Daily Discovery: Triggers & Slips, “Modern Age”

Image by Mark J. Davis
Image by Mark J. Davis

ARTIST: Triggers & Slips

SONG: “Modern Age”

HOMETOWN: Salt Lake City, Utah

CURRENT LOCATION: Nashville, Tennessee

AMBITIONS: To continue to explore more cities, living rooms, campfires, music festivals and music venues. To make and build real relationships with amazing people who have the courage to walk beside themselves and value authenticity and integrity. Also, to grow as a better person to continue to get better each day with the craft of songwriting, and performing.

TURN-OFFS: People who value material possessions and money more than relationships. Cheats, liars, and scoundrels. Excessive name-dropping. When people leave their guitar tuners on their head stock during their entire performance, more a pet peeve than an actual turn-off, but seriously take that thing off after tuning.

TURN-ONS: Intimate connections over song, film, conversation, or touch. Great food, mountain landscapes, and old picture books found in thrift stores. I like having an artist break my heart and pick me up, over and over again. Nothing makes me happy like a sad song.

DREAM GIG: A big cabin with vaulted ceilings, big windows, and a fireplace with 40 close friends and musicians in the Rocky Mountains, and we just pass a guitar around and play until the sun comes up. Those are usually the best gigs.

FAVORITE LYRIC: Such a tough question, but since I have been listening to a lot of Kris Kristofferson lately, this one comes to mind from the song “To Beat The Devil.”

“If you waste your time talking to the people who don’t listen to the things that you are saying who do you think is going to hear? And if you should die explaining how the things that they complain about are things they could be changing who do you think is going to care?”

SONG I WISH I WROTE: “If I Could Be The Rain” by Utah Phillips

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Roger Maris, Utah Phillips, Prince, Jesus, Someone named Rainbow (legally though, and a birth certificate to prove it).

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: The one that sticks out the most is my first concert. I never thought I would like concerts and thought they were silly at that time in my life. My thinking at the time was that I could just put in a CD if I wanted to listen to music. I had no idea the power of a live performance until seeing Chris Ledoux at a rodeo grounds in Salina, Utah, close to where I was going to college. He rode a mechanical bull on stage, sang a song about Copenhagen, which during the entire song people threw cans of chew at the musicians, but the band just lowered their hats and kept playing. At one point, my friends and I noticed no one was standing in front of the stage, so we walked up to get closer and were ushered to the side by the security since there were seats behind us. Chris Ledoux saw what was happening from the stage and walked off the stage in the middle of a song, came up and shook our hands, and thanked us for coming to the show. My life was forever changed. Live music is not only an important part of my life as a performer, but I am a fan of live music first. I would say that very few things compare to going to a show and having an artist reach deep into your soul and physically move you.

I WROTE THIS SONG BECAUSE…I wrote this song with a friend of mine named Ashlee K. Thomas, who was visiting Utah from Nashville. In a four month time span, I had been laid off work from a company who I had worked at for five years, my girlfriend of three years decided to move onto greener pastures, my son’s mom moved to Boise, Idaho, taking him with her along with our dog. On top of that, I had my truck booted and then towed in front of my house one week before Christmas for two outstanding parking tickets, and since the transmission was shot, I just took my music gear out and let them have my truck. I was broke and broken. I felt like I had lost everything. I felt like an old country song, but in the modern age. Like the western mountain range in Salt Lake City, I had been mined and drilled of all resources, and like them, I felt like an empty hole. When we sat down to write, Ashlee asked me what I had been up to. I told her the truth, since I had no car, I was walking everywhere and riding the public train system that runs through Salt Lake City to my side jobs. I eventually included the song “Modern Age” on  the Triggers & Slips album Buffalo vs. Train and released a music video on YouTube.