Hollywood fitness personality Eric the Trainer made a career out of using his muscles to life weight. But in the wake of the pandemic putting a clamp on the gym industry, he had time to start a side gig–using his music to raise money for charity.
This week he released his debut single “I’m Yours” with his band Maine Monster, an extra-strength supergroup of current and former musicians from Nickelback, Hall & Oates, Journey and Air Supply with all proceeds benefitting national charity Feeding America. The upbeat rock tune was written and recorded during his break from training famous clients like Patrick Schwarzenegger, Jason Dohring, Vincent Rodriguez III, Martin Kove, Chris Noth and A.J. Buckley.
“When the lockdown occurred I found myself back home teaching some fitness classes online but I had a lot of time during the day with not a lot of commitments,” Eric told TheWrap. “So I picked up the acoustic guitar and started writing songs.”
The trainer born Eric Fleishman started Maine Monster (a reference to a nickname given to him in his home state of Maine) by writing the track “I’m Yours” inspired by his fiancée who he recently married during the pandemic. The two drove to Vegas for a drive-thru chapel wedding which he says is very symbolic of their no-frills relationship.
“She loves me for who I am, and whether I’m on TV or in a magazine, no matter what happens., he said. “So I wrote the song “I’m Yours” about an unimpressed girlfriend.”
After writing that song and several others, Eric started to assemble a squad of musicians to play on the record, the first on his list was his friend and fitness client Mike Kroeger, the bassist from Nickelback. Last year, Kroeger also played with Eric on another musical collaboration–the Need to Feed Mother’s Day Sing-a-long presented by Quest Nutrition–raising over $27,000 for Feeding America which was used to provide over 270,000 meals for needy families across the nation.
“Whenever Eric calls, I’m always happy to jump on board and assist in anyway I can,” Kroeger said. After listening to the tune, he was definitely on board. “I’ve been in a lot of sessions and recorded a lot and this song is for real. It’s definitely a rock tune and very straight ahead but the writing is very focused.”
The result of their efforts, produced by Amit Ofir (aka Wolves), is nothing short of a thrown gauntlet of guitar riffs and power vocals making it a catchy, alt-rock ear worm.
Considering that all touring has pretty much come to a halt, Eric continued to call some of his rockstar friends and clients to join the band. The lineup for Maine Monster includes Aviv Cohen (Air Supply) on drums, Michael Kroeger (Nickelback) on bass, Joerg Kohring (Lifehouse) on guitar – as well as vocals by Eric and his son Henry Fleishman. Future Maine Monster recordings will feature John Oates (Hall & Oates), guitarist Phil Collen and Arnel Pineda (Journey).
Aside from living the dream of playing with musicians from his favorite rock bands, Eric says the biggest reward of Maine Monster has been using his passion for music to offer help to people struggling to survive right now in the U.S.
“In times of darkness like we find ourselves in there’s a certain responsibility from the artists to rise up and motivate and inspire the general public to get through this difficult time,” he said. “This is another example of artists coming together to put a beautiful piece of art into the world and use that to help our neighbors.”
“I’m Yours” by Maine Monster is currently available on all music streaming platforms.