Trey Green is a geographical nomad, not merely the mental wanderer that your podcaster is. He was born in Memphis, Tenn., and has lived in places as diverse as Aspen, Colo.; Bozeman, Mont.; Hawaii; the Bahamas; Wisconsin; and others.
His debut album zigs when you expect it to zag. It's sometimes horrifying in a Larry David comedy sort of way. And yes, he sings about the glories of his own posterior. Gotta respect a guy that utterly without shame.
He's interviewed here with an assist from Ariel Publicity.
Where are you from? How does living there affect your songwriting? I've lived all over the country (Tennessee, New York, Wisconsin, Maine, Colorado, Montana, Hawaii, Bahamas), and have been lucky enough to travel to over 50 countries. The main affect on my songwriting is that once you see past fears, prejudices, that are largely regional or cultural, you can see just how hilarious everyday life is. Sobering and hilarious.
Do you focus on any political themes? If so, please tell us in more detail about them. My political themes are tolerance, ocean and forest preservation, and history. If we kept those in mind, we'd be a lot better off. I don't sing about that stuff much -- no preaching from me.
How long have you been playing, and what was your first instrument? I started playing and performing both piano and cello at age 5, but gave both of them up around age 12, when I bought a Sigma acoustic (Sigma was a Korean-made Martin), followed by a red, American Fender Strat.
How much has heartbreak contributed to your songwriting? Not too much -- "Go Away" and "Won't Last Forever" are about girls and the games they play, but are more about annoyance than heartbreak. Some songs on the second album are clearly about heartbreak, but they won't be out for about six months.
What are your main musical influences? I pick up pieces from all over the place. There are so many great moments in all types of music, in everything from The Marriage of Figaro to Leadbelly to Chuck Berry to the Foo Fighters. Chuck Berry, Adam Sandler, Dave Grohl, Jack White -- those guys all write songs exactly how they want to, and they're killer. "My Little Chicken" by Adam Sandler -- classic.
What's the last album you bought that you're enjoying? Skin and Bones by the Foo Fighters. Slow at times, but Dave Grohl has officially mastered commandment of the crowd.
Have you seen any great live shows lately? Lemonheads. So heavy -- heart-shaking heavy. He was high as a kite, his eyes were literally rolled back in his head, but he nailed every single bar of the whole album. Seriously, the bass was so heavy that I could feel the organs in my chest vibrating.
What is your guilty pleasure band? If that means it's something that I like that other people think is embarrassing, then, oh man, I can't just say one -- The Lonely Island, Weird Al, Katy Perry, Micky Avalon, and more. Katy Perry and Micky Avalon will fade away pretty soon, but Weird Al is an all-time great.
(Ye Olde Podcaster formally invites Katy Perry to use him for consolation. We now resume the interview, already in progress.)
What was the first album you ever bought? No idea, but the first album I ever owned was a gift; it was Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Still one of my favorites.
First concert you ever attended? Stevie Wonder, but he lost his voice after the first song, and invited kids on stage to sing ... lame.
If you could create your own fantasy music festival, who would the top six headliners be? In their prime -- The White Stripes, Foo Fighters, Guns 'N Roses (circa 1989, and only if they start on time), Blink 182 (they are awesome entertainers), Blues Traveler, and Chuck Berry. Then they’d all come out and sing a heavy version of "My Ding-a-Ling" together.
What is your favorite physical record store? Oh shit, I can't remember what it's called, but it's on Bleecker Street in New York City about a block east of the Blind Tiger and a few blocks west of the Bitter End.
What is your favorite movie? Naked Gun.
Keith or Mick? Mick. He's the one that makes it happen.
You have $5 to spend on dinner. What are you eating? Fish tacos.
Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert? Colbert -- not taking himself too seriously, and he's hilarious.
What's your favorite magazine to read? Surfer.
What do you think is the most alarming media story in the last few months? Haha -- reading that Four Christmases was a box office hit blew my mind -- I saw it, under protest, and it was one of the worst movies of all time. Hands down.
Do you support any specific charities, and how do you give back as an artist? Ocean convervation charities such as BREEF and educational organizations like Stepping Stone Foundation.
Education is the only permanent solution to this stuff, and those are two great organizations that have real impact in tough environments.
Have you read any great books lately? Tobias Wolff's latest book of short stories (Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories). Killer.
If you were a superhero, what famous musician would be your arch-nemesis and why? Probably Jack Black or Jorm of the Lonely Island, because I don't actually want to fight, and we could come up with some hilarious battles, and I'm pretty sure we're all happy to break things.
If I actually had to fight, then I'd say Lenny Kravitz. I saw him in Riga, Latvia, and he was such an asshole. He comes out on stage about two hours late and goes "I am the minister of rock and roll!" and held his arms up in a spotlight for no less than a minute. Then he threw his jacket into the crowd and strutted around for about five minutes. I have it on video.
He's so good, what the hell was he doing? The Latvians were looking at each other like, "This is supposed to be cool?"
What is the most adventurous food you've ever eaten? I ate and drank cobra in Saigon with a buddy, Chris Kellner, and a Vietnamese guy named Victory. They drain the blood into a bottle of cognac to make "snake wine," and then cut out the venom sac, un-punctured, and the heart, still beating. Put each one in a shot glass, pour in the snake wine, and down it.
Burns a little, but it's pretty invigorating. Usually I have to back that story up with photos, which I have.
(Ummm ... yeah ... Dancing Mattress Productions will take his word for it. No need for the photos, seriously.)
Oh, and you were about to ask me if I had to get two more tattoos right now, what would they be?
(We weren't, but we'll go with it...)
I'd get "TATTOO" on my left forearm and "Never deep-fry a frozen turkey" on my rear.
Trey Green invites you to check out the video for "The Shepherd's Pie Song" on YouTube. His music can be purchased on CD or in MP3 at Amazon, and via iTunes.
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