Podcast Transcript

Announcer:

Takin’ A Walk.

Tristan Tritt:

Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Don’t settle with the notion that you have to do what everyone else is doing. Do something that makes you feel uncomfortable, but also makes you feel. And that’s the key component, is feeling.

Announcer:

This is the Takin’ A Walk Podcast, hosted by Buzz Knight. Buzz talks with musicians ranging from new and independent artists to Hall of Famers. On this episode, he’s joined by Rock singer Tristan Tritt, discussing his upcoming tour and his latest project called Cause It’s Mine, Tristan speaks his mind on inauthenticity in the songwriting process from some artists. Join Buzz and Tristan next on Takin’ A Walk.

Buzz Knight:

Well, Tristan, thanks for being on a virtual edition of the Takin’ A Walk Podcast. We like doing them in person, but we love seizing the opportunity virtually whenever possible. And I’m so glad to meet you.

Tristan Tritt:

Very nice to meet you as well. Thank you for having me.

Buzz Knight:

Tristan, the latest singles called Cause It’s Mine. Talk about the message of the song, and in particular what authenticity means to you.

Tristan Tritt:

Absolutely. I think that the artist that inspired me the most when I was first falling in love with music and falling in love with rock were all people who had a very apparent sense of authenticity. And that was something that was always drilled into me, even as a kid of sticking to your guns and being responsible for your actions, but also willing to find your path and stick to it, and not just go with the wind as everyone wants you to go and be a part of the mass crowd.

So it’s a tongue-in-cheek song in a lot of ways, but there’s definitely a lot of truth peppered on top of it, of actual conversations that I’ve had in my first couple of years in Nashville trying to figure out what it’s like to be an artist, and having people who aren’t really artists themselves, but are trying to tell you how to write songs and become who they think you should be. And this is just my way of poking back at them.

Buzz Knight:

And who are some of the artists today that you admire for their authenticity? And then going back to when you were growing up, that you admire for their authenticity?

Tristan Tritt:

Absolutely. Well, I think right now is a really special time in music where there’s just such a wide variety of artists. And the internet has really done a good job of giving us a much more, I guess, wider bandwidth of understanding artists from different cultures. And from the Northeast, Pacific Northwest to South Africa, it’s all over the map.

But some of my favorite artists, there’s a British guy who does really beautiful singing and really cool raps within. His name’s Ren, R-E-N. And then there’s an artist named Roe Kapara. There’s a band from Minnesota named Durry. And all these bands have very unique styles from one another, but they give me a lot of hope because they’re about my age, probably in their mid-twenties, early twenties, and just really full of piss and vinegar and have a very unique sound that’s not something that I’ve really heard before. But you can definitely tell that they have a lot of influences from artists that I grew up with, which were like the Black Sabbaths, the Motorheads, the Radio Heads, I mean all those bands.

Buzz Knight:

When did you first realize that you were hooked on music and you were going to be a musician?

Tristan Tritt:

I think music was always a part of me in one shape, form, or fashion, but it wasn’t until oddly enough, 2020 I decided to finally do music as an artist and go fully into it. And the opportunity came from an opportunity not happening. I was supposed to be in California and working with some other artists as under a management company, and completely different route, but things didn’t go the way they were supposed to. And it worked out for the best because I was forth with an opportunity to actually try something that I’d never done before. And it was the thing that in the back of my mind I always wanted to do, but I was so terrified, had horrible stage fright, and was just not ready in my own head to be in front of people and be judged in that way.

But once my back was against the wall and the opportunities fell to the wayside after 2019, I was like, okay, well this is the time to really hone in the skill. So it really became a part of my life starting in 2020. But since I was a kid, the industry itself has always struck a chord with me, no pun intended.

Buzz Knight:

And your father, Travis Tritt had to have some influence on you, I’m thinking?

