You may know Isaac Erickson as host of the show Eleven, conveniently airing at 11 a.m. and p.m. CT daily. But Isaac is a man of many talents and also one of the few DittyTV staffers born and raised in the city that DittyTV calls home: Memphis, Tenn. Offer up requests or let Isaac know if you enjoy his show by contacting him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We see you on DittyTV as the host of Eleven, so first tell us a bit about what the show is all about and why viewers should tune in.
Eleven is the rock side of Americana music. We air good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll music. The videos each show can range from the more indie side of Americana rock to the more throwback styles. Anything from Neil Young, Matthew Logan Vasquez, to Amanda Shires and Ruen Brothers. If it’s got a bit of an edge to it, we’ll play it on Eleven. It’s gritty, it can get pretty heavy, and it’s always a good time.
And of course you do a lot more around DittyTV than just host Eleven. What are some of your other responsibilities?
Along with my Eleven duties, I also edit most of the VJ segments you see on the network, other promos and features (such as the Albums & Studios We Love), as well as programming every show into our playout system so all of you beautiful people out there can see it! I also run a camera during our live shows and on location shoots as well as various other small things I don’t want to bore you with.
In your time at DittyTV what’s a moment or scene that you found to be surreal or that you could hardly believe you were a part of it?
The biggest standout moment to me was when I was just hanging out with the production crew by the front door to our studio and Kevin Bacon walks in in his jean jacket, collar popped obviously, and says “What’s up guys?” and continues to walk through to the green room. I can’t be sure, but I’m pretty sure it was in slow motion. He’s also the nicest guy ever and I’m pretty sure we’re best friends now. In all seriousness, I’m a huge fan and that was definitely an awesome moment.
You’re a musician, filmmaker, and writer, so it sounds like you’re really able to use your skills at DittyTV. But tell us more about being a musician. When did you start playing, what instruments to you play, and what kind of musical projects do you have going right now?
My dad was in a band called Breaking Point when I was a kid so I got a guitar around first grade or so, then our house we were living in burned down and I lost it. After moving into our new house I got a drum set in second grade, another guitar shortly after and I was off to the races. I started “really” writing songs when I was in fifth grade. I started playing guitar and singing in bands my freshman year of high school. Since then I’ve been in several different bands spanning genres from metal to pop punk and so on. Currently I’m writing a bunch of music on my own. I put out an album last October called Not Good that everyone can check out wherever they stream music! I also play guitar for local Memphis pop-punk band Frenchie! We just did a run of dates in Arkansas and Texas that were super fun.
What particular musical artist has inspired you more than any other?
Oh boy! I’m not sure if there is a specific artist that inspired me more than any other. One of the main reasons I got into playing music was the pop punk music of the late ’90s and early 2000s so Tom DeLonge from Blink 182 and Angels & Airwaves was a huge influence for me. His way of playing guitar is super interesting and I’m a sucker for a good, catchy theme riff. Another HUGE influence for me is Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie. His voice and lyrics really changed the way I wrote songs. Which is probably why my wife calls my music “sad boy music.” Another huge inspiration to my songwriting was getting super into New Wave bands like The Cure, The Smiths, Joy Division, and New Order.
Tell us more about your passion for writing. We know it ranges from songs to scripts and probably a bunch of stuff in between. What are some current projects you have ongoing and what kind of writing do you enjoy best?
Well, songwriting is something I do on almost a daily basis. Narrative script writing at the moment is pretty few and far between. I’m currently working on a musical film script with my writing buddy Paul Coulter called Camp Vamp. It’s an ’80s vampire musical set at a summer camp. We’re still in the early stages, but man is it fun. We’re hoping to shoot it in the next year or two, fingers crossed! Aside from that we also have a few other short film ideas we’re cooking up.
What do you do when you just want to catch your breath or have fun?
To just catch my breath I like to go to the drive-in movie theatre, play some miniature golf, or travel (mostly to Hot Springs, Arkansas). Another hobby I’ve picked up lately is woodworking. I’ve already built a few pieces of furniture for the house and I don’t plan on stopping. Hopefully somewhere down the line I’ll build a house for my family out in the boonies somewhere (preferably on a lake). I do basically anything that can break me away from my million side projects I have going on at any given moment.
Being a a Memphis native, you get to see more than most how DittyTV fits into the city. What excites you most about the future of DittyTV?
I’ve been at DittyTV for going on three years now, and so much has changed so quickly it feels like I’ve been here for ten years. Thinking about the olden days of when I started, it is truly amazing to see how far we’ve come. With the store we’re opening next door, I think I’m most excited about reaching out and becoming more well known in our community. We’re getting more and more great artists to play our stage, the overall quality of our network is on a steady rise, and I’m excited to see where else this crazy journey goes.
And finally what was the first album you bought with your own money?
Pearl Jam’s Ten and Green Day’s Dookie on the same day.