Before their appearance in Detroit on the Winter Jam 2014 tour, band founder and lead signer Trevor McNevan took a few minutes out to discuss things TFK with us…
Toddstar: Thank you so much for taking time out of you schedule for us. I know you’re really busy with the Winter Jam going on.
Trevor: Todd, no worries, man. I appreciate it. Thanks for having me, dude.
Toddstar: Let’s talk about Winter Jam for a second. How’s the tour going so far?
Trevor: The tour’s been amazing, man. It’s been awesome. Dude, this is our first time on the Winter Jam and it’s a pretty special tour, man, I’ve got to say. We’ve done a lot of touring over the years. This one is unique and refreshing. It’s been awesome.
Toddstar: The crowds receiving you guys well?
Trevor: Yeah, yeah. It’s been a great thing. I think this is kind of a variety tour that has something for everyone. There’s ten plus bands, so it’s everything from adult contemporary to rock and pop and hip hop and everything else. It’s across the map. We’re definitely out here to, I’d say, inject the rock, man. It’s been a great thing for sure.
Toddstar: Let’s talk about what’s next for you guys, though. You’re on this tour and you’re getting the word out there. You’re exposing some more people to the genuine rock that is Thousand Foot Krutch and you guys are about a year and a half removed from your last album, The End is Where We Begin. You put out a couple remake disks since. When can we expect some new material?
Trevor: Man, we’ve been itching, brother. We are just finishing the writing for it actually as we speak on tour. This tour’s been a four month tour, so it ends about end of March and we hit the studio like April 1st. We’re going to be going to the studio recording the new record as soon as this tour’s done, man. We are very excited to get some new music out and crazy excited about these new songs and just the way things are coming out. It’s been an exciting, refreshing process, bro.
Toddstar: You guys, as a core … you guys have been together for quite a while now, since, I want to say, about 2002, the three of you, Joel, Steve, and yourself, do you find that you guys are still growing even though you’ve been together for so long?
Trevor: Yeah, absolutely. I started the band actually back in ’98 with some original guys, but Steve and Joel have been with me since, like you said, probably around 2002. We still feel the growth all the time. As much as bond on tour and as much as you learn along the way, there’s always something to learn and the industry’s always changing. We were independent for a long time and we were with EMI for ten years, tooth and nail, and finished our record deal and chose to go independent. That’s just been another incredible journey that’s so different than last time we were independent. It’s been awesome; such a blessing to just to be able to do what we do and be passionate about it and go where we feel it needs to go and do it directly with the people who support the music. It’s been awesome.
Toddstar: As far as that growth goes, you guys are always looking to expand your fan base. I remember one day walking through downtown Detroit last summer and turning around and realizing you guys are playing stage right at Campus Martius, which was very cool for me because I’m a fan, so it was fun. Do you find that getting out there and maybe playing the less conventional venues for you guys really does give you that added exposure that you’re looking for?
Trevor: I think it all counts. I think we love what we do the way we did when we were like ten. We are all very passionate about it. I think it all matters and it all counts. I think, for whatever reasons, the path that this band’s always been a part of kind of trail blazing has never been a conventional way. It’s always been off the beaten path and a lot of times outside of the traditional way that music grows. We do a lot of … We’ve been very blessed to build relationships through our music with the world of professional sports and NASCAR and film and TV and video games, just stuff outside of music. That’s actually a place where we’ve ended up kind of living quite a bit. It’s just a different thing. It’s a different world than music and not the traditional way to grow, but we’ve been very blessed to be a part of that. Stuff like that show and anything like that, we love it and embrace it, open arms, man.
Toddstar: Cool. back in 1998 when you started the band, if not a little earlier than that, did you think 15 years plus on you’d still be doing this?
Trevor: You know what? Yeah, I did, man. As far as … I can’t speak to where I thought it would go, but it’s the same heart and passion. Music definitely captivated me a young age and God kind of lit that spark in my heart to chase music and to communicate through music. That’s been something that, yeah, I think my whole life there was no other question. That was just kind of what it’s always been, whatever that looked like.
