Ben Erickson was back in the day in the hugely successful New Haven band Carlos Projeckt. Now as the Guitarist for Red Blade & the Bassist for Electric Bucket. Ben also does some solo gigs around the Elm City with even some solo records also. Thursday September 8, 2011 Ben and RED BLADE play Elm Bar with Natural Fathers. Here is a short interview with one of the legends of the New Haven music scene.
DHR - Describe Red Blade
B.E. -"Megadeth as played by the Stooges," ? I dunno man- In my mind, Red Blade is more about an outlet than the sounds the band creates. Red Blade is a catalyst for joyfully loud, aggressive, slash and burn ROCK! It may be considered punk, metal, grunge, or whatever; that's really secondary to the fun we have writing the stuff and presenting to the audience. So to answer your question; I can't describe it, but I know when we get there.
DHR -.What Makes Red Blade Different from other projects you are involved with?
B.E. -Well the motivation to form the band was that I wanted to play more electric guitar after playing bass in Electric Bucket and doing my acoustic solo shows for a few years. Last February I broke my left arm in a car accident and I lost a lot of dexterity in that hand (my fret hand). To rebuild my muscle memory, I sort of retraced my steps as a young guitarist, learning easy Black Sabbath and Stooges riffs and then moving forward to more complex stuff like Iron Maiden and early Metallica. Through that process, I started coming up with a lot of original old-school thrash-metal type riffs. At the same time, I was going to a lot of local metal shows at Daniel Street and I wasn't too excited by many of the bands I saw. I wanted to form a band that wasn't based on technicality or "brutality" but on the things that I liked about metal; aggression, volume, headbanging.... oh yeah and then I threw in some other cool riffs I had too because every band should have a few Black Flag and Sonic Youth-style riffs here & there. But really it's not that different from any of my other bands. They're all based on a very simple premise: "I wanna make this music, are you in? Cool, now we're a band!"
DHR -You have been in the local music scene for many years now. what is your favorite venue you have played in? Past or present.
B.E. - All time favorite local venue? It's gotta be the Elm City Underground. For those who didn't make it there, it was a converted garage, I think, where they sold beers out of a cooler and ANYTHING went. It got shut down pretty quick, but we had some great shows there with Carlos Projeckt. Also love Cafe 9, the 1st club I ever played, Tune Inn where we played when we were young & handsome, and my sweet home Daniel Street, where I've probably played and seen more cool shows than any other venue.
DHR -Judas Priest or Slayer?
B.E. -I knew the questions were gonna be tough but DAMN! I'll pick Priest for the simple reason that they have the greatest metal singer of all time in Rob Halford. Also Slayer covered "Dissident Aggressor" so they're obviously Priest fans, too. But I love Slayer too and I've seen both so don't get at me with some gobbledegook about the Slayer pit. I know- I saw them at Toad's. It was the craziest f'in thing I've ever been crushed in.
DHR - If you could put together your all time rock star band who would be in the band?
B.E. -Now it gets fun. Well for me an all-star band would need at least three or four guitarists. And they have to be STARS? That will make it easier. ok here goes-
Angus Young- Lead guitar/ choreographer
James Williamson- 2nd lead guitar
Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Cheetah Chrome- rhythm guitars
Neil Young- guest guitar solo on "Hot for Teacher"
Axl Rose- Lead vocals/bullwhip
Keith Morris, Tom G. Warrior, Bruce Springsteen, H.R.- gang vocals
Dale Crover- Drums & Explosions
Cliff Burton- Bass
Little Richard- Keyboards
David Bowie- Sax
Ozzy Osbourne- Harmonica
Greg Ginn- 7th guitar
Produced by Jimmy Page
Executive Producer: Benny Hill
DHR - What local band would you join for a day?
B.E. -It depends on how much they pay. For free, I would join L.A. Trash!
DHR -What does the future hold for Red Blade?
B.E. -Once mankind reaches the singularity, we will be the biggest band in history, surrounded by playmates in Corvettes. Unfortunately, this reality will only exist in my mind and the minds of those who want Red Blade to rule. In the physical world, I (and everyone) will be a vegetable.