Eric D. Johnson formed the band Fruit Bats in 1997 and has been releasing music under that moniker since 2001. His first professional musical endeavor was playing with the esteemed group, Califone at age 23. He then joined The Shins for four years, allowing him to quit his craft services job in Chicago. He cut his teeth on those experiences, receiving a true education in being a professional touring musician.
Since then, Fruit Bats has released four records on Sub Pop with a new record, Gold Past Life – their seventh – to be released this year on Merge Records.
In this episode, we talk about his new album, his writing process, small “keep you going” wins, touring with Califone and The Shins, what it takes to be a successful musician today, how he sustains creatively and professionally, and more.