Get to know Andrew Trube with us. Andrew is a killer guitar player and also a good friend. I say that a lot in these intros, I know. Most of my friends are the musicians I go to see. It just happens. One of the coolest lines came out on a Wednesday night long ago, I was talking with this gal and she wanted to know who was there with, I said, “The band, I’m with the band.” I doubt that I’m as cool as that sounded.
Years ago, the Bluefish guys turned me onto the Greyhounds. I have been a fan ever since. I don’t remember why, but many years ago Andrew and I started telling each other to “Be Somebody.” I know it refers to “The Jerk.” The other day while heading north on 35, I saw that someone is using our line for an ad campaign. Made me laugh out loud when I saw the billboard. Thanks Andrew for the conversation. Our team this time was Belinda, Rockslide aka Grubbs and me (transcribed by CC Bonney). Thank you for reading…
AustinDaze: Tell us how music became a part of your life?
Trube: Originally, my great grandmother, she taught me piano when I was five. And it all kinda started from there.
AustinDaze: Why did you start getting interested in playing?
Trube: Guitar? Or just play live? I guess that would have been when I was 13, I was in New Orleans, walking through the French Market and I heard BB King playing, but I didn’t know who BB King was. I heard the music, and so I walked to where the music was playing and there was this guy selling music and tapes. I asked him what it was and he told me it was BB King, and I bought the tape and listened to it all the way back to Tyler. Over and over again. It was a record called “Lucille Talks Back”, it was a compilation thing I think. That made me want to pick up the guitar and start playing blues, and playing music. Playing guitar. That’s where it all started, with that.
AustinDaze: Was there a lot of influence in your family to keep playing?
Trube: My great grandfather started the Crockett, TX Fiddler’s Festival. He was in vaudeville. My father and mother were performers. My mother was a dancer, now she’s a professor, and my father was an actor, and now he’s a lawyer. But they did that for fun. It was a fun thing for them to do, not a profession per se. Me, I guess I chose it as a profession.
AustinDaze: Did you just practice all the time? You’ve become so good.
Trube: Oh thanks man. It’s weird. I don’t practice as much as I should, or have ever really. I’m not really a guitar player’s guitar player. I don’t know the technical stuff necessarily. I know some of it. But as compared to Josh Purdue or John Branch, who actually teach guitar and they know how to describe what’s happening. I don’t really know what’s happening. I just hear it and just play it. I don’t do that with every instrument, but I do that with guitar and the lap steel and anything stringed. Other than violin. I played violin for a while, but I learned that technically, not just by emotion. I would practice guitar with records, tapes and CDs and the radio. Just blues stuff. That’s all I ever really wanted to really play was blues and soul and funk.
AustinDaze: How did you meet Anthony, and how long have you been playing together?
Trube: I met Anthony when I moved to Los Angeles. I put an ad out in a paper, in the LA Weekly in the back, that’s how you met LA musicians back then, there wasn’t the internet. They had it, but it was so young, there wasn’t really a forum to meet musicians. So I put an ad out looking for a keyboardist who is into soul and blues and jazz and funk and stuff. And he answered the ad. That was the start. I picked him up for a rehearsal, he was on the corner with a little keyboard and a little amp, and he got in my truck and we went to rehearse, and the rest is history.
AustinDaze: You guys have been brothers for a long time.
Trube: Oh yeah man, we have. And we still remain that. We’ve been through a lot together. We are about to leave to go on tour next week. Do a West Coast run with Tedeschi Trucks Band. We get to play LA, so we get to see Anthony’s family. We’re playing the Greek Theater out there with Tedeschi Trucks and Gary Clark, this Saturday night. Takin’ it out West.
AustinDaze: It’s weird, Gary Clark used to be your drummer.
