FIVE FIRSTS: Tim Eriksen of the Trio de Pumpkintown

The Trio de Pumpkintown
Tim Eriksen (center) and the Trio de Pumpkintown

NAME: Tim Eriksen
BAND AFFILIATION: The Trio de Pumpkintown
INSTRUMENT: Voice, bajo sexto, fiddle, banjo, guitar

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … A single: can’t remember if it was “Death to Disco” by the Psychotic Frogs or the Ramones’ “I Don’t Want You.”

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … My parents took me to a Verdi opera when I was six weeks old, but I don’t remember which one. I grew up going to see live music and theater all the time, from Gilbert & Sullivan to Kabuki Opera. Probably the earliest one I can remember was by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The first one I went to on my own was the Ramones.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … A recorder and a broken guitar. We had instruments around the house – I still play my grandfather’s violin, but I was too scared of how small it was to mess with it much when I was little. Also a player piano my friend and I used to make rolls for out of wax paper – but I was already 8 or 10 years old by that time.

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … Hmmm… Probably “Yankee Doodle” in pre-school. The first song in a band context was probably “Suzy Is a Headbanger.”

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … The Plague, which changed names over several years and wavered between punk, metal, hardcore, acoustic folk, industrial noise and finally a sort of Indian and bossa nova-influenced post-punk thing. The only album that came out of it was with that last iteration, Stands For Nothing, which had a release on a great little underground label called Unsound. One of our claims to fame was being, along with Husker Du, one of the first bands to juxtapose acoustic guitar and screaming.

The multi-talented Tim Eriksen – perhaps the only musician to have played with both Kurt Cobain and Doc Watson (although not at the same time) – leads his new “hardcore Americana” band the Trio de Pumpkintown into WAMC-FM’s The Linda in Albany at 8pm on Saturday (March 29). Michael Eck – who also once played in a band named the Plague, although not the one with Eriksen – emcees the evening and opens the show. Tickets are $18.

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