Erik Blood, Super Producer and Certified Freak

Fresh off the Spaceship

Erik Blood is the technical wizard of the Black Constellation. But he’s more than just a “behind the scenes” force.

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Erik Blood is the technical wizard of the Black Constellation. He’s worked with nearly every artist in the Constellation and has left an undeniable footprint on Seattle music at large. But he’s more than just a “behind the scenes” force. When Blood steps up to the mic, he uses every instrument and genre in his arsenal to convey his truths and intersecting identities.

On this episode, Blood relays his journey into music production from recording tracks on a Teddy Ruxpin to producing pivotal Seattle records for Shabazz Palaces, Tacocat, THEESatisfaction, Moondoggies, and more. Blood also digs into his solo work, the way sexuality plays into his music, and growing up in a Black and white home. Blood’s love of music and skill in capturing its recorded essence knows no boundaries.


If you’re in the Seattle area or want to make the trip, you can join KEXP at Clock-Out Lounge on Friday, May 27 for Fresh Off The Spaceship Live. The event will feature performances from Black Constellation artists Shabazz Palaces, Stas THEE Boss, Porter Ray, and more. 

Listen to a playlist of music from the episode below, and check out a transcript of the episode.
Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/fresh 


ERIK BLOOD: We just got in the room and did what we do and we like. We made that it's you know, we made love this way and we do it real good and it feels great and everybody comes. And, you know, other people... [laughter]

LARRY MIZELL, JR.: We've got our opening for the podcast. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Erik Blood - “Minutes Become Miles” from Canons, Vol. 1 ]

LARRY: Welcome back to Fresh off the Spaceship. I’m Larry Mizell Jr. — DJ, writer, and your host in this podcast. 

MARTIN DOUGLAS: I’m your co-host, Martin Douglas. 

LARRY: Throughout each episode of this podcast, we’ve been diving into the story of the Black Constellation. The members, their work, and their stories. On the last episode, we investigated the deep musicality of Otis Calvin III, also known as OCnotes. If you haven’t listened back to that or any of the previous episodes, do clear some space out and check those out. They provide valuable context into our next story. 

MARTIN: On this episode, we’re taking a look at the life and work of Erik Blood, an essential component in the Constellation’s exploration of sound. In addition to being the go-to production virtuoso who has worked the boards for some of Black Constellation’s most beloved works, he’s also a producer-for-hire and a remarkable solo artist in his own right.

STAS THEE BOSS: I feel that Erik Blood is the key to all the successful albums that have come out of Seattle from the late 2000s up until now. He's worked with so many motherfuckers and nobody even like. I mean, if you got an ear, you could hear it. But like, he really is the key and the factor and the current. You know, he's a genius. I mean, that word gets thrown around a lot. No, he actually is a genius. 

LARRY: Each member of Black Constellation has not only a diversity of stylistic approaches, but a diversity of taste as well. In earlier episodes, we’ve alluded to the idea of genre as a mere construct, and Erik Blood is emblematic of that idea. From being an early fan of Digable Planets and Cocteau Twins to producing indie rock and punk bands on shoestring budgets, Blood’s love of music and skill in capturing its recorded essence knows no boundaries.

LARRY: If you’ve followed the Seattle music scene at all in the last 15 plus years, chances are you’ve heard something Blood worked on. It doesn’t matter if it’s hip-hop, indie rock, or experimental electronic work. Just to name a few… 

MARTIN: Tacocat

[ MUSIC CUE: Tacocat - “The Problem” from This Mess Is a Place ]

LARRY: Moondoggies

MARTIN: Champagne Champagne

LARRY: Breaks and Swells

MARTIN: Stephanie 

[ MUSIC CUE: Stephanie - “Cell 44” ]

LARRY: Pickwick

MARTIN: Partman Parthorse 

LARRY: Tea Cozies

[ MUSIC CUE: Tea Cozies - “Huffy Walrus” ]

MARTIN: Hezza Fezza

LARRY: Lady Krishna’s Peppermint Lounge

MARTIN: Stickers

[ MUSIC CUE: Stickers - “Pigeon” ]

MARTIN: Charms

LARRY: Vox Mod

MARTIN: Tay Sean

LARRY: Crypts

[ MUSIC CUE: Crypts - “Territories” ]

LARRY: And that’s just scratching the surface, before even getting into his work with the Black Constellation. Erik has touched so much of Seattle’s artistic output, I see it like a huge Venn Diagram with Blood at the center.

ERIK: It's wild for me to think of that because it always just feels like, you know, it always just feels like you're kind of you're alone in your, you know, in your lab and you're making the experiments and then whenever you encounter it outside, or if you find someone that you maybe don't know who has encountered it, it's such a it's such a bizarre and really wonderful feeling and experience.

LARRY: Blood’s musical range is vast and diverse. He grew up loving bands like Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine which would greatly inform his own approach to music. But as Blood and I’ve both experienced, being Black and into bands outside of the box you’re put in was too much for some people to comprehend. 

LARRY: I'm obviously not a white person. But no, to many people, I haven't always obviously been a black person. And. Even like my interests, my hobbies would sometimes be evidence weighed against me. As for why I was not. Oh, you like that? You be reading. You like that white boy shit when it comes to the music or whatever. So. Did that stuff ever kind of come into play for you? It must have. 

ERIK: Dude, all the fuck we've just been talking about Cocteau Twins. Come on, come on. Like, can you imagine in 1993 playing Cocteau Twins for kids who are listening to Onyx? 

[ MUSIC CUE: Cocteau Twins - “Cherry-coloured Funk” from Heaven or Las Vegas ]

LARRY: They're like, "Bacdafukup"

ERIK: They're literally "That's white people shit."

LARRY: Yes. 

ERIK: "I don't want that. That's white people shit." My family, even when I was like, this is white people music. 

LARRY: And my mum gave me a ration of shit on the reg about that. 

ERIK: Shit, Ish actually told me a story when he was working in a record store playing Cocteau Twins in store.

LARRY: When did he work in a record store? Probly in New York or something.

ERIK: Yeah, this was in New York. This was East Coast. But he said that he would play Cocteau Twins and, like, his friends, would be like, "you are crazy for listening to this."

LARRY: That's weird. 

ERIK: Word. Like, what the hell? And like to me. To me, that's just like that's that's like a that's a mentality that that we are actively fighting against. Like, as and I'm talking about the Constellation at this point, like because all of us have that story Stas has told me about that shit. Like she was a rock kid, too, you know. And we all have that story of of like, asking the question why? Like why is that not allowed to me? Why am I not? Why am I? Why am I somehow out of range of art? Yeah, right. How is that a thing? Like, Why would I? Why would I not be allowed to take in any art and and let it affect me?
 
