INTERVIEW: Paul The Trombonist

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

It is a pleasure to be here thank you for having me. I just got done successfully getting my sister’s new puppy to sing while I play trombone so things are pretty good right now.

Can you talk to us more about “Enchanted Garden” — did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Yes, the melody of this song came to me while I was dreaming and in the dream I was in this beautiful garden. One of the most colorful, gorgeous and magical places you could ever imagine. It was a place of peace. As I was exploring the lush landscape, I awoke in the middle of the night suddenly. I was halfway asleep and wanted to get some water because I was extremely thirsty. On the way to the kitchen, I randomly started humming a melody. This melody would not leave me so I decided to sing it into my voice memo phone application as to not lose it (which usually happens when I don’t record it). The crazy thing about all of this is as I was watering the plants the next evening (a similar looking leaf as the one that was in my dream come to the think of it), I heard a noise from my pocket. I pulled out my phone and the sound file of me humming the mysterious melody from the night before was playing through the speaker.

The song comes off your new album Journey To The World – what’s the story behind the title?

Every song is a journey to a different world. The sounds explore different galaxies, universes and planets. Every chord, a different time a different place. If you listen to the album in a dark room with headphones on, some people have told me that they felt like they were floating to places they never experienced before. A few people have said that its the closest feeling to being an explorer they have ever endured. A few reviews are already in and from what I have read the writers are saying they felt like they went on a journey unlike any they have ever been on and want to go on it again real soon.

How was the recording and writing process?

The recording and writing process came very smoothly and flowed out of me like wine. It felt almost as if I was not writing the album and merely a muse of a greater power among us. It’s a concept that had been in development since I was a little kid and it felt as though all of my experiences with various styles and influences in my life led me to create this album. Some of the melodies are fresh and some were in my mind from years ago but I locked myself inside the studio for two weeks and recorded the entire album in that time. I turned off my phone, I only went outside to eat meals and go to the restroom. I printed out a photo taken of the moon since the beginning of photography for every 20 year increment. The first photo of the moon was taken in the year 1840. Starting with track 1 through track 10, as I was working on a different song I would hang up a different photo of the moon. Finishing off the album with “Victory Dance” track 10, moon photo 2016.

Known for personally interviewing other trombonists in the scene, both icons and newcomers, do you apply their tips to you own career? What has been the best advice you’ve been given?

Yes I learn little gems of wisdom from each and every one of them. One of the best pieces of advice that I have ever received came to me when I was just a teenager by a trombonist and educator in Cleveland, Ohio, named Chas Baker.  He once told me “the hardest thing about practicing is opening up the case. Once you start, the rest takes care of itself.” This resonated with me so much that ever since then I apply this way of thinking to everything I do and say to myself and others “One of the hardest things about doing anything is starting it . Once you start, the rest takes care of itself.”

What have you also learned from your experiences sharing the stage with some big names as Arturo Sandoval? 

I admire Arturo’s drive to always get better and his passion and love for music. As good as he is, he is always getting better and it is admirable. Every performance he performs like it may be the last time he ever will have a chance to play. That is a great mindset to have. He puts his heart and soul into every performance and I really respect that. I learned a lot spending time in the studio with him watching how he works, his work ethic and his strive for excellence. There is no one quite like him that I have ever come across. He is a musical genius on a level that very few people have ever attained of present day and of the past. I feel fortunate to of been able to spend so much time with him and am forever grateful. I learned so much from him.

Where did you find the inspiration for the music on this material?

The inspiration came from all of the musical genres that influenced me in my life. As a youngster I was a multi-instrumentalist who performed  hip-hop, bluegrass, classical, punk rock, rock, jazz, ska and electronic music. This all started at the age of seven and I performed anywhere from concert halls to the clubs. My first instrument was banjo. It seemed like a natural progression for me in terms of sonically where to go with my music and honestly this is the most honest music to who I am.

Any plans to hit the road? 

Yes indeed, this year I plan to book shows to as many places as I can fit in.

What else is happening next in Paul The Trombonist’s world?  

In addition to bringing my music to a live performance situation, I am writing a television show about music (the concept trailer for that is up on my youtube channel). I freelance as a trombonist on other artists’ projects and that schedule fills up rather quickly. I’m also sent all over the world to conduct clinics and masterclasses on various music and music industry related topics. Many top brands also hire me as a social media consultant to help them out with their online presence.

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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One comment

  1. RJ-

    Thanks for posting this interview with my friend, Paul the Trombonist. The musical world anxiously awaits the release of “Journey To The World”, his debut recording as a leader. Keep the light shining for independent artists!


    Scott Whitfield
    Los Angeles, CA

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