Hiya Erik David, thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

I grew up singing in church, solos in the school chorus, and performed in all-county chorus as well. I filled notebooks up with lyrics and created fictitious bands that I was apart of. It wasn’t until college that I learned how to produce and mix music. Then I started recording vocals on my parents digital camera microphone so I could add vocals to the loops I created on a computer. 

Introduce us to you all and your musical history.

My name is Erik David Hidde, I go by the stage name, Mohawk Castle. Before that I went by Prison Escapee for 10 years from 2014-2024 and released 11 albums. I have also released an album under the name Not a Thing to Believe In, and a few songs under the name Beater Ban, Floral V and The Darkened Seas years ago as a sort of practice for what was to come. 

What’s the live music scene like in Long Beach, CA right now? Anyone we should be looking out for (Bar you of course)

Long Beach is an eclectic city, especially when it comes to creative arts. It’s always beautiful here, so it’s reaI inspiring and always puts you in a good mood. You can go to the local dive bar and see a fun rock band most nights out of the week.

I’ve seen a lot of people struggling for support recently online. What’s your view on the industry?

The music industry is filled with genuine artistic talent that goes relatively unnoticed, unfortunately. The industry plants get all the acknowledgment and attention. It’s cruel and unfair that you must sell yourself to become something in this industry. That doesn’t stop me from being who I am and creating on a high level regardless of how it’s perceived. 

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

I am currently forging a new subgenre that incorporates trap beats with indie-rock songwriting and post-rock production. I retired Prison Escapee after 10 years to create this new sound as Mohawk Castle. If you go back and listen to “Nothing Lost” taken from the Prison Escapee album ‘Precious Moments’, you’ll hear the first song I created using this formula. 

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

I have a baby daughter on the way.

I was born in Texas but raised in New York.

I am a cowboy.

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….

Cancel culture has no value to me. No one is worth “canceling” and people can change if you give them the opportunity and they want to better themselves. A relationship with God can make the difference necessary to be forgiven and even if the world cancels you, Jesus never will.

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If not why not?

The firmament is real. Also, I will not be mandated to do anything that I don’t agree with, so if someone calls me a “conspiracy theorist” because of that, then so be it.

What was your best experience on stage?

I have had many amazing experiences on stage over the years with my old band in New York, as well as performing as Prison Escapee. My best, I would say was when I performed at The Sardine in San Pedro, CA earlier this year and played my entire debut album ‘Die for Love’ from start to finish in front of people I love.

What was your worst experience on stage?

I’ve never had a bad experience on stage, thank God.

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about. 

I have an autoimmune disease that I deal with every day. It doesn’t define me, but it’s work getting through it at times. God guides me down the path of least resistance. 

What are the next steps you plan to take as a band to reach the next level?

I plan on getting more people to know about this sound I am creating. Fans of indie-rock and fans of trap can come together and enjoy this union of sounds.

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

My debut album ‘Die for Love’ is on the way. So far, I have released two singles and the rest of the album is in the same vein as the singles but still very original in their own right. There’s some very electronic elements that will be released prior to the album that may be exciting to some listeners as well. 

What was the recording process like?

I write, record, produce, mix and master all of my music by myself in my living room. Then I arrange and sequence the tracks as well. It’s a very intimate process that takes a year or more to complete an album. It gives me full creative control and no overhead. I do not need to be reliant on others to maintain my vision and complete my work accordingly.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

Going from a full band in New York to being a solo artist in Los Angeles was certainly a learning curve but ended up being easy for me to accommodate because I have always created by myself, whether it was arranging loops, or recording lo-fi songs.

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

I have no regrets or anything that I would change within the scope of my art.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Jesus loves you and wants to be a part of your life. He wants a relationship with you and to have a relationship with your creator is the most wonderful and meaningful thing you can do in this life.


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