Trube: That’s right, Gary played drums with us. For a second, one gig. You were there. That was hilarious. The Police cover gig. We did two or three Police songs and basically just butchered the shit out of them. It was hilarious. We should have probably rehearsed. But the problem is we don’t rehearse. We kinda knew the songs so we were like lets do it! Everyone else did so well, they performed their songs perfectly, the Police songs they were supposed to perform. And we just totally destroyed ours. Anthony thought it was funny way after.
AustinDaze: I know from our last interview, that you and Anthony were touring with a guy that won the TV show? Can you tell us about that experience?
Trube: Yeah, we did a tour with Taylor Hicks. That’s right, that’s funny. There have been a few tours in my life that were a big learning experience in a lot of ways. Positive and negative experiences, which are all positive, actually, all experiences learned are good. But that was a hell of a tour. Taylor Hicks, American Idol. He won that. He was in the Gallery and heard us playing and was like, “I want you all to tour with us.” And I was like, “Who are you?” A few years ago, I went to see him in “Grease” the musical at the Long Center here in Austin. It was pretty funny. He killed it! I think he’s out in Vegas now. I need to holler at him. He’s a great guy, love that dude. And a talented guy actually. That’s probably one of the reasons why you don’t hear about him as much any more, because he’s legitimately talented instead of some that stuff you hear all the time. But that was a good tour. That was a big learning experience for sure. Getting to see what happens on that scale of touring, you know like the big theaters and busses and tractor-trailers and gear and all kinds of stuff. And we were just going around in our van following them, with our little amps. Anyway, it was great.
AustinDaze: How did you get involved with JJ Grey & Mofro?
Trube: We used to tour with Mofro years ago. I remember when I first heard the record Blackwater, my friend Dan Prothero in San Francisco, he produced and put out the record on Fog City Records. We wanted to be on that label really bad because we felt Fog City had a similar vision as us. He had great artists, Papa Mali and Galactic. He kinda broke Galactic in a way, he put their first record out. Dan and Fog City were an inspiration to us at the time. So Dan Prothero was putting out all this music and the latest thing he had put out was Mofro’s Blackwater record. Hearing it for the first time and thinking that was some cool stuff, it just sounded great to me at the time. It still does to this day. And so I told Farrell that we gotta meet this dude(JJ), we’ve got to meet these guys (Mofro), we need to know this band. And so we ended up linking up with them on the road and became great friends. And about 6 years ago JJ hollered at us, he needed some guys and it was perfect timing. It couldn’t have happened at a better time. We just jumped off the road and had been chilling in Austin for a year or so. It was a blessing in disguise in a way too. It’s helped us out tremendously. It kept us going musically. It’s been a real crazy roller coaster ride, playing with that band. Its great. So that’s how we met pretty much.
AustinDaze: You were a fan.
Trube: Yeah, we were fans definitely. Still am a fan of JJ’s, man that dude is prolific. He can write. It’s nuts, just the tunes he writes, he’s just a tune machine. He just pops out all these songs that people really relate to, you know the lyrics. It’s fun watching people react to him. That’s exciting. And react to the band when we play. I love playing with that group. It’s a great group of guys. Some of the best musicians I think ever in that group. Anthony Farrell, Todd Smallie on bass who played with Derek Trucks’ band, that’s where we first met him was touring with Derek years ago, and now we get to play together. Anthony Cole on drums, who also plays in Greyhounds, who met met years ago before Mofro. He was playing with some bands in Florida. Greyhounds played in Orlando at the Copper Rocket when we met Cole. He was playing with a Emoja. Awesome Afro beat band and The Legendary JC’s. That’s a great band. He played with them. Then you got Dennis Marion on trumpet, excellent trumpet player, plays with Greg Allman now too, he does with Greg Allman and Mofro. Art Edmaiston, he’s fantastic, he went full time with Greg. And now we have Jeff Daisy, he’s from Fort Worth. Farrell and I loved playing with him. He used to come jam with us at the Gallery on Wednesdays. We were looking for a sax player and we put his name in the hat and sure enough he showed up at the bus. We’ve got a few Texans in the band now, which is pretty cool. That’s the Mofro band. We all have a long history, even before Mofro. That’s what’s great about it. It’s almost like a platoon of dudes who have special talents and we all just get together and go on these missions.