Toddstar: Who inspired you to pick up a microphone and sing or pick up a pad and paper and write a song?
Trevor: Man, I remember it really clearly. It was my parents actually, when I was about eight, bought me a Michael Jackson Thriller record, the vinyl. I remember sitting there in front of their old wooden stereo with this Michael song with like a one inch cord attached to that stereo and literally just being mesmerized by this record. I would sit there and sign it hours and hours. I think I sang on TV once that year in our home town, just part of some Christmas event. I know that it was kind of one of those things that just was taken by such a young age. The moment, though, that I remember thinking, “Huh, I think this is what I’m going to do,” I was about 11 and I was sitting on a picnic table in my parents backyard and was listening to Public Enemy. I used to make these mixed… these little mixes of all the little instrumental sections of their songs so I could actually rhyme over them, make that little section into a little two minute beat. I remember sitting there with a pad and just being enamored by having a piece of blank paper and a pen and just what that could mean. I think that same thing fascinates me and is part of what I love about music to this day.
Toddstar: Very cool. You guys tour around, you tour a lot of different places, but one of my favorite places locally is The Machine Shop (http://www.themachineshop.info/) up in Flint. You guys played there back in ’05, ’06 and then you made your big appearance again in 2013. Do we have to wait another six or seven years to see you back up at The Shop?
Trevor: No, not at all, man. We hope to be back there this year. Being independent, we’re able to kind of do things a little differently, for sure. That’s something we’ll be able … We’ll be back around a lot more, man. Absolutely.
Toddstar: Very good. I know you’re busy, so I got a couple more for you, if you don’t mind.
Trevor: No problem, man.
Toddstar: If there is one piece of music in the history of time, you go back and put your stamp on and say you are a part of, what would it be?
Trevor: Man, I’m such a song fan. I love so many different genres. I’d probably have to pick a few in each … one in each genre or something. For rock, I think I would have to say “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. For Adult Contemporary, I would say “Walking in Memphis “by Marc Cohn, my favorite song of all time. Hip hop would be another thing, definitely something by Jay-Z. Kind of all over the map, man. I just love music. For Rock, I would definitely say it’s got one of them, I would have to say for the true heart of who TFK is, it would be that kind of heavy anthemic vibe, I think “Thunderstruck.” It’s either AC/DC of Metallica, for sure.
Toddstar: Very cool. You’re on this big tour, you’ve been doing what you to do for the last 15 years, you’ve got … the future is wide open for you guys, still, at this point in your life, Trevor, what’s the meaning of life?
Trevor: Man, I think the meaning of life is a deep question and a deep thought. I know for me … our faith is our lifestyle. It’s who we are. We don’t look at it as a genre of music or a church that we go to or a book, it’s our lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle choice. We believe that there is a big God, man who loves us no matter where we come from or what we’ve stepped into a million times over and is big enough to love us through everything and have a plan for our life. Our goal with our music is to hopefully make great music. That’s always going to be the goal, but then also just to speak about hope and the fact that we believe there’s hope for our generation and that we can be the change. It just takes one voice. That’s our heart and that the meaning of life where I sit. I think for just one another, man, I think God’s telling us to love one another. I think sometimes it just really comes down to the black and white of that. We get so caught up in details and sometimes we just need to focus on that.
Toddstar: Sure, last one. As far as Winter Jam goes, besides the set from Thousand Foot Krutch, who’s the don’t miss set? Who’s the one that really just rocks you out or gets you going every time you see them or hear them?
Trevor: Man, I would have to say probably, I’m going to say it’s a tie between the Colton Dixon and Plumb for me. Those two are amazing people, but just super talented artists. They throw down every night. It’s awesome.
Toddstar: Cool. I know Michigan’s ready to welcome Thousand Foot Krutch back, both in concert and then with new music later this year.
Trevor: Dude, than you so much. Appreciate it, Todd.
Toddstar: Thank you, man. We’ll talk to you soon.
Trevor: All right, buddy.