Mini Golf with Eric D. Johnson

Graham LeBron
06 10, 2015

I first met Eric D. Johnson in 2004 when he was in Fruit Bats and I was in Rogue Wave. It was a great time for "indie rock" as it was the dawn of the era of bands like The Shins and Death Cab for Cutie having their songs placed in popular TV shows and movies and playing to thousands of people a night instead of hundreds. Our bands were both on Sub Pop records and we had the same booking agent. While getting to know each other on tour, we discovered we were roughly the same age, had the same tastes in music and comedy, and had fairly similar upbringings. All those circumstances led to Eric being one of a handful of people I've made an effort to remain close with all these years. His most recent album, EDJ, was one of my top 10 albums of 2014 and it continues to live in my DJ crate for most gigs. It has been an interesting journey for me to find the balance between friend and fan. I am happily both.

Back in February, Eric was in town to produce an album for Kacey Johansing, play a show or two, and rehearse with Vetiver for their upcoming tour dates. While he was here I asked him to come DJ with me for a Garden Gold session at Lost and Found in Oakland (DJ set is forthcoming) and, more importantly, spend an afternoon mini golfing and just generally chatting about good stuff. In Part 1, we cover some basic topics -- how we got started playing music, what it was like growing up in the suburbs, and how much The Simpsons and 80s pop culture has influenced us over the last 3 decades. This is a longer interview than I'd done before, but we wanted it to not feel so much like an interview and more like two friends hanging out. Kind of like the classic show, Fishing With John. And I got that, but I got more, a lot more. But hey -- enough of my yakkin', let's boogie!

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