AustinDaze: Can you tell us about the Greyhounds recently being signed to a label and what that means?
Trube: Well, it’s something else. It’s a real honor. We’ve always self released everything. We’ve always done everything ourselves, we’ve never had any real label support. Our manager Cory Moore helped us put out a few records, and we would always make up label names to make it look like we’re legitimate. But now we’re actually on a label, which is exciting. It’s Ardent Music out of Memphis, the old Ardent recording studio, they have a label out of the studio. It’s pretty crazy, getting to be part of the Ardent family. They’re all so nice and so supportive and helpful. And everybody is super grass roots. Its not like we got this huge record deal. It is day to day, brass tacks, renegade promotion, whatever you can do to get the word out and try to get the music out there to the people. It’s exciting, it’s really fun having some people actually helping us, as opposed to just Anthony and I. There’s actually a team trying to push the record and the band. It’s flattering and awesome, and it’s been a great experience so far.
AustinDaze: Can you explain to us why you’re called Trube, Farrell and Snizz at the Gallery?
Trube: It happened out of default. We were playing at ACL one year as Greyhounds and there was a radius clause where we couldn’t perform within a certain area of ACL for a few months. We had these Wednesday night Gallery gigs that Steve was going to offer us. At the time, we were so broke that we needed that Gallery gig. So we changed the name to Trube, Farrell, Snizz. The three of us have been doing that gig for 7 or 8 years now. It’s crazy, you don’t realize how quick the time flies on by. But basically, how it’s grown over the years, Snizz in his own right, there is no drummer like him. The fact is that Farrell and I play with Snizz differently than we play with any other drummer. And he plays our tunes different. It’s become its own thing. Me and Farrell, yeah we’re Greyhounds. But Snizz, he’s just a beast. So we’ve actually recorded tunes with just the three of us and released stuff independently as “Trube Farrell and Snizz”. There’s one thing called “Another Five for the Tip Jar”. We put a live record out too. It’s just so special.
AustinDaze: El John plays with you also?
Trube: El John came out, Snizz invited him a while back, and he just kinda never went away. He’s just there now, so El John is part of us. So now its kinda like Trube, Farrell, Snizz and El John I think is what we should put on the marquee. But I liken the Wednesday night Gallery to be like when I went to New Orleans a long time ago and saw Rebirth Tuesday nights at Maple Leaf. I think that’s what they were doing Tuesday nights, but the point being that, a friend of mine that lives there, either Stanton Moore or Robert Mercurio from Galactic, I think it was Robert, was saying every night of the week there is something going on in this town. There is something that people go to, like Tuesday night at the Maple Leaf, Wednesday nights is here DBA, Thursday night is Tip’s. I wanted it to be like that for Austin on Wednesday nights. That’s the whole point. It’s something special that doesn’t happen anywhere else, only C-Boy’s will we play as Trube Farrell Snizz on a weekend. But honestly it’s become just special to that, like Austin…the Gallery…Wednesday night. It’s its own thing. It’ll never be any bigger than that. That’s what it is.
AustinDaze: You’ve had Bobby Perkins too.
Trube: We’ve had Bobby Perkins sit in. We’ve had so many people come up to the Gallery and sit in. We had Eric McFadden last weekend, we’ve had Zapata, Gary Clark, Josh Purdue, John Branch. Farrell could name off a bunch of people. We’ve had a lot of really famous people up there, and a lot of really famous people to us. Just good friends.
AustinDaze: Y’all are and will be really famous and y’all know each other. That blows my mind…
Trube: I call myself a pebble star. I’m not a rock star. Honestly, that’s by no means is why I got into this. I just wanted to play music, to create music, and travel, and make people happy. Playing music and entertain people. A lot of guitar players are like, “I wanted to meet chicks.” Like they picked guitar to get chicks. I didn’t do that. I just picked up guitar because I heard BB King playing it.
