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 (www.myspace.com/greenereveal). 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 SuperGnarly.com and my tour blog at www.tipmeplease.com! I'm sure I'll see you all out there somewhere.