Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Journey to Hip-Hop ... Milwaukee: @EricMire

Eric Mire is a cool dude.

Many may know him as the sound behind Melissa Czarnik but Eric is a musician in his own right, with two albums of his own available.

Eric is a band leader, a fan of Hip-Hop (and music in general), a producer (composer) and runs his own label.

I recently reached out to Eric for a Q&A for our Journey to Hip-Hop series.

The Mad Bloggers: How long have you been doing music?

Eric Mire: I’ve been into music a little over twenty years. I started with piano as a kid, picked up guitar in middle school and got really into composition and recording during high school. From there I went to school for music to study composition and wound up in a program that exposed me to more recording and music technology. In terms of Hip-Hop, I've been in and out of the scene in Milwaukee for about 10 years. Back before Melissa and I started Hyperdrive Motivator Productions, I was the producer for a group called the Nowhere Mine.

TMB: When did you form the Eric Mire Band? Who are the members?

Eric: The Eric Mire Band formed in 2007. I recorded and released a solo album and created the group and started performing shortly after. It began with Maurice Cotton phenomenal Gospel/Jazz keyboard player and producer, whom I met while we both worked at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. He played on one of the tracks off the album and was a natural first step when I put the group together. Maurice helped bring Don Bradshaw on board for congas and aux percussion, whom we both knew from the Conservatory and who also played with at Maurice's church. Eventually Brad Bloom, who I went to school with, joined on saxophone. He recorded with us on Melissa's Strawberry Cadillac album and started performing with us after that. And finally we have Chip Baily on drums. Chip was on the church scene with Maurice and stepped up after other drummers didn’t work out.

TMB: How would you describe your music?

Eric: I like to just call it good music. To be more technical it's a blend of Hip-Hop, jazz, gospel, folk, soul and classical. The beauty of the group is that we have such rich and different backgrounds. It's kind of a Hip-Hop/soul band with a jazz methodology. We tend to rehearse a very basic framework for our music, put it in motion and let it go where it needs to.

TMB: What do you see yourself as more, a producer or ...

Eric: I think of myself mostly as a composer.

TMB: What led you to form Hyperdrive?

Eric: I think it grew out of being in the scene for a while and trying different things and realizing that I needed a place that I could pursue my own ambitions. I had very a very clear idea of the music I wanted to create and the business model I wanted to follow.

Check out the Eric Mire Band's video for "Saturday" featuring Melissa Czarnik and shot by my favorite Milwaukee director, Darren Cole.

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