Tristan Tritt:

Oh, absolutely. Yeah. He had an influence just with really doing a good job, him and my mother, both, of not pushing me in one way or another to be in the industry, but always showing me, just guiding me and letting me see with my own two eyes what it can be about. And he was also very blatant the older I got of letting me know the goods and the bads with it. Just like any industry that you work in, it doesn’t matter what field, there’s always going to be the plus and the negative. So he was very open with me about having mature discussions about what goes on in the industry and how you can look out for it. And it was really, looking back now, I was very fortunate to have that position where he never really pushed me into any field, but he definitely guided me enough to let me see it a little bit more clearer than most.

Buzz Knight:

It’s almost like an MBA class having a dad like your father, right?

Tristan Tritt:

Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And he’ll be the first one to tell you too. He goes, it’s moving so fast now, the industry as a whole, that he can’t keep up. He goes, back in the nineties it was such a different, much more analog world, physical sales were still very much the primary means of income for not just artists, but labels. Nowadays with streaming and all that, as an artist right now, an up and coming artist, it’s a weekly thing of trying to figure out what to do next because it’s constantly shifting on you. So he will be the first one to say he doesn’t really even know how to do it now anymore.

Buzz Knight:

And you clearly like the concept of not fitting into a particular category, right?

Tristan Tritt:

Correct. Yeah. Even as a young kid, I don’t think I really, I would hang out with everyone for the most part, but I didn’t… Clique and groups weird me out. It feels a little cultish. So as soon as there’s too many people like me in a room, I feel like I have to be the contrarian just to keep things fresh.

Buzz Knight:

And you were influenced as a young man by Guitar Hero. Talk about that.

Tristan Tritt:

Oh yeah, yeah. Guitar Hero really was, I think that was the catalyst for the whole music world for me because it made rock and roll cool again because it was the fact that it was a bunch of kids my age discovering it. I say that in quotes because it was, obviously, it’s been there long before us, but we discovered it on our own through a video game and it just made it cool again. And it threw me down a rabbit hole of discovering so many fantastic artists from the sixties and up.

Buzz Knight:

At the time of us recording this episode, you’re recording new music, an EP that’s going to be called What Are We Doing? Describe the creative process when you go into the studio.

Tristan Tritt:

Absolutely. For me, there really is two forms to go with it. And this is completely anecdotal, everyone’s different, but typically, I like to come in with at least a foundation of what I want. And that could be a melody or it could be something as simple as a song title or even a half a lyric, just something to guide the rest of the process. Because I think there can be a bit of friction when you have too much room for imagination and there’s not really a parameter set, and people can go off on their own routes. And it’s very difficult sometimes to hone it back into the original thought process.

And the second part of that is I like to be in a room with no more than about three people and really let their minds work as well. I’m not territorial when it comes to who writes what lyric or who comes up with what, so much as it melds together in a way that makes sense.

Buzz Knight:

If someone is listening to this and they are aspiring to grow their musical career, when you think of the creative process in the studio, what advice would you give them?

Tristan Tritt:

Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Don’t settle with the notion that you have to do what everyone else is doing. Do something that makes you feel uncomfortable, but also makes you feel. And it’s the key component, is feeling. This is a very much a cerebral endeavor where you’re really having to get in touch with a lot of emotions. It’s not a numbers game. This is very much based off your own feelings. And if it’s something that touches you, even if it doesn’t necessarily make sense for what’s popular at the moment or what everyone’s moving towards, if it makes you feel something, that’s the whole point.

And it took me a lot of trial and error to realize that making the songs that other people wanted me to make versus making the songs that I wanted to make was so much more of a gratifying feeling in the end. Because obviously the people who want you to do something, as soon as you produce the track and you give it to them, they’re stoked about it. But if you can’t go to sleep at night knowing that you truly made the best song that you possibly could do, then to me it’s not worth it. What’s the point of being in this in the first place?

So be comfortable with being uncomfortable, but definitely push the boundaries within yourself.

Buzz Knight:

And you’re going to be heading out on a tour. Talk about the tour, what that means to you, and the joy of performing in front of people.

Tristan Tritt:

Yeah, February 22nd, we start off in my home state of Georgia. We’re playing in Aisle 5 in Atlanta, me and a band from New Jersey called America Part Two. And I’m very, very much looking forward to hanging out with these guys. I love their music, and they just seem like just really genuine people.