AustinDaze: You’ve traveled all over the world now with JJ, have you found any other place like Austin for music?
Trube: Nowhere close. Honestly, there is nowhere like Austin. I love coming back home. It’s hard to leave. Every time I leave I appreciate it even more. The community here. The local organizations like HAAM, SIMS, AustinDaze that support the musical comunity. Which I did want to point out that I really appreciate you (Russ/Austin Daze) doing this whole thing, because I’m getting to know more about my friends reading your articles. Like I’ve read Josh’s and a few people’s and I’m looking forward to more of them. I think its important what you are doing documenting these guys. I love that.
AustinDaze: Can you talk to us a little about your outlook as a musician? Specifically, has it changed since you tour frequently with JJ?
Trube: Definitely, yes. I think that would have happened regardless just because I’m getting older. My outlook changes, it changes all the time, whether it be styles or stuff I like to listen to, its all over the place. For so many years Farrell and I have traded off leading the group. We share the role of lead person. And I love that. I’ve never ever wanted to be a solo artist, I like being part a group, I like working with people. I feel like if I put something out, like “Andrew Trube” record, that it would define me and what my sound is about. And I feel that is constantly changing and evolving. I’ll put my name on something as being part of it, but I don’t want my name as the main push. But there are people that like doing that. Like with JJ, he has been able to do that and be honest with his sound. So it’s fascinating to jump into a situation where he writes all his music. They are all his tunes, except for one that Farrell and I wrote on the last record. Where all my job is is to show up on time, do what I do, and play his songs. Just do my thing with his tunes. I’ve never really gotten to do that. It’s always been what me or Anthony have written. It’s been excting. It’s been a lot of fun. That’s a learning experience, just getting to be a guitar player in the band. I love that job. Instead of being the tour manager, the van driver, the accountant, the booker, the representative that talks to the label, all the other hats you gotta wear. In Mofro I just gotta wear one, just play guitar. I love it! I miss it, but as soon as I start missing it, I get to do it again. Because we are going out with Hounds next week. Farrell and I will be back in that role again…the accountant, the driver, you know everything. We are driving from here to San Diego, Farrell and I, and then we drive back from Seattle. It’s 38 hours, we’re going to just do it straight. Just go for it. It’s pretty crazy. But hey, what else are we doing?
AustinDaze: When you are in town, we can see you play at Continental Gallery on Wednesday nights, can you tell us about it?
Trube: I guess I kinda did, didn’t I? I love that gig. It’s a great gig, it’s the best gig ever. Seriously. So fabulous. People are cool. Everybody knows what time it is when they show up. They are just there to have a good time. Cause that’s what its all about. Just have a good time, we’re having a good time. There’s no rules, there’s no set list. We just do whatever we are feeling.
AustinDaze: And if you are away, Snizz is there.
Trube: Yeah, either way, Snizz is there. When we’re out of town, Snizz and Friends, with some great players. He keeps it going.
AustinDaze: How do you keep healthy on the road?
Trube: I walk a lot. I try to walk 3-4 miles a day. I try to drink a lot of water. I try not to eat any fast food. I try not to eat any bread. I try to eat a lot of fruit, as much fruit as I can. That’s about it, not eat at McDonald’s. I used to eat at McDonald’s a lot.
AustinDaze: Do you take vitamins and stuff?
Trube: Nah, I’m not really into that. I’ve been taking some turmeric lately just for my joints and stuff. I’ll take some garlic pills sometimes, but usually I just eat garlic raw. But just that, and walking. And stretching. A lot of stretching. I stretch all the time. I’m constantly trying to stretch, even when I’m just standing somewhere.
AustinDaze: You’ve been in Austin for a long time and have seen many things come and go and change. Do you feel that life is easier or harder now on musicians than it was when you started out?
