When I started our new label under our blog name, I had no plans, no roster, just a lot of friends from the Z Tapes era. Somehow I felt I wanted to give space to new voices on our blog, but also work with friends. One thing that is happening is that the people I work with are becoming my friends and I feel that I want to work only with people I feel like can become a family member of our new label. I felt like that with Erik who makes music under porch kiss, rosetan, and no kids pets ok, which turned from solo projects into bands. I am so happy I came across Erik’s music because it reminded me a lot of orchid mantis, which has been my favorite music project for a long time.
When I heard hindsight back in summer, I knew right away that I would love to release it on cassettes. It somehow fits the media so much and I have enjoyed listening to these songs on repeat. It has been in my inbox for such a long time I almost forgot how it felt the first time I listened to these tracks. Revisiting the album before this post was refreshing once again and I still feel that we had to release this one. I love this little lo-fi bedroom pop album. It makes my heart melt and brings me so much joy. It has been a hard year for me personally, so having this to cheer me up is something I am very thankful for.
If you are not familiar with Erik’s music, I recommend you to go and check out porch kiss, rosetan, and no kids pets ok. We are planning to work with Erik and his bands in the future as well, so stay tuned for some great music. I can always say there is a lot of music in the works and we will bring some of it onto the label and some on cassettes as well.
2023 was a great year for my blog and new label even though my personal troubles. I am thankful that despite it starting badly, it is ending with me writing these words and smiling and feeling good. Life is good when you have great music to listen to, right? Especially on cassettes!
As I promised at the beginning of this new label, I am doing interviews with all our artists. Therefore, I reached out to Erik and asked him a few questions.
Filip: We have known each other for a short time, but somehow it feels like it has been for ages. Do you remember how we met online?
Erik: It had to have been through Submithub while releasing music through another project (rosetan). You’ve been reviewing tracks of mine long before a proper introduction. Summer 2023 is when things really picked up!
F: What inspired you to start making music?
E: I grew up in a somewhat strict household. My music taste was dictated at a young age. When I was in 6th grade I had a friend burn me CDs of miscellaneous emo/alt artists. that I would hide under my bed with a boombox stereo. I would listen to them in my room and would become overwhelmed with emotion and dance around and cry teenage tears for a couple of hours before mom and dad got home. I wanted to offer something personal and emotional that the listener can keep in their pocket.
F: Do you have any memories of music from your childhood?
E: One sticks out. I have a memory of plugging my dad’s tape deck in a coat closet. There was one cassette (that I have not been able to track down) that had more drive and angst to it. I remember thinking “No way. Music can do that!?”
F: I have never asked, but how the name porch kiss was created?
E: As a child, your parents kiss you goodbye on the front porch. As a lover, you kiss goodbye on the front porch. A universal experience, good or bad.
F: You have been releasing recently more music under different project names. Is there a reason for that? Why so many different names?
E: Rosetan was first, then I started up no kids pets ok, and most recently porch kiss. My own journey with mental health has been cluttered and experimental. Lots of feelings, lots of sound. Different projects for different “moods” I suppose.
F: You reminded me a lot of orchid mantis’ music. Is OM an inspiration for you?
E: Absolutely. When I first heard Orchid Mantis my initial thought was, “Why isn’t everyone talking about this?” A couple of my friends and I would get together and just sit in a living room, smoke, and spin their albums. Orchid Mantis taught me that the “Industry Standard” isn’t the only way to express yourself and be heard.
F: You live in Washington State. Does this state have an impact on the music you make?
E: Absolutely. I greatly value the changing of seasons. I live near the ocean with both Portland and Seattle within a 2 hour drive. Mountains and forests all around. You should come to visit Filip! You’d love it.
F: What has the DIY community meant to you and your music?
E: In my hometown of Longview, Washington the music scene has been hit and miss and hasn’t experienced longevity with a healthy community. Thankfully a local record store opened downtown and were willing to work together in booking shows and local bands. It’s given an otherwise repressed community of youth/artists who have lived without representation or a place to be. Building this iteration of the music community is a point of passion and pride for many musicians in our town. We have the ability to offer a safe place to experience live music and offer another ‘tour stop’ between Portland and Seattle for touring musicians.
F: Which artists have influenced your music the most?
E: Explosions in the Sky, Daughter, Bon Iver, Volcano Choir, Fionn Regan, Orchid Mantis, Beach Vacation, Cathedral Bells
F: What does your creative process look like?
E: I tend to start with the guitar in hand. For ‘hindsight’ it all started with synth/drum machine tones built into a 1980’s Yamaha PSR-21. It’s a beginner keyboard my adoptive mom had on hand throughout my childhood.
F: Do you search for the meaning through the music? Does the creative process help you to process your thoughts?
E: More recently, I have found meaning through music. I built up a lot of walls as an adopted only child and had a somewhat sad and narrow view of myself and the world around me. Writing songs and playing live shows has given a place for those feelings to be processed and belong. Just as I belong.
F: Where do you seek inspiration for your lyrics? How do you choose what to include in lyrics and what not?
E: Lyrics are often an afterthought in the creative process. Some musicians are incredible poets. I look to use minimal vocabulary to express great depth and emotion.
F: What is your daily job and how do you make music while working? How hard is it to find time?
E: I work in an elementary school, more specifically Social Emotional Learning. I love the community I work with and the life experience it offers. However, the challenge is carving out time away from everyone/everything to focus on your art. I’m lucky enough to work with people who understand the importance of music in my life.
F: Do you have any other hobbies besides music?
E: I started getting into cooking a bit more during the pandemic. I love it when a recipe comes together.
F: What keeps you motivated to continue making music?
E: The investment my loving family put into me as a young musician is a strong motivating factor.
F: What was the most challenging thing in your music (artistic) path?
E: One obstacle I run into frequently is having to prove my musical worth being from a small town. Some communities question the validity of artists coming out of Longview, Washington. It’s a small town with a largely negative stigma.
F: Do you have any set goals with your music? Any milestones you would like to achieve?
E: I’d like to press an LP/Vinyl album within the next few years and continue to grow authentic connections and relationships. I recently feel like I have found my people and would love to see their music flourish too.
F: What would you dream to do if anything was possible?
E: I would love to give my adoptive parents the world. They have loved me endlessly and put me in all the right places to love what I do. I owe them my life.
F: Do you have any advice for artists just starting out or maybe coming back to prior passions?
E: YES. Take your time. The more authentic the roots and purpose, the better the art. You deserve to be honest with yourself and everyone around you.
F: In the end, I have one challenge for you. Describe every song from your most recent album hindsight in a single sentence, one sentence for each song.
E: stepping out – “You look great, you should wear that!”
022 – “Stay a while”
chips and soda – “A love letter to snacks after smoking in the moonlight”
hindsight – “I wonder if they still think of me”
ah hahaha – “Sometimes being wrong means being happy”
broken swing – “I remember this place”
you need a feeling – “It looks like it hurts, be well”
night light (the moon says hello) – “You belong with the nights”
Do not forget to order the cassette.
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