LARRY: Blood thankfully ignored the boundaries people tried to put him in and explored  his muses, leading him to where he is today. As a producer, his approach is simple. Getting the band in the studio and allowing the vision to reveal itself. 

ERIK: I put them in a room that I inhabit. That's kind of all I do like in general when I mix is I, I put sounds in a room that I am in. It's like organizing. It's like arranging your furniture or hanging art, like what goes where. Where is, where does this fit? Is there egress.

ERIK: So it's just like tone sculpting and things like that.

LARRY: When a band works with Blood, they seem to just keep coming back to him. // One of his most fruitful relationships is with the bright and sarcastic Seattle band, Tacocat. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Tacocat - “I Love Seattle” from Lost Time ]

EMILY NOKES: Erik is so good to work with. I think that what I really like about working with him is that he pushed me to think more creatively about almost everything, like I really respected him. But I also, you know, we became really close friends and shared a lot of musical interests together. And like he and I would stay late and just like geek out on harmonies. We would just be the biggest harmony dorks. And I was just really open to his feedback in a way where I think, you know, like some musicians already know exactly what they want and they're doing it their way and the producer's just there to kind of capture it. But it felt more collaborative with Erik, where he was like, "Why don't you try to sing it like this?" Or "maybe we can do a harmony here or here." And it was all just such great ideas. And we would just like kind of bounce off each other. Like, "Let's add more, let's add more." And yeah, so working with him from my perspective, like my part of the deal, was just awesome.

ERIK: It is a collaborative effort of, of like creating like, like you come in with nothing or you come in with, with a seed, and then we have to nurture that or we have to get into the right. We have to find the vibration that we're in harmony with. And then let it let it roll.

LARRY: Nokes and Blood even ended up being neighbors, furthering their friendship both in and outside of music. 

EMILY: That was so fun. The Laurelton. That was like peak Laurelton. Just like all the friends living there and getting to know him and Joe, his partner, was really fun. And I remember when we first recorded Lost Time and he was like, still kind of doing his thing with the tracks. I would see him smoking on the front porch and he's like, tell me what song he's listening to and like, say a couple of things like, I think I'm going to do this to it. I'll get back to you tomorrow. And it was just like, cool to see him in person with headphones on listening to our music.

LARRY: While Blood is open to recording any band or genre, he maintains discretion. When he was approached by Pickwick to record their new record, he pushed the band to do some homework before agreeing to work with them. 

GALEN DISSTON: He really took Pickwick under his tutelage in kind of a long process kind of way, where he started by sending us YouTube videos because he knew we needed to grow and expand for the second record. Um, so like Roy Ayers 'Ubiquity,' Everyone Loves The Sunshine, Stevie Wonder, some other amazing stuff, but it expanded our horizons and gave us an idea of how he thought we should grow as a band before recording Lovejoy's because he liked 'Can't Talk Medicine' fine, but he wasn't that into it. He thought we needed to grow a little bit before he would be on board.

LARRY: When Blood was with the band in the studio, he continued to push them to experiment.

GALEN: he is one of those people that has, you know, innovative, impressive ideas before you even know you need new ideas. We credited him as a songwriter on a couple of the tracks because he was so influential just in terms of mixing wizardry where he collected bits that we'd recorded when we didn't realize the recording was happening and he saved those and then repurposed them in these kind of amazing and warped ways. It's dense on the record but "Thought It Was You" is the song I'm thinking of because that was like the most rewarding song for me, because it's deep sonically and there's a lot of layers, but it's dense too. So if you don't really listen a few times to parse out all the elements, you might miss them.

[ MUSIC CUE: Pickwick - “Thought It Was You” from  LoveJoys ]

GALEN: I will always be indebted to Erik and the care and the love that he gave to our little band. So Erik Blood forever. Till the day I die.

LARRY: Marquetta Miller recalls Blood recording her band Breaks & Swells. Marquetta and Blood would later collaborate together on the Knife Knights album.

[ MUSIC CUE: Breaks & Swells - “Chill With You” from We Will Not Despair ]

MARQUETTA MILLER: So, we did our Breaks and Swells. We did We Will Not Despair, our last record with him. And I mean, I don't know, like, I don't feel like he was really pushing us one way or another but just really helping us to refine what was already there. Like, see what was already there. Give things space. You know, Erik's looking for different things depending on what project he's in, but. I think just the overarching is that feeling that he's just going to direct you to the correct place, like he's going to help you find it.

LARRY: Within Blood’s production catalog are also dozens of underground classics, like the band Stephanie’s 2012 album One Glove.

[ MUSIC CUE: Stephanie - “LUCID DREAMS” from One Glove ]

ERIK: I just I just found the sessions for the Stephanie record. I'm actually going to pull those up pretty soon and revisit this I love. That's one of my favorite records I've ever done.

[ MUSIC CUE: Stephanie - “BLINDING LIGHT” from One Glove ]

ERIK: They were another one. Like I was walking to Volunteer Park for Vibrations Festival and I from down the street. I heard them performing and was like, This sounds cute. And got to the stage just in time to see them play Mercy and Undercovers. And I was like nearly in tears, shaking because I was just, This is so fucking good. So, yeah, I just did my annoying thing and like, walked up to him was like, I love you. I love you. I love you. Please let me record you. I'll do you right. Like, you know, I lay my rap on him and it worked. So we just booked. We booked sessions almost immediately, and I think we only went. I think it was just like two days or something. Two days of tracking because they didn't have no money. Um, but I know how to work fast. So it was just two days of tracking and then I saw them up with a four track cassette recorder while I mixed and just made. They made little, little trail demos. That shit? Yeah. God, I love them so much. I miss that band. 

MARTIN: Yeah, me too. So is that how that is, that how that process works when you when you record local bands that you know, don't have any money or those like you, you hear them and then you approach them and you're like, “I love you, please let me record you”?

ERIK: Yes. 

MARTIN: That's dope. 

ERIK: That's that's my entire that's my entire game.

LARRY: Another full-length in Blood’s run of obscure Seattle classics is the 2008 album from now-defunct punk quartet Partman Parthorse, Year of the Jerk. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Partman Parthorse - “Can’t Fade the P.M.P.H.” ]

LARRY: The decision to pursue Blood’s production expertise came after the need for a significant recording upgrade became apparent.

