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Trevy Trevoix: ‘Folk Meets Bass’

Photo by Jd Brodie/SKINTrade Photography

Trevy Trevoix has been making music since he was five years old, recording himself singing on his Fisher-Price tape recorder while making beats with empty seltzer bottles and rocks. He continued to make music as he grew up. Trevoix recalls sampling rock beats and recording vocals as soon as he got his first Macintosh computer in the early 1990s, which allowed him to hear his beats through audio mixing software.

He went to art school at University of California, Los Angeles but couldn’t get his mind off of music. “I had this fascination with growing my own sounds from scratch. Just sine waves, scrubbing, pitch shift, and dubbing to DAT or cassette, and from there, I edited everything I made.”

Music, the thing that defined his childhood and distracted him in art school, has now led him to the woods where he makes self-described “folk meets bass,” “forest/faggot/R&B” music.

“…I’m up to the very same stuff as when I was a kid, only everything is more actualized,” he says. “The woods around me are huge now. I used to make potions with the ornamentals that were growing in the suburban yard in California and just like the music, I’m still making potions, except now I craft them with wild berries and they end up as wine.”

Learn more about Trevoix in our Q & A below…

How did you start out making music?
After living in LA for a decade, I finally realized that I didn’t need to wait till I had a bunch of money to have a house in the woods and play music all day long. And so I’ve been living in various woods, mainly off-grid, in the Northwest of the U.S. for the past five years. It’s the kind of thing you can do when you just set out to do it. City dwellers often congratulate me on my “low-carbon footprint,” but that’s not the way I think about this exactly. [pullquote]I’m not big on asceticism, or purity, but I’m really into pleasure and respect. Truth is contextual, and everybody, not just the humans, have realness to share. Out here, the project is to listen to and live with the wildness.[/pullquote]

I started to collaborate with a friend whose project is now named Sister Mantos. We would play for long sessions, making two-track tapes. We’d build beats simultaneously using homemade samples, 808 hits, or Dr. Groovebox. I’d scrub with field-recorded tapes, or classics like Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew.  Sometimes we’d snake an extension cord up to the roof of my Hollywood apartment and she’d play bass and I’d sing till the sunset.

Over the summer, I hiked up in the Olympic Mountains with recording equipment and enough food for a few days, built a mic stand with down and dead tree branches, and sang out across the Alpine Meadows.  Singing into stands of trees and rock faces, I would get some real tasty reverb, hearing my voice come back through the filter of the mountains.

What music has been your inspiration lately?  What are you listening to?
Susumu Yakota‘s work has been a huge inspiration to me lately, especially the Grinning Cat album. I like the musique concrete aspect so much.  It’s like he creates a whole planet with just three voices. His music illustrates to me how technology is another evolutionary aspect of nature, not apart from it.

I’ve been listening to Dionne Warwick’s Her Classic Songs, and Aretha Franklin‘s Love Songs in the morning time. My top, most-played tracks are a few by TOTAL FREEDOM, one by Teengirl Fantasy, The Fox” by Niki & the Dove, and my favorite track of last year, “High for This (NastyNasty Edit)” by The Weeknd. I feel really alive when I listen to lyrics that diminish that old medieval narrative of “the hero vs. the enemy.”  Songs that breathe & pound with a sense of committed relativism. Björk‘s Biophilia really says a lot on this front.

A story behind the lyrics of one of your songs?
Clearcut” is a song about paying attention to the wake of destruction carved out from my own path.  You know, it’s like: the more one looks into the food they eat, or whatever else one consumes, the more one realizes that you can’t take a step on this earth without killing. This song is about getting over that fear of killing (plants, crabs, lichens) because destruction and creation are necessarily intertwined.  Not to turn a blind eye, or become numb, no,  but to witness the death that I myself will in this world.  The important part of any sacrifice seems to me, to be paying attention to those beings, or that mountainside, which is taken away.  Because when it’s your own hands holding that chainsaw, and you can smell that gushing tree blood, taste it fresh on your tongue- you can also decide how many trees need to be cut, and how many trees need to stay standing.

Have you been working on new music? Any goals for 2012?
I’m releasing two new singles in the next couple months.  They are both more night-timey than my tracks of last year. One is a little clubby, the other a little gothy.  I’ll be releasing a full album later this year!

Any shows coming up and where?
Currently booking shows in Seattle, Olympia, WA and Vancouver, BC area.

Threshold by Trevwa

Listen to and download (for free) Trevoix’s music on SoundCloudWatch the video for Trevoix and Sister Mantos’ “Aug08.”


One Comment

  1. TrevyTrevoix will be performing this friday, March 2nd 2012 at BUTCH QUEEN II @ The Cockpit, Seattle WA. 10p. $3. DJ Lustache (PDX) & Kid Amiga, DJ Nark & Riff-Raff (Bottom Forty) will tear up the dancefloor till 3 am.

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