Trevor Rebello – Roadhouse Royalty

Last month alternative folk rocker Trevor Rebello released his new album – Roadhouse Royalty. The album was recorded sporadically from March to August 2017 at High Seas Studios. We caught up with Trevor to find out more.

Congratulations on the release of Roadhouse Royalty! We hope it is more successful even than a Burger King 😉

Haha thank you very much and thanks for all the support! If it’s one tenth as successful as a Burger King store opening, I’ll be more than happy. Everyone likes a good burger whereas rock music in SA is more like those novelty Boerorwors burgers that McDonalds often has. Loved by some, hated by others…

The album was recorded ‘sporadically’ over 6 months as High Seas Studios – why sporadically?

We first started out by narrowing down all the songs that I had written and then pre-producing the final tracks. By this time, I had used up all my studio time so I had to wait for another opening. We then started tracking the album but had a two month or so break as the guys at High Seas tore down their old studio and rebuilt an incredible new studio. It made sense to wait for the new studio to finish stuff like drums and vocals.

Amazing as always! The guys are super involved in your project and really take the time to add as much value as possible. They truly understand music and the production process so it takes a lot of pressure off the artist

What was it like recording there and working with the team?

Amazing as always! The guys are super involved in your project and really take the time to add as much value as possible. They truly understand music and the production process so it takes a lot of pressure off the artist. It’s a very creative environment where everyone gets involved. They’re also very patient. I think I drove them slightly crazy at times with my level of overthinking and general pedantic approach to making music…

You had 30 songs that you had written over the span of two years – how did you manage to whittle it down to 12 for the album? What was the process?

It was tough! Kind of like choosing which one of your kids needs new school shoes! We started by looking at which songs would suit the flow of the album but still give a bit of diversity in terms of sound and style. We grouped the various songs into styles and themes and then chose from there ensuring that we chose the strongest songs from each group.

Will we be seeing some more of the original in a follow up album?

Yes definitely at some point in the future. I actually want to release a largely-live recorded EP early next year. I love sad country/folk music like Ryan Adams or Damian Rice so I want to do something similar. Then hopefully towards the end of 2018, I’ll do another album similar to Roadhouse Royalty and a bit more upbeat and poppy.

It was tough! Kind of like choosing which one of your kids needs new school shoes!

Where do you write?

Anywhere really. Mostly at home where I have my own little studio. But the ideas come to you at any place and time. I try keep a guitar close to me at all times. I’ll normally pick it up and tinker a bit and come up with a very basic melody or riff that I then flesh out at home.

What is your favourite part about recording?

Everything that doesn’t involve me having to track guitar or sing. I get super nervous in studio when I need to perform. I much prefer the days when the other musos are in playing their parts. I like getting involved and doing a bit of production and coming up with ideas. I especially like tracking the more orchestral instruments like violins and trumpets.

You have said how Roadhouse Royalty is a throwback to a time when you were younger and life was simpler and a trip to the roadhouse would be the highlight of your week. What did a young Trevor order at the roadhouse on this special weekly occasion?

I think it was a straight up Cheesburger, fries and a lime milkshake. I am a man of simple pleasures!

On the topic of royalty – and knowing the pros and cons of each – would you rather be a Knight, a Bishop or a King?

I think that I would be a King. Knights have to fight and I wouldn’t be able to do that. I would run away. Bishops have no fun whatsoever and I like to party at times. As a King, you can sit around all day, make demands and eat and drink as much as you want!

The Parlotones and Karen Zoid who have all managed to stay relevant for many years, release good music, sell out shows and make a living from music. That’s the dream…

Who are the local bands you look up to the most and why?

I really enjoy Gangs of Ballet. I think that they are fantastic songwriters with a great stage show. I also look up to acts like Kahn Morbee, The Parlotones and Karen Zoid who have all managed to stay relevant for many years, release good music, sell out shows and make a living from music. That’s the dream…

Where is the album available?

All online music stores for now and hopefully I’ll have physical copies at all shows in a month or so.

Buy on
•   iTunes
•   Google Play
•   BandCamp

Stream on
•   Deezer
•   Spotify
•   SoundCloud

If fans want to see what you are up to where can they find out information?

I tend to be most active on Facebook and then my website.

Thanks for the chat. We wish you all the best with the album, and that is reaches ROYALTY status 🙂

Interview by The Original CC
Photographs by Justin Lee