Following the success of ‘The Fruitful Darkness’ Trevor Hall is out on his Moon/Sun Tour. It is the first tour since the album which was released in segments has been out in its entirety. This tour gives Hall the chance to “tell the rest of the story of the The Fruitful Darkness” something that he is excited about. Releasing an album over time with a kickstarter campaign was a new thing for Trevor but something he called both amazing and special. Completely Independent the album was released how the artist intended and the passion is felt through each song.
On this new tour you can expect to hear some unheard songs from ‘The Fruitful Darkness’ after they have been released. You can also expect to hear some of your favorite old stuff. But most of all you can expect to be accepted into The Village. A feeling that Hall hopes to cultivate through his music as a family he refers to as Villagers. “That village mentality of relying on your neighbor and all understanding that you are all related and living together and you are all in it together”. At a Trevor Hall show you will feel embraced by this collective as you share a night of beautiful music.
The Fruitful Darkness singer too has an obvious special connection to the music and says “Music for me is that tool, is that space, is that healing, is all of the above you know. Physical, spiritual, emotional, it is that space of just magic. Total magic and wonder and mystery.” Hall Says “It is the only place my mind really kind of stops and gets out of it’s own way and I can kind of get a glimpse or glimmer of like my true nature behind all of my own bullshit.” With this connection Trevor Hall is using it as a way to connect to the universe and help other people as well as himself.
Read the full interview with Trevor Hall below where we talk in detail about ‘The Fruitful Darkness, tour, game night at the Halls, daily practices, and more.
Okay so for the last three years I have had a goal to travel at least once per month and have met that goal each month so far. For every trip I make a new kind of road trip playlist and Trevor Hall is usually on every one of them.
Trevor Hall: Oh that is great, I love that!
Yeah and so it is really cool to sit down with you! I wanted to ask who would be on your playlist or what are some of your travel routines?
Trevor Hall: Um when I’m on the road the kind of my routine is based off of when I eat you know? (laughs) Because i’m a vegetarian and on the road it’s like a little difficult to find vegetarian food. But I mean when I am traveling I like to just like it is a good opportunity for me to like be alone. Even when we are on tour we are around people all of the time boom boom boom, and it kind of just consists of me finding my time in the morning and evening to just take a moment. Whatever it is like read, or lie down, or just kind of be in my own space and kind of cleanse myself of all the external stimulus and energy.
But it’s funny because before when I’d go out on tour or travel I’d have like this whole plan in my head of what I’m going to do. Like “Oh I’m going to work out every day or I’m going to like read this every day!” Or whatever it is and you know when you’re on the road I think that that is one of the things that the road teaches you is that you cant really adhere too much to a plan or hold onto a plan or else you’re just going to get frustrated because it is always changing and everything. So what would happen is I would get out on the road and I would find myself not able to have the time to do the things that I planned and would get frustrated because you kind of have this attachment in your head and then it just kind of happened for me that it was like it is better for me to not have a plan I guess and kind of let the road shape my own routine. And that has kind of been my practice instead of trying to do so much and find the time in all this stuff it is just about being present in each moment and accepting each moment for what it is and where you are and that way all the tension and all the stress of how you think things are going to go is gone. So that has kind of been my practice I guess and routine.
Oh that is a cool way to look at it because it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stressing about what you want to do, and you kind of have a list of possible things and let the road shape it like you said
Trevor Hall: Yeah I would just like kind of envision how my travel would go and it just never ends up that way. But that is the beautiful thing about the road. It is the fun and exciting thing about the road. So my practice has just been to go with the moment.
And here you are just starting the Moon/Sun Tour what are you most excited to be able to accomplish with this tour?
Trevor Hall: Well this tour is like a longer tour for us, it’s like a major city tour so it is exciting to come to all the major cities and play in places like here in Brooklyn, and Philly, Boston, and you know kind of the big towns. Um but for me I think this is one of the biggest tours where our album ‘The Fruitful Darkness’ is completely released in its entirety. So where as the last time we came around these parts and had a tour like this was when there was only certain parts of the album released so we were only able to play like certain songs. I think by now it is interesting to see how much more familiar people are with the album and just to kind of share the rest of the story of ‘The Fruitful Darkness’ and share the rest of the songs and see how people play off that and I think that is what I’m most looking forward to. We are trying to introduce a lot more of the album but still keep the oldies in there but just sharing more of the story.
