The Art of Evolution With The Extension’s Brian Erickson

By Kenny Bieber

May 19, 2020

The local Asbury Park music scene is home to a number of diverse and hard-working musicians all of whom are working hard to actively create an impact and a lasting body of work. Brian Erickson, frontman of the indie-rock outfit The Extensions, has made quite a name for himself with not just his musical outlet but his role as a steadfast promoter and host of the live-streaming series One More With Brian Erickson; and more than ever is dedicated to the progression of his craft. Erickson has had quite a varied musical journey as former frontman of long-running indie band The Paper Jetswith his latest project The Extensionsand upcoming solo material, aims to capitalize on his recent success and momentum all while remaining true to his personal objectives. I sat down with Erickson to discuss the importance of progression, the ultimate songwriting goals and the ever-important art of perseverance and evolution.

Photos: Kenny Bieber

Like many musicians, music infiltrated Erickson’s life at an early age. “I recall taking saxophone lessons at a young age which gave me an understanding of songwriting that would seep into how I write songs now,” he said. Despite this early introduction, it wasn’t until much later that Erickson’s musical career would get off to it’s true start. “I started picking music up mid-way through junior year of college and fell in with four friends who all played guitar except me.” This prompted Erickson to begin practicing guitar and honing his songwriting craft. Eventually this led to the formation of his true first musical outlet The Paper Jets who played music on and off with one another for a period of 10 years. During this tenure, Erickson’s writing underwent many stylistic changes and learned the importance of adaptation as The Paper Jets shifted lineups and sounds consistently while dealing with numerous obstacles along the way. Erickson recalls, “No two Paper Jets albums had the same lineup and we were always working hard on finishing the album we were recording.” Eventually the band was able to embark on tour but found their momentum suddenly at a standstill as they went on hiatus due to personal issues outside of their control.

The Paper Jets


In the interim, Erickson once again dedicated himself to his craft honing his live performance. While The Paper Jets eventually reunited for a final show in 2018, it was then that Erickson’s next outlet, The Extensions, was truly emerging. With his latest tenure as frontman for The Extensions, Erickson has brought many valuable lessons from his previous project with him. “It’s valuable to take your time and make sure you get it right but [also] keep a sense of urgency and momentum.” The Extensions just recently released their first EP BELLICOSE in September and already Erickson is plotting ahead for the future with a solo EP on the way, along with The Extension’s first full-length LP as well. Ultimately though Erickson’s main goal lies within the further progression of his songwriting.

“Overall, I enjoy making good records and I like when your time and efforts are rewarded; that the rest of the group are satisfied with and can pull off…it’s always been about writing for me. It’s always been at the center of it,” Erickson says of his motivation for his process. With each body of work, Erickson aims for a new perspective or territory to explore. “I’ve really tried to change it up with each record. I tend to find different zones to write from. They’re not always my specific experiences but do contain my observations.”

The Extensions

This level of songwriting results in the sharp wit and personal observations that define The Extension’s music and much of Erickson’s own personal music as well. Despite the prolific nature of Erickson’s musical work, he’s equally as busy as a local music promoter often booking shows at Pennsylvania venue, John and Peter’s, in addition to venues all throughout Asbury and central Jersey. “A platform is something you should always share. I’m always willing to share information and give people an opportunity to play. Responsibilities are something you should own, a platform is something you should share.” Erickson also provides a platform for Asbury’s community of creatives with the live stream series One More With Brian Erickson where he interviews guests on their motivations and personal journeys; an experience he’s thankful for. “It’s given me the ability to connect with people whose work I’ve admired and want to connect with deeper.” While many musicians and artists have experienced unforeseen obstacle due to COVID-19, Erickson has been valuing the free time in order to prepare for the future. “This time has made me constructive and allowed me to create an entire new album.” This new solo effort Erickson teases could be considered his singer-songwriter record. When asked about his ultimate goal with his upcoming work, Erickson emphasizes the importance of creating impactful work. “To be regarded as a strong songwriter, I strive to create a memorable melody or chorus and whether it’s with an acoustic or electric guitar, I’d like to be recognized as an exceptional songwriter because I truly feel I put the time in.”

In the coming months, Erickson teases plenty of material to hold listeners over including a new single sometime this year, a solo record, and a full-length Extensions record as well sometime later this year. Overall, regardless of what the future may hold, Erickson will continue to progress as an artist and set his sights to the horizon. “I truly feel like my best work is ahead of me,” Erickson assures. And if his past work is any indication, there’s quite a bit of upcoming potential to excite listeners new and old.

To keep up to date with Brian and his musical endeavors, be sure to follow his band The Extensions on all streaming and social media platforms and follow One More With Brian Erickson on all social media platforms as well!

MUSIC: THE EXTENSIONS

MUSIC: THE PAPER JETS



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