Troy was kind enough to answer a few questions for Fanboys Anonymous and give me a sneak peek of his EP, which I know you guys will absolutely love!
FA: Your newest single, "Coward," is written in conjunction with Restless Waters by Jessica Park. Can you tell me how that process worked?
Troy: Yes! Very exciting to be a part of Jessica's new book. She is a brilliant author and a wonderful person to work with. Jess and I had been talking for a couple of years about working on a project together, and when she decided to write Restless Waters she knew that it was the right project. The process for writing "Coward" was really great in many ways. It challenged me in a way that no other song that I've written has. All my songs are very personal and pulled out of life experiences. So attempting to write a song about a fictional character was a bit frightening. But Jess really gave me a great understanding of who Sabin was and what he was dealing with. It turned out that I felt a strong connection to his character, and that gave me a good idea as to how the song should go. Working with Jess was a pleasure; she really gave me complete freedom to dive in and attempt to portray Sabin through this song. So with her guidance I tried to vaguely encompass all of the things he is dealing with in the book so people that know the character could relate to it and it would be authentic to him, but also so that people that aren't familiar might be able to connect as well.
FA: It looks like you have an EP coming out soon. Can you tell me more about when to expect it? From what I've heard it's been "coming" since early this year, yet I only see a single from it. Unless it is out and can't find it?
Troy: You're right, my EP When The Lights Came has been on standby for quite a while now. I've really been waiting for the right time to release it. It looks like that time might be very soon! I released the single "Rosary" last summer along with a gorgeous music video, and it has been doing quite well, but I really wanted to release the EP in a unique way. The collaboration of "Coward" with Jessica led to her using many of my songs on the EP in the book as well, so as it turns out, I'm happy that we waited to release it. It feels a bit more special now that it will begin its life within the book.
FA: What types of music should we expect from the EP? Is it similar to your other singles or a new sound?
Troy: My goal for the EP and all of my music has been to maintain simplicity but still achieve a big and impactful sound. So the EP is definitely in line with "Coward" and "Rosary." I've been working with Dante Lattanzi of Caelum Music Production on all of the tunes, and he has completely captured everything I was looking for. The songs are very personal and emotional, so I wanted to allow them to convey that with little distraction.
FA: Do you feel any special connection to any of your songs, more so than the others? I know this is like picking a favorite child, you can hate me. Ha, ha.
Troy: I do feel a special connection to all of my songs actually, I don't know if I could pick a favorite. If I had to I might say "Rosary" and "Restless Lady" are my two favorites because they came out of very painful memories of losing my father. "Rosary" was inspired by a conversation that I never got to finish with my dad, and "Restless Lady" is kind of a tribute to my mom for being so strong after my dad passed away. I also feel a special connection to "Restless Lady" because I named the song after a song that he wrote many years ago. I opened his old Gibson Acoustic guitar case and I found a musty handwritten lyric sheet of his song "Restless Lady," and about 30 minutes later I had completed the song. I've never written a song that fast before or after, so this one is a special one for sure.
FA: Do you prefer working in a band or as a solo act? Do you like having more creative control over the work without the risk of disagreement from band members?
Troy: There are definitely pros and cons to both. At the moment, I am loving what I am doing as a solo act. I do enjoy the freedom to do whatever I think is right and to explore whatever type of direction a song leads. That being said I think it is really important for me to have other opinions, so I have other people that I respect and trust that I'll share ideas with and make sure I'm not crazy most of the time. Having Dante as a partner also makes life easy for me as a solo act. As an incredible multi-instrumentalist, he can really bring anything to life and makes it easy to explore so many different avenues.
FA: Where did your interest in music begin? Were there any people in your life who encouraged and helped your creative talents along the way?
Troy: My father was a musician. He met my mom while he was playing gigs. Music was always in my house growing up, so I loved music at a young age. Although I didn't start pursuing it until I was in college, I always loved to sing. My family has encouraged me ever since I began to write songs; it feels great knowing that they love what I'm doing. Every musician that I've played with over the years has also helped me in some way. I like to learn from everyone, and just having the fortune to know and have played with some incredible people has really helped me grow as a musician.
FA: For people out there who haven't yet had the pleasure of listening to your music, how would you classify your sound?
Troy: This is a tough one. And I should probably have this answer ready because people ask me all the time, but I've had a hard time putting my own label on it. I guess I can just quote from a blog called Jamsphere that summed it up pretty good in my opinion: "It's like Eddie Vedder meets Otis Redding over at Daryl Hall's house on a Sunday afternoon."
FA: Are there any comparisons out there that you absolutely hate? Or for that matter love?
Troy: I don't think I've ever been put off by a comparison. I guess I look at any comparison as a compliment. I do love when I hear an Amos Lee or Kings of Leon comparison though. Two of my all-time favorites.
FA: What (or Who) are you a fanboy of?
Troy: I was/am obsessed with the movie Avatar! I thought it was the most incredibly moving piece of art I've ever seen. I've gotten a lot of shit from my friends for this, but I don't care. I saw it in the theater about 10 times and probably watched it at home about 20 times more. I still feel moved every single time.
FA: Light saber or magic wand?
Troy: Well when I was a young boy I was a very amateur magician, so I'd have to say magic wand.
FA: Favorite book?
Troy: Restless Waters by Jessica Park
FA: Favorite band?
Troy: Kings of Leon
FA: Favorite TV show?
Listen to "Coward" below and let me know your thoughts in a comment!