Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Plug In Stereo Interview with Trevor Dahl

Photo by Laura Means
Trevor Dahl (a.k.a. Plug In Stereo) has gained a great deal of recognition in a short period of time, by hitting the road hard,touring with acts like Never Shout Never, the Ready Set and the Scene Asthetic. Dahl also has a knack for creating catchy acoustic pop songs, driven by clever lyrics and his unbelievebaly smooth voice. His debut full length, Nothing to Something," dropped earlier this month and will have you humming along in no time at all. Check him on tour with Secondhand Serenade right now!

How did you get started? Was it just you in the beginning?
Trevor: Yeah, it's always been just me. I got my start in a hardcore band actually, but they kicked me out when I started Plug In Stereo. The guitarist who plays with me during live shows, was actually in that band too. We went on a little break, when we were on vacation and I started on the side for fun. I made a couple of instrumentals, not really singing on them, and posted it on MySpace. People slowly began to like it, so I started singing on the tracks. I then took the project more seriously, so the band kicked me out and then I took it even more seriously. I started writing more songs and started taking song-writing more seriously. After my Sophomore year, I left High School and have been touring and stuff since.
You signed with Triple Crown Records in the Summer of 2010, and you are about to release your debut album. Can you tell me a little about the album?
Dahl: Yes the new album is called, "Nothing but Something," and is out right now. It's cool because i have only released three professional recording thus far, so with this album I have eight new professional recordings out. Before these, I only had demos and EP's that I had recorded in my house.
What attracted you to Triple Crown?
Dahl: We had been shopping around for a label, after we recorded the album. My manager set up a meeting with them and they dug on it. It worked out really well, and they were excited about having me on board, so we decided to do it!
How far do some of the songs on the new album date back?
Dahl: I recorded the whole thing last December, so it has definitely been a while. Once we got hooked up with Triple Crown, and figured out what we wanted to do, they decided on a release date a couple months later. It has been a long process, but it has been very cool at the same time. I am excited for people to hear it finally. I have been writing my second album since then, so i am ready to work on that now...
So you already have a second LP in the works?
Dahl: Yeah, i have nine demos for it so far.
Are you seeing a difference in your writing process between the "Nothing But Something" and the full-length that you are working on right now?
Dahl: The first was practically me by myself, without any co-writes except for two songs that we done after most of the album had been recorded. It was weird on the first one, because I was just out of school at home, and didn't know what to do because i didn't have any tours booked at the time. My manager advised me to start writing so we could record an album, while I wasn't touring. I just started writing while at home, but it was difficult because I didn't do much. It was hard to think of ideas to write about, because I was at home all of the time(laughs). I had to wait for something to happen, for me to be inspired to write a song, or something happening to my friends. This next album is much easier to write, because I am doing a lot more, and meeting a bunch of people. So a lot more ideas have been coming to my head, for sure.
You definitely seem like a guy who has worked from the ground up. What kind of advice whole you have for a new solo artist?
Dahl: I would just say to write as many songs as possible, until you are comfortable with it. Also, you need to be comfortable with who you are as a musician and what your music wants to like. In the beginning you are experimenting with your sound, saying thing like " I love this type of sound, I want to sound like this person." I definitely tried that, until I found my own sound. I would suggest that you wait a little bit, until you have four or five songs that are completely you and that doesn't sound like anyone else. Try to get those out to as many people as possible, and talk to as many people as possible.
Who are some of your main influences, both past and present?
Dahl: I used to be into a lot of pop-electro back in the day. I loved Forever the Sickest Kids, and A Rocket to the Moon (when he was more elctro). Now I am in to more singer-songwriter stuff, like John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Taylor Swift and Jason Reeves.
So you are seeing your new influences come through your new stuff?
Dahl: Yeah, definitely. they seem to have more thought in their lyrics. They have deeper lyrics that people are able to relate to easily, more so than regular pop music. I want to have those kind of lyrics that mean stuff to people, while still having a "pop feel" to it so that they can have fun with it.
How did the covers mix tape come together?
Dahl: I was waiting for the album to come out for forever, so we wanted to do something. My manager had the idea to cover four rap songs, after he heard me do a Kid Cudi cover. I did the Alanis Morisette cover, just to have an old song on their that people could dig on. It was fun to do. I like to do covers, and kind of put my own twist on them. Rap songs don't sound anything like acoustic, so I like to re-do them in more of a stripped down form. I even do it while I am at home, just hanging out.
How did you get hooked up with Cady Groves for the song "Oh, Darling?"
Dahl: When I was recording my album, she was recoding at the same time with the same producer. I recorded during the day, and she recorded during the night. So the producer had the idea to have Cady sing on the song. Originally, I planned on have my sister sing on the track because I had wrote/recorded the demo with her and brought it to the producer. We had Cady come in and sing the song, and I loved it so we went with her on the track.
What kind of advice would you have in terms of connecting to fans?
Dahl: Use social networking sites to your advantage. There are so many bands out there, so you kind of have to make a personal connection with fans. it's good to talk to people and let them know that you really appreciate them listening to your music. I really do like talking to people. Also, I really appreciate when people take time out to let me that they love my music, and I obviously want to take time out to respond to them, so I will!
Perfect day, driving, windows down what are you listening to?
Dahl: Taylor Swift, John Mayer, the Shins or Jason Mraz.

No comments:

Post a Comment