Press Lives Matter: Eric Isom of Pigeons and Planes
Written by Greg Harris
As we dig deeper into more content on the Perspective page, we find ourselves in the second installment of Press Live Matter. The first edition of this piece created an atmosphere for the reader to get familiar with one of Houston's brightest visionaries, 713Bran, who is the bossman of the budding publication, 713 Magazine.
As the markers moves form the "Third Coast" to the modern concrete jungle of New York City, our direction for this interview will be focused on the penmanship of Eric Isom. The journalist who didn't realize his passion for writing about music until he discovered it later on tells his story on what it means to be great in this profession, getting introduced to the Pigeons and Planes lifestyle by attending a No Ceilings show, his aspiration for making a creative empire, and more.
Read all about him below,
How's Your Modern Life?
My modern life is chaotic, 2017 has been pretty hectic. I pray next year is more peaceful.
What are three things you have to do when you first wake up in the morning?
Nothing, when I first wake up I'm easily agitated so I don't do too much and just try to gather my thoughts every morning before I have to go out and see people.
How was your upbringing?
I had my demons and struggles and I made plenty of mistakes but my upbringing wasn't too crazy. I grew up really, really close to older cousins and they kind of killed my childhoodby making me understand a lot of things before they happened growing up so I didn't have any tough years in school or anything like that. I figured out who I was fast and stayed in my lane.
Before you knew you wanted to be a music journalist, what were some of the first publications you remember you were interested in?
I don't know if I ever knew I wanted to be a music journalist and I definitely didn't care too much about publications growing up. I read interviews from guys I loved but I wasn't the kid buying magazines or subscribing to online pubs. I read books if I wasn't with family or friends going outside and I barely used the internet for anything until I found Tumblr. No AIM, didn't get MySpace, hated Limewire, all that. I still was the first to find new music but I won't ever say how.
Being a fellow journalist, writing styles are the things separate the good writers from the exceptional ones. What are some things that intrigue you when it comes to reading great journalism?
I feel like most of the writing today is forced. I think now that everything is switching to video that you have some people that are flooding us with pieces just to say they're keeping "real journalism" alive or whatever but they just come off snobby.
Aside from telling the good stories from the great ones, who are some of your favorite writers that caught your attention?
This is a corny answer but I love the team at P&P, I think they all put out great content and find a way to balance the shift in the way we cover music.
"One, always have to make every word count and make the piece worth the time the reader spends on it. Two, have to make the story cohesive and not get too distracted from the focus of the article. Last one, personally I definitely want to leave the reader with something that helps them understand a piece of who I am without having it distract from the story."
It's often a misconception on the journey of a journalist is that you go to college and get the job of your dreams soon after. How has your journey as a journalist made you better at your craft?
I didn't really start to understand myself or society around me until I started getting into music, my dad was a DJ so it was always around me growing up but when I started to figure out how to find music on my own and eventually spend time with it on MP3 players and iPods or whatever I really began to connect and attach it to my life.
That experience of knowing different styles and hearing so much music has helped me have a unique writing voice and makes it easier to get whatever I'm trying to say through to the reader. Also with everything changing and journalists having to do much more than write I think my unique path to this field makes it easier for me to transition and adjust well to whatever comes next.
In your path of becoming better at your craft, you've became a key asset to the Pigeons and Planes with your work. How did you get on the team over there and how have they made you better?
Yeah the whole team is full of key assets, I don't know if people really know how small the gang is. I didn't even remember applying to P+P when they reached out to me.
The day before they emailed me to interview, I went to a No Ceilings show for the first time so it tripped me out.
As far as making me better, these guys have saved and continue to save my life man. I had interned at a music venue already but it didn't seem promising and I knew I was almost done with school and needed something before I ended up having to work some desk job and kill myself. Interning at P&P came at a perfect time and I've learned more than I could ever imagine or describe.
What is your favorite piece you've done for Pigeons and Planes?
It's not out yet, but be ready.
How do you think you can become better at your craft by the end of this year?
Just keep trying to think of ways to make stuff people want to click on and read or watch but also make sure that it's something that I fully believe in. I think focusing on the changes in the way we consume content will be better for all of us.
What are three goals of yours as a journalist?
Hmm, as a journalist? Definitely want to do something with Weezy. A digital cover story would be dope but I would want to be too involved haha, shoots and everything. I just want to make legendary stuff, be the bridge between the consumers and the creators.
What are three things you try to get across when you start writing your story?
One, always have to make every word count and make the piece worth the time the reader spends on it. Two, have to make the story cohesive and not get too distracted from the focus of the article. Last one, personally I definitely want to leave the reader with something that helps them understand a piece of who I am without having it distract from the story.
What are three things you want to accomplish before you die?
Everything is about increasing the amount of freedom I have in life. I know exactly what I want my life to look and feel like before I die. I want to build a creative empire and a whole new way of thinking.
Two, I have to create a innovative platform for people to express themselves with little backlash or consequences.
Third, definitely writing a book, not an autobiography though. Just an original story. Don't think I ever want to tell the whole story of my actual life to the world.
Follow Eric here.