INTERVIEW: The Trouble Notes

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

Hey! We’ve been well! Just finished up our first tour since the release and now getting some much needed rest.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Lose Your Ties”?

The song is the single from our album of the same name, and it is meant to be an ode to our origins as a group. Thus far it has been very well received and has given us a very bright outlook on the release of the album and what is certain to come in the future.

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

Bennet: The origins of the song start with my past working at a Wall Street investment fund. I believe that at some point in our lives we are faced with a very difficult decision, deciding whether to pursue a path that provides security and little self-fulfillment or one that is seemingly a great risk but would satisfy the creative and emotional needs of our psyche. Before I left my Wall Street hedge fund career to travel and live our music, I felt like I was constantly in a state of “identity crisis”.

“Lose Your Ties” is a kind of musical soundtrack of this transformation. First the subconscience begins to whisper in your ear, telling you that your current path is one of unfulfillment. Rational thought answers, pushing that voice back down into the frey, before it rises back, each time becoming more prominent. In the end you choose to listen to your emotions and it allows for a dreamy uprooting from your confort zone as you venture into the unknown in a passionate pursuit of your dream.

Why naming the album after this track in particular?

All of the songs on the record are influenced by different cultures or experiences we’ve had while traveling, but “Lose Your Ties” is about our origins. It is seemingly the song that details the birth of our vision and lays the foundation for all the songs that follow. There is a kind of message here that without having gone through that transformation, none of the other songs on the record would be possible.

How was the recording and writing process?

We are very much a live band. Much of our music was born in the streets and has been fine tuned during the live process. For that reason, it was always a focus of ours to record in a similar way: live. But with this record, at the request of producer Khalil Chahine, we decided to change the approach. We assembled a larger band, adding a contrabass and a second guitar, and worked through each song, highlighting the different cultural nuances and traditions that we wanted the listener to experience. The 11 tracks were recorded live, and then we sought to add different instruments and accents to enhance the storytelling within the music. The result is a much more “mature” sound, focused on a larger production that more clearly defines the genres being combined in each song.

How has Gypsy culture influences your music?

At the early stages of our formation, quite a lot. We drew a lot of influence from groups like Gogol Bordello, Goran Bregovic and others, particularly in the energy of the performance. Often there is a natural association of travel with “gypsy” music, we often think of gypsies as nomadic and unorthodox. That said, it is important not to classify our music as “gypsy” since we are not drawing from the traditional repertoire of what the musical world calls “gypsy music”. Certainly there are elements, but we would not explicitly refer to ourselves as such.

What role does Berlin play in your writing?

On this particular record it is safe to say that Berlin has left her mark. Berlin is very well known for classical/jazz music and electronic music, and we worked with some well known players in the jazz and electronic world to bring some of the songs to that realm. Particularly in the rhythm, there have been some comments from first time listeners that we make a kind of acoustic-folk techno, definitely something that was born out of our time spent here in Berlin. There is a kind of pulse that Berlin audiences are accustomed to, and when you understand it, you can get them to move.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Each songs finds inspiration from a different place. There is a real eclectic mix of genre and tradition on the album, from experiences in Latin America to different journeys during our time here in Europe.

Any plans to hit the road?

Definitely! For the past few years you could say we practically live on the road and 2018 is not any different. We just finished our first 2 weeks of tour in February, where we saw big and successful release concerts in Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Leipzig and Cologne. This March-May we will be bringing the show to dozens of cities in France, Germany, Belgium and Italy, which will transition into the festival season where we have a solid schedule so far. October and November we’ll be doing our first proper tour of the USA/Canada, something we’re really excited about. 2018 is likely to be our best year yet!

What else is happening next in The Trouble Notes’ world?

In a few weeks we’ll be releasing a new music video for another one of the songs, “Ghosts of the Red Sand”, on the album. This is a video we shot in the Fall 2017 and it is powerful! The story behind the song is a kind of dance of the dead between different cultures clashing in the Middle East, mixing traditional styles from each. We used different dancers to represent the different cultures in the music and every time we watch it we get goosebumps. We’re excited to share it with our audience and hopefully affect people with the message of acceptance and cultural understanding that is behind it.

Stream 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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