GARY SMITH: After recording our first self-titled album in our basement, which flooded all the time and kept having to pull dead rats out of and mummified cats. Even though it sounded pretty cool, we really wanted something more fancy, more Erik Bloody. So I blasted him a Hotmail message and said, "Yo, what's up? You want to do this?" And even though I said we didn't have much money, he agreed to do it — total, solid, and put our music and the dream books of rock angels.

[ MUSIC CUE: Partman Parthorse - “Significant Bummer” ]

GARY: When we showed up to the studio near the Krispy Kreme, working with Erik was a breeze, a freeze and a giant butt squeeze. And you play the things. And he turned to the rings. You know, he had his room, we had our room. The instruments were in the broom closet, and we got the job done in one day. Erik Blood is the ultimate, relaxed professional.

LARRY: For the record, Gary Smith still uses Hotmail as his primary email provider.

GARY: And this, my friends, is where the cosmic rap rock seed of a year of the dirt was planted, watered, cultivated, harvested by the mystical, magical, intelligent, beautiful, handsome, artistic and most of all, super cuddly Erik Blood. 

LARRY: Blood’s production work is incredibly prolific. Sometimes he may work with a band only once, but leaves a lasting impression. EJ Tolentino of Seattle band CHARMS recalls meeting and working with Blood. 

EJ TOLENTINO: I remember the first time I met him, because it was a Halloween show. I was dressed up like, uh, the uh, baby bear from Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Erik was dressed as old school sailor. So that was pretty funny and interesting and weird. And I just remember thinking like, this is the first time I'm meeting this guy, and I look like a little baby bear?

[ MUSIC CUE: Charms - “Ladybug” (single) ]

EJ: I think one of the greatest things about getting to know Erik over the years was he's been just just like a solid dude. You know, it's one thing to to see him work his magic with music production, but it's another to just know him personally and know that he's just like, always positive about the Seattle music community and the Seattle music scene.

LARRY: Blood isn’t one to pick favorites among his many producer credits. Instead, he revels in being musically promiscuous. 

ERIK: I'm always proud of them. Yeah, you know, they're always my kids, and I'm always happy to see them live. But. Sometimes it's like, Yeah, we did a good job. And sometimes it's like, this has a life of its own. 

LARRY: Yeah, this is magic. 

ERIK: And this was a life of its own kind of situation where it's like, man. We got to. We got to ride this wave. We had to do this. Whereas sometimes it's just like, good. But yeah. That worked. That worked. That's. Let's do it again sometime. 

LARRY: Yeah. I feel like there's a there's an analogy here, you know, like, you know. 

ERIK: There's probably a really nasty one. 

LARRY: That's what I was going to like. And you said like, Yeah, let's do this again, that kind of stuff. I was like, Oh, I know that vibe. 

ERIK: Yeah, I have a lot of fuck buddies in the studio and, but, you know. I marry a few but it is like it's that's the the a lot of times I'm beholden to artists like like and happily so like beholden to artists because sometimes I come into a project producing a project that I think like even saying producing is kind of kind of a misnomer. Like, I work with bands a lot that I just think are perfect and I'm like, I want to translate what you do to a recorded medium for you, and I know how to do it. So I don't necessarily have a lot of. Input on like the songs or or how they are performed. And I don't add parts or instrumentation or anything like that. I just capture what is done. And then my contribution, the collaboration on my part comes from placing it in the space that I inhabit. And letting it flourish in that space.

LARRY: Growing up, Blood had a wealth of music in the household. In fact, it’s difficult for him to remember a time in his life where he wasn’t surrounded by music. His mom was always playing records, his dad sang in the church. He would raid his sister’s new wave collection and constantly had Prince playing in his bedroom. He even learned a bit about the music industry from his uncle.

ERIK: My uncle, my uncle Ed, who his nickname is Bhoomi. He is the musician. He has always been my kind of like. He's the one that I put touch on as my, like, musical kind of inspiration, because he was also, like, record. He recorded shit. And he did sound like he worked in. In television. Did sound. Wow. Yeah, he. He was. He was the coolest person in the world to me. 

LARRY: Would you see him recording and stuff? 

ERIK: Yeah, he would. We would go, I stayed with him in Oakland. He lived in Oakland for a while and I stayed with him for like a week sometime in my teenage years. And we just straight up recorded for that week in his bedroom on a four track or eight track cassette thing. This was the nineties. 

LARRY: But Erik’s urge to make music of his own came even earlier. 

ERIK: When I was like six, I got my first Casio keyboard. And then at some point I was always just a hustler, like, so I gamed it out. There were these little toy tape machines like Teddy Ruxpin. Yeah, so. But there was like a fisher pricey karaoke ish thing, but it was like you could record on it. And it what it did was it split the just the stereo sides of the tape. So you had a track and then you could record with a microphone onto the other track. And then I taught, I figured out how to ping pong. So I would like record, I would record shit on this two tracks on this cassette, then play it through my parents stereo, record that with the microphone on to the tape and then, you know, sing or do whatever over that. So it was like early how early multi-tracked for me and then boom me convinced my parents to give me a four track cassette recorder and that I got when I was 13, I want to say. And yeah, I mean, game over at that point. 

LARRY: Wow. Have you always had that kind of aptitude with technology? 

ERIK: Yeah, I can figure out systems. Systems are easy. Because they have rules. So it's real easy to just figure them out for me. I'm good at math, too. Like, I got the math brain. So, like. I immediately can find the corners.

LARRY: Blood’s horizons were expanded by the music he was listening to. One band in particular made him realize how limited his access to the world was at the time.

ERIK: It was hearing Cocteau Twins and realizing, like, there was something. There was something else because I was, you know, I was a teenager in America like I don't have in Tacoma, Washington. I didn't have a lot of access to global culture. So. Hearing that and then diving into that and actually reading in a Rolling Stone magazine in my high school a review of a lush album and me, and seeing that it was produced by Robin Guthrie from Cocteau Twins, and they listed A.R. Kane in that review. 

LARRY: Wow. 

ERIK: Top one. Talk about some shit. Finding out that not only was this new music that I was so in love with, shoegaze music was also, like, pioneered by black people. 

LARRY: Come on. 

[ MUSIC CUE:  A.R. Kane - “Sado-Masochism is a Must” from Lollita ]

ERIK: Harvey A.R. Kane. And then later the Veldt like and the Veldt is still going. Man. Like it was like justification. Like I was like, oh, yeah, thank God. Like, yeah, we're we're not all into coma. Like the world is not just Tacoma, Washington.