I love that, and loved The Fruitful Darkness it was all beautiful from the album artwork, the songs, and feeling your passion behind it. You did it all independently through a kickstarter campaign which is incredible, what was that approach like compared to the other ways with labels and things in the past?
Trevor Hall: Well thanks, it was a really incredible experience. I think when I first started out I got signed to like a major label, a big major label which didn’t really pan out but I got a taste of what that is kind of like. Then I went to more of an indie label and kind of like it was interesting and smaller and more of a family based thing. But I think like as artists we have to kind of adapt with the times and I think in the last few years the internet and like Kickstarter, and GoFundMe, Spotify, Apple Music, things are changing so much and we have to kind of adapt as artists and see where they are going to go and the technology in all this stuff has kind of made it easier for artists to release something independently. So I wanted to dip my toe in that world I guess and it was really amazing. I mean if I did it again I would definitely do a lot of things differently. But I think that one of the special things about it was you know when you are on a label you kind of record an album and you make the whole thing and release it to the public and they kind of get it and so there is a little bit of a separation as the process is happening right? But then I think with doing the independent vibe they were there every step of the way like the fans were. So there was no borders and no lines and we kind of built it together which was like just an interesting experience.
So with ‘The Fruitful Darkness you released it in segments like we mentioned, did you find an extra power in that? It was also cool how you did release them around the lunar dates.
Trevor Hall: Well I think even if you are just looking at it without the lunar and spiritual level and releasing it that way I guess I feel like again with the changing of the times our attention span as a culture especially as a young culture is very very short. We have Spotify now, we have these streaming services, you know you can play any song you want and hit it and then it’s over. I find that it is hard for people to make it through a full album these days you know? Even for me, even if I find an album that I really love and the album is great it’s hard for me to make it through the whole thing. So I kind of wanted to try to like even as a musician when you’re writing an album and you have 12 or 13 songs on there you know even as a musician you are playing certain songs and you kind of forget about other ones or they kind of get lost behind other songs and it is kind of unfortunate because you want to share that story you know, you wrote it! (laughs) So I think there was many sides to it. I wanted each song to kind of get it’s proper place to tell its story and I wanted people to be able to hear everything in it’s entirety. I thought that breaking it up that way would allow them to do that. Also, when you make and release an album it is kind of out there and the first month or two or three months and then people are onto something else whereas when we did it this way it was kind of like we could continue the conversation and keep people coming back. So yeah from that point I thought it was really cool and I liked doing that way. It was definitely a lot more work but it was really cool. And then releasing it in conjunction with the lunar dates and stuff was because the album was so heavily inspired by astrology that I wanted to somehow tie it into the timeline of the stars. So that was also really cool to do it that way as well.
One of the things I tell people about you and the shows that I’ve gone to of yours is that one of my barometers for telling if I was at a good show are the shows that I can look around and feel like I could easily make friends with anyone in the room and have an instant connection. And you through your stories and music and this family feel you have with “The Village” what can you tell me about the start of that?
Trevor Hall: I’m very like attracted to like The village mentality. I’ve visited a lot of straight up like villages in India and Nepal and they are like my favorite places on Earth and when you go to these places you find that there is an essence to like a village way of life. Which is just being lost so much. I think we in our modern society we think we are so connected we have Facebook, and Instagram, and text messages, and FaceTime, but it is so much an illusion we are actually so disconnected and isolated as individuals. That village mentality of relying on your neighbor and all understanding that you are all related and living together and you are all in it together and your survival depends on each other and that family mentality is just gone, especially in Western culture. So I believe that if we can cultivate that Village aspect of our lives that it could actually improve our lives it could improve where we live or our world at large. The key is finding that village mentality within larger spaces. I think I’m very much attracted to simplicity and like a simple way of life and the village life is definitely that. I think when you look at a village life for me it represents those aspects of the heart of simplicity, love, and compassion, practicality, and just very down to earth, not away from the earth. So I wanted to translate that through my music and music is something that helps me feel like I am kind of connected to the universe at large and the global village I guess. So that is I think what led me to calling our group ‘The Villagers’ and hopefully it inspires our fans and fanbase and family to look at it a little deeper and find that simplicity within their heart and those qualities of living in a community like this so that they can share it with their family and friends.
