Erik Nervous (aka Erik Hart to his folks) has produced at least an E.P. a year since 2015, releasing his music on a long list of American indies, such as Warm Ratio, Total Punk, Neck Chop, Lumpy, and Digital Regress. There was a short break for the COVID-19 pandemic, but even then, Erik hooked up with two friends, as the Beta Blockers. Erik also happens to be one of the top punk recording engineers in the Midwest and has been playing synth in the Spits since 2021. Immaturity marks the return of Erik Nervous as a solo artist. The thirty-nine minute long playing rock album will be co-released by FatCat (UK) and Feel It (US) on November 3, 2023.
As a kid, at the turn of the millennium, Erik was immersed in 1970s and `80s pop culture – sugary cartoon fair, from Scooby-Do to Yogi Bear, musically from Prince to Olivia Newton John and John Travolta’s turn in Grease. It was actually an obsession with the Harmonix Guitar Hero II video game that got Erik into making his own music. He learnt how to play drums via their subsequent Rock Band series. After buying a cheap acoustic guitar from Target, while in 5th or 6th grade, he received an electric one for Christmas a few years later. He insists that he still uses this instrument for 90% of his recording. Starting out teaching himself how to multi-track, etc. with an iPad and Garageband, Erik then went retro and bought a Tascam 4-track recorder. His output to date takes inspiration from a eclectic range of sources, from the classic UK post-punk of Swell Maps, Wire, The Fall, and Gang Of Four, and their US counterparts, Devo, Talking Heads, plus R Stevie Moore, to the groovy kosmische of Can, and Steve Reich’s classical minimalism… plus some Moondog.
Most of Immaturity was written, as it was recorded, in the basement of Erik’s rural North Eastern Indiana home – the same house he’s lived all his life. The title of the record reflects Erik’s refusal to grow up. Song subjects range from anxiety to astral projection. A big fan of fellow self-taught “outsider” artists, and the DIY ethic, Erik’s sonic armoury contains yellowed plastic Casiotones, Yamaha Portasounds, and a smiling cat-shaped Meowsic keyboard, all purchased from yard sales, Goodwills, and misspelled eBay auctions. These, and a Tyco toy guitar all add to the album’s nostalgic retreat back into a treasured childhood, and its overall irresistible, enthusiasm-packed, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, joyful punch. However, don’t let the self-depreciating playfulness fool you. Erik is totally schooled, and has serious chops.