Return to Trevor Hall

Thursday, September 10,2015

All in due time

Trevor Hall discusses his new album and surrendering to ‘Mother Earth’

By Lauren Archuletta

Courtesy of The Ken Phillips Publicity Group
You can’t rush your healing, darkness has its teaching and love is never leaving.”

Sitting on a bench in the middle of Pearl Street, I prepared for my interview with Trevor Hall by listening to his new mellow, acoustic album, KALA. Of all of the songs, these lyrics seemed to resonate within me, and I tried to apply his lyrics to my life, wondering what could have possibly inspired this word selection. Despite all the preparation I did before speaking with him, I abandoned the idea of sequential questioning when my phone rang, and I asked him exactly what was on my mind instead.

A smile can be heard through his sigh as he addressed my question about his lyrics. “We all go through different things in our life and looking for a reason to things,” he said. “We’re constantly asking ourselves, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ I asked this question a lot when I got sick.”

For months, Hall lived in Hawaii writing and recording his newest album. He had just planned a year’s worth of traveling and touring, feeling good about the work he recently produced, when he became extremely ill on the last day of his stay in Maui. A staph infection took hold of the artist, hospitalizing him and causing everyone to change their plans.

“It was just absolutely crazy,” Hall explained. “I was supposed to be playing in Australia, and my wife was supposed to be volunteering in Nepal. She canceled her trip to be with me in the hospital, and two weeks later we hear about the earthquakes in Nepal. My wife was supposed to be on the ground in Kathmandu the day the earthquake hit. Who knows what could have happened if she had been there. That’s when I learned that she was my ‘why,’ the reason I got sick in the first place. It needed to happen.”

During his illness and in recovery, Hall turned to his new album to help with acceptance and understanding. His fans, or “villagers” as he calls them, were concerned that his staph infection claimed his locks. Six years ago Hall took a vow to not cut his hair for 12 years, and his music video for “You Can’t Rush Your Healing” shows his head being shaved.

“KALA taught me that you can’t plan your life out,” Hall said. “You need to be in the moment because it’s so worth it. After this album and after being sick, my meditation is even deeper than before. Music heals me, and I realized that when I can surrender myself to the spirit, there are no worries. I find myself telling Mother [Earth], ‘I trust you, I trust you.’”

While Hall’s interpretation of KALA changed after his illness, he said that its teachings had taken root in him during the early phases of the writing process. The album itself was inspired by his grandmother.

“‘Kala’ is the Sanskrit word for time,” Hall said. “The idea for this album came about with a visit to my grandma in South Carolina, where I’m from. My grandmother is very old at this point, and definitely in the final stage of her life. She doesn’t say much, but when she does, it really hits you. On this particular day she looked up at the sky and said, ‘Isn’t time such a won derful gift?’ That hit me hard.”

Hall internalized his grandmother’s words and immediately began thinking that despite his calm demeanor and meditation, he had been letting time run his life.

“For me, I didn’t realize that I had always been thinking of time as a sort of ‘thing,’ and that it had become a pressure to constantly figure things out,” Hall said. “Ever since that day, that phrase has just been in my head, and I started stringing things together. Time is a healer, it is growth, it is learning and it is a circle.”

During our conversation, Hall’s team tweeted the release of his newest music video, “Back to You.” From the preview alone, it is clear that the black-and-white video is entirely about Hall and his wife. I asked him about the influence their love and marriage has on his music.

“My life really changed when I met her,” Hall said, laughing. “I never expected to ever be in a relationship. It’s not like I can just go to a bar and meet someone. I’m a musician and, beyond that, just very intense.”

The two of us traded jokes for a minute about how we are each highly emotional people, evidenced in my eyes welling up in conversation with him, a famous musician, who 10 minutes earlier, was a complete stranger to me.

“I’m very spiritual and can be just so emotional, because I’m just always thinking about things,” Hall said. “I wasn’t expecting to meet someone and fall in love, but when it happened everything just aligned so magically.”

Hall explained that his wife, Emory, is the creative mind and team member he hadn’t previously had. She creates all the artwork for his album, maintains his website and often takes the lead on his music videos.

“Meeting her that time, in that moment, means everything,” Hall said. “It goes back to ‘kala,’ it goes back to time. It was meant to happen and I was willing to surrender myself to Mother and live in the moment.”

ON THE BILL: Trevor Hall, 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24 and Saturday, Sept, 25. Fox Theatre Boulder, 1135 13th St., Boulder, 303-447-0095.