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By: Michael D. Vogel

© August 22, 2002. Michael D. Vogel.  All Rights Reserved. 

Published in:

The Album Network magazineSeptember 6, 2002

 

SCENE: Phoenix, Arizona, in the early ’90s. David (DLB) Bowers is honing his studio chops, recording local hip-hop acts and listening to rock, dreaming of the day he can mix everything he knows and loves together in a project that will reflect his passions. He meets a kindred spirit in fellow MC Doug (Rid) Moore, and the dynamic vocal duo eventually hooks up with fellow Phoenicians Sean Faulkner on bass, drummer Sean Gardner and guitarists Tracy (Tre) Thorstad and Cristin Davis to form Trik Turner. DLB was kind enough to sit down and speak with Album Network Rock Radio Director Michael D. Vogel (who is also a fan and outspoken supporter of Trik Turner) about his band’s history, their “keep it real” attitude, their self-titled debut and subsequent live experiences.  

Talk about Trik Turner as a whole. Please give our readers some background on you guys and your “keep it real” philosophy–give us the rundown on that. 

David (DLB) Bowers: “’Keep it real’ is something that was really important to us. Even before Trik Turner got started, [when I] did some hip-hop production for some independent records that got released, [that was] one thing that was always important for me, personally. I think that’s why the guys in Trik Turner get along so well, because one of our main philosophies, lyrically and musically, is that we don’t try to jump on a bandwagon. Our lyrics come from a notepad that we’ve had for many years. It’s not like we sit down and say, ‘Okay, we need to write a radio song’; that’s not how we do it. It’s the everyday things that we go through, the pressures that we feel and what everybody feels in life. We’re not inventing the wheel; we’re doing the same thing everybody else is doing. We definitely didn’t want to be a band that got together and wrote a bunch of songs about our ex-girlfriends or relationships, or crying about, you know, whiney stuff. [But] everybody goes through heartaches and hard times, and it just so happens that’s what we want to focus on, especially lyrically.

“But to each his own. I respect anybody that has a chance to record and any artist that is doing his thing, no matter what they do. I will definitely respect the angle that they’re coming from. When we hooked up, it was kind of an unspoken thing; it wasn’t something set out that we tried to do to write songs. Believe it or not, on a lot of the songs on our first release, the concepts were written way before, like, Everlast came out. Way before Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock blew up. We were doing this back in the early to mid-’90s here in Phoenix. I know it might look, in the national scene that we’re trying to jump on a bandwagon, but it was something that we were already doing–it was true to us. We just got our record deal a little bit later than everybody else.”  

Listening to the record and seeing you guys live, it’s easy to tell that you have been doing this for a while. You definitely come across as seasoned veterans–you’re not Johnnies-come-lately jumping on the bandwagon. So the challenge that’s presented that you guys really embrace is substance over style; positivity over posing; confidence over cockiness. 

DLB: “When we hear the words, it makes us chuckle, because we’re not a young boy band–we’re not 18 years old. There’s not a bunch of models in this band. So when we come together and do music, we’re just doing what we feel. We didn’t actually have a game plan for the kind of songs we were going to write; they just came naturally over the years and we put it together. I’m going to be really, really honest with you–the first release was probably about 70 to 80% old demos that we did. Whether that’s a negative thing or a positive thing, so be it. Except for about three or four songs, it was a lot of old ideas. In the last year, since we got signed, we’ve grown so much–especially musically in what we’re doing. Some of the new material that we’re writing, I’m really excited about. It’s more hard-edged, more powerful, a little bit more rock. 

“By no means am I putting our first release down; we’re proud of it. We did the whole thing in three-and-a-half weeks. As standards go, it was pretty quick, and what we got out of it we’re really proud of.”

Let’s talk about the Rellim Tour, which was the initial introduction for Trik Turner to the rest of the country outside of the Phoenix area. How did that go? What did you learn from it? 

