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Summer Music Guide: Trevor Hanks

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As part of its Music Issue, the Messenger presents local artists at local breweries. On Sunday, July 17, 6 pm, Trevor Hanks will perform at Weekend Beer Co. in Grants Pass.

RVM: Your July 4 playlist on Spotify is a grab bag of great songs, including Tom Petty, Scorpions and Earth, Wind & Fire. Can you identify how each of the artists inform your music and songwriting?

Trevor Hanks: That playlist is a reflection of personal freedom. Those artists and specifically, those songs speak to me in a way that makes me feel free. The artists writing styles, the melodies, the harmonies, the little nuances in the track, they speak to me! There is an echo of freedom in them which is what I try to bring in the songs that I write. My hope is that people feel encouraged or understood. Ultimately, my hope is that these songs bring hope to the listener.

RVM: Do you remember the first song you heard that really got your blood pumping, when you first thought, “this is what I want to do”?

TH: Vividly! “Tomorrows Another Day” by a punk rock band called MXPX. It is loud, chaotic, real and super honest. I heard about them when I was 11 years right after I started learning guitar. So one day I’m playing to that song on my guitar to the CD I had of them, when my dad heard, waked over and said that I’d never go anywhere with music and that I should worry about a real job, which was funny because no 11 year old would ever be thinking about anything remotely adult. This was the launching point, after which I started a punk rock band, began played tons of shows throughout the years, toured a bunch and got to see some incredible things and meet a lot of incredible people. I will always be grateful to MXPX for inspiring me to pursue what I love.

RVM: You have been playing professionally for a decade or so. Is there a constant theme to your performances, something hasn’t changed since Day One?

TH: Theatrics have always been a part of my shows, even as a kid. At one point in my punk rocks days, we would have trampolines on stage to jump as high as we could with our guitars. It’s different now as an adult. More moody type things for the listener to see with a hopeful reaction of “WOW! That was really cool and it made me feel something.” Ambience, it’s key! It’s the difference between going to fast food for a meal or nice restaurant that has low lighting, background music, candles, etc. My hope is that the person listening feels included, loved and that they matter. It’s the little things that are important.


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