[ MUSIC CUE: Erik Blood - “Covered in a Color” from Lost in Slow Motion ]

LARRY: Erik Blood grew up in Tacoma. By his account, he had an ordinary childhood. Two working parents, spending days with his grandparents. Wholesome stuff. But he did have this very metal name. Way back on episode one, I shared my thoughts about reading the name Erik Blood in print for the first time and how I thought it was a cold alias. Blood shared a bit of history behind his name

LARRY.: When I first heard or saw your name, I was like, “Oh, is this person a gang member?” Yeah. And then I was like, “Wow, what a cool stage name.” But come to find out, that is your government name, that’s your real name. 

ERIK: That is the name. The name of my father.

ERIK: The name Blood, from the little bit of research that I've done, is mostly found in Scandinavia and England, like it's a Saxon, Saxon name or whatever. But there's also the history of Eric Bloodaxe, the, the Viking. Uh yeah. So it's my father's lineage, I believe is Norwegian for the most part. 

LARRY: So you might be related to Eric Bloodaxe? 

ERIK: Entirely possible.

LARRY: Blood remains close with both of his parents and the two are stark contrasts. His mother’s family hails from Mississippi, boisterous and always cracking jokes. His dad grew up on a farm in Spokane, Washington with a quiet, but loving and respectful family.

ERIK: My mom is amazing. My mom is like. Super funny again. Another, like, incredibly generous, incredibly like, loving to a point. That's. That's, like, scary.

ERIK: Like my dad is my personal hero. I long to be as. Loving and giving as he is. 

LARRY: That's pretty rare for sons to say that and then not be some toxic. You know, what I mean. 

ERIK: No, he's he's he's an he's an angel on earth. He is an angel on Earth to everyone that he meets and to everyone around him.

LARRY: Blood notes he doesn’t have the patience of his father and suggests he inherited a sense of tough directness by his mother, who used it to protect him after he came out as gay.

ERIK: Like, I don't have that patience because my mom is my mom is like, just get the fuck out of my house, correct? Not not literally. Although she did say that once to to a woman that came over to tell her that I was gay. 

LARRY: Shut the fuck you. Just please God that real quick? 

ERIK: Yeah. So, my friend, I won't say names. My friend, this is high school. We were kicking it. We were doing whatever. Like, I think I was probably buying weed from him. And he had told his mother. A deeply religious woman that I was gay. And she was like, I don't want you hanging out with him. That's wrong. And and he was like, you know, he was a he was one of the fuck you mom. Kids like, you know, which God, God can't imagine. But he was like, fuck you. Mom got in the car. She goes to my house, knocks on the door. Tells Shirley Blood. I just need you to know that your son says that he is gay and that is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. And like, I am just so scared for your family. And Shirley says, Yeah, you know what? I am scared for my son of people like you, and you're a nasty shit. Now get the fuck out of my house and then slam the door on her.

[ MUSIC CUE: Erik Blood - “Out This Way” from Lost in Slow Motion ]

LARRY: Having both a white and Black parent, Blood has long dealt with people questioning his identity. 

ERIK: I walk around this world looking like a white man to a lot of people. Maybe the majority of people. And that's you know, that it is what it is. It is what it is. I know who I am. I know what I am. I know where I come from. And the people that have made me. Most of them are not white. My mother is black. My father is white. Their, the culture in our home was mixed. It was legit mixed. And we actually, you know, we grew up in the eighties. So it's like you described yourself as mixed, right? And I still get called mixed.

LARRY: Blood has a very specific memory of encountering the limitations placed on being a biracial person at a pretty young age.

ERIK: I remember doing a, my dad was doing like a census thing. I believe it was for this national census. And he asked me was like, do you want me to put that you're Black or that you're white. And it was like, well, I'm, I'm Black. But this is also the thing growing up, we were Black.  

LARRY: Right. 

ERIK: That's what the family was. And that's just what it was. But we did like mixed came into play when the room became mixed. So when my dad asked me that, I was like, well, I'm I am black, but I'm mixed. So is there a mixed? There was not a mixed up saying go figure. Yeah, well, there is now like there is multiracial. There is multiracial which which to me is erasure. And I feel like even the term “person of color” is a slight form of erasure to me because different people of different colors experience different different forms of abuse and different forms of exaltation. And I think specificity is an important tool in battling these things. 

LARRY: It's BIPOC for me. That shit gets my fucking goat. 

ERIK: I was like bisexual people of color have a whole thing? Like, damn! 

LARRY: Oh, there's a new … must be a new rapper out, I guess. [laughter]

ERIK: "I Get Around 2"! That's my cut, by Bipoc. 

[ MUSIC CUE: “I Get Around” - 2Pac ]

LARRY: Broad generalizations on race aside, let’s just tell it like it is. Blood grew up as a Black kid in America. And we all know the types of things that are said to Black children in this country. But due to the fact that he’s also half-white, he encountered a lack of acceptance from some of the Black kids he grew up with as well.

ERIK: I was called a nigger in elementary school by kids. And then in middle school I was told that I was not black by black kids. And, you know. Sure. All of it's correct like to do that. I have no control over your feelings about me or about my people. I have no control over who my people are. So. Do do your worst. You know, I honestly don't care. I live in the sun.

LARRY: The constant dissection of Blood’s quote-unquote “white passing” identity led him to push himself as far as he could into being Black. But then he realized there was another side of himself which ran counter to the type of afrocentric personality he cultivated.

LARRY: Did you always feel like secure and have that kind of sense of self. 

ERIK: Hell no. Hell, no. I went full on hotep. Black, black, blackity black in high school. Because I just. I really, really needed it. I needed it. I needed to be in touch with that. And then the thing that really fucked it up was being gay. [laughter]

LARRY: Can't be hotep! 

ERIK: You can't. 

LARRY: "Who let Bipoc in here?" 

ERIK: But yeah, like, I being gay, like, really threw a wrench in the works of my identity. Culturally, I did my cultural identity because a lot of the people that I was hanging around with were not down. They were not down. And you know, that is what it is. That just is what it is. I don't want it to be what it is. I feel like everyone should be looking at who their common enemies are and start crossing them off the list, you know? So. Yeah. It's always been a thing. It's always been a thing. And it continues to be a thing. Like we're talking about it now. Yeah. Uh. But. All I know is that I feel. Safer when I am surrounded by Black people. I feel genuinely safer. I feel. I feel like an anomaly around white people a lot of the time or a curiosity.

