Eric Bindler, the Guitar Hero

Eric Bindler knows your next two questions if your first question to him is, “What’s your major?”

“They always say, ‘What in the world is ethnomusicology?’ and then, ‘What kind of job can you get with it?’”

For the record, ethnomusicology is the study of music in its cultural context (ever wonder why it’s the sitar and not the banjo in Indian folk songs?) and it’s the field in which Bindler is now working towards his doctorate at Indiana University, where he earned a full scholarship.

“I’ve lived all over the place so I’ve always been interested in other cultures,” he said. “What’s cool is that I get to learn the history and significance of potentially every instrument in the world—and I also get to play them. That’s what I’m really excited about.”

Eric Bindler playing a ukulele

Bindler is not new to performing world music. While at Rollins, he was lead guitarist for his Winter Park rock band the Thought Doctors. He also undertook serious research at Rollins, with a collaborative project with anthropology professor Robert Moore, traveling to China to document Mandarin slang.

“There’s no way I would have been given that kind of opportunity as an undergrad at any other college and it was great preparation for what I’ll be doing in grad school,” Bindler said. “Rollins was the happiest time of my life. I already miss it.”

Major: Music Minor: Anthropology
Hometown: Westin, FL (by way of Trinidad)
Little-known fact: Lead guitarist of the Thought Doctors
Admires: Musician Joe Strummer
Favorite literary character: Sal Paradise
Known for: Big feet
Admits to… overusing the word “dude”
Favorite toy as a child: Z-Bots (still has them)
You did what? Acted in a Campus MovieFest film
Breakfast: No. Sleep.
Favorite quote: “The future is unwritten.” (Joe Strummer)
Dream job: Rock star
In 10 years: World traveler. Doctor. (“the Ph.D. kind, not the medical kind”)

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