“What’s kind of funny is, before our record came out in late-February we started touring, just doing the club scene nationwide, trying to hit some bigger markets with us headlining. That went really well, and to us, that was getting our chops up. We went from being a local band that played once, twice a month to going to play every night, which obviously brought us up to the next notch as far as being tight and trying to find out what we wanted to do onstage–that helped a lot. We did that for about two months and then we did the Rellim Tour, which was awesome. The cool thing about that was the whole idea behind the tour: It was a free show: They brought in pizza for the kids, you could play games, and you hung out with the groups. They didn’t have a backstage; the backstage was the front stage. It really mixed well for who we are. Trik Turner is a band that likes to mingle with the crowd. We’re brand new and trying to make friends and trying to meet people, but more importantly, I don’t care where we are, we always want to go out and meet our fans and talk to people and sign autographs. That’s just really important for us. So the whole experience was awesome.“ 

What does Trik Turner bring to the rock/hip-hop hybrid that hasn’t already been done?

“Well, I know how I feel about it, but I don’t want to say that we’re doing this or that, because that’s up to the listeners and whatever. It’s really personal stuff. We definitely don’t come from the third person; we’re not writing fictitious stories about ex-girlfriends or relationship problems. We’re writing about stuff that we actually have gone through, for the most part. What we’re proud about is the fact that the hip-hop elements in our music were produced by [me]. It wasn’t like we had to hire an outside producer because we wanted a hip-hop sound; that was already part of the equation, along with the rock & roll. So to us, that’s important, because it’s real. It’s not like a bunch of white boys getting together in a rock garage band trying to infuse hip-hop in some rock & roll. The different elements are there, and are true, and that’s what we came out with.”  

It’s definitely one of my favorite albums of the year. After hanging out and getting to talk to everybody in the band, I was overwhelmed at the variety of influences and styles that the various members bring to Trik Turner, from turntables to indie rock to straight-up hip-hop. 

“If the individuals in the group had tried to copy or sound like something that was already very successful, I don’t think it ever would have worked. It started off with myself and Doug just doing some demos over some straight hip-hop beats and me sampling, like, acoustic guitar and stuff like that. That was the baby Trik Turner, writing songs like that, and that led into bringing Trey, the guitar player, in. At the time I worked with him washing cars at a rental car place in Phoenix. He just came to me one day and said, “I fool around on the guitar a little bit; how about we hook up?” Steve, our bass player, I’ve known for years. To make a long story short, when we all hooked up, it wasn’t like we had to overcome the different influences, it was just like, “Look, this is what I do best, so I’m gonna interject this. This is what you do….” Trey, he never listened to hip-hop before he got into this band and he probably still doesn’t. I’m sure his personal CD collection has no hip-hop in it, but you know what? That’s great, that’s fine. That’s not what we want on our album. Each individual brings a certain vibe to the table–we just write until we come up with songs that feel good. Our main thing right now is to just get out and play as much as we can. Go to markets two, three times and let people know. It’s not just about “Friends And Family”; come out and check out the show and I’m going to show you what Trik Turner is really about.” ^m^

 

Origin:

Phoenix, Arizona

Line-Up:                                                                                    

David (DLB) Bowers  – Vocals                                      Cristin Davis – Guitar

Doug (Rid) Moore – Vocals                                           Sean Gardner – Drums 

Tracy (Tre) Thorstad– Guitar                                      Sean Faulkner – Bass                                          

About The Current CD:

This is the bands self-titled debut release on RCA.

Discography:

Trik Turner (RCA, 2002) 

Black Seas and Brown Trees (Trik Turner, 1999)

Produced By:

Mudrock

Label:

RCA

Website:

www.trikturner.com

 

© August 22, 2002. Michael D. Vogel.  All Rights Reserved. This originally appeared on the Vogelism blog at http://www.vogelism.com authored by Michael D. Vogel. This article may be shared or reprinted as long as the entire copyright message, including the source location of this article, accompanies it.

 

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