Trube: It’s always hard. It’s hard to do anything, do anything special, you know, do anything fun, do anything that means something. It’s always going to be tough, there’s always going to be challenges. I just try to focus on what I want to do and trying to do the best at it that I can do. Whether it be writing music, touring, performing, I just do the best I can and try not to think about anything else other than that. And I know if I do that, I know I’ll be fine. You know what I’m saying? It’s not about the money its about the art. I’ve lived in a garage, I’ve lived in a van. I finally live in a house, which is real nice. I’ve been down and out, but I’ve never stopped keeping that in my mind, to just keep doing what I’m doing and everything always seemed work out, like everything always has. I feel that’s true in everything, whatever you want to do. It’s going to be tough, but you just got to stay focused and be on it. More so even the older I get, I’m just more like that. I try not to get other things in my head, like why so-and-so is doing better than me, or why is this artist not as successful as they should be, you just stay focused and make your thing the best you can, and you’ll be fine. It’s like that last interview I did with you, you asked me if I had any advice on what to tell up and coming musicians? I said, “Learn to build something, learn to make things.” You’ve got to wear many hats when you are doing something from the heart.
AustinDaze: With that, can you give us some advice from what you have learned in the music scene over the years for other musicians who are giving the scene a try?
Trube: Like I said, just write music. Put a band together. Put a bunch of bands together. Just keep putting out music. If that’s what you want to do, and you’re here to play music, then do it. Go knock on doors. Go say what’s up to people. Go hang out at places where there is music you like hearing or you want to play. What kind of music do you want to play? What are you into? Go to those bars, go to those clubs, hang out there, meet the musicians. Just get out, then you’ll figure it out. Then start playing at that club. Find out who’s booking it. Bug them till they give you a gig on a Sunday night at 4pm. Just get out and record stuff. Put it out there. Quit thinking about it, just make it happen.
AustinDaze: I asked Bobby P. for some questions, and he told me that he’s heard you say janky, and we want to know what the word referred to?
Trube: The first time I ever heard the word janky was from my buddy Jeremy Kuzniar, he’s incredible drummer that comes from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the first person I ever heard say that. I thought that was one of the best damn words I’ve ever heard. To me, janky means letting it all hang out, letting it get nasty, not being concerned about nothing, just letting it fly. As far as when you are playing music, you just let that shit roll, you let it happen, like its janky man. You know what I mean? You get that sound, dirty, a lot of guys that have it. Janky is more a mindset, an intention.
AustinDaze: Wednesday night is all improvised. Do you improvise everything?
Trube: Yeah, I never ever ever play a solo the same. I never play the same stuff. Even with Mofro, I don’t do that. I don’t play the same solo. Because I didn’t grow up like that, I didn’t come up like that. That’s not how I learned. I understand it, and I respect that from other musicians that play solo parts. But like me, if I did that, I’d blow my head off. I can’t do the same thing every time. I can play the same song over and over. But it’s like where I’m at at the time, and I let that just fly. If I had to write a solo part, I’d be confused. I would never remember it. You can ask Farrell. I have to play certain parts in Greyhounds, certain specific parts and I frequently mess them up. I usually nail them, but on “What’s on Your Mind,” that lick, I’ve been playing it for a while now, I’ll still mess it up. And it’s the easiest line ever, and it’s just because I have to do it. Kids, don’t do that. Actually learn the guitar properly. But yeah, it’s all improvisation, every bit of it. In fact, we’ve been playing a lot of our newer songs with Greyhounds on Wednesdays, working them out for this tour, so its been fun. That’s one of the advantages to Wednesday nights. Farrell and I are having a rehearsal with Snizz soon. I don’t think we’ve ever rehearsed. Because we are going to work up some new tunes. Snizz has been wanting to do all these crazy new songs. Farrell has too, and I’m like, yeah, let’s do ‘em!
AustinDaze: Thank you, man.
Trube: Thank you.