Who Is James Eric? Off of Western Avenue in Chicago's Logan Square, blocks from the Congress Theatre and Margie's Candies, is the studio and living space of a buried treasure that, slowly, is becoming unearthed. Underneath headphones and tangled wires the former frontman of Automatic Pilot has been holed up in the space for months, composing his experimental, ambient pop soundscapes, splicing them with distorted noise rock, and then reinterpreting them for an acoustic environment. There's no more band; no more noise to hide behind. The intensity's the same, but it's quiet now, telling it's simple truth with a single voice and one man's instruments. This is the sound of a man realizing his own potential. Automatic Pilot is dead. Meet James Eric. All the work's being done in a rush to finish up the first release as the solo artist James Eric, a twelve song record called Acceptance, due out in February 2006 on Grey Noize Records. The guitars on the new album are clean, no longer marked by the noise and distortion of Automatic Pilot's seminal swan-song, Deathless. The piano rings out crisply and James' voice is pure and strong. Music made by a man with nothing to hide, Acceptance is genuine and moving, utilizing an undeniable knack for catchy hooks to explore the potential of experimental instrumentation all in the ultimate pursuit of saturating the emotionally stark lyrics with the quiet intensity that best befits them. The record represents a new beginning. A national tour in May to bring that sincerity into performance spaces, whether it be clubs or living rooms, takes that new beginning and turns it into something that can't be met with cynicism or doubt; only acceptance.