But there’s a certain magic that comes with playing music live as opposed to just being in a recording studio. I think in a recording studio, you have a lot more room for creativity and trying things over and over and over again, but there’s a adrenaline that you just cannot replicate other than live. And that’s really what made me want to get into music in the first place. I love recording more than most, but I would take being on stage over anything.

Buzz Knight:

And the type of venues that you’re going to be playing in, what sort of places are these?

Tristan Tritt:

Anything from music bars, to halls, to smaller theater type venues. Mainly this run is going to be in the southeast region, so it’s a lot of bars and halls right now.

Buzz Knight:

What was the earliest concert experience you remember?

Tristan Tritt:

Besides My father’s, because I was a tour bus baby with my sister for about two years, so I got my fair share of those. One of the first shows I ever saw was, I think it was Kid Rock and ZZ Top. ZZ Top opened, and it was Kid Rock. And then it was at the Lakewood Amphitheater, or what it used to be called the Lakewood Amphitheater in Atlanta.

Buzz Knight:

And some other shows that you’ve seen that really made an impact on you?

Tristan Tritt:

Oh, absolutely. I saw the Black Crows about two years ago, saw My Chemical Romance, which was fantastic. And then recently in November I saw Avenged Sevenfold and they were fantastic, some of my favorite bands.

Buzz Knight:

So when you go to see these shows, do you take away particular elements that enhance your performance?

Tristan Tritt:

Since starting to be an artist in 2020, I’ve really taken the time to study the frontman, and really see the confidence and the almost playfulness that they have when they’re on stage. And Chris Robinson is an excellent example of that. He is such a force to be reckoned with when he’s on stage with the Black Crows. And he has such a almost lackadaisical approach to being a front man, but it’s powerful in its own way. And I’m very similar in that. I’m almost what they would call a spaz on stage because I don’t care. But it’s the freedom of that that makes the… It’s the way that the art comes through me, if that makes sense.

Buzz Knight:

It does make sense. Yeah. And the joy has to come out of it, right? I mean, that’s critical.

Tristan Tritt:

Yeah, it’s that classic saying, dance like no one’s looking.

Buzz Knight:

But when you think about a great performance and just leaving it all out there, are there any adages when you think of that that apply to your thinking about a concert?

Tristan Tritt:

Yeah, I think with certain, because I’ve seen so many, such a wide variety within festivals or just individual concerts, I think the one thing that they have in common is there’s almost this surrender to the audience. And that surrender, with that comes this, it’s almost a symbiotic relationship of the people in the crowd, and the person on stage or the band on stage. And they’re melding together in unison and singing the same song, or melody, or harmony. And it’s probably one of the most powerful things you can witness as a human being, in my opinion.

Buzz Knight:

And how does it make you feel when you know you’ve connected with an audience, whether it be at a concert or you meet someone and your music has connected with them, how does that make you feel?

Tristan Tritt:

Having my music connect with fans is something that has very recently happened just with the amount of songs I’ve been putting out. So there’s been a lot more opportunity for them to listen.

But in recent circumstances, having people sing back my lyrics has been probably one of the most… It’s almost undescribable because I never in a million years thought that I would be doing this first and foremost, but let alone have people who are singing my lyrics back. And since I was a kid, the one thing that I always wanted to do, or I always resonated with the artists that I looked up to was the fact that they made me not feel alone, and they made me kind feel like it was okay to be the outsider, the weird fringe person that I’ve always been. And seeing people, kids, all that stuff, teenagers singing it back to me, that was surreal, absolutely surreal. And you’re like, okay, in my mind, mission accomplished. I don’t care if it’s 15 people or 1500 people, it was incredible.

Buzz Knight:

So back to writing for a second. I feel like in terms of your writing, whether it be Because It’s Mine or No Filter, you have a lot that you’re wanting to get off your chest. When you were young, were you always writing your thoughts down in terms of songs, or poetry, or anything like that?

Tristan Tritt:

I probably started doing that around seventh grade, and it was almost like I would write jokey songs, taboo, jokey stuff that I would listen to based off of the current artists that were in my playlist at the time, on my iPod.

