Saying 2023 has been busy for Eric Baylies would be a huge understatement. He has already released three books, Death Takes an Acid Trip, Cold as a Witch’s Cunt and Talking Like a Man With a Paper Asshole. The former two are psychedelic surrealist novels, the latter being a collection of poetry and lyrics dating back to 1983.
“It was hectic releasing 3 books in less than 6 months,” Baylies says of the ambitious endeavor. “The toughest part was editing four or five times and knowing what to keep and when it’s finished, and getting it ready to publish with a lot of help from my friend, musician Garrison Fortress.”
Baylies says that Death Takes an Acid Trip consists of two stories. The first is a 150-page tale loosely based on the local news story of people squatting in the Providence Place Mall and a 30-page story about Death taking a brief respite for himself. He started writing the story at 20 and went back to it as his final project for a creative writing course he took at Harvard.
Baylies claims that Cold as a Witch’s Cunt is less based in reality and much druggier than his other releases. It follows the exploits of Scientologists, Martians, Nicolas Cage, monsters, and flying sharks. He says that he wrote the book rather quickly in only a few sessions accompanied by mushrooms and edibles. He notes that the book was written in the second person, making the reader feel like they are reliving their own exploits.
Talking Like a Man With a Paper Asshole had its challenges. While he didn’t have to come up with much creatively, he did have to find and compile almost 40 years of writing. He had to do a lot of digging to find the material that he wanted to include in the book.
Baylies is an accomplished musician that plays out consistently. It is hard to keep track of the bands that he is currently in, as he dips his toes in many musical waters.
“I’ve mostly played in bands for 39 years so there is always some kind of collaboration,” Baylies says of the difference between performing as a musician as opposed to a writer. “Live readings are cool yet very different from hiding behind a theremin or a bass. You either grab that audience by the fucking throat or they play on their phone. I love doing readings on certain nights, but it can be tougher in a bar or a very random library event with cookbook authors and such when I can’t even say the titles of most of my books.”
Baylies thrives on staying busy. The author and musician is consistently creating and performing. A genuine artist, the size of the crowd isn’t as important as the attention of the crowd. He will continue to produce and leave his art for people to consume. In addition to the books, he just released a vinyl record, Madonna Lives in My Basement, with Baylies Band and is already working on his next writing project, a history of the past 40 years of the PVD rock scene, which is just the tip of his ambitious future plans.
“I’m either putting out a book of short stories or working some of them together as a novel,” Baylies explains. “I also play in a free and psychedelic jazz trio and have a new band with members of Olneyville Sound System, Minibeast and Suicide Magnets. I would like to get back to interviewing bands after taking a break from that after 11 years of writing for Boston Noise.”
Eric’s first novel, Heroin’s Rainbow, is available at 75 or Less Records. His newer books are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. He hopes to have them available in local bookstores this summer.