ERIK: It's weird to have to or to want to justify your cultural heritage. And for me, like, what it really has evolved into for me is just like I am in a crowd, I just sit back and listen. Yeah, because I don't want to take anything from anybody.

LARRY: Sexuality is an enormous part of Blood’s music, from notions of sensuality in the styles he plays in, to exploring adult film in-depth on his solo album Touch Screens. Blood sees the idea of sexuality as a theme that naturally found itself into his work. 

LARRY: Sex and sexuality and your music. That's something that's always been there, far as I can tell. Does that go back to, like, some of your earliest stuff? Was that and like the turn ons music and things like that? 

ERIK: Yeah. Yeah. Every. Yeah. You know, I'm a child of Prince. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Prince - “Darling Nikki” from Purple Rain ]

ERIK: You know, though, like the music that the music I grew up listening to was always about sex, you know, even if it was completely like saying it was about love, it really wasn't right. You know, it was the I'll Love You Forever Tonight kind of. 

LARRY: Right. 

ERIK: So, yeah, that's everything. Everything in our house was pretty sexual, you know, uh musically. 

LARRY: Yes, got you. 

ERIK: Word. So, yeah, that's always been that's always been a it's it's a fun thing to write about and it's a it's a fun thing to explore. 

LARRY: Is it a thing that exploring artistically helped you kind of explore or realize in yourself? Like in life? 

ERIK: Possibly. Yeah, possibly. I don't know which I don't know which came first or if they were if it's like a simultaneous like I am do I'm, I'm experiencing these things and writing about them at the same time or if I'm. Yeah. I don't know. I don't know. Like, with Touch Screens, nothing and nothing in it is about me necessarily. But then, like, lost in slow motion is entirely about me. Like, it's a very, very personal. And that's it also deals with a lot of, like, relationship and sexual shit. But yeah, it was just like reporting from the scene.

LARRY: Given the way Blood embraces sex in all aspects of his life, including music, it makes sense his first band would be called The Turn-Ons. Blood had been practicing bedroom recordings on his own for a while, but the band helped him come into his own as a musician and producer. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Turn-Ons - “Skyscrapers” from East ]

ERIK: When I went to school at the Art Institute, I met these kids that were in a band called The Elements, and I started working with them like in a in a kind of producer capacity and ended up joining their band when it became mountain con. And so I was with Mountain Con for a couple of years. And then I was I was excised from that band because I wanted I think I wanted too much control. Um, so so they they nixed me. Uh, and that's when the Turn Ons came around. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Turn-Ons - “This Is The End” from East ]

ERIK: the turn ons was my boyfriend at the time is band and uh- So I'm trying to remember how this works. He was in, so Corey Gutch was my ex. He's he's in. He was in the turn ons and then wasn't in the turn ons. And then he took me to see them and I was like, blown away. I thought they were the coolest band ever. And I think I think after that he kind of got convinced to join the band again. And that's when I was like pushing them to record. So I, you know, produced the first, the first record, which I think they all thought was just going to be a demo. But I was like, No, this is really good. And so we like pressed it up and send it to the radio. And then I joined the band.

[ MUSIC CUE: Turn-Ons -  “PS I Love You” from East ]

ERIK: We did four albums and a couple of eps and recording with the turn ons was always this like, really extreme process that took years, like years and years because there was a lot of a lot of perfectionism going on and a lot of second guessing of our styles and the sounds that we were making. Um. Yeah, man. That was a. It was a crazy period of time, like a it's a big event, like all of the time I spent recording turn ons records for yeah, what? 

LARRY: Soon Blood would find himself with a new musical partner. One that would lead to the formation of the Black Constellation. More on that after the break. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Knife Knights - “Seven Wheel Motion” from 1 Time Mirage ]

ERIK: You develop a system. It's a language. You learn, you learn these things. And there is a shared language, a common language with musicians in particular. In a recording environment that we all understand. I think we all understand what bright means. We all understand what round means as opposed to square. When we're talking about sound, we all have it. We're all in a relationship with sound and there is a shared language. When you collaborate with an individual, especially over a period of time, that lexicon expands and becomes more as esoteric, like me and Ish, we do. You know how many times I have crunched up vocals.

LARRY: To any producer, the idea of collaboration is crucially important to creating a piece of art. To Blood’s benefit, he has forged a musical partnership with Ishmael Butler, which started in the late-2000s and continues to this day. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Digable Planets  - “The Art of Easing” from Blowout Comb ]

MARTIN: I read in a prior interview that you wanted to get your copy of Blowout Comb signed. 

ERIK: [laughs] Yeah, and that it was a bootleg. 

MARTIN: Oh, it was a bootleg! I didn't know that. 

ERIK: Yeah, yeah. And our friend Bubba, Bubba Jones was like, “Hey, Ish is gonna be in the studio.” His studio was where I used to work. He used to mix and stuff out of them. So he was like, “Yeah, it's just going to be in the studio working on Cherrywine.” And I said, “Oh, cool, do you think he would sign my copy of Blowout Comb?” So I brought it in and just left it there. And yeah, he signed it. He didn't. He didn't even talk shit when he looked at it, it was like, “Oh, yeah, that's not even official.” Ish is a cool man. Ish is a cool man.

ERIK: So Bubba Jones, who was my mentor, like, got me, got me working in studios. He knew ish from, I believe like high school childhood. Some shit like old school Seattle CD shit and. He told me like, Oh, she's going to be at the studio, he's going to come here and do some stuff. And I don't think I believed him at first. Like, Yeah, right, you're full of ideas, but yeah. He said he shows up. I didn't get to meet him until much later, but Bubba played him. The turn ons and is apparently like the turn ons. So he comes to turn on show. I meet him at a Spiritualized show which again, come on.

LARRY: Like he's just there.

ERIK: He's just there. And yeah, that was the dopest shit in the world. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Spiritualized - “Come Together” from Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space ]

ERIK: I had been an admirer since Reachin’, you know, like, like I loved Digable. Still do. And it was one of those things of like, oh, shit. Like, this is a hero. What am I going to do? Like, how am I going to play this one? And meeting him at a Spiritualized show. It's like, holy shit. Like common ground in this weird way and an unexpected common ground. 

LARRY: Was he wearing shades? 

ERIK: Hell, yes, he was wearing shades. He's wearing shades and a really nice hat. Anyhow, he had his hair was, like, blown out. He looked so good. He looked so good. And he was just like, he always looks good.

LARRY: It wouldn’t be long before Ishmael would transition from distant hero to close musical partner. Blood became an integral part in Shabazz Palaces debut EPs. He co-produced those with Ish under the moniker Knife Knights and has worked with Ish on nearly every album since.

