Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Episode 5: Trent Anderson

Welcome back to Super Awesome Show, everybody! The show took a break following the great earthquake and tsunami that had caused tremendous damage in Japan. While I have been feeling much sadness and anguish for my country, my creative projects have helped me stay focused and afloat. The S-aas’s mission is to unite the world through art, and I feel that supporting the creative industries the way I can is my small contribution to keeping spirits up. S-aas plans to feature more artists from Japan in coming months. I want to represent the strength of Japan that we all believe in. Thank you for your support.

Tonight, our guest is Mr. Trent Anderson, a drummer and member of an American funk-infused hard rock band Bang Tango. S-aas’s first musician guest! Welcome, Trent!

Would you please introduce yourself and Bang Tango?

Sure, well as you read my name is Trent Anderson, and I play drums for the band Bang Tango.
Bang Tango started around 22 years ago, on the legendary Sunset Strip in Hollywierd, Ca. The first few records the band released were put out by a label called MCA records.
The band shot a number of videos that were played in rotation on MTV, (back when they played videos and not bad reality TV shows) in the last decade, Bang Tango has released 2 new CDs. This year we plan on releasing another one (cross your fingers we get the money we need to record it).

How old were you when you first started playing drums? What was your first ever encounter with drums like?

I was 7 years old, my Mom and Dad bought me my first set of drumsticks and my first practice drum pad. I was in heaven, my Dad told me that the only way I would ever continue to play drums with his blessing was to make sure I practiced every day, lol. I think he may regret those words, drums can be really loud. At that point I fell in love with music, it’s kind of a release for me, anyone that knows me well, knows that I walk, talk, eat, and well many other things with my iPod strapped to my side and my ear buds in. I just feel better inside when I listen to music. Maybe it’s a way of my body soothing itself, not sure why it does that but I know I have some kind of A.D.D. so it helps me to focus sometimes.

When did you decide that you wanted to be a rock ‘n’ roll super star?

Not sure if Rock Super Star is what I am, I am more the guy that plays in Rock Super Stars bands and side projects.
I like being a drummer for hire. With Bang Tango I am a full member and own a 4th of the current band’s interest. With that interest come bills and responsibilities. I do play in other
bands once in a while, but I just get hired to do that stuff.

What/Who are your biggest musical influences?

John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, Dave Grohl of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, Terry Bozzio of Missing Persons, I love old funk music and old R&B, too.
Drummers in the 60's and 70's really had to play well, there were no computers to fix things for them.

Many people know how to draw but I think the great artists have something more than just skills. In your opinion, what takes one to be a “great drummer”?

Personality and heart, I know a lot of skilled musicians that can play anyone’s songs perfect, I unfortunately am not one of them. The great musicians I know play with heart, and when they play their own music, you can kind of see what kind of personality they have, as if it is kind of flowing out of the instrument they are playing.
For example, let’s take the band Van Halen, many guitarists can play like Eddy Van Halen, many singers can jump around and act crazy like David Lee Roth, but those guys are the originators of that. When you see Eddy playing, he is jumping around, making faces, and moving with the guitar. I have never met him, but I have heard that he is a little out there, no one else plays like that, you always hear people saying "Man, that guy plays like Eddy Van Halen!” but when was the last time someone said "Man, Eddy Van Halen plays guitar like such and such".
Same thing with Dime Bag Darryl of the band Pantera (whom I have hung out and jammed with) his guitar playing is one of kind, and his sound is very unique. Off stage, he is just as intense (not nutz, and he is a very nice person) and as high energy as he is on stage. When I got the honor of jamming with him, he was very focused and very in the moment, just like his playing is.
Yes, the greatest musicians out there are the ones who walk their own walk and set the trends, not follow them. You can learn all the scales, and rudiments you want, but when it comes to making great music, if you ain’t got personality or heart, then all you got is a song full of notes, and rudiments, no message.

