In an upcoming music video for Eric Pulido’s single "Used To Be," off his first solo album, To Each His Own, a Bad News Bears-esque band of bandits suit up in maroon baseball uniforms. Bubblegum pops and faux-players run from base to base.
The uniforms read “E.B. The Younger,” the name of Pulido’s new solo project. The Younger are competing against The Elder. With Jason Lee, actor, photographer and Dentonite, coaching The Younger, it is sure to be a hell of a game.
Pulido, a member of Midlake and BNQT, has his hands in many things in Denton.
“My wife would probably tell you I have too many bricks in the fire,” Pulido says. “It’s kind of in my nature, if I’ve got an interest or passion, to kind of throw it in the mix.”
He has set his sights on a new solo project.
Pulido’s love for baseball was embedded in him at an early age. Growing up around Houston, he and his brother played the game all their lives. He was just a suburban kid playing little league and a fan of the home team, the Houston Astros.
He shared this passion for the sport with Matt Cliff, an artist from Fort Worth. Cliff’s work reminded Pulido of old baseball cards.
“We talked about both of our love for baseball and everything and listened to the album,” he says. “He started working on artwork that would really fit that vibe.”
Not long after, Pulido got the idea for a photo shoot with the people involved in the album. He wanted it to look like a sports team photo. With everything that went into the picture, he figured they might as well make a music video.
Lee and Pulido have been friends since Midlake’s first record. Midlake was a big fan of Lee, and Lee was a big fan of the band. Pulido met Lee while the latter was filming a movie in Austin, and the two hit it off.
“When I was kind of conceptualizing this video, especially considering the Bad News Bears type of nature, I just knew he’d be perfect,” Pulido says. “He hasn’t been acting as much because he’s just really investing his time into his family and photography, so I was kind of a little apprehensive to ask him.”
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But Lee was happy to play the part.
During Midlake’s last stretch, Pulido made a conscious decision. He wanted to take a break and invest time in other things. He wanted to have kids and pursue other musical projects that were not so physically demanding.
“It’s just been great to invest in domestic life in a way — being at home and trying to be a good dad and a good husband,” he says.
This time resulted in BNQT and its album Volume I. But Pulido was writing songs that did not quite fit the molds of his bands. This paved the way for E.B. The Younger.
He and the rest of Midlake were always drawn to different artists and painters, Pulido says. One set of paintings he admired had an antiquated way of showing an older or younger person in a family. People are in the mindset that they are the most important thing in the world, he says. The name E.B. The Younger is an ode to the idea that something greater came before.
Whether in baseball or in music, Pulido always liked being part of a team. While his latest project is solo, he still looks at it as a team effort. Echolab’s Matt Pence was the executive producer of the album, and Beau Bedford from The Texas Gentlemen and local musician Jonathan Tyler co-produced several tracks as well.
Pulido says he is not trying to be coy in the naming of the album To Each His Own.
“This is my own statement, my own path of trying to do something that doesn’t have the baggage or history that, for better or worse, was attached to Midlake,” he says.
Adding even more bricks to the fire, Pulido recently played a show with a new country cover band called The Gold Brothers. In the studio one day, he referenced a '70s- or '80s-sounding country song, he says.
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“We just started talking about it like, ‘You know, there was really some good music, some good players, good production, good songwriters. Wouldn’t it be funny and fun if we just did that?’” he recalls.
Pence and Scott Danbom from Centro-Matic, Pulido and Joey McClellan from Midlake, and McClellan’s brother came together to form the new cover band. This snowballed into the idea to make a fake family out of the band. They wanted it to be something like The Statler Brothers or Oakridge Boys.
Settling on The Gold Brothers, they all created pseudonyms for their fake family. Pulido bought the band gold satin suits, and they had their first show at LSA Burger Co., a restaurant in Denton. Although he is sure there will be more, Pulido says he would be just fine if that was their only show.
Pulido's 11-song album is set to release early next year. In the meantime, he will continue working all of his other endeavors, like raising his children, partnering with new businesses and serving as a member of the Greater Denton Council.