To the Brim – Eric Ripper Manages Changing Priorities on New ‘Fill My Glass’ Single

Eric Ripper black and white
Eric Ripper performs with Jonny Neville at The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor last fall. Photo – Lance McQuesten of McQuesten Media

Eric Ripper doesn’t see life as a glass that’s half-empty or half-full.

Instead, the Ferndale pop-rock singer-songwriter sees it as brimming with changing priorities on his candid new single, “Fill My Glass,” out March 17.

“I wrote ‘Fill My Glass’ about five or six years ago, so it’s an older song,” Ripper said. “I didn’t remake this one for my Story Notes album, but I’ve been thinking for a while that this one could be played a lot faster. This song is also on my Empty Place EP.”

In its revamped version, “Fill My Glass” transitions from a mellow acoustic-pop ballad to an infectious pop-punk jam.

Determined acoustic guitar, fiery electric guitar, hefty bass, thumping drums and crashing cymbals prompt sharing struggles of self-doubt and seeking validation from a confidant.

Ripper sings, “I think I’ve had enough / I just wanna give up / Will you tell me that I’m wrong / So I can think differently about myself.”

“I wrote this song about a girl I was seeing at the time,” he said. “I interpret the lyrics as the character speaking to a bartender, addressing his problems and wanting the reassurance that he’s not wrong about what he’s thinking and feeling. He wants to think differently about himself in general.”

After confiding in the bartender, the character shifts to confronting his partner and their lack of commitment toward the end of “Fill My Glass.”

Ripper sings, “So what you say / You gonna give me an input / We’ve been here for an hour / And I’m feeling quite sour / Said ‘I’ve had enough of the bullshit’/ ‘Are you ready for commitment?’”

“He’s tired, and he’s had enough of all of this. He doesn’t want to believe that they have given up though. He needs the reassurance that he’s wrong so he can think differently about the two of them,” Ripper said.

“‘Fill My Glass’ is saying how he needs validation from others on how to feel. He’s sticking up for himself to an extent, but he still needs the reassurance from others when he should truly be doing that on his own.”

To refresh the track’s sound, Ripper collaborated with Livonia producer and Studio 222 Recording owner Brandon McLeod and Highland guitarist Jonny Neville.

“We found the right tones we needed and mapped out the song to slowly build up and have the second chorus be really heavy-hitting. He had the idea of the sounds backing away and coming back at the intro of the second chorus, a bit influenced by Travis Barker’s production style,” he said.

“We knew we needed a killer solo to end the song, and I asked Jonny if he could come in and lay something down, and he nailed it. The rest of the song is my guitar playing.”

Fell for It

Fill My Glass” isn’t the only dynamic single to reflect a shift in Ripper’s evolving sound. In November, he dropped the roaring pop-punk banger “Fell for It,” which uncovers the disillusionment people often experience with adulthood.

Alongside frantic acoustic guitar, hyperactive electric guitar, bouncy bass and pulsating drums, Ripper reveals the fallacies children are told about becoming adults.

He sings, “Fireworks looked brighter when I was a kid / I never realized how much that I would dim / And all the timing it seemed so slow / And now I sit around and watch the hours go.”

“I feel like it’s something one is always chasing or trying to accomplish. You are told when you’re younger that growing up and getting older is so much better and that you’ll figure it all out. But in reality, most of us seem to still be adapting and trying to figure it all out,” Ripper said.

“I’ve been bouncing around too many places and ideas about life that I don’t even know the right answer. I just feel like we aren’t as happy getting older as more weight is added to our shoulders, but it’s something that you have to ‘force yourself to do.’”

Ripper also recorded “Fell for It” with McLeod and played electric guitar, acoustic guitar and bass, and programmed drums with him.

“I started writing ‘Fell for It’ in the middle of August 2022, and I think it only took a couple of studio sessions to nail the recording down. I originally wrote it a bit softer, and the more I messed around with it, the [quicker the] vision came together,” he said.

“I realized this could be my first entry into this pop-punk genre that I enjoy so much. Brandon [McLeod] is a fan of this type of music as well, so it was easy to put it together as we bounced ideas off each other. He helped modify the specific electric guitar tone as well as the drums since we programmed those in.”

To take the track to the next level, Ripper recently released a new video for it directed by Ryme Media’s Marguerite Wasinski and Ryian Reed. They recorded the energetic performance video at the now-closed Replay Café Detroit with The Rippers, including Darin Curtis (drums), Phil Steuer (bass) and Neville (guitar).

“Marguerite and Ryian were very professional and brought all the required equipment to make us look sharp. They’re fans of this type of music and of this song, so they were excited to create a video for this,” Ripper said.

“Replay Café was a cool spot full of old and new arcade games … unfortunately it’s now permanently closed. We shot the video in one day within four hours, and we went through the song about 10-15 times to make sure we got all the different angles for a variety [of shots] throughout the video.”

Next Up

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Eric Ripper performs with Phil Steuer and Darin Curtis at The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor. Photo – Lance McQuesten of McQuesten Media

Outside of releasing new singles and videos, Ripper plays live regularly throughout metro Detroit, including March 17 for Saint Patrick’s Day at Milford’s Main Street Grill & Tavern from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Ferndale’s Brooks Brewing from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. He’s also planning some upcoming full-band shows soon.

“I’ll definitely continue what I’ve been doing at these bar shows that I’ve been playing weekly,” he said. “I’m playing the covers patrons wanna hear as well as sprinkling my originals in there.”

When he’s not playing live shows, Ripper continues to write and record new material. He’s completed two tracks and working on a few others with McLeod.

“They will fall under the singer-songwriter vibe while still having a full-band sound,” he said. “I’m really excited to share this new sound. I might just release them all as singles and then put them on an EP for a bigger release.”

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