It is really cool how you describe it and it is how I feel each time I am at one of your concerts. You mentioned music being so crucial for you and it being your way to feel connected to the universe at large. I read in an interview you calling music a necessity for your life emotionally, mentally, and spiritually what is it like being able to do your necessity as a profession and be helping people?
Trevor Hall: That’s a good question. I mean it is pretty difficult you know! (laughs)
(Laughs) That isn’t what I was expecting.
Trevor Hall: It is, it’s difficult I’m not going to lie. Because you know it is way more way more to me than a profession. I am lucky enough to do it as my profession and do it to make my living for my family and my life. It goes way beyond that. Music for me is that tool, is that space, is that healing, is all of the above you know. Physical, spiritual, emotional, it is that space of just magic. Total magic and wonder and mystery. It is the only place my mind really kind of stops and gets out of it’s own way and I can kind of get a glimpse or glimmer of like my true nature behind all of my own bullshit. So when you have something like that that is so sacred to you that is a path for you to go into yourself it makes it interesting when it does become a profession.
Because you know there are certain aspects of being a musician from the business stand point of trying like to make a popular song or to have people come to the shows, keeping up with albums, getting all this input and opinion from all these other people on how you should do what you do. That part you have to go through I feel like any artist and then at some point you have to say “It doesn’t matter” because as soon as you start writing or creating with the intention of either making money or being famous or pleasing somebody else it’s tainted the essence I believe is gone. And you can feel it you can feel it when you hear a song you can know right away I know the intention behind this. Some people that’s what they want and that’s okay, but that’s not what I want I never want it to be like that. So I am lucky enough I think at a point now where I have gone through the whole major label pressure you could say and being an independent artist now I can do whatever I want and I dont have to answer to anyone telling me how they think I should sound. But it is an interesting balance and has definitely taken me a long time to get to that place of not caring, not caring sounds kind of negative but I think it is like a very positive thing where you are just in yourself and you are just like able to express the way you want to express and having no fear if people like it or not or whatever. Cause if you are true to yourself than that vibration is going translate to other people you know and the last thing I want to be is not genuine or inauthentic.
In preparing for this interview I found you very interesting. What would you say is the least interesting thing about you?
Trevor Hall: (Laughs) A lot of things! (laughs)
Um the least interesting thing about me… oh gosh I mean it’s funny because like the music is like whatever like super I don’t know how to say you know it is this place where I can get deep and really get into my soul and vibration and things are coming through that I’m listening to and putting them down but it doesn’t necessarily represent like me and where I am or Trevor’s world (laughs) so yeah I don’t know I love like games. I love any type of games like card games, video games, or anything like that because it kind of calms me down from being so intense when I write (laughs). So some people are shocked I like that. But other than the music I think I am pretty boring so that is for you to decide!
Okay I like that, If we were going over to a game night at the Halls what games would we be playing?
Trevor Hall: Um we would definitely be playing Rumi 500! We just learned this new game called six pack which is this really cool game you play with two decks. I like games,I love cards and playing cards with people because you’re not sitting around the tv and you are kind of talking and communicating and you’re laughing and I just like that community I guess. And you need to have fun and let go and be silly but all the time at our house we have friends over, and will like put on an album, cook dinner, and play cards and it’s a good way to hang out. See it is really boring! (laughs)
No not at all! I want to go to a Hall Game Night! (laughs) So with finding you interesting one thing from your life that I found fascinating was the role of Neem Karoli Baba and this experience you had in high school in seeing a picture of him and having a sense of familiarity. Is that what started your journey with like spirituality?
