Friday, April 27, 2007

Eric Binion - Merch Guy Extraordinare for Circa Survive

For the record state your full name and current occupation:
My name is Eric Binion. I guess my full title would be Merchandise Manager for Circa Survive, but "merch dude" is good enough for me. I also co-own my own "media solutions" company where I work at when I'm not on tour.

1. When did you first decide that doing merch was something you wanted to do? Who all have you merched for?
Well, it was kind of an accident. Its this really long story that i'll save you the time from, you'll have to wait for the book :). Umm, I started out booking shows for my friends bands in my hometown and eventually their bands started to get booked around in different places. Basically I would just ask to go with them to these shows to hang out and I found myself just sitting by the merch table and eventually adding touring managing to my duties. It was a way to travel around with my friends bands and help out. Eventually it turned into a bunch of things. 7 years later, here I am.

As far as bands, before Circa I've done merch for several bands in my area (Between walls, Greene Reveal, If Hope Dies) and i guess on a "bigger" scale i've worked merch a bunch with Trustkill Records, I've sold merch for Fall Out Boy, The Starting Line and a bunch of others. Insert other name drops here.

2. How did you meet the guys of Circa Survive? When did they ask you to merch for them?
I met the dudes through our tour manager Scott. I worked with him on Sounds of the Underground the summer of 2005. After that tour I was pretty bummed out on the lifestyle. Scott basically saved me. I owe a lot to that dude. The Circa guys decided invite me on the Twilight Army Tour in the Summer of 2006 and i've had a smile on my face ever since.

3. You also work with Supergnarly Industries, could you elaborate about what this company does?
Yeah, SuperGnarly is "media solutions" company. We do everything from graphic design, websites, programming, hosting, video, and a bunch more. From time to time we also book shows in my little area of Upstate NY. Check out more info on

4. What was the inception of Supergnarly, and how did you get involved? Favorite project so far?
Well, SuperGnarly started out when I was in college. I used to do a lot of stuff for my friends bands (booking shows, tours, merch design, flyer design, websites etc) and eventually it turned into what it is today. Earlier this year my buddy Tim and I turned our hobby into a legit business. Its pretty exciting. We just moved into this huge new office in one of the most historic malls in America.

Favorite project? Its hard to say, I love every aspect of this job, but my favorite thing to do is probably flyer design. When I was younger I used to keep all these flyers from all these shows that I went to and knowing that maybe there's some other nerdy kid like me out there with flyers that I designed hanging in his room gets me pretty stoked.

5. What cities or states do you look the most forward to going to when you're on tour? Why?
I don't really have a specific favorite part of the country. Every place has its perks. For me its all about the people. I'm a strong believer that meeting and getting to know people from all sorts of different walks of life is very enriching. Everybody is different everywhere and I'm just one of those people who wants to meet everybody and learn.

6. What essentials must you always have with you on tour?
Besides basic things like a toothbrush and clothes there isn't much that I need. Every tour I always bring my Zune/iPod but i never really use it. I'd rather be hanging out with people than being by myself somewhere listening to music. I need my laptop to do work on. But besides that, nothing really out of the ordinary. I try to keep it as minimal as possible.

7. When you're not on tour doing merch what do you do?
When i'm home, i tend to focus on my business a lot. I book a lot of shows and help out a lot of bands in my area. One that I think you should check out are my buddies in Greene Reveal ( That bands future is gonna be so insane. Other than that I hang out and play a lot of Wii Sports with my girlfriend.

8. Circa Survive just finished up their co-headlining tour with Cute Is What We Aim For. How did this tour compare to other tours to considering you watch the whole show each night?
It was actually really awesome. A lot of people talked a lot of shit about this tour because of the really diverse lineup. It ended up just turning kids on to bands that they probably would haven't never seen before. The crowd was really diverse but I think everybody went home with a new CD from a band they might have not heard of before. Everybody benefited from it. One thing that I thought was really cool about this tour was the fact that all the bands would constantly be hanging out together. Even on our days off, we'd all try and meet up somewhere and go see a movie or have a cookout or something. That doesn't always happen. It was an incredible experience.

9. With Warped Tour right around the corner, do you have any expectations for the summer? Most bands, especially merch people tend to dread Warped Tour, do you share this seemingly common sentiment?
See, everything is what you make of it. I've done the outdoor festival tour thing before so i'm not that scared. I think it'll be great because I'll get to see a lot of my friends bands everyday and meet a bazillion new people in every city. To be honest, I can't wait. Plus the new Circa record will be out by then and I can't wait to hear the response that everybody is going to have. It's absolutely amazing.

10. If you could invest in a person or persons the way that you invest
in stocks, who would you invest in and why?

This is a weird question. I try to stay away from stocks and stuff like that. Umm, i guess maybe the guy or gal who invented fruit leather. That shit rules.

Thanks Amanda and everybody who actually cared enough to read this. Be sure to check out and my tour blog at! I'm sure I'll see you all out there somewhere.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

April 5th, 2006 Hard Rock Cafe Live MTV Taping of The Academy Is...

The monumental event that took place for The Academy Is... on April 5th
will be one the attendees will not forget. Coming into the venue the
crowd was presented with flame shaped stage decorations with two Verizon
screens on either side that received texts of photos and messages. These
screens were instantly flooded with messages of love for the band and
pictures of their fans waiting outside from earlier in the day in the
freezing cold.

Before the show even began a spokesmen for MTV came on stage to tell the
audience that they were going to play part of 2 tracks by The Academy
Is... so the film crew could get some extra shots of the crowd. These
clips were of The Phrase That Pays and We've Got A Big Mess On Our

Come to find out later from the band, that the audio of the kids singing
along was being played in their dressing room before they came out. They
said that hearing their fans pumped them up and eased their nerves a bit
before going on.

For any veteran of a TAI show, it was noticeable that the guys were
nervous on stage performing for MTV. This however did not impair their
performance whatsoever. The music played by Mike Carden, The Butcher,
Adam T. Siska and Michael Guy Chislett was almost as if hearing it on an
album through a great sound system. While William Beckett's vocals
seemed to soar and hit every note effortlessly. During the performance
the band debuted Neighbors off of their new album Santi that came out
April 3rd.

The set list in order as it was played are as follows:
The Phrase That Pays
LAX to O'Hare
Slow Down
Skeptics and True Believers
Black Mamba
We've Got A Big Mess On Our Hands
Down and Out
Almost Here

If there is anything that should be said about this particular show, it
is that no one can doubt the level of energy the band has that is fed by
their equally as energetic fans. The Academy Is... fans of New York City
did TAI fans all over the nation proud.