Alternative rock and grunge artist Trey Wonder kicks off 2020 with a brand new single and a slight change in direction.
Annie Bruiser showcases the best of Wonder’s writing and musical abilities alike, working hard to intrigue and entertain in a refreshing and raw rock fashion.
We caught an interview with the man behind the music to find out more about the song and his plans for the future. Here’s how it went.
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Hi Trey – great to finally chat with you! How has 2020 been treating you so far?
Hi Rebecca, well it’s great so far – I’m super busy and anxious as always. Lots of ambitions, but I’m not changing in any way like most people promise to do for the new year.
What can you tell us about the new song Annie Bruiser – where did the name come from, and is the song directed at anyone in particular?
So the song comes from the perspective of a child who has to be the absolute center of attention – overconfident and naive to how the world works. The song’s name comes from an alias that my wife sometimes goes by, ‘Annie’, and a nickname that I gave my daughter – ‘Bruiser’. I wouldn’t say the song is directed at either of them, but was certainly influenced by their intense personalities.
The lyrics “when I try, when I do, I like Annie I do” is from a ‘made up song’ that my daughter kept singing to get my attention, and like most things I just couldn’t get it out of my head.
There’s a heavy yet hopeful sound to the new single – great riffs, great build-up, big anthem-like latter half. How did you come to write this one, what was the mixing process like, and how do you know when a song like this is ready to be shared?
Thanks, so it was written completely on the spot – literally minutes before it was recorded. The mixing was brief, but with intense concentration due to the limited time that I actually have to create music. I never practice or write unless I’m recording so people get the truth without any bullshit whatsoever, and I usually let my wife and kids hear it before I share it. They are great testing subjects because I always know when they are lying.
What’s with the alien parody video – are you interested in the universe, do you believe there’s other intelligent life out there?
Ha, I like to think so, but the alien shit is for my dad. I’m releasing it on what would have been his 62nd birthday and much of what I do is inspired by him, because he truly believed in me. I also like to bring a touch of humor and confusion to the music whenever possible.
With there being grunge and electronic rock elements alike in your music, who or what would you say have been your greatest influences?
Well I definetly grew up on grunge and soon became completely obsessed with punk, but I don’t really ‘go for’ any particular sound – I just play what feels right. I guess my main influences would be Nirvana, the Pixies, Butthole Surfers, and the Misfits.
In my early music I probably sounded more like NOFX or some Green Day rip off, but I’ve gone into a more strange and unpredictable direction that I think is a more honest reflection of myself – for better or worse.
Are you a full-time musician, and if not – how do you manage your time so as to still make sure to create?
I’m absolutely a full-time musician and I have to be or else I would completely lose it. Playing all of the instruments and recording them myself is a challenge, so every spare minute I have is dedicated to making music and getting it out there. As a dad, I have to balance my time carefully (so as not to neglect my family) and I’m lucky to have scheduled days of absolute solitude to work.
Do you perform live much?
I don’t and as much as I’d love to, I just can’t swing it until my kids get a little older. Even though that’s where the money is, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I wasn’t around for them.
What’s the live music scene like where you are?
There is no music scene whatsoever on the Big Island of Hawaii and it is horribly depressing! Every once in a while the Descendents or Suicidal Tendencies will come through, but it’s always on Oahu and never on the big island, so yeah. This place really needs a scene and I hope to influence the younger kids to eventually break one open.
What are your main aspirations as an artist right now?
Recording is my number one priority and I’m currently working on my third album. I’m also trying to collaborate with more artists, whether they are painters, writers, or video creators – I think supporting them and their creations is important. Will Smith talked about the importance of building up the people around you and there is a lot of truth to that statement.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be, and why?
In my opinion, the ‘so called’ music industry is nothing more than a bunch of greedy perverts with no intention of bringing real music to people, rather a business to get rich off of watered down overproduced garbage. It’s a hard question because unless you are in a position to change it, what can you do?
Acknowledgement of passion, creativity, and true talent is a start. Maybe huge players like Spotify could pay artists more than a fraction of a cent per stream, or labels could bring in artists under less superficial circumstances.
Things are constantly changing and every artist must adapt and be ready for opportunities, but you can’t sit back and wait for them. I am grateful for the success I’ve a achieved so far and if I ever get the chance I’m gonna kick the fucking door wide open again for ‘real musicians’ – just like Nirvana did in the early 90’s.
Is there anything else we should know about Trey Wonder?
I’ve been writing and playing music for 25 years, and about three years ago I realized that I had to do something or else everything that I had ever worked for would be lost. So I bought some recording equipment, figured out how to use it, and got to work.
From promotion to artwork and marketing – 100% DIY; no label. To my astonishment I’ve reached a quarter of a million people and I’m grateful for every fan that I have.
There are many levels of success and I’m just stoked to have my music out there. My life hasn’t been easy, but I’m focused and ready for just about anything.
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