Images Courtesy of Steve Rosenfield


Steve Rosenfield: Where did music start for you?

Trevor Hall: It started with my father. He was a musician and played the drums.

SR: Why do you do what you do?

TH: Sometimes, I don’t really have a choice, you know? (laughs) Music was such a love of mine. It was my way of exploring life, my internal world. To be honest, I don’t really know why or why not. It’s just seems life without it would be death.

SR: What makes you vulnerable?

TH: Well, in the early years, it was those moments right before going on stage. They put me in a very ticklish space, but I think it’s shifted to writing because when you’re young, you’re not really worried too much about what people think. You’re just in this beautiful, natural place with creativity, and it’s just flowing through you, whereas after a few years and a few records, you have all these pressures starting to build on your back.

SR: Definitely. From the beginning of your career to now, there must be a business side of music and a pleasure side of music. How do you separate that?

TH: It’s been a tough road. Here’s an analogy: you only see the top of a lily pad, but if you pull the lily pad out of the water, it has roots and tangled weeds and all the stuff that comes with it. To be honest, I’m really not good at it, and I haven’t mastered the business part of it. (laughs)

SR: I love that lily pad analogy. How do you maintain a balance with a hectic touring lifestyle?

TH: I’m not gonna lie; it’s a really difficult thing. I think you have to find it through yourself. For me, that’s where my spiritual practice comes in. It’s come from a lot of people that I’ve met that have influenced me over the years, and it’s remembering those people, what they taught me. That’s how I do it.

SR: When you write music, it seems to be very spiritual and poetic. Can you tell me more about that?

TH: Ever since I was a young kid, I was always hungry for something. It was this thing inside me that no matter what I did, I couldn’t satisfy it. In high school, my friend’s father was with a great saint in India, Neem Karoli Baba. My friend had a picture of him on the wall in his dorm room at the boarding school we went to. That lifelong hunger was almost quenched just by seeing a picture of this person I didn’t even know but I felt like I knew in my heart. My friend had a book about this saint. I remember we stayed up the whole night reading it. The familiarity was astonishing to me. We have an expression, “a moment with your beloved, and the river changes course.” That was definitely when my river changed course because I fell in love with this personality. Whatever this personality loved, I wanted to love. It all stemmed from him. And some may say, “Oh, that’s quite ridiculous,” or “That’s quite a blind faith.” As Bob Marley says, “who feels it, knows it.”

SR: I noticed you work with a specific ashram in India, Yoga-Vedanta Kutir. Can you talk about that?

TH: On my first trip to India, my guru took me to an ashram in Allahabad. I felt like I was walking into a place I had been before. It felt like it was my spiritual home. The ashram houses young boys from ages five to sixteen. Most of the boys are either orphans, from single parents, or from poor families. They’re taught basic life lessons, traditional education, and ancient yoga philosophy that is unfortunately being washed away by our western culture, even in India. At first, the kids were reckless, but by the second year I returned, the transformation that had taken place blew my mind. I just wanted to support that cause any way I could. I came back to the States and just put out a little donation basket with a picture and a brief description at our shows. We’ve raised thousands and thousands of dollars, which enabled us to build a girls’ ashram. It’s grown into something that I never thought would ever happen. So many fans, friends, and family have given money, and now, when I walk into the ashram, I see them there. I see their love within those walls and within those kids’ eyes. The whole experience has really taught me the wonders of humanity.

SR: Totally. How do you transform your pain?

TH: Well, I’m the type of guy that I wear my heart on my sleeve. If I’m in a good or bad mood, then everybody knows it. (laughs) I’m not really good at hiding it or taking something and transforming it into something good. When those things come along, I really try to just sit with them and let it run its course because it’s necessary to feel both sides of the coin.

SR: What song are you most embarrassed about having on your iPod?

TH: (laughs) That’s a good one. I like that. That’s not really a fair question because if you say something, then it exposes you. Secondly, it makes the artist, whoever it is, not feel good about themselves.(laughs) The song I’m most embarrassed about having would be… I don’t know. This past record, the record label was getting on me about doing a radio song. So, my producer sent me a song demo and for a very short period, I considered doing it, but my discrimination kicked in. I still have it and listen to it from time to time because it’s catchy. (laughs)

www.trevorhallmusic.com

To make a donation to Yoga Vedanta Kutir, send cash or check to: Trevor Hall P.O.Box 1834 Laguna Beach, CA 92652.

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