Return of the ‘Rascal’
Musicians experience creative breakthroughs in different ways. They might feel the charge when they open for a favorite musician or encounter a musical partner that expands the possibilities of their music. But like the Beatles before him, 20-year-old Trevor Hall experienced his breakthrough in India.
“Well, it’s kind of wordless,” says Hall of his travels to India this past January. “I knew that I was going to go sometime in my life, but I didn’t know I was going to go so young. It changed my outlook, both in life and musically. Most of the songs on my (upcoming full-length album) are written or inspired from that trip.”While in India, Hall wandered off the tourist’s path and visited an orphanage. He’s since used his acoustic folk/hip-hop/reggae fusion to put on benefit concerts for the same orphanage.”I stayed at a temple that was kind of like an orphanage, and I stayed for 10 days and got attached to the kids and the monks,” Hall says. “We put on a benefit for those orphan children in Laguna Beach and raised a lot of money – there were hundreds of people there. There’ll definitely be more (benefit concerts).”Until he can make it back, Trevor is deeply embroiled in recording and mixing his debut full-length for early next year, which follows his praised debut EP, “The Rascals Have Returned.” “I would love to go back to India very soon – I bought a 10-year visa,” he says. “I don’t know if I can fit in a trip this year, possibly next year. I’m only doing some one-off gigs around L.A. I’m focused on staying put to get the record done.”Inward for inspiration
While fans can count on the same gentle melodies and hints of reggae toasting, Hall says he turned inward for inspiration for this effort. “I don’t really try to ‘go’ for something – whatever is happening at that time, whatever the song wants, I let it happen,” he says. “I go off whatever I’m feeling. I haven’t been feeling too much modern music; lately I listen to lots of Indian music and stuff like that. What’s going on inside myself, I try and let out. Inspiration is everywhere, from going to the supermarket to going to wherever. For me at least, life is inspiration.”The music video for Hall’s “Other Ways,” which appears on the “Shrek the Third” soundtrack, mirrors his kinship with the children of India: Hall runs around the Santa Monica Pier with a gaggle of young kids, monkeying around and making faces with them as they film him.”I’ve always been really attached to kids and helping them, and it’s something I like to do,” he says. “One of our directors had that idea, which immediately grabbed me, and we went from there. It was a fun thing to do for my first video. I had a good time playing on the pier with the kids.”Hall has the feel of an old soul, and he talks in slow, thought-out sentences that sound half sage and half surfer-dude. Despite his experience (he started making music at 15 in Hilton Head, S.C.), it’s hard for reviewers and press not to focus on his surprising youth.”I get that a lot, but whatever people want to say, it doesn’t really bother me,” he says. “I try to take the compliments and put ’em in one pocket and take the not-so-good compliments and put them in the other pocket. I just do what I do.” Hall has toured with (his hero) Ziggy Marley, but Hall has a long list of other luminaries he’d like to play with – especially a certain Icelandic chanteuse known for an eclectic fashion sense.”I’d love to do something with Matisyahu, I love his vibe, I love what he sings about, and anyone of the Marley brothers really – there are so many cats out there,” he says. “But I’d love to collaborate with Bjork. I’ve got her lyric “All is Full of Love” tattooed on my arm. I’m pretty much a Bjork fanatic.”
Altitude adjustmentsGiven Hall’s last experience in the Valley, we’re lucky he’s coming back to Vail at all: While opening for The Wailers, Hall developed acute mountain sickness and was forced to fly back to L.A.”I’m little nervous about coming back to Vail – last time I was on tour with the Wailers, I wasn’t feeling well the whole time,” he says. “The altitude was really bothering me. I played the show and had to get off the stage and go to the hospital for severe altitude sickness. The doctors told me, ‘you need to get down to sea level.’ They put me on the next flight to L.A., and that was that.”Hall’s optimistic about getting to enjoy his trip to Vail this time, though.”I think it was a combination of things – (I was) jet lagged from India before and really tired, so we’ll see what happens,” he says. “I’m excited to play and chill with you all again, though.”Arts & Entertainment writer Ted Alvarez can be reached at 748-2939 or email@example.com.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado