The day my editor asked if I was interested in interviewing Trevor Hall, I pulled into the driveway and opened the car door right next to my little lime tree, (named Trevor, of course) and discovered my first lime! You see, the tree was an anniversary gift to my ex, but I took the tree when we split. It was a bad relationship that did not end well. Since then, I have discovered Buddhism and have worked a rigorous kindness, compassion and forgiveness meditation into practice.
Music has been a great source of healing, as well, including many of Trevor’s songs.
When I sat down to listen to “Fire On Your House”, I was immediately captivated by the banjo’s eclectic sound and drawn in further by the raw emotion in Hall’s voice as he belts out, “I’m gonna open up with fire now.” It’s a twist from his previous songs’ messages. I was moved deeply by how immensely I could relate to the passion behind his words. Hall has shared that the song was written years ago and is based on his experience in the music industry over the last two decades, compared to Buddhist parable The Monk and the Snake. Here’s what Hall had to say about the single.
TSM: You call this your “hissing song”. What recent events have had you feeling the need to hiss and let people know that you are seeing the ramifications of the wrongs they have done by releasing this song now?
- Hall: It’s really been old events that have had me needing to hiss. Like I said, this song was written a few years ago. At that point, I really needed to let these feelings out. It was a part of the healing process for me. However, I never intended on releasing it. When recording our new album In And Through The Body, I knew that I needed to be honest with all aspects of myself. We, therefore, decided to put it on the album. I’m really happy I was able to make a song like this and very grateful that our fans received it so openly.
What part of the song’s narrative do you feel the Snake plays? The Monk? The villagers?
- I’m not sure I’ve thought about the song in that exact way. I think it was just the story of The Monk and the Snake that inspired me to speak up. The story itself was just such an important lesson for me.
What has been your process in going from the anger towards those who wronged you — like in “Fire On Your House” — to a place of forgiving them?
- That’s a good and also very complex question. Obviously, in the moment of writing this song, I had a lot of anger and frustration. Instead of letting it all just fester inside of me, I needed to release it in some way. So, I guess the process of releasing it in song was a great part of me eventually coming to a space of forgiveness. If I would’ve never flushed out those feelings, I don’t think I would be in a healthy place today.
- Just because someone is angry doesn’t mean that they aren’t loving. It’s like when we are children and our parents may chastise us for a wrongdoing; it is out of their love for us that they get angry with us. That was an important lesson for me… to understand that I can “hiss”, but also still hold love in my heart.
What do we have to look forward to with the next single?
- The next single is one of my favorites off the album. It is entitled “More Than Love”. Sonically, it is again quite different from previous songs. We really wanted to stretch out and see how far we could take things. Lyrically, it is a very human song, that deals with the struggle of relationship(s) and not giving up when things are challenging. I’m really looking forward to people hearing it.
What was it like working with Brad Cook?
- Working with Brad was one of the greatest experiences of my life. He made me fall in love with music all over again. Brad and I are similar in the way that when we are creating, we don’t go in expecting anything. We’re not thinking about an album, the radio, what the song means, etc. We are just creating for the love of creation. Later on, we may try and trim things up and think about where everything goes… but in the moment, we are free. This similar trait in the both of us really allowed us to not put borders on anything. It was an incredible process.
What has been helping you get through these tough COVID times?
- I think all of us have different ways of getting through these current times. Because I travel so much for music and touring, it has actually been a blessing for me to have so much time at home. I’ve been using this time to really go inward and focus on my practice. Having so much space has allowed me to digest a lot and really slow everything down. On the other hand, it has been so painful for me to see so many people in our industry struggling. Therefore, it’s kind of a bittersweet experience. However, I am always trying to stay in a place of surrender. Surrender has been my key word.
Be sure to check out “Fire On Your House” and the new single “More Than Love” out NOW! Pre-save Hall’s In And Through The Body full album, coming later this month on September 25th.
Purchase or stream “More Than Love” single:
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