Singer/songwriter Erica Blinn’s greatest asset is her ability to write the most engaging pop songs. Her music is somewhere in between Liz Phair, Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Bramlett, Chrissie Hynde and John Mellencamp.. I know… I know…Blinn  covers a lot of musical  territory, but that’s why Blinn is so damn special! Female artists may over use the women’s empowerment “card” but  at the end of the day, Blinn can out rock with the best of them!  She had established her image onto the post-feminist landscape with her  self titled debut E.P. and her first album, “Lover In The Dust”. Her new album, “Better Than Gold” perfectly capture the experiences of a young women stranded between having an open heart filled with irresponsibility  and adulthood. Erica Blinn embodies the contradictions of contemporary “chickdom”. While cursing sexism she revels in her own sexuality. She acts tough and won’t  allow folly from debilitating her ability to write compelling music.

    Erica Blinn 

“Better Than Gold” (scheduled to drop in mid- February) manages to achieve what seemed her goal ever since the possibility of commercial success presented itself. This is the album she was destined to make– one in which all of her quirks and limitations are absorbed into well-tested clichés; and ultimately some that may as well not even exist. While most indie rockers are beefing up their sound with gratuitous electronic gadgetry, her new track/video “Softer Side” opts for a more tactile sound. Instruments twang in and out of tune while frets squeak with each chord change.

Blinn’s conversational singing voice takes the album to another level. “Better Than Gold”was produced by Mike Landolt. No one better than him can make an artist engagingly intimate. As though she had curled up on her couch, guitar in hand, to share a little tale or two. Her lyrics are hopeful in the sense that while we live in a troubled world everything may just be alright if we just loved each a little more. As an artist she is not afraid to tackle a bigger theme that can appeal to a wider audience. The majority of her songs connects with the common themes that most females often sings about: love, loss, connection, etc..   The harder tracks are familiar and upbeat with just enough dry humor to keep them from floating away.

We at Rock Bands of had the chance to speak with Ms. Blinn about all the excitement behind her new album release..

Rock Bands of When I read your bio.. it mentioned that your father drove to Nashville from Columbus, Ohio to help play bass on the track “ When I’m With Suzie”… You come from a “musical” family… How did they encourage you? What did you grow up listening to? I really believe every great musician attests to their family influences.  When did you learn to play guitar?
Erica Blinn:Hi, yes, I do have some quite talented family members. Both my Dad and his identical twin brother played in a touring rock and roll band in the ‘70s and ‘80s. My sister and most of my cousins are also musically inclined. My Dad introduced me to the guitar at a very young age. He also bought me lots of records, cassette tapes, and CDs. When I was about five or six years old, my most prized possession was a Jackson 5 cassette tape. When I was seven years old my dad brought home some Linda Ronstadt CDs and that’s when I decided I wanted to be a singer. I started playing guitar when I was about eleven years old I think, my dad was teaching me some before that but that’s probably about when I really got focused. He also got me interested in the harmonica by playing me The J. Geils Band Live “Full House”. He took me to see a very talented local (Columbus, OH) singer/songwriter/harmonica player named Delyn Christian when I was about fourteen years old and I asked Delyn to give me harmonica lessons. I learned a lot from Delyn, including how to play with a band and what a truly great performer looks like.
Rock Bands of Ok… now we’re getting serious! You are not a “girly-girl”! You have a “kick-ass” vibe! You can out- drink any “dude”…Many..( but not all) of your songs ( “Choices”, “Pull The Trigger”, “Sexy Mess”  and  “Whiskey Kisses”) have a strong “presence”.. many women don’t do this… What’s different about you that creates the perspective you take?

Erica Blinn: I would say it is due to the fact that there are a lot of strong women and quality men whom I look up to in my family. I didn’t see a lot of stereotypical gender roles among my family members growing up. My parents raised my sister and I to have good self-esteem and to stand up for ourselves. They encouraged us to explore anything that we were interested in and didn’t discourage us based on our gender.

Rock Bands of Shit… How did you get into motorcycles?  Do you ride? I think this is a great publicity “hook”..”Rock chic… didn’t play with dolls… she played with motorcycles.” Lovers In Dust”…

Ms. Blinn: My dad has always had motorcycles. When I was growing up he was constantly building them, fixing them, buying them, and selling them. I used to love to visit the Harley-Davidson dealership with him when I was a kid. He would never let us ride on them with him though because he thought it was too dangerous. I used to lie in bed at night and look at the catalogue of new bikes coming out and pick out which one I wanted when I was old enough to get my license. When I turned 18 I ended up buying a 1988 Sportster (883cc) from my Aunt Bev (which had previously belonged to my brother’s grandmother). With my dad’s help, I disassembled the motor and had the cylinders bored out to fit 1200cc pistons and put it back together with the new pistons, rings, and gaskets. I sold the motorcycle back to my Aunt a few years ago and haven’t been on one since. The song Pull the Trigger, off of the album Lovers in the Dust, has a bit about riding motorcycles in it “hit the throttle, feel that wind”.

Rock Bands of Ok… more serious stuff… This is your second album… It’s definitely more country than your E.P. and  first album.. Was this done consciously? Was it the move to Nashville? Mike Landolt is amazing! You break down his dossier of work and you hear how brilliant he is… What has he taught you not that it’s your second album? Is he a tyrant in the studio?
Ms. Blinn: That surprises me actually because I’ve never really thought of any of it as country but I have had people say certain songs lean that way (which I can see), but I was just thinking the other day that this album was certainly further from the country sound than the last. Too funny! 

I agree, Mike Landolt is amazing. He is both very fun and very hard working in the studio. He can sometimes push you to your breaking point because he believes in you and wants to see you reach your full potential. He is full of good ideas when it comes to sounds and parts for a song and he is always willing to try crazy stuff, like recording me dropping a large bundle of metal chain onto a road case as a percussion part, even if it probably won’t make the final cut.

Rock Bands of Do you plans to come tour the West coast??
Ms. Blinn: Absolutely! We don’t actually have any solid plans yet but we are certainly working on it.
I wanted to thank Ms. Blinn for keeping it real and Ms. West for her patience..
Erica Blinn’s artist site and tour schedule….