Pure songwriting, a rare commodity in a market dominated by commercial interests and a hunger for big stats. However, when an artist like George White comes along, you know there’s still space in your Spotify playlists for the real deal. It’s hard to pick out a single from his debut EP ‘Monk Days’, with each song representing another side of the London-based musician. There are alt-rock fuzzy guitar-driven tracks, beautiful indie ballads and even some spoken word thrown in for good measure.
Despite the multitude of styles, the record feels consistent; a representation of one person’s voice, of one story told through different mediums. I wanted to know more about what makes George, AKA Trev, tick as a writer. So, I reached out and asked him a few questions to gain more insight into his process.
Interview by Alex.
Could you give our readers some background on Trev?
As a musician I’ve been a part of a bunch of different bands over the years, as a drummer, as a guitarist, as a bass player. Although I’ve always done the odd bit of solo stuff and songwriting, Trev is definitely my first proper solo venture.
I got the name Trev from my late father who really was the main reason for me loving music so much. Some of my earliest memories are listening to Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac in the back of his car on the way to primary school. We were very close and the name is really a homage to him. Releasing something under my own name always felt kind of weird to me if I’m honest…
Lyrics matter to me a lot these days – Trev on what makes him tick in music.
I’d love to know how this project materialised. I’d heard a few of the tracks before but I didn’t realise they were part of an EP.
That’s a difficult question to answer… I suppose mainly because it wasn’t a super planned thing. It wasn’t like I had this grandiose strategy to release a solo record and be touring with JT by the end of next year. To be honest, it materialised because the songs materialised. All the songs on the record came out of a very similar time in my life, even if some of them are a fair bit older than others and they started to make sense as a record. I knew that if I ever wrote a solo album my main ambition would be to make something honest, but when it came round to it, it actually made it harder to release. There was definitely an anxiety over releasing something so vulnerable and whether I should even expect people to care about my innermost struggles and experiences. It’s a pretty heart on sleeve kind of thing but if you can’t make honest art then what’s the point!?
Is there a particular song that you gravitate towards more than the others?
Obviously I think they’re all great. I mean, have you heard them!? Haha. Musically I probably gravitate more towards ‘Prologue (liminal)’ and ‘St. Francis’ if I really had to take a punt on a particular sound. I grew up on a lot of instrumental, post-rock and alternative music and it still has a big place in my heart. Bands like Explosions In The Sky, Yndi Halda, mewithoutyou, Unwed Sailor, Owls etc.
As an all-rounder I think ‘Prologue (liminal)’ is probably my favourite. For now…
It’s very personal, is music the means by which you self-reflect most completely?
Yeah I think that’s probably true, most of the song-writing I do is therapy and expression before anything else. All of the songs on the album started that way, I just wanted a way of articulating something inside me and then a song would be made. I know that sounds like a cliche but it’s honestly the truth, all the songs on the album were written because of something that was going on in my life, I didn’t have an audience in mind. That’s probably why the record sounds so mixed in genre!
I got the name Trev from my late father who really was the main reason for me loving music so much.
It feels like we’re listening to excerpts from your journal, do the lyrics come first for you?
Way more than they used to. For a lot of the bands I grew up playing in, the music was the priority and lyrics were kind of this additional extra (maybe because we always had good amps and rubbish PA systems…)
Lyrics matter to me a lot these days, a lot of the songs on the album definitely came out of the lyrics but sometimes writing a riff that I like will inspire a whole bunch of lyrics from no where and will provide a starting point for the rest of the words! It’s definitely journal music though, you’re right.
Is there more music on the horizon?
I honestly don’t know, there really isn’t a game plan, I just felt like releasing something and have been blown away by people’s response to it. It’s nice to be able to make music and release it without all the pressures and frustrations that come with trying to ‘make it’, music should never be a means to an end, the same goes for any art in my opinion. I’m sure there will be more music, simply because more life will happen and I’ll probably end up writing about it. The next record might even be Latvian Power Jazz, who knows!?…
Where can people find you online?
I don’t have any dedicated social media pages for Trev so I guess bandcamp and Soundcloud are probably the best! The album is also on Apple Music and Spotify and stuff.
Grab a copy of his album ‘Monk Days’ here. Released December 1, 2016
Last modified: August 25, 2018