[ MUSIC CUE: Shabazz Palaces - “Blastit…” from Shabazz Palaces  ]

ERIK: There's not really a lot said like it's almost, like we're usually just talking shit. But then the work, the work just happens like he'll he'll pull up a track and just just to have me sit and go at it. And, the way that we communicate with each other is really, I guess we just show not tell, you know, like we just do what we want to do. You know, like here, I'm like, Let me do this. Let me hear this. Let me. And that's that. 

LARRY: One of the Shabazz projects Blood finds himself revisiting is 2014’s Lese Majesty.

[ MUSIC CUE: Shabazz Palaces - “New Black Wave” from Lese Majesty ]

ERIK: It's still like every time I listen to that one, I'm kind of I have enough distance from it now that I'm, like, amazed that I had anything to do with it. Like, it's so it's a magical piece of music.

ERIK: So when we when we built our studio black space, that was the first thing that we did was Lese Majesty. It was the first project that was born and created in that space. Uh. And it was really it was just amazing, like it was just great, like we were learning a space. We were learning a new kind of system of working and. Yeah, man, like people would come through and just end up on the record. But that's just how it is when you when you work, like if you walk into a studio, you're going to end up on a record at some point. But. Yeah, it was. It was just a very exploratory month of time, you know, I'm going to just guess it was a month. I honestly can't remember. But yeah, we've just ideas and processes. Swirling around constantly, and it was just wonderful, wonderful time, and then to have that be the result of it is like. It's undescribable, really.

LARRY: Not long after Shabazz got off the ground, Blood would meet Stas THEE Boss and THEESatisfaction. 

STAS: Blood is a bad bitch. Bad bitch, bad bitch, bad bitch. Ooo she bad. What up baby.

[ Music Cue: THEESatisfaction - “Bitch” from awE naturalE ]

STAS: Erik Blood is very special to me. I met Erik Blood very randomly, but cosmically. Cat and I, we were performing... THEESatisfaction, we were performing at this Pride Event that was held in Cal Anderson Park…

ERIK: me and my friends were going to I think we were just going to get tacos at Rancho Bravo and we were walking through Cal Anderson Park and we heard this music. And we were just like he was straight up like a snake charmer, music like we all just our heads turn to the side and we just walked like zombies over to the stage wasn't the stage, it was just the ground. But there were Stas and cat putting on this show, and I can't remember what the festival was. It was like some cute, like queer punky. Park Festival, you know. And they put on they did their set and I was just like, Holy shit and me and three of the three people I was with, we were just like, This is the best thing I've ever seen.

[ MUSIC CUE: THEESatisfaction - “Juiced” from awE naturalE ]

STAS: We had three shows that day. Mind you, this was doing crazy-ass Pride. It was hot as hell. And we were performing and we got done. He came up to us. He was like, "I know who you guys are through Frank." Frank had been doing our PR. This was before Frank was on Sub Pop, too. So Frank was doing our PR. Pro bono, by the way. But Erik was like, yeah, we need to work. I was like, hell yeah, you know. He was very sweet and kind. I had no idea that he was engineering and fucking with Ish or Shabazz either. 

ERIK: I immediately called ish and was like, You have got to check out this group satisfaction. They are going to blow your mind. And I did everything I like. I looked up, everything did all the Google alerts and all that shit and found out they were playing again at the Pride Festival that weekend. So we went to the Pride festival and saw them perform again and bought their CDs like they had these all homemade CD-RW shirts that they were selling. But we bought all their shit and I talked to him and I was like, I love you, I love you, I love you. Please let me record you.. 

STAS: It was just, you know, like I said, cosmic when we met. Beautiful. 

LARRY: Like he was for Ish, Blood became a key collaborator with THEESatisfaction when he went into the studio. Stas even credits him for pushing the duo to write what would become their most popular song.

[ MUSIC CUE: THEESatisfaction - “QueenS” from awE naturalE ]

STAS: Some of these songs wouldn't have even been songs without Erik. Or like Erik, he will let us have creative control in the studio, you know, 'cause it's our shit. But he loves our shit so much that he just sees where it could go. So he would never let me get away with doing these little two minute songs. He was like, "Get a fucking bridge in there, you know, write more, say something else." Like, he, he didn't have his foot on my neck, but he had his, you know, his head around my neck, especially like "Queens." "Queens" was going to be an instrumental and he was like, "No, you gotta write to that." Oh, we wrote to it. It was just Cat singing. He was like, "No, you need a bridge, Stas. And you need to like, really like say some wild shit." So, so that's why "Queens" is as long as it is. Thank you, Erik Blood, for doing that for us. 

STAS: So he like helped us, like, perfect our sound like I would say he's the third member of TheeSat. 

LARRY: The awE naturalE sessions would become a key moment that began to plant the seed of the Black Constellation. 

ERIK: This is kind of the this is around the moment that things started to grow outside of just. Just me and Ish, like. As far as a studio goes like we it definitely started to it started to feel like a crew was was forming, you know? Because OC was in on the THEESat sessions. Tendai came in and did some percussion. Ish came in and, you know, did a couple of verses like it was, it was. Yeah, it really everyone was kind of involved, and that was, I think the thing like it felt like everybody was involved and that that continued on like through Lese Majesty, everyone was involved, everyone just came in and started contributing things. And then when we were doing EarthEE, same thing like more people would come in and. The Constellation grows, you know? 

LARRY: Is collaboration like a necessary ingredient of your creativity? 

ERIK: It's necessary for me to feel. A certain way about it. When everything is just me, I get a little stuck in the weeds. And honestly, everything that I've done, everything that's every piece of music that I've put out for the most part is in some way collaborative. And I need it like I need I need people. I need that energy. I need the energy of other folks. I think I used to be a little more. Wary of or leery of collaboration because I think I had that Prince mode thing in my head of like written, produced, performed by Prince, you know, and, and me thinking like, I have a vision and I would like to see that vision through to the very end. I think without collaboration, your vision is limited. Like you can't see over a hill. Without someone to lift you.

LARRY: Blood is a master collaborator and connector for other people’s projects. But that’s just one part of the picture. Listening to his solo work is like stepping backward and finding out you’ve been looking at a one small corner of a gigantic mural this whole time. That was the feeling when he released his first album The Way We Live in 2009. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Erik Blood - “The Way We Live” from The Way We Live ]

LARRY: Like everyone in the Constellation, Blood doesn’t confine himself to a single genre. But his solo work often veers into guitar heavy sounds like shoegaze while keeping strong pop melody at the front and center. Dave Segal reviewed Blood’s debut for Seattle’s alt-weekly, The Stranger. 

