Trevor McNevan’s scene is: “music that moves [him]”. McNevan, singer and founder of Thousand Foot Krutch, has eclectic taste in music, ranging from classic rock to hip-hop.
McNevan credits his diverse taste to his upbringing. He explains: “I grew up in a small town called Peterborough, Ontario in Canada, it’s north of Toronto. We had one radio station and it played classic rock. And somehow I was the only kid in town who liked hip hop, I don’t even remember how I got my hands on it. So I was like this hip-hop kid who had classic rock on the radio station, both of those things found their way through the DNA of what I grew up on, into our music in different ways. Musically my influence growing up, my first album, my parents bought me, was 12” vinyl of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. That was a big moment. That kind of changed me man, I was about 8 years old. I was young but I remember hearing it just grabbed me. I feel that music sort of grabbed me from a young age and I’ve never turned back. It was something that spoke to me and still does today”.
McNevan continues: “I started TFK At the end of high school I was 17 years old. I did my first tape when I was 13, it was all hip-hop and then I made a record when I was 16, working at McDonalds, scrounging up any savings, any money I could to make a record. I did that when I was 16. We were called Odd Ball. That was the first time getting into the rock side of things and then started Thousand Foot Krutch the next year, when I was 17. I started with a different cast of guys originally from my hometown, and then through the years, guys wanted to get married and go to school, and different things, so we’ve had different guys through the years but Steve, Joey and I have been together as Thousand Foot Krutch for a while now”.
As for what McNevan listens to these days in terms of rock and hip-hop, he states: “Soundgarden is my favourite rock band of all time. I’m a big fan. We’re actually covering Outshined by Soundgarden now in our live shows. Hip-hop: I like Jay Z. He has a powerful connection with audience and has a kind of swagger that most guys can’t compete with. Some of his stuff is really cool, it’s more thought provoking. I like that kind of stuff. He’s got some party stuff too but I like the stuff that gets you thinking”.
Since beginning in 1997, Thousand Foot Krutch has led the way in the music industry by successfully blending diverse genres and styles into unique, popular and famed songs. Their latest release, Oxygen:Inhale, is no exception -though it does have a different approach. McNevan admits: “We knew it was a little risky but we felt inspired to do it. You have to follow that at the end of the day. You have to follow your inspiration. We’ve been really excited about it. This record’s been a great journey overall. Oxygen:Inhale was always supposed to be the lighter side and then Oxygen:Exhale was going to be the more aggressive side. So that’s the kind of story to tie them together. So yeah it’s a record we’re really proud of. I think some of our core audience was taken aback by it a little bit, it wasn’t what they were expecting at first and then they’ve come back round and said, ‘Man, this is one of my favourite records’, and then some people liked it straight away. You can’t please everyone. Obviously some people didn’t like it at all. But we’re really proud of it and it is definitely the record we wanted to make. I’m really, really excited about Exhale though. I’ve been working on just kind of finishing up the song writing here now. And we just started recording new music for the record and I honestly feel like it’s going to be our best record yet. So I hope you guys like it”. [pullquote]With the song Oxygen, I just remember I was going through a different season, with some trying stuff, and I had this overwhelming feeling, and I needed to find the best way to say, ‘Man, I just need a re-start; I need a second wind’, and that was definitely in my heart and in my prayer in my life and that kind of came out when I picked up my guitar and it turned into that song.[/pullquote] McNevan continues: “Every record you try to challenge yourself and push yourself. Vocally I had some fun trying some stuff on this record that I never have on other records, just some new territory. There were a handful of songs where I stretched myself in some areas with range and stuff, it maybe went a little outside of the box of what you might have heard with previous TFK records, like Light Up on Inhale, which is a song I wrote for my wife, just some fun falsetto type moments, different moments, that I haven’t been able to take that far with songs on previous records. Born This Way was another one where it was fun to add that full, full gospel rhyming vocal into a big classic rock sounding song. That was a lot of fun.
“As far as content goes, there is a song on it called Untraveled Road, all songs mean a lot to you but that song in particular because it‘s about the journey of the band. It’s about those times in your life when you’re staring at the fork in the road, and you know strongly that you’re supposed to go this way but logic tells you that you need to go that way. Those moments in life that are so pivotal, and where you have to use your faith to step over your fear. That’s really what that song was about”.
The choices made during the fork in the road have made all the difference. The band has always been content with their music but are now feeling even more inspired. McNevan attributes this to the freedom he feels with TFK being independent. “We just finished in a round of shows in New York City. Now I’m at home in Nashville working on another record. Yeah, Exhale. Really, really excited about it. Looking like being released at the beginning of the year, if not sooner. Being 100% independent now there’s a lot of things we can do now that we weren’t able to do before so we have some really exciting ideas about how we’re going to release it. I haven’t really seen a band quite doing it like this. I’m excited to kind of unveil that. We’re still putting the pieces together. I can’t say too much about it but we are excited about it. We were fortunate with EMI for 10 years, we were thankful as during that process. We did have creative control over our records, we didn’t have anyone to say you have to sound like this or that, and I am very thankful for that, so that hasn’t changed necessarily but there is a freedom attached to it, like we always wanted to write music that excited us, that inspired us and hopefully makes other people feel the same way. Sometimes when you get too many cooks in the kitchen you sometimes do feel the pressure of what’s happening specifically on radio, or who’s selling more over here, or whatever, and that’s something we try not to get caught up in. We really just want to make music that feels genuine to you, and that’s an extension of you, and not someone else”.
This genuine music is what the band is bringing with them on their latest tour to Australia and New Zealand. He apologetically states: “I don’t know why it has taken so long to get back to Australia. We’ve been there once, in ‘07 or ’08 and we had such a blast so I’m not sure but it wasn’t on our end. I think maybe we were hoping for the right opportunity to come back. I’m not really sure. But we’re really pumped to come down. Can’t wait. It’s going to be awesome. Australia is such a gorgeous place, unlike any place I have ever been; people were awesome, the scenery was beautiful. We got to check out the Gold Coast a little bit. We only got one or two days off so we got to see a little bit of the countryside. It was beautiful, such great culture, we loved it, and amazing coffee. I do remember that”.
McNevan concludes with what audiences can expect on this latest tour: “The live aspect is a big part of who TFK is. It’s a big part of who the band is, who we are. So we kind of leave it all out there. It’s no holds barred. We put the pedal to the metal. If I had to put it in one sentence: what we pour into a show is a lot like a stick of dynamite, you just light the wick and keep flooring it. And we’re just excited to come and share that with you guys and share the energy together. It’ll be fun”.
Australia and New Zealand are in for explosive live shows. Tour dates are:
Tuesday October 20th – Kings Arms, Auckland – 18+
Thursday October 22nd – Max Watt’s, Sydney – 18+
Friday October 23rd – Max Watt’s, Melbourne – 18+
Saturday October 24th – Max Watt’s, Brisbane – 18+
Sunday October 25th Fowlers Live , Adelaide – LIC/AA +
Wednesday October 28th – The Rosemount Hotel, Perth – 18+
Tickets available at www.oztix.com.au
If you feel like being a VIP, you can grab a ticket here.