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Monday, August 24, 2009

Meet the Musicians: Trey Green

Effortlessly cool and eternally whimsical, Trey Green embodies a series of irresolvable contradictions. He likes it that way. The Boston-based, globetrotting artist is impossible to pin down in any way, shape or form. At one moment incisive, at one moment hilarious and at other moments spouting foul humor, his inexplicably has had him create an unforgettable debut self-titled CD, a work that worms itself into the mind of the listener. You may be moved, amused or even appalled, but in a world of shrug your shoulder artists, Trey Green stands alone.

Trey Green was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but he has lived all over the world. From the mountains of Aspen, Colorado to the Bahamas, from Hawaii to Bozeman, Montana, Trey´s travels have left a man comfortable in any environment, and more importantly, with an insight into humanity that most people never even ponder. People are regional, Trey points out. I´ve been to every state and over fifty countries, and everyone has a bias favoring where they´re from against other places. It´s hilarious, he says with a mischievous grin. But it does make me able to see life from a lot of different aspects, and I am able to use that in writing songs, he states. And most importantly, I get to see the awesome humor in every day life.

Trey grew up in a musical family and has been writing songs since childhood. A concert cellist in the first grade, he became a concert pianist by third grade and has since completely forgotten both instruments. But he still plays the American made Stratocaster that he saved up for and bought at the age of twelve, with which he immediately began writing songs. I never wanted to play other people´s songs, Trey says. I always wanted to write them. That´s one thing I´m serious about.

Trey has a life-long love affair with the ocean he surfs, spear-fishes, and works in ocean conservation. It was in Fiji where he discovered his own unique appeal. He remembers, I was on Tavi surfing and hanging out with a crew of surfers and the tribe. I´m sitting there with about twenty Fijian women singing this incredible harmony, they ask me to play a song, so I played My Girlfriend. People lit up three people came up to me afterwards and told me I could get on the radio with it. One guy even offered to pay to record it, and for the first time I realized that the songs I was making up in my head could actually reach other people. So I started to go for it.

Indeed, My Girlfriend, a hilarious and irrepressibly catchy tale of a sexually and chemically out-of-control girlfriend, was the breakthrough for Trey. Recording it and then sending it out to a few friends as a Christmas gift/joke, he found the song had appeal beyond what he ever imagined. I went to see a friend´s band play in New York and they asked me to get up on stage and sing My Girlfriend. So I got up and sang it and all the girls in front knew the lyrics! I had no idea the song had spread virally to hundreds of people.

In April of 2008, Trey released his self-title debut CD, a winning collection of songs that, while infused with his unique and uproarious sense of humor, also displays a natural and diverse sense of melody and arrangements. Filled with driving and propulsive rock songs, only Trey would write something as affecting as "Tavarua," a moving ode to his surf spot in Fiji, a place he calls heaven on earth, and put it on an album with the wry and hilarious My Fantastic Ass.

For Trey, the experience of recording was an illuminating one. He recounts, I had never recorded in a studio before and walked in with the songs in my head. I didn't know the musicians and just played them everything from scratch. It was the coolest experience of my life to see what we came up with. I never sang as hard before a lot more came out.

Trey shot a hilarious video for My Girlfriend, which can be seen on MySpace and YouTube, but he´s already preparing for the next chapter of the Trey Green story. I´m starting to write songs for the second album, and I´m conceiving of what the ultimate Trey Green show is all over the place, with funny songs, loud songs, sad songs, maybe even skits. I want it to be a complete experience. Whatever I do, people should know that an experience with Trey Green will always be serious fun.