DAVE SEGAL: I think he's amazing with his melodies and his ability to craft hooks that are pretty subtle, but they they worm their way into you and they stay with you.

[MUSIC CUE: Erik Blood - “She’s Your Everything” from The Way We Live ]

DAVE: He can make. Individual instruments like he gives them space to to to shine. Like, I think that's a real talent of his in the studio. His aptitude for for bass frequencies really stands out. I know he's a big fan of my Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins. I think he's aspiring to that level of of layer guitar layering and textural. Unusual, unusual textures think. If he wanted to just focus on rock, he could he could be a major figure in that field, but I think he's too Ambitious and creative, creatively restless to just remain in one genre for too long.

STAS: He is bringing shoegaze and dream pop back to Black people where, you know, it started. We originated that shit. You know, they took that shit from us, or tried to. He's bringing it back to Black. Much love for that, Erik. 

LARRY: While his music sounds sophisticated, Blood intentionally keeps his creative process loose. 

ERIK: I don't understand creating under a defined process, you know what I mean, like, like that's I think every time I've tried to do that, I've just been stuck. Hmm. Like, defining your process is basically just just enforcing parameters or enforcing boundaries. I think it's the true creative process, if any, is learn everything you can and use it at your disposal, like just do do any and everything until you like what you have.

ERIK: When I'm writing songs, I don't think about what it what it's going to be. At least not anymore. It is just. Just, you know, trance state and and then, you know, summoning whatever whatever spell I can. And then that goes with lyrics to it's just like every every song I write, it's just like vowel sounds. And then then I, you know, start hearing phrases in those vowel sounds, and I write them down, and sometimes they end up meaning something.

[ MUSIC CUE: Erik Blood - “Share Your Love” from Touch Screens ]

LARRY: After releasing The Way We Live, Blood turned back to production but never took his eye off of his solo work. He steadily kept working on his second album, Touch Screens.

ERIK: Touch Screens, so Touch screens was written and recorded during the sessions for Black Up. Like exactly the same time, and I think I think also THEESatisfaction’s album ‘awe naturale,’ I think we were recording that too. I had boundless energy, the energy of youth, and had all these ideas and shit. And yeah, like there was a good vibe going on in the world for me at that time. 

LARRY: While Blood admits that he often struggles with lyrics, he found another artistic muse for his new material. Namely, pornography. 

MARTIN: I'm so sorry to cut in. How did you get into the world of porn, like as an intellectual?

ERIK: The same way everybody gets into the world of porn, by jerking off to it… [laughs]  like, watching it, just watching it, you see what’s up.

ERIK: I always have an issue writing lyrics like, sometimes I just have nothing to say, so I don't want to just say something for the sake of saying it. And at that time, I just I knew a lot about porn. I knew a lot about pornography, particularly like Golden, a golden era, 70s 80s pornography, just, you know, from internet searches and and listening to listening to commentaries on DVDs and shit like that, like it was just really fast. I was super fascinated with that. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Erik Blood  - “Today’s Lover” from Touch Screens ]

ERIK: As a kid. I would have friends whose parents had porn collections and things like that like mine didn't or if they did, they hid it real well. But yeah, like it was always this fascinating kind of secret treasure to me was that was the porn collection that people's parents had or the porn that you would find in the woods, which I think is a bygone thing. I don't know if kids still find porn in the woods anymore, but that was a weird ass thing and very true. So, yeah, it was for real. It was just like, it's exciting. Porn was exciting and titillating, and it does the things it's designed to do. Um yeah. And I think just. For whatever reason, it may have just been that the internet made it so super easy to like, find stuff and find information about these things that I had seen as a child or these things that I thought I remembered. So I was able to look them up and see them again. Find out I wasn't making things up, you know, so that's it, like it was just fascination, really. 

LARRY: In 2016, Blood released his dreamiest and arguably best album yet, Lost In Slow Motion. A huge part of that record was contributions from vocalist Irene Barber.

[ MUSIC CUE: Erik Blood - “Chase the Clouds” from Lost In Slow Motion ]

ERIK: I was in a creative rut. I think post touchscreens didn't know what to do. Um? And just thought shit like maybe Irene wants to wants to do some shit, so I just asked her if she wanted to help me make another record and she did thank God. 

IRENE BARBER: "Rachel" and "Quiet" were the first two songs he sent me, I believe. When he sent me those, as well as some other songs that would eventually be on Transom and Lost in Slow Motion... man, hearing those for the first time, I was just mesmerized. Like, "step into a new dimension" kind of mesmerized. They really resonated with me. They were just these beautiful soundscapes and lyrically gorgeous as well. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Erik Blood - “Quiet” from Lost in Slow Motion ]

LARRY: The further Blood’s solo work developed, the more theatrical his looks and performances came. If you went to an Erik Blood show for years, you were likely going to see him in the white face paint, mask, and wide brimmed hat from the Lost in Slow Motion cover.

ERIK: Part of it is was my my kind of lethargy for live shows, particularly for the kind of music that I make and that that the music that I like to go see a lot or that I listen to at home tends to be kind of contemplative or, you know, it's not stand around in a bar music a lot of the times. I think in my mind, the costumes were a way to draw people's attention and make them focus. And especially the like. The look that I was rocking with the wear is just black, black, black, black, black, and then the white stripe over the eyes. I could literally disappear on stage. So I would. I would frequently just, like, put my head down to disappear and then bring it back up to reminder, like, oh, it's. There's still this little person up there. 

LARRY: Talk about spells, you know? 

ERIK: Yeah. 

LARRY: Like pay attention. But also I am. Well, it is. 

ERIK: Because I am, you know, I am performing a spell like it is. It always is. And it has a there are rights and there are there are movements that need to be followed in there. There are tones that need to be embodied. And your participation is part of it as an audience member. And you know, like as Maikoiyo was talking about spells, sometimes they don't go the way you want them to go. Sometimes they sometimes they have different effects than you. Than you intend. Yeah. But yeah, it really is just. Intentional performance of. The songs, you know, it is a performance of a spell. So. To make it have more impact. Make it look like something.

LARRY: Most recently, Blood’s embarked on a sexy, slinky, funky new project called Pink Lotion with Rachael Ferguson.

