Erik Findling was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Coming from a musical family, he was introduced to the guitar at a very young age starting at just four years old. His older brother Kurt was a drummer, and during middle school they lead an alternative blues/rock band, named “High Street”, eventually leading them to gig all around the Chicago club circuit for many years.

While Erik was still in junior high, he and the band were already playing at renowned Chicago venues such as The Double Door, Hard Rock Café, Subterranean and many more. As the band gained more success, Erik began to compose original music for the group and soon after, the band collaborated and recorded albums with acclaimed producer Sean O’Keefe, who is best known for his work with Fall Out Boy.

Early on in his career, Erik also began to become more involved in the Jazz scene. He was selected as the guitarist for the 2017 GRAMMY Combo where they recorded at the legendary Capitol Records in Los Angeles, as well as performed at the GRAMMY Awards Afterparties. Also, Erik was the only guitarist in the country to be selected for the prestigious Jazz Band of America that same year. He has since then recorded various studio albums featuring his original compositions and classic standards. He has shared the stage with many artists such as Dave Liebman, Aloe Blacc, Chris Potter, Joey Alexander and much more.

Erik currently resides in Los Angeles, California where he actively performs with various self-lead groups including his previous alternative blues/rock band, High Street. He is attending California State University, Northridge and pursuing a B.M. in Media and Commercial Music, and now plays a dynamic role in the music and entertainment industry.

Band Name: High Street

Song name: Disrepair

Music Genre:: Hard Rock

 This song is about the struggles that face everyday life and how to power through them and keep going no matter what. I created it specifically because at the time I was heavily influenced by Van Halen’s song “Dance the Night Away” and I immediately got the inspiration for the music for this song.

 I live in LA but I am originally from Chicago. I’m a full-time student but I spend most of my time dedicating myself to this band which involves constant contact with our manager and PR person to make this project as successful as possible.

Who has been the most influential in your music and why?
My biggest influence is Slash. I first heard him when I was 7 or 8 and I was blown away by his insane feel and emotion that he puts into his playing. I wasn’t super impressed by his technical abilities but with me, it’s really about the soul that you put into it and Slash had that. Being from Chicago, I also have various blues influences mainly Stevie Ray Vaughan.

When did you know that this was the right path for you?
I knew this was the right path for me when I was probably about 8 years old when my band High Street was firstborn. My dad was a failed musician but turned out to be an extremely successful businessman and he promised himself that if he ever had kids one day that they would be ridiculously good musicians. Well fast forward, his dream started to come to pass when I and my brother Kurt who was a drummer started this band in middle school and ever since then it has taken off and led to opportunities I couldn’t have ever imagined.

What do you like most about what you do?
The sense of freedom it gives me. I’m not very good with words and find it sort of hard to express myself verbally but whenever I pick up a guitar I can convey whatever I need to say at that particular moment. Being able to have a career being a musician and doing what I love is truly a blessing.

What do you most hope to accomplish with your influence?
I hope to accomplish touching as many people’s lives through music as possible. That I believe is my life’s calling.

What is the biggest obstacle you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest obstacle I’ve faced that relates to my career was when I was diagnosed with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder during all my musical success and went into a creative slump because of that. I still struggle with it every day and it has affected my guitar abilities to some extent but I continue to power through and pursue my passion no matter how hard life can be at some points.

What do you want people to remember most about you and your career?
What I want people to remember most about me and my musical career is that I am good at what I do. Ever since I was a little kid I have dedicated myself to the guitar every single day, practicing 7 or 8 hours a day. I never give up and I want to be known as one of the greatest guitar players of all time. I’m a perfectionist and I will settle for nothing less than that.

What are you most looking forward to this next month?
The photoshoot with the new and improved High Street as well as gigging and media placements.

Website & social media links:

Interview conducted by @JacquelineJax of @avaliveradio