1. Hi TRISTN, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’ve been alright. It’s a combination of excitement and anxiety. I’m excited for the release of my next music video and I can’t wait until the release of my album.
2. Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Anywhere But Here”?
Oh man, I am in love with how it turned out. I have to shoutout to Steve, my producer, for being able to hear songs in the music I write. There’s so much to say about it. I’ll start with when I wrote the first verse. It was exactly how I felt. I wasn’t thinking about writing a song, it was just how I felt at the time. Then I recorded a demo to send to Steve. He usually tells me if it’s worth producing or not, haha. Then a couple days later, I saw a fan-made tribute video for Harry Potter. The song behind it was “This is war” by 30 Seconds to Mars and it completed my vision for the song. 18 hours later, the song was done.
3. Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
The conversation in this song is what I needed to tell myself and remind a lot of people who may have forgotten the great person they used to believe in. I wrote it while I was on the phone with my mom, talking about how brave she is. She’s my idol. And we were both very stressed so I picked up the guitar and start playing just the chorus part. “Let’s go back…” I think we all need to be reminded every once in a while who we used to be and what we’re really made of.
4. Any plans to release a video for the single?
Aha! I’m trying to keep it a secret. The music video for Sky Wide Open is about to release, so I won’t say more about what’s coming next. It will just have to stay a secret.
5. The single comes off your new album January – what’s the story behind the title?
Well, most of the time we wish we could be somewhere else… go somewhere to get away, to escape, or to remember a moment we can no longer have. We decided that Anywhere But Here would be on this album because this is my first album and the thought of wanting to be somewhere else is very naive. I still feel like getting away from all the politics but I’m so proud of my music that right here is exactly where I want to be.
6. How was the recording and writing process?
The song came very naturally. I wrote it all in a day. We made some minor changes to the lyrics during the recording process. The whole song from start to finish was written, produced and recorded in my studio apartment. It was a little tough when we recorded the choruses and back vocals, long screaming notes and gang vocals. Steve did a great job with everything, from the drums to guitars and arrangement. We had a great time producing this song.
7. What was it like to work with Steve Kupillas and how did that relationship develop?
Ah, Steve. He and I are a great team for sure. It took a while for us to get adjusted to each other’s creative process, but Steve has been very patient with understanding my vision. I see the world I want to create in every piece of music I write, but it’s not the easiest thing to convey my vision to another professional. He used to ask me for references like “How do you want this song to sound like?” and I’d reply with images and color concepts, haha. But after about 4 months of sticks and stones, all the sudden he and I just clicked and we barely had to use words to communicate with each other anymore. I’d tilt my head and he’d already know what it means.
8. How much did he influence the album?
Honestly, Steve didn’t only influence the album. He also helped me develop a sound that is mine. He’s also a great teacher, very patient and very knowledgable. At first I thought, wow, this guy knows so much, he’s probably going to give up on me, haha. But I learned as much as I could to catch up with him and I’m so happy he didn’t give up on me.
9. Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
I’m inspired by true events in my life. I’m also inspired by the people in it. Sometimes I write songs to comfort someone, to encourage them, or simply just to make them laugh. The lyrics are very much like the way I talk, haha, just on pitch with instruments and melodies.
10. Any plans to hit the road?
Yes, I’m working on that at the moment. It’s a little tough since I’m not signed to any label, nor do I have backup funding to support a tour, but it hasn’t stopped me before.
11. What else is happening next in TRISTN’s world?
Right now I’m doing my best to reach out to my fans all around the world. I’m also working on writing and producing for other artists as well. I still have a lot to learn. Steve and I are also working on the next record as well and I’m super excited about that.