Heart Out Rocking w/ Towers and Trees
Let’s find out more about West Coast group Towers and Trees and how they came together, how they prep for a stage show and about their new single ‘Head Down Heart Up”.
SB (StarBeat): Intro: Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and the music you make?
TT (Towers and Trees): Towers and Trees is a heart rock band from Victoria, BC on Canada’s west coast. It started in 2013 as a solo home-recording project (back when it was trendy to be a solo act with a cool name like Iron & Wine or Bon Iver) But quickly grew into a full band when our first single “Montreal” became a surprise local radio hit and we started playing live shows. Those early performances were electric and raw, and we all quickly realized there was magic in the collective. The collective has evolved a lot over the past 5 years as bands do, but I’ve come to realize and appreciate that it’s almost always consisted of people who gave up on music at some point but found new joy in pursuing it together. That was my story when I started T&T and I love how it’s spread. I love the redemption in it, and on some level I even love the falling apart that has to happen first to make it possible.
That’s some of the truest stuff in life.
SB: Definitions: You describe your music as “heart rock.” What does that mean to you?
TT: When people ask what sets T&T’s music apart, I often say that it’s honest and earnest in a way that stands out in this digital era. It’s hard to be unguarded and vulnerable when information and communications are flying at us all the time from every direction. But for me that’s where the truest music comes from. If a song is open, honest and heart-filled, then the band and even the audience become an extension of that. We know we’ve done our job when the line between artist and audience is blurred and it simply becomes about sharing a true heart moment with a group of people who may never share another moment together again. It becomes about community instead of performance, and community always starts from the heart.
SB: Initiation: What artists or moments first inspired you to pursue music? When did you realize this was something you wanted to do?
TT: I remember hearing U2’s Joshua Tree album for the first time at 12 and thinking “this is what music can be.” I realize U2 is quite a polarizing influence to cite, but the fact that they could create songs that felt so big and yet so earnest and close to the chest felt very important and vital to me. Love them or hate them, they have that ability to tie an entire arena of people together around a singular musical moment and I realized that was my dream too.
SB: Origination: Your latest single is called “Head Down Heart Up.” Can you tell us about where that song comes from?
TT: I like to call it an “anthem for the overthinkers of the world.” That phrase started as a mantra of sorts during a really uncertain time in my life: T&T had just decided to go on hiatus; people were moving, having babies, changing careers, and meanwhile the whole world was going a little crazy with Brexit, Trump, the Syrian refugee crisis, etc. My head became a very unpleasant place to be and it was hard just to get out of bed each day. I started repeating the phrase “Head Down, Heart Up” as a daily reminder to turn the damn volume knob in my head down and trust my heart to pull me through. Eventually it grew into this song and I hope it’s a message that resonates broadly with people in these noisy, uncertain times.
SB: Essentials: You’re getting ready to step on stage. What are 5 things you can’t forget?
TT: The band huddle! The last thing we do before stepping on stage, no exceptions. What’s said in the huddle stays in the huddle, but our special cheer at the end is loud enough for anyone to hear 🙂
Vocal warm-ups! Gotta keep those pipes lean and mean! Plus it’s a fun group exercise to relax and get in the zone.
An extra guitar stand! … but it’s too late because we’ve already forgotten it and now one of our guitars is leaning precariously against an amp while we all jump up and down.
The lyrics! How the hell do you forget the lyrics to your own songs? I dunno but it happens more often than I like to admit and I have definitely been upping my mumble game.
Water. We will get very sweaty up there. Very, very sweaty.
SB: Up and Coming: What’s next for T&T?
TT: If we can keep our heads down, hearts up and keep working hard to get our music in front of people we’ll be happy. We have a couple more songs we recorded with acclaimed Canadian producer Ryan Worsley (Dear Rouge, Said The Whale) that we’re excited to release soon, and a whole bunch more songs ready to record once we find more money!
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