Artist Interview: Eric Ketzer
Tell us about yourself and your music
I began performing as a spoken-word artist in the coffeehouses of San Diego, CA in 1992. Having spent my youth in a variety of high-school, college, and church choirs, I started incorporating a cappella songs into my sets. With the encouragement of some of the other poets and songwriters I was running with, I picked up the guitar in 1995 and transitioned into a singer/songwriter. Chasing the golden piece of paper, I found himself on a scholarship at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO in 1998 and quickly began working the St. Louis music scene hosting open mics at Sally T’s and Java, Jazz, and Blues; performing at local singer/songwriter showcases; and running The Collective, a showcase for singer/songwriters and poets, at Cicero’s. Since moving to St. Charles I have fronted three touring bands (Eric Ketzer experiment [EKe], Whiskey Daydream, and So Much Closer), hosted singer/songwriter showcases as well as open mics, and gigged in 18 states. While fatherhood has taken precedence (not presidents – Donald) the last few years, you can still catch me performing the occasional solo show, participating in benefit concerts, and at my annual Backyard Birthday Bash.
Talk to us more about your latest release
My last release was several years ago with the band So Much Closer. I have a number of songs that were written during the So Much Closer days and after that I would like to record, but I feel like a need a few more to make it a full disc.
What inspired you to write this release?
The songs for “Felt Not Seen” started at the tail end of my previous band Whiskey Daydream. I always know it is time to move one when what I am writing no longer fits with my current project. During Whiskey Daydream I was largely influenced by Ryan Adams, Son Volt, and Drive by Truckers. I started listening to lots of Death Cab for Cutie, Kings of Leon, and Silversun Pickups. Naturally, my writing started to shift, and So Much Closer (borrowed from a line in Transatlanticism) was born.
Any plans to release a video?
I’ve had a few professional live videos done, but no plans to actually do a story-type video.
Any plans to hit the road?
I’ll play anywhere at any time, but right now I am more focused on being a good dad than touring.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I’ll be honest this thought has never crossed my mind. I am going to do what I do regardless of acceptance or success. It would feel inauthentic, if I were trying to paint myself in a manner which wasn’t true to my music just to stand out.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Jason Isbell is always in heavy rotation. William Wild got lots of spins in 2016, as did Julien Baker. Sylvan Esso gets a lot of play, as well.
Tell us about your passions
I am into food, like good food. Food that will blow your mind and make you question what magical gift the chef has. I am also a sucker for a good RomCom and love most of the series on HBO and Showtime, but really it is being a good role model for my kids, coaching my son’s football teams, and being a loving and supportive husband that makes me get out of bed.
What else is happening next in your world?
I’d really like to put together another band. When I am solo, I tend to be more complacent about my music. When I am in a band, I am always hustling to make something happen. I miss the communal nature of being in a band and sometimes I miss the hustle.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Eric!