Eric was raised between Seattle and Northwest Montana, exposing him to elements of both city and country life. As a child, he shared a musical kinship with his best friend Jake who's father was a professional touring guitarist. Eric and Jake would play talent shows several years in a row at North Bend Elementary School in Washington State, giving them their first taste of live performance!
Eric's father was also a naturally gifted musician. Though he never pursued it as a profession, he would often play the families upright piano or pull the accordion out of the closet and play as Eric chorded along. With a classic record collection accumulated over the years by both parents, Eric soaked up what he heard and translated it by ear to the piano. He spent countless hours trying to sound exactly like Elton John, Billy Joel, The Beatles, and Stevie Wonder.
When Eric reached high school he was involved in several team sports, but his real passion continued to be music. He would write funny songs about his friends and obsessively play the piano every day after school. As a member of the Flathead High Choir, Eric was given many exciting solo opportunities, including two years in a row where he was given free rein to choose a song and arrange it with a band to be backed by the entire choir. The first year, Eric picked Queens "Bohemian Rhapsody" which was met with a deafening applause. The second year he played the Steinway grand piano and sang Billy Joel's "River of Dreams". He also wrote and sang a song at graduation to a packed Majestic Valley Arena. These formative experiences put a bug for performing in Eric that would never leave him!
Upon graduation, Eric was pressed by family, school, and peers to pursue a practical vocation. He enrolled in a Fire Fighting program thru Everett Community College outside of Seattle and completed his Fire Fighter 1 training thru the Washington State Fire Academy. In his free time, Eric would work on new songs and frequent his hometown of North Bend, Washington to play with his childhood friend and drummer Brandon. Eric excelled in school and was chosen to speak for the class at graduation. It was soon time to find his station and begin his career as a full time fireman. But having witnessed the affects that locking in to a career at a young age had on his father and others in his life, Eric decided to go have some new adventures instead.
He enlisted in the Navy and was sent to Great Lakes, Illinois for basic training. Upon completion, Eric trained for an additional 7 months as a Corpsman before being sent to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to train with the Marines. After an additional 3 months of Field Medical training with the Marines, Eric was sent to his permanent duty station in Camp Pendleton, CA. Here he would serve 4 years as a medic attached to 1st Medical Battalion/ 1st Marine Logistic Group.
Eric's time in California was a juxtaposition between the military mentality and a free spirit being brought out more and more every day by the San Diego landscape and lifestyle. Still obsessed with music, Eric always had a keyboard in his dorm room and was now taking in music representative of the California lifestyle. Foster the People, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, even the Beach Boys who he loved from childhood were taking on a new meaning!
Upon his honorable discharge from active duty, Eric grabbed a box of MRE's (military field rations) and jumped in his beloved LandRover Discovery. He drove from San Diego to Kalispell, Montana stopping only once for a 45 minute nap at a rest stop. Needless to say, he was excited to be a civilian again.
After a short stay with his parents, Eric moved to Seattle to embark on his next adventure. He didn't know exactly what he would do, but he knew music would be a part of it. He spent the first year working for an independent landscaper on 5 wealthy estates in the affluent neighborhood of Magnolia just outside of Seattle. In his off time, he began writing songs inspired by some of his favorite artists of the time including Radiohead, Coldplay, The Killers, U2 and Kings of Leon. During one of his shopping sprees in the city, he met a beautiful girl working at Barneys New York named Naomi. They dated for a year while Eric continued to work as a landscaper for his friend and boss Mark.
Mark also happened to be a roadie and stage manager for Leon Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix half brother. Eric would sometimes sit in and watch the band rehearse at the Red Door Studios in Freemont, Seattle. And, on several occasions he sat in on keys and vocal harmonies. Soaking up this environment of hard living rockers was a lesson on both what Eric wanted, and also what he wanted not to be.
After a year of dating, Naomi decided she was ready to fulfill her life long dream of moving to New York City and becoming a fashion buyer. Although not included in the original dream, she asked Eric to come along. Looking for more adventure, he said yes. With his always supportive mother making a surprise visit to the departing gate with gifts and well-wishes, Naomi and Eric set off for New York City. Naomi had been there once for a high school trip. Eric had never been.
While adjusting to the city, Eric used his military benefits to take college classes in LaGuardia, Queens (coincidentally just across the street from the Steinway Grand Piano factory). He also continued writing songs based on his current relationship and radically new lifestyle. Naomi worked thru the ranks of the fashion industry as they lived in a spare bedroom of her cousins apartment in the East Village. As a side note, her cousin was a film student at NYU and he would do projects for various artists including members of the Wu Tang Clan who would come and go thru the apartment from time to time.
Tensions were high and space was tight. The drastic change in lifestyle mixed with the pressures and difficulties of achieving success pulled the two apart. A year after moving to New York, Eric and Naomi split. Devastated and having no direction, Eric came very close to moving back home. But with encouragement from his mother, stuck it out to to see what would happen next.
Upon moving to Brooklyn, he decided it was time to start doing something with these songs he had compiled over the years. He needed something to kill the pain. Something to hold on to now that he was in this massive city with what seemed like no purpose. He started putting out ads on Craigslist looking for bandmates. The first to come along was a very intelligent and highly capable bass player named Seth Klugman. The fit was immediate and the two started rehearsing on the ground floor of Seth's two story east village apartment.
While working at a sporting goods store in Union Square, Eric was told about a drummer who worked in another department. He soon noticed they took the same subway back to Brooklyn every night and even walked down the same streets to get home. Eric approached him one day about the band he was trying to put together. Rick joined in on their next rehearsal and the fit was obvious and immediate. With Ricks incredible chops and laid back attitude, all they needed now was a guitar player. Rick was attending the NYU jazz program for drumming at the time. When Eric mentioned they needed a guitar player, Rick brought his good friend and class mate Jason to their next rehearsal. Jason's highly technical Jazz-based playing style made for a very unlikely and beautiful fusion with Eric's piano-based melodic Pop Rock. They decided on the name Rovnik, meaning "Circle around the Earth" in Czech.
Rovnik improved fast and within a couple of months started playing some of New York Cities oldest and most iconic music venues. Over the course of 3 years they averaged 2 shows a month and played venues including The Bitter End, Cafe Wha, Sullivan Hall, Arlenes Grocery, Spike Hill, The Delancey, Fontana's, RockWood Music Hall, Kennys Castaway, The Groove and many more!
3 years later Rovnik went their separate ways, but Eric continued to write and play duo shows with drummer and friend Rick. After 7 years of living in the East Village, Williamsburg, and Park Slope; Eric decided it was time to say goodbye to New York City for the time being. He moved to Nashville, TN where he spent 2 years working for the State Health Department. During this time, Eric started recording his first solo EP. Nearly finished and bored with government work, Eric once again packed up and moved to Kalispell, Montana to finish his album.
Once finished, he invited Rick out and the two of them, along with family and friends organized a local album release party and show at the Alpine Ballroom on Main Street in Kalispell. The event was a success and Eric started picking up regular gigs throughout the Flathead Valley. Before he knew it, he was working as a full time musician in the rapidly evolving music scene. Over the next several years, Eric recorded 2 full length albums and many singles. Whenever he releases an album or plays a special event, he always calls on Rick as well as a beautiful Sister Trio from Nashville called Gold Heart to back him.
Eric continues to play local venues and private events as well as the occasional out of town tour. He is consistently writing, recording and releasing music. His song count (even after the many he has thrown out) is now between 70 and 80 songs. Hence the reason his work is never done. And that's the way he likes it!