Dont Blink Media was able to speak with Trevor Hall and discuss his upcoming album (to be release later this year), this year’s SoulShine Tour, and some of his musical roots. Trevor Hall hits the road in just a few days with Michael Franti & Spearhead, SOJA, and Brett Dennen. The SoulShine Tour, which bridges daytime and nighttime activities, including live music, yoga, sustainable living activities and DJ performances, is being called one of the most anticipated summer tours this year. With over 30 dates, and joined by professional yoga instructors Seane Corn and Baron Baptiste, the first SoulShine Tour is sure to be a great time for everyone.
DBM: What got you into music and why did you start playing?
Trevor Hall: My dad was a musician, he was a drummer, and so there was always music around the house. I remember my dad had a huge record collection, and as a little kid I would just pull out a record, and if the cover looked cool, put it on. Music was always a big fascination for me. And then as I got older, I kind of messed around with a few instruments here and there, and finally settled on the guitar around age 12 or 13, and it all went from there. It was something that was so natural for me, I would come home from school, lock myself in my room, and write songs as just a way of letting the day go and helping me through stuff. It became like my best friend early on. So that’s how it started off.
DBM: As you were just starting with the guitar, what songs were you learning, what were you into at the time?
Trevor Hall: When I first started I was really into Punk Rock, like Blink-182, just in that rebellious stage of middle school. I just “wanted to be different”, ya know? I was into all that, and then when I was 13 or 14 I broke my arm really bad. I was in a cast for a year and I couldn’t play because of it. It was weird… my broken arm kind of snapped me out of that phase, and I started listening to a lot of acoustic music, like Ben Harper. I got really into Bob Marley and lots of old Reggae, and kind of started this soulful journey with music. It was an interesting thing that happened there. When I got the cast off, I got into surfing, Jack Johnson was starting to get pretty big at that time, and I was into a lot of music that was in the surf movies, surf culture. So that broken arm kind of changed my direction.
DBM: What was it like to sign your first record deal? What was going through your mind then?
Trevor Hall: Well I was still in high school, I was a senior and all my friends were going off to college, and I was going to move to LA, and so I signed this deal. At 18 years old, it was cool, but I felt left out. I was going into the world right away, and all my friends were going back to school, and so when September rolled around everyone went back to school, and I was alone. So it was bittersweet, cause of course its like I got this record deal, but at the same time it was a lonely time cause I wasn’t hanging out with anybody my age. I was hanging out with a bunch of older folks, and it was hard to relate to a lot of people, so I had to grow up quick.
When you’re signed in a deal, there’s a timeline of stuff that’s going to happen, there’s this and then this and then this… Everyone thought ‘Oh, he signed a deal he’s going to be super famous’ but it was not the case. I recorded two albums on that major label, and both got shelved. And then after four years they dropped me, so it was a really, really stressful time for me. And it wasn’t made out to what it was or what it sounded like to a little kid from South Carolina. So I had to learn really quickly. I’m thankful for that time, because it taught me a lot and I had to grow up quick and look after things. I really learned a lot.
DBM: So I read that last year you went to India. What do you think you’ve learned from your visit to India, that you’ve been able to incorporate into your music?
Trevor Hall: Well, I’ve been to India seven or eight times, I used to go every year. India is just a magical land; it’s a really spiritual land. They really live their spirituality internally, but also externally. Like, this place over here is a really holy place, and then this rock is a holy rock, and this tree is a holy tree, it became very living and magical. When you go to those places, weather you know it or not, there is a spirit in that place. And that spirit rubs off on you. I think that by going over there so much and being blessed to go to these places, I was able to get some of that juju or whatever. And it really affected me, and the stuff that I was writing about totally changed. After going to India, music became like a spiritual practice for me. Rather than being all ‘I’m just playing some songs,’ now they’re just my way of traversing the spiritual world. It affected me in so many ways, and still does today for sure.
DBM: What’s the overall feel we’re going to get from your upcoming album? Is it a happy album, a sad album, an album of remembrance?
Trevor Hall: For me, I like to think of it as a healing album. Before I did this album I took a year and a half off, I had gotten really burnt out from touring and running around… I didn’t know if I was even going to come back to making music, I was just really in a down place. For the first time in ten years I was like “Man, I need to stop.” I went back to India for a really long time, like three months. When I got back to the States, I spent a lot of time off in the woods, and tried to be in a quiet place. From that time, those experiences being in the forest and stuff like that were so healing for me. After a while I eventually picked up the guitar again and I started writing again, and I was just writing from a place of my heart. I wasn’t trying to write that next single or man, I totally like this song, or whatever. I was just really trying to write from a super, super pure place. It became so healing for me and I decided, I need to share these with people; I need to go back and do this. That’s how this album kind of came about. I feel like it’s the album that best represents me and my personality and my life, so I’m really excited for people to hear it.
DBM: What makes this upcoming tour different than other tours you’ve been on these last ten years?
Trevor Hall: I think it’s going to be really great! I’m totally blessed to be on it, because Michael Franti is a good friend of mine, and he’s always so full of energy and fun. He really makes being on the road fun! It’s cool cause it’s Michael Franti, Brent Dennen, and all them so it’s all of us together, and he’s put together a traveling music yoga festival where we roll into a city, in the day there’s yoga before the concert, then at night we play music, so it’s totally different, I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m just looking forward to the new experience, it’s not just a regular show where you come in and you’re in a club, it’s in theaters and stuff. It feels like it’s going to be a refreshing time.
Check out Trevor Hall’s facebook page for all the information you might need. For merchandise and links to tickets, visit his website here.
Trevor Hall Tour Dates
6/19 – Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Bowl
6/20 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theater
6/21 – Berkeley, CA – Greek Theater
6/22 – San Diego, CA – Open Air Theatre
6/24 – Jacksonville, OR – Britt Festivals
6/26 – Vancouver, BC – PNE Amphitheater
6/27 – Seattle, WA – Marymoor
6/28 – Bend, OR – Les Schwab
6/29 – Portland, OR – Edgefield
7/01 – Missoula, MT – Big Sky Brewery
7/02 – Sun Valley, ID – Sun Valley Center
7/03 – Salt Lake City, UT – USANA
7/05 – Santa Fe, NM – Santa Fe Falls
7/06 – Denver, CO – Red Rocks
7/08 – Kansas City, MO – Crossroads
7/10 – Chicago, IL – Charter One
7/11 – Minneapolis, MN – Basilica Block Party*
7/12 – Des Moines, IA – Simon Estes
7/13 – Indianapolis, IN – The Lawn
7/15 – Toronto, ON – Echobeach @ Molson Amphitheater
7/17 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony Summer Stage
7/18 – Boston, MA – Bank of America
7/19 – Gilford, NH – Bank of NH Pavilion
7/21 – New York, NY – Pier 97
7/22 – Philadelphia, PA – The Mann
7/24 – Floyd, VA – FloydFest*
7/25 – Wilmington, NC – Battleship Park
7/26 – Portsmouth, VA – nTelos Pavilion
7/27 – Charlotte, NC – Time Warner
7/29 – Boca Raton, FL – Sunset Cove Amphitheater
7/30 – St Augustine, FL – St Augustine Amphitheater
8/01 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade Park
8/02 – Nashville, TN – Fontanel