In the past three decades, Eric McFadden has been on a journey that has taken him through many styles and genres of experimental rock music, which he refers to as “therapeutic musical experiences.” At a young age, Eric was exposed to various musicians through his parents’ record collection; everything from The Beatles to Led Zeppelin to Miles Davis and Beethoven was played throughout his home as a kid in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
As he grew older, he began to appreciate the attitude and sounds of punk rock bands— Black Flag, The Clash, The Sex Pistols. “That’s where I found my values and who I was as a person, where I found myself as musician,” Eric maintains. “The identity, the energy and passion . . . punk rock was engrained in my DNA forever.”
When Eric was fourteen, he met a man by the name of Stan Hirsch, regarded as one of the best blues guitarists in the Southwest. Hirsch mentored McFadden through his teens and young adulthood, eventually releasing live albums together. “Stan and I are still in touch to this day,” notes Eric. “He is such a great mentor to me, and was so important in my career as a musician and as a friend.”
Cut to 1998. A now-seasoned McFadden was captivating an audience at a show in San Francisco when he caught the attention of George Clinton of Parliament-Funkadelic. He and George stayed connected shortly thereafter, and Clinton eventually asked Eric to start hopping in and playing for P-Funk at their shows. “I was never ‘officially’ asked to join the band,” Eric recalls. “I was just ‘in the band.’ It was an adventure and a schooling at P-Funk University. And for me, it came at just the right time in my life. I was going through a dark transitional phase during that point in my career, and George helped bring me back into the light again.”
More recently Eric has been touring with his wife, Queen Delphine, frontwoman for the band Tasty Face, which features Eric as well as Angelo Moore of Fishbone. Since meeting Delphine in 2008, she has been the fuel that keeps Eric driven toward finding his ultimate success. Had it not been for Delphine, Eric’s current band, T.E.N.—which also includes Thomas Pridgen of Mars Volta and John Norwood Fisher of Fishbone—may have never gotten their start in 2012.
According to Eric, there are many different versions inside you. Whether it’s sadness, joy, addiction or passion—each one is in there for a reason. They’re all part of who you are. However, Eric believes it’s our job to help one another find the best possible versions of ourselves, so that we can then make a positive change in others’ lives as well.
“We see what can happen when we’re not active enough in promoting positive change,” Eric cautions. “The need to come together to truly make a difference in this world has never been greater. And for me, that last saving grace is rock and roll. Music is kind of a never-ending road always in progress, so if I can make a difference along the way through my music, then I’m doing my part.”
Eric and Delphine are currently touring the West Coast, with a residency in Los Angeles at The Mint. Through their music, they’ve also started a nonprofit group called The 10-Star Program. Founded by the members of T.E.N. and Delphine, the program gives underprivileged children a pathway to a better life through music.
Look for Eric McFadden’s new album this spring, featuring Cody Dickinson of The North Mississippi Allstars, and a new T.E.N. album dropping this summer, produced by Queen Delphine.
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