[ MUSIC CUE: Pink Lotion - “Existential Deepthroat” from Lusters ]

LARRY: Blood had previously worked with Rachael recording her band NighTraiN. In 2019, Ferguson was asked to do a performance as part of the Object as Subject residency at The Satellite in Los Angeles. All of her usual bandmates were out of state and she wasn’t sure what to do. However, she knew Blood was also now living in LA. 

RACHAEL: And so that's when I called up Erik and I basically was like, "Um, can you help me? I just need to perform something for an hour. What should we do? Or or can you help me do this?" And he basically just took my hand and said, "No problem, I got you." And we developed Pink Lotion.

[ MUSIC CUE: Pink Lotion - “Activated” from Lusters ]

RACHAEL: It's so much fun because he was all like, "I think we should do disco. I think it should be extra smutty. It should be, like, overtly sexual and and and deeply funky." And I was like, oh, yeah, let's, let's, let's ham it up.

LARRY: For sure. How was that first performance?

RACHAEL: Oh, so much, so much fun. I mean, like, jittery, but, like, so much fun because, I don't know. It was just very it was very satisfying to just let it all out there and, like, be this like other these other types of beings on the stage. These beings from wherever, like Planet Sextopia or whatever. You know, like, it's and, and to just, like, lose all these inhibitions and and trust in the music that we made.

[ MUSIC CUE: Pink Lotion - “Moisturbate” from Lusters ]

ERIK: Me and Rachael just want you to laugh and have a good time. Like, it's. It's just meant to be easy and fun. And that's. Yeah, I think maybe. Maybe to me the quickest the quickest route to is and fun is is sexuality like because everybody has it right and everybody likes to. Likes to play around with it. So it's it's fun to kind of poke poke the bear, so to speak.

RACHAEL: We're going to give the people what they want. And and and. That is just. Just sensual, sensual deep aural pleasure.

LARRY: After a near decade producing together as Knife Knights, Blood and Ish decided to make a formal Knife Knights record. In 2018 they released their first album 1 Time Mirage alongside a band of Stellies including OCnotes, Marquetta Miller, Stas, Porter Ray, even myself. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Knife Knights - “Bionic Chords” from 1 Time Mirage ]

ERIK: We set out specifically to make a Knife Knights record like it was, it was definitely on Ish’s goading like he was like, no, we should do this, like we should make a knife knight's record. So, yeah, we spent a few weeks just jamming really like just jamming in the studio. Um, you know, Otis would come in. Stas would come in. Everybody ends up on a record, you walk in the door, you end up on a record. Yeah, that record was super fun to make. It's also a blur. Like I, I, I remember the sessions and I remember hanging out and getting high and and playing. But yeah. However, how it became the record that it actually became? total mystery to me. I'm like, it's completely wiped away from my brain. 

LARRY: As I mentioned in our last episode on OCnotes, Knife Knights is very much a rock band. More than that, the band dug into their punk rock spirits. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Knife Knights - “Mr. President” from 1 Time Mirage ]

ERIK: I always think of it as like. His punk aesthetic, like when I say punk, I mean, I mean, it kind of in the. In the sense that everything, everything can be punk like everything is like. Every anything that's. Handmade is kind of punk, you know what I mean, but 

MARTIN: yeah, so in the religious sense and not the aesthetic? 

ERIK: Correct. Like, like. Basically saying fuck you to any rule, any rule. that's punk to me, so like the Knife, Knight's record is punk as fuck and Drag Race legend is punk as fuck. Like, that's that's just that all just spilled out in the in the amount of time that that song lasts. That's how long it took to make it pretty much like we just it was me and Otis and Ishin the lab high as fuck and then bang that just falls out, falls out into the air. Same with Mr. President. The last track on that was me and and Larry Mizell Jr. and. Yeah, we were just like fucking around, we were just fucking around and then out of nowhere, like, I'm playing this weird guitar riff. There's it is has a drum loop going and then suddenly it's just that entire song just fell out of him. It just fucking fell out like on the ground, and we luckily we're recording the shit you hear. You hear me and Larry at the end of it going, Oh my God.

[ MUSIC CUE: Knife Knights - “Mr. President” from 1 Time Mirage ]  

[ MUSIC CUE: Erik Blood - “Minutes Become Miles” from Canons, Vol 1 ]

LARRY: While Blood has made a massive impact on Seattle, in recent years he’s relocated to Los Angeles. He still comes up to Seattle often and has got love in spades from the local music community. Beyond his skills as a producer or musician, what really brings folks back to Blood is the guy himself. 

STAS: He's sassy. And you could hear that in the way he sings. He's like, "bitch, yo." But he's, like, strong, sassy, like, you know. Like, you can, like, get something out of it, you know what I mean? 

MARQUETTA: Blood is blood. He's literally the sweetest man on earth. I just think he's really good at. I don't know. I think he's so good at connecting people.

MARQUETTA: He is a petty queen. 
 
MARQUETTA: And I really I'm really here for it. Like, I don't know that there's really anyone I love talking shit with more than Eric, but the man has so many opinions and they are all cracks.

GALEN: Erik Blood, one of the most intriguing and mysterious characters I've ever come across in Seattle music and music beyond. The first time we got together with him, he wanted to go out for drinks, and he gave me some advice on threesomes – when to, when not to, you know, boundary advice as any, you know, Guru would give.

IRENE: And it wouldn't be great if it wasn't a little weird, too. I remember after playing a string of shows down the West Coast, he said, "We weirded some people out, which is always the goal." And I think that right there pretty much sums up what it's like to play with Erik.

RACHAEL: I'm such a weird person. And the fact that Eric is able to understand and accept that quality of me is is the biggest thing. It's to to feel understood, to feel listened to and. Like genuinely like he's he's just good with that. And then also, I just love where his head is at in general, creatively. The lines from one idea to the other idea and so on that he goes through, I'll follow it anywhere because he's a genius. Certified genius. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Erik Blood - “Sapphire Light Climax” from Touch Screens ]

ERIK: As far as legacy goes, like we're leaving, we're leaving behind a. Collection of music that. I think will live forever. Like, I don't think I don't think black up will ever be not cool. Um, I don't think. Yeah, I don't think anything that we've done is going to ever not be cool, so yeah, yeah, it's. But I think when you're when you're in it, like, I also think we're still we're still. Evolving and creating, we're still expanding ourselves and and the constellation, in my opinion, like it's still a growing living thing, so. Legacy legacy to me is is 

MARTIN: When you look back at things. 

ERIK: Yeah, legacy to me is after death, you know? So I'm not ready to die yet, I'm here for I have a bunch more shit to make. You got to stay busy.

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