ERIC HUTCHINSON Opens Up About Mental Health, Marijuana, Anxiety and Muscular Dystrophy in New Q&A
September 22, 2018
Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, ERIC HUTCHINSON talks about his experience with anxiety, mental health, marijuana and his father's Myotonic muscular dystrophy in a new Q&A that takes a look at a selection of lyrics from each song off his forthcoming album, MODERN HAPPINESS (out October 5). The new album's threaded theme is the human condition, something HUTCHINSON has been examining on a personal level over the past couple of years. He recently spoke with Billboard.com about it and how he thought he was "just done with music" after coming off the road and being burnt out. Read more of that interview here. Taking the music to the people, HUTCHINSON and his band The Believers, will kick off their 25-date "Modern Happiness" tour October 4 at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT and make stops inmajor cities such as New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Seattle, among many others, before wrapping in Honolulu, HI with a two-night stand at Blue Note Hawaii November 10 and 11. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.
Q&A WITH ERIC HUTCHINSON:
i'll never be as free as all the birds up in the sky
reach in my pocket and i take my pill
it's gonna keep me happy till i get my fill
and this is how it feels when you begin to come alive
ERIC: "I'm a naturally depressed person and it took me most of my life to understand that and learn to cope with it. This album is the first music I've written since I started taking Prozac and the lyrics are very much about my eternal search for purpose, contentment and meaning. 'miracle worker' is about my experiences of threading that needle when I look around and realize I'm having a wonderful moment or evening, appreciating when everything is good. This song takes place in Miami, one of my happiest places to be."
i gave you air you can breathe
i gave you midnight and dawn
i gave you language and love
i gave you space and beyond
so get yourself a new religion
and quit ruining mine
ERIC: "I wrote this song from the point of view of God, which is a bit of a gutsy move I guess. I wrote the lyrics as I was reading the newspaper and noticing all of the terrible and inhumane things being done in the name of God and religion. I certainly had Randy Newman in mind while I was working on this one."
"i'll always be the one who makes you cry"
there's not a reason
there's not a rhyme
i'll always be the one
i'll always be the one who makes you cry
ERIC: "This song kind of wrote itself, as they say. I sat with my guitar and the words and melody sort of just fell out of my mouth. The lyrics are about human incompatibility. I'm a strong believer that some people are just oil and water together. I've been in relationships like that before, where I'm just real good at making someone unhappy or dissatisfied. This is a sweet goodbye when everyone knows it's for the best."
"happy like a chicken with his head cut off"
i used to laugh
now i'm just stable day to day
those pesky peaks and valleys went away
now i'm just...happy
i used to frown
now i feel something close to good
and i would smile if i could
now i'm just...happy
ERIC: "I wrote this song about the experience of taking Prozac for the first time and the side effects. The song is a bit tongue-in-cheek about the pros and cons of chemical happiness. For me, Prozac mutes a lot of my more intense feelings--like depression and sadness, but it can also mean happier moments can feel a bit more muted too. I used to enjoy having a good cry at the movies, but now when I want to cry, I just get the ugly-cry face but no tears come out."
well i never been much of a soldier
but i fight for what life demands
and i damn still exist though i can't make a fist
i am still gonna use my hands
yes i'm still gonna use my hands
ERIC: "This is one of my most personal songs I've ever written. I wrote it for my dad who is living with Myotonic muscular dystrophy, leaving him disabled, unable to walk, swallow or speak clearly. The first symptom of the disease was he started losing the muscles in his hands. My dad's fight and strength while living with Myotonic dystrophy has been both heartbreaking and inspiring to witness. I wrote the song on my dad's old 1965 Martin Acoustic Guitar and I tried to channel his feelings and perspective. It's a song for the disabled community who can't always voice their thoughts but definitely still long to be heard."
Click here to watch Eric perform the song in this video created in partnership with the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation.
"can't stop what's coming"
so i've gotten lucky down the path
never bothered with the math
cuz it's not for me to say
signs where I go are hanging there to let me know
it's gonna be ok
ERIC: "This is a song about fate, which always fascinates me. I've spent a lot of time trying to understand why some people succeed and some people don't. When I was younger, I was too vain to admit to being lucky--I liked to think everything happened only because of my hard work. But as I've gotten older, I see all the forks in the road where luck has broken my way. I'm in a place where I feel lucky and blessed and this song is trying to thanks the cosmos or the gods or whatever you believe in."
"she could be the one"
i will have to wonder
i will have to guess
what it's like to spend the night
and wake up in the morning as her guest
ERIC: "This is a song I've had kicking around for a while and it never felt like the right time to record it. I took my touring band, The Believers, into the studio for the first time and this felt like the moment to capture the tune. In many ways, it feels like the grown-up sequel to my song 'Rock & Roll.' It's about lust and love at first sight and having to sort out intense feelings in the context of being in an adult relationship. I like trying to write lyrics I've never heard before, and this was a sentiment I hadn't heard expressed."
"take it easy on me"
how can i sleep
feeling my world on the brink of collapse
how can i breathe
cause it always swings back
ERIC: "I wrote this song just after Trump took office, when I felt the American narrative quickly became 'everything is terrible.'The lyrics are from the point of view of a refugee immigrating to America. I think hope lies in accessing compassion, humanity and trust. This song is trying to see the big picture and trust that human beings will do the right thing."
"for the first time"
not like the movies or tv shows
not like the love songs everyone knows
not like the rumors not like the ghosts
not like the pictures that they all post
not like the diets not like the polls
not like the comments left by the trolls
ERIC: "What can we trust? 'Being Real' is very important these days, even though the internet has made things less authentic in many ways. I liked the idea of a song where the guy is pitching himself on how real his love is compared to all the fake things out there in the world. I enjoyed coming up with a list of things that feel like smoke and mirrors."
"a million bucks on a queen motel bed"
say how you feel you've got something on your mind
it's been hard to handle can't keep it inside
i know it's getting harder each and every day
you got a brand new prescription maybe that's the only way
ERIC: "I enjoy marijuana as a way to decompress and appreciate the little details of life that I've gotten good at overlooking. These lyrics are a meditation on taking the judgment out of modern happiness. If it's pills, if it's drugs, if it's exercise--you've gotta seize happiness and contentment however you can get it in these modern times."
lyrics written by Eric All Hutchinson
©2018Mango Tonic With A Kiwi Twist Music Publishing