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INTERVIEW: Trapdoor Social

Answered by Skylar Funk

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi VENTS, I feel very welcome to you indeed. I’ve been great!! On tour right now, writing from the van, somewhere between Amarillo, TX and Oklahoma City.

Can you talk to us more about your song “Never Stop Listening”?

Sure. It’s about fighting for what you believe in, even when it hurts. We all know that feeling of being discouraged by the news in the papers each day, that burnout and desire to just shut off. For me, as an environmentalist, I’ve been fighting that feeling for years… though since November, more than ever… But the point is, if we want to make a difference, I believe we need to stay engaged, informed, and involved. The song is about staying in the game.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

I wrote this song in the summer of 2014, when I woke up in my bed in LA with part of the tune buzzing in my mind already. It’s never happened like that before or since. We’d been working for years to find ways to fight for a better future… it must have seeped into my subconscious.

How was the film experience?

Incredible. It was extreme in a couple ways… for one, the weather – temperatures below zero, winds up to 40 mph, and snow. Not weather I would choose to go camping in again. On the other hand, it was extremely powerful to be part of this gathering. Every Native American tribe called to gather for the first time in 140 years, and people who came from all over the world to work with and defend them… the people we met were warm and beautiful and the experience was incredible. I mostly worked in construction for the camp, but our filmmaker Alexandra Velasco made lots of friends and found and captured so much of the beauty of the camp.

The single comes off your new self-titled album – why naming the record after the band?

To be honest, we just couldn’t agree on a better album title. Every band gets one, right?

How was the recording and writing process?

It was good. We’ve grown over the last few years from a duo (Merritt Graves and I) to a full-time 5-piece band, and this album had a ton of creative input from new members Louie Gonzalez and Patrick Griffen, who hadn’t recorded with us before. Our producer, Curt Schneider, as always, could be tough on us but all for the good of the music. I think we’re all happy with how it turned out.

How has the addition of a new members affected the band’s sound?

Louie is a guitar riff writing machine, and a talented songwriter to boot (he contributed Distance and Tiger, which I think are super cool). Patrick brings a rich variety of influences and pushes us toward the electronic, with some innovative bass techniques. Our new drummer, Ben Ebert, wasn’t around yet when we recorded this album, but he kicks major ass and I’m sure he’ll bring a ton of energy to our next batch of tunes.

Would all the songs deal with climate change or are you exploring other themes?

Only a couple really deal with it directly. For example, our song Winning As Truth (video coming soon) calls out Exxon for knowing about climate change since the lat 60’s, and deliberately obscuring that truth to protect their own profits ever since, at the expense of the billions of people who share this earth. Other themes on the album include religion, human nature, other existential risks, etc.

How has the road been treating you so far?

Pretty damn well. Lots of ups and downs already but the former certainly outweighs the latter.

Any highlight?

Colorado Springs! Between independent radio, a dope venue and a fantastic community, we have the best fan base and amazing shows there – last weekend was no exception. We’ve had some awesome support from a lot of places but nothing quite like that.

What is happening next in Trapdoor Social’s world?

We’ll keep producing solar-powered events, helping the #NoDAPL protests* and fighting for future life any way we can. Sunstock Solar Festival in LA will have round 2 in September. Keep an eye out for that!

Watch here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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