Trevor Hall: Yeah that was the moment. That was definitely the moment you know I was in high school I became best friends with a kid named Sam Marcus who is a very talented artist himself and um he had a picture on his wall of the Saint Neem Karoli Baba and it was just like (snaps) boom and they say in India “a moment with the beloved and the river changes course” and that is definitely where my river changed its course and I felt so attracted to this photo and I couldn’t even explain it. Sam told me all about him and his father and brothers were in India with him in the 70’s and yeah I just couldn’t stop reading about it. It was hard to explain you know but I fell in love with this being that I didn’t really meet physically. But you know when you love somebody you want to love the things that they love right? You want to know more about them. Because he was from India, I wanted to learn more about India. Because he chanted the name of Ram I wanted to know what is this Ram. So my whole path was kind of based off my love for him and his essence and beauty and vibration. Then the music really took on a different turn at that point. It became a little more focused towards the inner journey and it has only gotten deeper I guess since then.
Amazing. Do you ever wonder if it wasn’t for that moment seeing that picture in high school that you would have found this same journey later in another way and that it was like a destined thing…?
Trevor Hall: Right I think it was destined. I mean I have had validating experiences concerning Neem Karoli Baba, and India and all those things. I definitely believe in past karmas and lives you just never know. But if it wasn’t for that picture I’m sure he would have found another way to catch me.
Thank you, I found it really interesting how that one moment and sense of familiarity can like you said change the course of the river and I think that’s beautiful. Um so what do you do and for other people in a spiritual sense on a daily basis to keep a spiritual focus and staying in tune?
Trevor Hall: Well that’s very important in the tradition in the daily practice which is pretty much the most important thing. It’s like if you have a brass pot and even if it is clean you scrub it every day so that it can remain stainless. That is the goal is to be stainless. So I have been of certain teachers and have been given a practice that is you know my own and I try to perform it as regularly as I possibly can. But it is different for everybody you know? Everybody has a different stomach some people cant take milk and some people can, some people are gluten free and some are not. But that one eternal spirit is manifest as the many and it goes to each individual in the way that suits them if they’re sincere. So to answer the other part of your question a lot of people ask me and are wanting to get on the path and it is hard to know what to say because i’m on the path too I don’t know. But it all comes down to your own sincerity and your own heart and your own yearning and love for that other thing. I feel like if a person does have that sincerity and does have that yearning to know their higher self than that higher self will manifest in some way whether it is a teacher, experience, guide, or anything you just have to stay open and follow the call you know. You’ll know it when it comes it will be undeniable.
I think it is cool and wanted to ask because I think with daily practices in anything, a spiritual nature, faith, whatever it may be the daily practice it the most important thing so thank you because I was curious how it fit into your life and on the road…
Trevor Hall: Yeah I mean on the road it is one of the things that keeps me kind of stable or in a sense of regularity. Even if I sit down and my mind is going a hundred different directions but I can feel it if I wake up and don’t do anything I feel it in the day. I still feel the essence missing. So no matter what you do it even if it is the littlest amount.
I love that. Thank you. I took a folklore class in high school and we learned about folkways and traditions on the very first day and learned it take three times for something to become a tradition and I realized in my first three interviews I asked the same question and now I just carry it forward. Do you like karaoke?
Trevor Hall: No that is like asking a musician, or a drummer if he likes a drum circle. (laughs)
(Laughs) and that is why the question became so interesting for me because I am not a musician and I love karaoke. I have like a highlights section of my Instagram of me doing karaoke and it’s bad it is only for me but it is there.
Trevor Hall: (laughs) I love that!
(laughs) Yeah so then I’ve asked this to numerous musicians and every answer is different and it’s interesting. I’ve had bands that after a show are scheduled to go to a karaoke bar in the city, musicians that HATE karaoke, and ones that have said sometimes they would rather go to a karaoke bar instead of a show they love it that much. So it is just funny and interesting. So I usually ask them what their go-to song would be for karaoke or to cover?
Trevor Hall: Well we do cover some songs sometimes. Like we do ‘Fields of Gold’ by Sting sometimes. Which actually is probably my favorite song to sing. We do some other things but yeah probably ‘Fields of Gold’ because it is mellow and moody.
Well thank you so much for your time Trevor. This has been fun and I really appreciate it.