impressive!
Swimming the English Channel ONCE would, in my opinion, be a HUGE accomplishment in anyone’s life. Swimming it twice would be downright amazing, but swimming it ELEVEN TIMES? Well, Jon my friend, you have just earned yourself a Lindby song (for better or for worse). And not only has he swam the English Channel ELEVEN TIMES, but he was the FIRST of only THREE PEOPLE to have completed a three-way swim of the channel. That’s there and back and there again. Why, that’s more than even Bilbo can say! NUF SAID. On with the music. (or read more about Jon HERE)
MUSIC: A heavily reggae-influenced, up-beat tune complete with trumpets and trombones stabbing and weaving throughout the song. We imagine Jon, the swimmer, trying to get psyched up for the epic swim that lies before him. Since he’s probably standing on a rocky beach in either England or France, we wanted to create some imagery for him that made him feel that if he closed his eyes, he’d be right there on a tropical beach in Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya…ahem. Anyways, so he puts on his headphone and hears:
Erikson, oh my Erikson
You swam to the French shore,
But before you swam to the Englishmen
EXPLAIN: Jon Erikson swam from England to France, France to England, and then England to France again. From the French shore to the Englishmen, one might say. That’s about it. This one is more about the feel of the song-the horns, the sing-along verses, the upbeat guitar and drums. It’s just Lindby’s day at the beach.
The final, “real” Erikson on the album is Tom Erikson. He had careers in amateur wrestling, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts. Currently he is an assistant wrestling coach at Purdue University, but we decided to focus more on his heydays as an athlete in his prime. Read more about Tom HERE
MUSIC: An ethereal, chant-like tune in 5/4, complete with vocal harmonies stacked in perfect 4ths and 5ths to resemble the music of the far east. We imagine Tom studying with a wise, old sensei who is instructing him in the many forms of mixed martial arts. After years of vigorous, painful training, Tom is finally ready to prove himself in the match of his life against his arch rival. The crowd moves in on the duo, encircling them in a wreath of judgement. A cymbal starts to beat out an ancient rhythm and the crowd begins to chant:
Erikson-san, Oh my Erikson-san
You punched his lights out
Boxing the big cat, Oh my Erikson-san
EXPLAIN: This is the biggest stretch out of all of the Eriksons on the album (save the imaginary ones, but we’ll get there in a second). Not only was Erikson not from the far east (he was, in fact, American), but he probably never trained with a sensei (to our knowledge, anyways) and never even had an arch rival (again, not one that we know about). BUT, he did go by the name, “The Big Cat,” and he probably punched someone’s lights out along the way (in a match or otherwise), so we feel justified enough with the song. Plus, we really wanted an excuse to try building vocal harmonies in perfect 4ths and 5ths, AND have a song in 5/4 time…and use the Moog more. OK OK FINE. But still, Tom Erikson was one baaaad dude! And that’s ’90’s bad, by the way.
Erikson, J.S. and Erikson, Jam
These two Eriksons do not exist outside of our album (as far as we know). “Erikson, J.S.” is a four-voice fugue that uses the Erikson melody as its basis (try singing along using the Leif Erikson lyrics), and “Erikson, Jam” is just us jamming in the studio over the Leif Erikson chord changes. We tagged them with “Erikson” so that the consistency would run through the entire album as a whole and give more credence to us naming the album, “Erikson.” Plus, who doesn’t enjoy a good fugue every now and again? We certainly do. Plus, it gave Tanner Brown a chance to bust out his electronic drum skills and give us a chance to write a complete 4-part fugue. We were pleased as punch. And the jam? Well it’s just us goofing around in the studio, having fun, and Lindby is all about fun.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to not say or type the word “Erikson” for as long as possible.