Meet one of JJJ‘s favorite bands – Plug in Stereo!
The 20-year-old singer Trevor Dahl dropped his latest EP A Little Peace last month and we haven’t stopped listening to it!
His newest single “To Be Wanted” is heavy on our rotation, as it also features our faves Megan & Liz!
We caught up with Plug in Stereo to learn more about his music, where he draws inspiration, and more! He even gave us a peek at his current playlist!
Click inside to read our interview with Plug in Stereo…
JustJaredJr.com Interview – Plug in Stereo
JustJaredJr.com: When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career and how did you get discovered?
Trevor Dahl: Music has always been a big thing in my life, even before I was playing it. My dad, uncle and cousins were always playing instruments and singing songs they have written, and it always really interested me. One of the oldest memories I have is from when I was probably 5 or 6 years old, and I watched That Thing You Do (with Tom Hanks) for the first time and I think it was the first time I ever saw a “band” get on stage and play in front of a crowd. I ran and grabbed some random boxes that my family had laying around in the garage, along with a pair of wooden spoons, and I set them up like it was a drum set in front of the TV. I kept rewinding it over and over trying to play the boxes along with the music.
I was instantly hooked with the idea of being able to create something special and share it with groups of people. So I started writing poems/lyrics in elementary school, started playing instruments and playing in bands in middle school, and then decided to really take it seriously in high school. I dropped out after my sophomore year of high school and started touring when I was 16. Ever since then I’ve just been writing music, touring, building up a fan base and enjoying myself. I don’t know if there was a point when I was discovered, or if I’m even discovered yet. I just keep taking steps towards my goals, and it’s all a gradual thing. I just try to be thankful for everything I have, but always keep thriving to do better.
JJJ: Wow, that’s amazing! Who were some of your musical biggest influences growing up and how has your taste evolved over the years?
TD: My mom loves the Beatles and my dad loves Bob Dylan, so those two have always been big influences in my life. Tracy Chapman and Michael Jackson we’re also very popular at my house and on road trips. In middle school I went through a HUGE pop/punk phase and I was obsessed with bands like Blink 182, New Found Glory, Zebrahead, etc. but eventually I began to shy away from that music and started really getting into bands like The Shins and Modest Mouse, as well as singer/songwriters like John Mayer, Taylor Swift, and Colbie Callait/Jason Reeves. I’ve always liked most types of music though, whether its hip hop, country, blues, etc. so I enjoy and get inspired by a lot of different styles.
JJJ: We love your taste, as well as your latest EP. What would you say is the most personal song to you on that, and why?
TD: Thanks so much! I’m glad ya guys like it. The most personal song is probably “Home Soon” because I talk about a lot specific things that I miss about home whenever I’m on the road. It touches on a lot of personal aspects of my life, and I think it gives people a better idea of who I am.
JJJ: We hear you’ve been writing songs since you were very young. How do you narrow it down and figure out which songs make the cut?
TD: It can be very tough sometimes! I usually spend quite a bit of time writing and recording my songs, so by the time I’m done with a song, it means a lot to me. Although, when it comes time to pick my songs for an EP or album, I listen through all the potential songs and it ends up being pretty obvious to me which ones I’m really stoked on. So I just try to pick a batch of music that is cohesive but I also want each song to make the listener feel a different way. I usually don’t like listening to albums where you can’t tell when one songs ends and the next begins. There always ends up being one or two that I really want to release but can’t fit on the track-listing, so we just try to think of creative ways to release other songs.
JJJ: What is your songwriting process like? What kind of experiences typically inspire you the most?
TD: It tends to vary depending on situation. My most comfortable writing situation is writing by myself in my studio room at my house. I’ve been doing it since I was 12, so it’s just what I’m used to doing and I like being able to experiment with different production ideas. I like writing with other people as well, and there are a few people that I really connect with stylistically and personally so it’s always fun to blend ideas together and see how other people put songs together. I seem to be most inspired to write by bad/sad things that happen to me or someone I’m close to. Writing began as way for me to express myself and get my thoughts organized, so it’s always really helped not just as an artistic outlet, but as a personal outlet as well.
JJJ: You’ve were on tour with Cody Simpson last month. Any fun off-stage moments you can share?
TD: We didn’t get a huge amount of time to hang out because everyone is so busy during the shows, but I stayed on Cody’s bus one of the nights to write music with him and his guitarist, Andrew. We had a good time! All the guys in his crew are rad dudes. We made a Wal-mart stop and we all went inside to grab snacks for the long drive. It involved some of us dancing around the store and singing to the workers. Then we watched Rush Hour too, which is a classic. It was Cody’s first time ever seeing it, which I thought was crazy!
JJJ: That is crazy! So how else do you pass the time between shows?
TD: I spend a lot of my time with music. I love writing and producing for myself or other artists. I also recently started something called Dahlhouse Music Group where I’m going to help develop bands/artists. I also try to stay active on the internet! So those things take up a lot of my time. But when I have extra time, I love hiking/camping, traveling, playing with my two little dogs, and just hanging out with family/friends.
JJJ: What’s on your playlist rotation right now?
TD: Here’s one of my Spotify Playlists I’ve been bumpin’ lately:
“If I Could Change Your Mind” – Haim
“Girls” – The 1975
“Back Together” – Jesse McCartney
“All Night Long” – Lionel Richie
“Give Me One Reason” – Tracy Chapman
“Dannyboy” – Youngblood Hawke
JJJ: That’s an awesome mix! Last question: if you could take credit for writing any song in the world, which would it be?
TD: “Let It Be” by The Beatles. It has a such a simple and powerful message. Paul McCartney is one of my favorite songwriters. He adds the perfect amount of description into his songs, I love it. The instrumentation and melodies are amazing too. I think every songwriter strives to write songs like that.