Interview: The Trews
Mon, 15 Dec 2014 08:10:18
The Trews capture raw energy within their self-titled album. It's kinetic, powerful, intricate, and skilled. It's also undeniably alive and potently passionate. If you're in the market for a real rock record, you can't do any better than The Trews [iTunes link].
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, The Trews singer Colin MacDonald talks the new album and so much more.
Did you approach the album with one particular vision or vibe in mind?
I feel like it fell into place like that. We wrote all of the songs between January and May of 2013 at our jam space in Toronto. We wrote and recorded everything. We must've come up with forty-to-fifty ideas. We recorded everything on our phones and went over the ideas later on. We realized we had a lot of solid ideas. Maybe the cohesion came from the fact that all of the songs were written in the same period of time.
Were you tapping into an overarching theme lyrically?
Perhaps a little bit...that kind of stuff always happens subconsciously for me. I listen to the album now, and it seems a little thematic for me. At the time when I was writing it, I wasn't really thinking along those lines. It definitely seeped in over the course of the album. It's about evolving, acceptance, and moving forward.
What's the story behind "Rise in the Wake"?
We like to open all of our records with a barn burner record. That song actually came from three different ideas. The verse melody was floating around for about three months. We were putting it over all kinds of different musical themes. The pre-chorus and chorus were both something else. That song literally came from me listening to tapes from all the jamming we were doing and literally cutting, copying, and pasting song ideas from three different tunes. It worked really together. It's got that AC/DC-style riff that opens it too.
Where did "Under the Sun" come from?
The first idea of that song had been sitting around longer than the period we were initially writing. We brought it up towards the end. We really liked it, and we couldn't find a home for it. At first, it was a four-on-the-floor rock 'n' roll song that sounded like The Rolling Stones. We took that tribal drum beat from another idea that didn't end up on the album. We put that underneath the song. It took on a life of its own and became really cool. We pieced it together in the studio. Because we funded the record through PledgeMusic, we had Trews fans actually sing backup vocals. It's cool.
What's it about lyrically?
The opening lyric was about coming back from the UK on a really bad flight and drinking because it was so bumpy. It ends up becoming more of an existential statement by the end of it.
I'm the kind of writer who sits in the jam room with the guys. While they're working on an idea, I'm writing lyrics or making sounds with my voice. Words are coming out. When I listen to the tapes later, I'll think, "It sounds like I'm saying this". That's how I get my starting point and how I know I've got something to work from.
If your new album were a movie or a combination of movies, what would it be?
That's a good question. I actually had an idea for a collage of videos to accompany the album. We didn't have the time or the budget to do it. I wanted a music video to accompany the record and follow it for the whole thing. It dealt with travel, relationships falling apart not necessarily romantic just any kind, the breakdown of communication, and ultimately finding a way to get along and move forward.
Have you heard The Trews?