“It’s about being broken,” says Eric Dash. “Nothing has ever gone the way that I planned, and I was left broke and lost.” As Dash was working a restaurant bussing job and trying to make music, something still wasn’t clicking, which was the artist’s impetus for writing latest single “I Just Need to Get Away.”
“I was making very singer-songwriter songs before and the first releases I put out didn’t even do my songs justice,” says Dash. “It’s hard to produce something right, let alone make a pop song when you’re not even into pop. All of that took a toll on me. This song is about breaking down and mental health.”
Mixed with some humorous banter, “I Just Need to Get Away” doesn’t get any clearer in it’s message. Delivered in a retro reverb of the olden days in its reenactment-style video, “I Just Need to Get Away” is a ’90s-driven power-pop rock anthem of the times and the deeper seated need that relates in today’s climate—a desire to escape all the craziness.
Dash says he hopes the vulnerability of the track resonates with listeners, and that its reminiscent of a time when bands were actually charting in popular music.
Written in August of 2019, and recorded in early 2020, the song was slowly brewed to perfection, for Dash, who wrote, performed, produced, and engineered the track. “It was hard to record this song,” says Dash of where the track fits in to the threading of his new album. “It’s painful to sing at times, and the album is comprised of rock songs and singer-songwriter songs, so it fits in the rock vain, but to be honest, this is the most band-like song as of now.”
In piecing together the new album, Dash is still experimenting with the band setting and will see what works. It’s all still his work in progress.
“I want to create a record of old that is processed and works today,” says Dash. “I’m just not a pop guy. I used to be a pop guy when it was Justin Timberlake, John Mayer, and Blink-182 on the chart, but those days are quite over, so I need to do my music, but still make it work for 2020.”
Pulling in Adam Hawkins (K.Flay, Alanis Morissette) for mixing and mastering by Chris Gehringer (Dua Lipa, Lana Del Rey) on the track, Dash says he has evolved his process from earlier recordings, refraining from overthinking a sound or over producing.
“I like everything in my session to have a purpose and if it doesn’t, it gets deleted,” he says. “In terms of writing, what’s changed is attitude, but others are heartfelt and loving. Some people told me I’m finally gaining steam because the writing is getting better, however, I wrote some of the songs they’re talking about 10 years ago.”
The New Jersey native was always addicted to music—and even admits to an unhealthy obsession with Blink-182 at one point. “I wanted to be in Blink-182 so bad,” says Dash. “I remember being 11 or 12 , playing Enema of the State for a friend, and joking with them that it was me they were listening to.”
After making some EPs and playing local shows, Dash was discovered by producer and manager, Jack Joseph Puig (John Mayer/Black Crowes/Weezer). After the two parted ways in 2017, Dash shifting into producing his own music.
In between making his own music, Dash is also producing and mixing tracks for other artists (“Swept Up” for Kaatii and other for artists Acacia and Freddy) and is in the process of building his label and plans to sign artists once he puts a few more pieces in place. “Maybe I’ll be able to help them avoid the hell that I’ve been through,” he says.
“When you spend budget on a song, it needs to be a viable song and you need to have the ability to market it properly,” says Dash. “It 100 percent takes budget to create music in the way I’m doing so. I’m not just buying a beat for $20 on a whatever site and throwing a vocal on it, so, if the budget isn’t there and the contacts aren’t there, what’s the point.”
Every project is meticulously curated, and “I Just Need to Get Away” is just a first glimpse into Dash’s distinct craft.
“Everything is uncertain in 2020,” says Dash, “But what is certain for me is I won’t just make beats and pop loops. It’s not my thing.”