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A Musical Life: Will Erickson

Kevin Wildt

Will Erickson plays with a variety of musical projects including The Travel Guide, Twin Cities, and Jenny Wood Band. He plays drums in each of those projects but handles guitar duties in Team Tremolo.

“I’d say my job is to listen and listen to the dynamics especially. If it’s a mellow verse, I need to keep in mind to really lay back on the drums. If it’s a really slamming chorus, I’m going to really try and dig in and play heavy and do some cool fills, do something to accentuate the music. For me, it’s important to listen to the song and understand before I ever try to play it. I try to have a grasp of what the song is and how it moves and how it’s formed and from there I try to do my best to translate that idea.

They call me Dad in the band and that’s cause I’m always trying to keep everybody on track with rehearsals and shows and stuff.

Whenever we’re practicing or writing new songs or stuff I’m probably paying the least amount of attention to what I’m playing. And since it’s kind of under my control I usually leave my specific parts up until the last minute when I decide, ‘OK. I’m going to put this fill here. And put this fill here.’ Sometimes I just kind of wing it. It’s more important to me to make sure that the song sounds good itself before I start worrying about playing something cool or flashy or coming up with a cool part rather than laying back and playing a simple beat.”

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.