Interview: Eric Holtz

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Eric Holtz, a professional recording engineer, mixer, and musician. My passion is creating great music and great moments in music.

Why do you do what you do?

Starting young, I have been entranced, excited, and enveloped in music. From listening to and studying my dad’s Dark Side of the Moon record to creating and recording my own music, I have been drawn to nearly every aspect of music.

How do you personally plan to work on this project?

I have been engaged with Weathered Pages as an engineer, mixer, and contributing musician. In the future, I plan to also have my band, Legendary Skies, work harder to help share the Weathered Pages vision.

What has it been like working on music projects for Weathered Pages?

It’s been great. Since music is my passion, any chance to help an artist have their vision come to life is truly exciting. If I get to help with the effectiveness of their project, I will jump at the chance.

How did you meet the other members of Weathered Pages?

I met Jeff Bresee while working at UP/DOWN as head engineer when Jeff had pledged to help with Blue October’s album Sway. Justin Furstenfeld and Jeff had a songwriting session, but I got called in and it quickly became a recording session. Jeff and I stayed connected and worked more on Weathered Pages music. As I worked closer with them, I started to feel like these guys were really trying to make something happen, and their hearts were in the right place. When they asked if I was interested in coming on board, I said yes!

What’s your background?

Growing up in Lubbock, Texas, I was inspired to join band (drumline), choir, and pursue recording in high school. I have a degree in Sound Recording Technology from Texas State University, and years of studio experience. Having worked closely and been mentored by Blue October, I also have a valuable understanding of the music industry. As a performer, I have toured as a guitarist with Legendary Skies.

What’s integral to the work of an artist who wants to be a part of this project?

Weathered Pages is very much about community and a group coming together to be something greater than its individual parts. The ideal candidate is an artist who is committed to the value of teamwork and who constantly thinks win-win.

What role do you play in this project?

Other than my professional musical and audio contribution, I try to help the group formulate ideas and reinforce good practices in the music industry.

How has the Weathered Pages project changed over time?

From my experience, it has changed greatly. At first, I was uncertain about what we could accomplish and what Weathered Pages could grow into, but I’m thankful we have solidified our goals and our mission to help artists.

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

Fairly recently, Jeff Bresee and Brian Thalman brought a good song into the studio called Whisper on the Wind. The two of them did the duet vocals, and the arrangement was a little long and unorganized. They allowed me to make some big changes to the structure, then we had the December Chronicles and Penrose collaborate on vocals and the whole song became so exciting and magical. It is a great example of multiple talents coming together to create something inspiring.

What role will fund-raising play for the Weathered Pages and it’s artists?

Fund-raising is an exciting opportunity to help support the artists who believe in the idea of Weathered Pages. With so many artists unable to afford to have professional recordings AND make ends meet, our society is only held back by them not being able to contribute their art.

How will your artists go on tour and promote their talents?

Touring is an expense heavy endeavor, but the feeling of being on the road and playing music is unbeatable. Assistance with touring is critical as a budding artist. Just to go on an 18 day tour, Legendary Skies had to fund-raise $10,000. We were, thankfully, successful, but it really solidifies in my mind that a charity like Weathered Pages would be greatly beneficial to talented artists who need a boost.

What kind of people are you looking for to participate in this project?

As a musician with a lot of studio background, I would love to have artists come on board who are creative and adaptable. Musicians who have many talents or who are multi-instrumentalists are especially exciting to work with.

Name something you love, and why?

I love great music and the feeling you get when you hear it. It’s a different level of communication, and to effectively create such is invigorating.

What is your dream project?

It would be very exciting to me as an engineer to work with some of the great producers and learn about their sounds and experiences with musicians.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

I’m not certain it’s the best piece of advice, but I try to remember a three layer filter for when I want to say something:

Does this need to be said?

Does this need to be said by me?

Does this need to be said by me right now?

Professionally, what’s your goal for the Weathered Pages?

As a board member, it would delight me to have several artists who are cultivated within Weathered Pages accomplish some of their major goals as an artist. In this day and age, it’s unreasonable to expect platinum albums, but with the help of an organization like Weathered Pages, goals like establishing a good fan-base and having a connection with other musicians are attainable.

What do you think that the Weathered Pages must have to succeed?

Weathered Pages is just the vessel through which artists and patrons can come together to help progress musical art in a beneficial symbiosis. Success for Weathered Pages is if the right relationships are formed and we can help artists continue the pursuit of great music.

What do you bring to the Weathered Pages as an artist?

Music has been an obsession of mine for years now, and I feel I have a broad and in-depth knowledge of it. As a guitar player, I have been fascinated with effects, pedals, and how to create moods in a minimalist fashion. Perhaps one of my greatest strengths is knowing how to help turn a great moment into a magical one. 

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