Bang Tango goes on many tours around the country. You are on the road more than anyone I know. What are the awesome things about traveling with the band and performing in different cities?

Lol, hmm awesome, ok when I was in my 20's, everything was amazing about touring, new places, new people, bad food, no food, new adventures, everything. Now that I am a little older, my attitude has changed a little. I still love the part about new places.
The last time we were in Colorado, the band went to the hotel where the movie "The Shinning" was filmed. They got cool t-shirts and pictures there. I was very sick with the flu and stayed at the hotel. We had 2 shows there in 2 days at the same club, and it really sucked because that is my favorite type of show. I usually get to go out and check out the town and see some things (good and bad sometimes) I may never see again.
Anyways these days I go a little more mellow, I sightsee when I can, I check out aquariums, and places like that. For the most part though, if I wasn't getting paid, I would rather stay at home
with the Wife and watch movies, but that is only because for the last 18 years of my life I have spent it traveling with bands.
If I’d never done it though, I never would have been able to see things like the Garden of the Gods in Colorado, the boardwalk in Myrtle Beach, the sharks they were pulling out of the water in Destin, FL, the Empire State building, the top of the Rocky mountains, the bay in Seattle,
the rims in Billings, MT, Dog Beach in San Diego, Juarez, Mexico -before it was really dangerous- as well as many many other great things. I would have never met so many great friends, people that still to this day I talk with, and hang out with. I would have never gotten out of the small suburb I grew up in. And I probably would not be the person I am today, and I for the most part like that person.

Is being a rock musician as glamorous as we are made to believe?

Ok hold on, hmm maybe we should ask my Wife this question, she has seen first hand how “glamorous” it is.
Some shows you are in a great room like the House of Blues or The Hard Rock cafe or playing a great casino show. And then some nights, you are playing a dump with a crappy p.a. and no stage. The music life these days, is very up and down.
And even when you have the nice dressing rooms with the private showers, and big nice hotels (we get them every once in a while) it’s still not very glamorous. And it still can be a daily grind of traveling for hours and sometimes over night to get to the next show. You get there and some days you have to go directly to the club, some days no shower, just drive and play, drive and play.
But when you do get the nice stuff, well, then it all seems to make sense. I know it may sound a little insane and some may ask "why do you do it?" Remember this, most musicians are musicians because they are a little left of center, and the things that make most people happy are kind of boring to most of the musicians I know. We live for adventure. A lot of guys that I know who leave the music biz, get involved with extreme sports, and take it out to the
next level with that.
Hmm, I think I keep doing it for the high I feel when you’re out there and making your own way. I will have to think about that a little.

How do your experiences as a professional musician shape who you are? And how does your personal life influence the music you make?

My experiences have made me smarter with the choices I make about my career. I have made some poor decisions in the past and I am still making some. These days, my personal life, well every business decision I make, I always have my Daughter and my Wife in the back of my head, I always try and make choices that will not harm them or get in their way.
As far as the music in general I let the heart do that. Music will come out if you feel it, and I never try and write for the radio, if you follow a trend you are already 2 years behind.

What are your rock ‘n’ roll super star secrets to entertaining your audience? We won’t tell : )

Again, personality and heart, be yourself and be real. If you feel like acting like an idiot, or rolling around on the stage, or wearing something that no one else ever would, do it! If you believe in it, and it comes from your heart, then by all means that is the secret. I play and entertain from the heart. No one ever made it in the music business by playing it safe.

Please keep us updated on the Bang Tango tours and shows.

Bang Tango

Bang Tango on Facebook

Bang Tango on Myspace

Thank you, Trent, for making a visit to S-aas! It was awesome talking with you! Your overflowing energy and passion for music are very inspiring. Hope you have more exciting adventures on the road as well as more quality time with your family!

Thank you all for tuning in for another awesome episode of Super Awesome Artist Show! And be sure to stay tuned for more fun!