Trapt just released their album Reborn, it’s their fifth album and one of their best. More recently, the band is readying the second single off of the album, "Love Hate Relationship." Trapt’s Chris Taylor Brown recently took the time to chat with Alternative Addiction about the band’s new album and other happenings with the band.
What’s the overall vibe of Reborn?
This record is about self empowerment. The only way to really succeed (or fail) in life is on your own. That way you have no one to blame but yourself, no matter how high you rise or how far you fall. It's like this in every aspect of your life, your goals in life and your relationships with other people.
What is the significance of the title Reborn?
We are truly independent on this release. We hire our own radio team and do all our own promotion. We are completely free to express ourselves creatively in audio and visual forms.
Were you able to experiment more with sounds and/or instruments this time around? How so?
We had as much time as it took to get the record right. This album was the first album that I was able to produce without a big name producer like GGarth Richardson, Don Gilmore or Johnny K. All 3 of those guys taught me so much over the years and I was able to apply that to making "Reborn." I was also able to use my long time friend and engineer Matt Thorne, who also co produce the album, along with engineering and mixing it. We tried every sound we could think of and when the song was done, I would take it home and do all the programming and take it to another level.
What was different about this album lyrically?
I was doing a lot of soul searching throughout the time that the songs for reborn were being written. I knew that the only way forward for me and the band was to move independent from anyone else telling us what we should and shouldn't do. This record is basically a snapshot of everything I was going through for the last couple years.
I love the song “Living in the Eye of the Storm.” What inspired you to write it?
I actually had the lyrics written back in late 08 and early 09 when the whole world thought that the financial system as we knew it would collapse and that a depression was among us. I saw people losing their houses, two wars still going on, wall street being bailed out of choices they knew would put them on the hook. It seemed everywhere I looked something crooked was going on. The only thing I can really do, is write about these types of things with the hope that it makes others feel like they are not alone in the way they view the world.
This was the first record that the band released independently. What do you find to be the most difficult part of being an independent band?
The promotion of an album is a lot of work, but I feel that when a band does it themselves, it is more genuine and you can connect with the band on so many different levels like facebook promotion, twitter, youtube, etc. A big part of our campaign was internet driven and 65% of our first week sales was all through iTunes. I think doing 2 videos right off the bat (Bring It and Love Hate Relationship) was a good idea. Again, we were able to decide for ourselves what direction we wanted to go in. Since Reborn dropped, we have released a third video for "Living In The Eye Of The Storm" and it has surpassed 200k views in less than a month. As far as radio and all that, we have some key players that we use to get our singles on the radio and we help them by playing shows and doing performances at radio stations and meeting with radio station winners. I think it's paramount that a band perform as much as they can. This is what we do for a living and no matter where we are playing, be it on a huge stage or at a radio station, we are ready to give it our all.
What do you think is the key to success for a band these days with the way the industry is?
Write the best songs you can write and compare them with some of your favorite songs and ask yourselves, if this is really up to par with those songs you fell in love with. Oh, and try and put a twist on your songs, so you stand out from the rest of the bands that are doing the exact same thing your band is doing. Then record em and hit the road and never stop, ha.
You guys have some killer videos for the singles. Do you have creative control over how they will look or do you leave it up to the director?
Yes, definitely. All the video concepts were written by me with input from the two directors we used, six finger films (Bring It and Love Hate Relationship) and industrialism films (Living In The Eye Of The Storm)
Who designed the album cover?
My wife Valerie!
Thank you so much for the interview. Before I let you go was there anything you’d like to add or say?
Just wanted to say that we appreciate our fans so much. To have been in the public eye for over 10 years and still be able to sell out big venues all across the country is truly amazing. The new songs have gone over so well with our fans and we look forward to taking the reborn tour to Europe and Asia!