But since then, I’ve gone from writing little things of poetry every now and then to just really putting pen to pad and getting any kind of emotions or stress out. And I think that it really does work. As crazy as it sounds and woo woo as it is, the ability to put pen to pad and actually just write out what’s going through your head, somehow or another it turns it into a physical thing and it doesn’t seem as overwhelming as before. So when I’m writing about something that’s really beating me down, whether it’s a breakup, or it’s a identity crisis, or it’s anything like that, existential angst, whatever you want to label it as, writing things down and just putting it in a simplistic format like a song really helps digest it in the long run. And it helps you zoom out as a spectator. And it makes me become a spectator of the things that I’m doing with.

Buzz Knight:

What do you think you would’ve done if you weren’t a musician?

Tristan Tritt:

That’s a good question. I’d probably still be in the industry in some way, shape, or form, just because I love the business side of it as well. Administrative, I love being organized and getting things to come together. Seeing what my management puts up with now, I don’t know if I’d still want that. But yeah, I think the industry still, it’s got me in a stranglehold and I would be working in music some way.

Buzz Knight:

So if you could just get a crystal ball out and dream up who you would be able to collaborate with over the next year, who would some of those people be?

Tristan Tritt:

For sure. There’s an artist based out of Texas named Austin Meade, and I think especially with his more recent music, our sound would collide pretty well. There’s plenty of bands like, I think his name’s Dexter and the Moon Rocks, and they’re fantastic. They just got signed on Nashville. I would love to work with them. There’s a lot of these younger guys that I want to work with down the road that I think would just be really, really cool to have them see my audience and me see theirs, and help each other out.

Buzz Knight:

And any veterans that you’d like to work with that, if you were able to just dream that up?

Tristan Tritt:

Are we talking dead or alive?

Buzz Knight:

Yeah, let’s say dead or alive. Exactly.

Tristan Tritt:

Well, I know he’s not really in the best of health, but I’m a massive Ozzy Osbourne fan. I think doing any track with Ozzy would be a dream come true. And then next under that, just because he’s such a sweetheart and such a lover of music, I would love to work with Dave Grohl.

Buzz Knight:

I love that. So then crystal ball out where you’re headed in the next 12 to 24 months, what are you envisioning?

Tristan Tritt:

Really just being back in the studio as much as possible, even after the EP and honing in the sound for not only upcoming tours, but just really getting an understanding of where we want to go once the LP drops, how many, over months or years, or year.

But I want to make sure I’m pushing myself as a writer as much as possible and getting, like I said before, getting out of the comfort zone and really digging deeper than I ever have before. That’s what I want to do. I really want to just open up and be as literally naked on the pen and pad, or sonically naked where there’s no front, there’s no imagery that I’m trying to put up, or fake imagery. I just want it to be me, as human as possible, because I think that’s when I feel the most content with what I put out, is when it’s the most bare-bones style of what I’m going through at that moment.

Buzz Knight:

And in closing, in terms of learning what that you have not learned, do you want to learn?

Tristan Tritt:

It’s an open-ended question for me because I think that being the dumbest one in the room is always a benefit for me. So I’m always learning. I find out how stupid I am every single day because I’m surrounded by people who know so much, and I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by them.

So I can’t put a pin on exactly what it is I want to learn, but as long as I can listen every single day, I think I’m going to figure out something new for the rest of my life. I’m a forever student.

Buzz Knight:

How old are you?

Tristan Tritt:

24.

Buzz Knight:

You’re much wiser than your age, my friend.

Tristan Tritt:

I appreciate that.

Buzz Knight:

I appreciate you being on Takin’ A Walk. I wish you well on the studio and that work with the EP. And I wish you well on this tour. And I wish you only great things in your career.

Tristan Tritt:

Thank you so much, and I appreciate you once again for having me.

Announcer:

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About The Author

Buzz Knight

Buzz Knight is an established media executive with a long history of content creation and multi-platform distribution.

After a successful career as a Radio Executive, he formed Buzz Knight Media which focuses on strategic guidance and the development of new original content.