Wednesday, March 14, 2012

108 interview with bassist: Triv. April 2010.

**After I had done the interview with guitarist Vic, I knew I HAD to reach out to Triv and get his take on the creative process and his many contributions to 108.**

Vista: Hey Triv. I recently did an interview with Vic, and from what he described to me, he was saying you had a big influence musically, on the new record. I know from reading other interviews that you have been a big contributor to the 108 sound, beginning back to the "Curse of Instinct" era. I found this really interesting, considering that it has been pretty well documented that Vic was the driving force with 108. So, getting back to my question, tell us about your thoughts on the new album {18.61}, both musically and lyrically?

Triv: I like 18.61 immensely, although I don't have a finished CD/Vinyl yet. I'm looking forward to listening to it. There was some initial friction writing, but I loved the process of making it and the recording went amazingly well. I really like playing with {drummer} Mike Justain. He is an unbelievably talented person, with a huge spirit. Vic was just an insane warrior in the studio. I think all of his guitar parts are one-take, no rehearsal, in like one day. Mystic Valley Studio, with Alex Garcia Rivera is a very awesome place. 

Vista: I remember when you joined 108, back in the 90's, but my memory of when exactly that was is gone? What year did you actually join the band? Also, from your perspective, what were your thoughts on joining 108, and how did you perceive that time era for hardcore?

Triv: Vic asked me to join 108 in January, 1994, when I was visiting India. He was living there, and one day after a Parikrama, he asked if I would play bass in the band. When we returned to the States, I stayed with him for a weekend in N.J., ISKCON temple and he taught me the songs. A few days later was my first 108 show, playing in the band at the Wetlands in New York City.

Vista: Speaking of writing music for 108, how was it coming into the band and presenting your ideas to Vic? Were you met with opposition, within the writing process or was Vic open, right from the get-go to what you were presenting?

Triv: Vic was open to it and I think that comfortability came out of our connection to playing live. Live, we would improvise, letting ourselves be an antennae for the storm of sounds that would blow through us. By the time of the recording of, "Threefold Misery" LP, we were very in-tune with a greater musical power, and a lot of sound/emotion was flowing through us. There was just a musical force present, and I believe our openness let that happen. I believe the first time I was in the recording studio with 108 was when we recorded "Panic" and "Killer of the Soul" at a studio in the West Village, NYC.. Besides playing bass on that session, I also contributed by asking the engineer to record a LOUD water heater which happened to be emitting a similar pitch to the intro of the song! Later on we tried to record what was to be a 5 song EP "Threefold Misery" for Equal Vision Records, with Brian Mcternan. We did, "Blood", "Pyrostoke", and a few others. We ended up wanting to redo some of that, and would head into the studio later down the road to record the "Threefold Misery" LP, and "Curse of Instinct" over a few days. I improvised a lot on those sessions, adding feedback, string noise, playing the solo on "Blood", using various pedals, tweaking things, re-conceptualzing etc., and Vic was very open to all that was happening. "Curse of Instinct" was a guitar riff I wrote in high school when I was first learning to play an instrument. In terms of lyrics and more recently, we've been collaborating more and more and that is satisfying. 

Vista: What was your first exposure to punk/hardcore? What age were you and what were the first bands you were into, etc.?

Triv: I got into punk in sixth grade. My older sister had many punk friends that kept exposing me to new things. First it was Sex Pistols, Clash, the PIL, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedys, Blitz, The Misfits, Discharge. I inherited an amazing record collection at that time of many of these records. Then my sister brought me to a Circle Jerks, Kraut, Murphy's Law show at the Rock Hotel in NYC, and I became crazy for Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags, CFA, and many more. I would go to every show I possibly could and that music was extremely influential. A little bit later on I began listening to Celtic Frost, Metallica - "Seek and Destroy", "Jump in the Fire", etc. Exodus - "Bounded by Blood", I love that music.

Vista: As a kid growing up...What was your first exposure to music? What groups/bands really first stuck to you, or connected with you? Was there a specific person who turned you onto music? Mine was my Grandmother, driving to & from yard sales and flea markets, listening to 8-track tapes of Beatles and Elvis.

Triv: I loved music very early on too. My mother sang opera in college and played the piano a little bit, and my Grandfather played the ukelele and sang the old, old songs. He lived in Nevada and worked on the Hoover Dam. Consciously, the first stuff I really got into on my own was Kiss, in 3rd grade, then the Doors, in 4th grade, and Black Sabbath, in 5th grade. My sister influenced me musically as she was very into psychedelic stuff, and she was older, and I thought she was so cool.

Vista: For 108...What one song are you the most proud of or connected to...If you can pick one song? And please, explain why?

Triv: Many 108 songs are very meaningful to me for many reasons. I like them all. There are certain songs I really like playing live, "Solitary", "Invocation", "Blood", "18.61", "Crescent Moon", many others too. I like listening to the records, remembering things I was going through at the time, reflecting about them, or finding something new.

Vista: I had asked Vic what type of gear he uses during recording and while performing live, and said something like, "I have no clue, Trivikrama knows all the details of what sounds good"...I found that really interesting, that at that point I knew I had to interview you! So, my question is, what is your background in music, as far as formal training, if any at all?

Triv: Formal training? I wish. I did go to a very musical, art based school growing up, but I wish I had formal training early on. I have a Masters Degree in music therapy, and that is my profession. Actually, I am now trying to learn more theory and I find it extremely interesting.

Vista: Are you the type of person that enjoys recording, as opposed to being out on tour? Do you favor one over the other? From your perspective, what are some of the pros and cons?

Triv: I probably prefer shows a little more. I enjoy recording too, especially when the environment and attitude of the players, and engineer is congruent.

Vista: Besides playing, recording, and performing...What are some of your interests and hobbies?

Triv: Besides? I'm interested in philosophy, psychology, politics, effects pedals, synthesizers, amps, instruments, and listening to music in general.

Vista: What are your thoughts on the current hardcore scene? I know you guys play out here & there, and aren't as active, touring-wise as you were in the 90's...But, I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the hardcore scene as opposed to the 90's scene? 

Triv: I have never been in scenes all too much. I'm into the music, people making it, people listening to it, connecting with people through it. I like when people are focused, committed to the music, and each other. I loved growing up in the early, and mid eighties and seeing shows, and the music that was coming out of that scene, and then what some of the more exploratory people were doing with the music later on, and in the early 90's. Hopefully there is always something amazing going on if you look for it, but it is not always the stuff that everyone has a consensus on of what is cool.

Vista: Well Triv, that's all the questions that I have for you. I'd like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview for my zine. Is there anything else you'd like to say?

Triv: Thanks so much for talking to me. Please stay in touch.

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