The Joe Trainor Trio

Band Interview Questions – Joe

Joe Trainor - Piano and VocalsIn an effort to let you nice folks know a little more about the guys, I gave them each a handful of questions. These are Joe’s responses:

1.Who would you say are your greatest musical influences?

As a piano player my obvious influences would include Billy Joel, Elton John and Ben Folds. As a teenager, though I was drawn in by other keyboardists and listened to a lot of Progressive Rock. Bands like Genesis, Jethro Tull, Rush, Pink Floyd and Yes dominated my CD player. For a time I wrote in that vein, but eventually discovered the nuances of songwriting and realized that lyric and melody are what set songs apart, not odd meters and over-the-top solos. Discovering Ben Folds, Jeff Buckley and The Beatles later on in my career reminded me of the power of simplistic songwriting. So I’ve been focusing on creating music that’s direct in its approach, but also powerful.

2.Imagine you’re watching a concert and one of the band members spontaneously combusts. You get called to the stage to replace that band member. Who’s the band?

My favorite band is still Genesis. They were able to perfectly combine the musicianship found in Prog music with a direct approach to melody and lyrics. On the “replace-a-band-member” concept, I’d have to say Ben Folds. I know it’s obvious. I’d also sit in with the E Street Band.

3.Boxers or Briefs?

Joe neglected to answer this one.

4.Favorite junk food?

Peanut butter on graham crackers

5.Who got you started? Was it with a different instrument?

I’ve always played the piano. I was influenced at an early age by my Aunt Eileen, who got me started. I formed my first band in high school, playing really bad covers. I began writing at 15. This is just something I’ve always felt I’ve done. I couldn’t imagine NOT playing.

6.What’s the most ‘rock star’ thing that you’ve ever done?

There were those 3 girls in Kentucky….just kidding. I’ve gotten to play some really great shows in my life. And every time I get to play I feel a bit “rock star” ish, but I think playing in front of 1200 with Ian Anderson has got to be the closet I’ve ever felt to being an actual rock star.

7.If you had to give up music – what would you do to be creative?

I’d probably write stories. I draw a little, but creating stories is something I’ve tried to do with my music, so it seems natural that if you took the music out of the equation, that I’d still be creating stories.

8.Strangest venue or gig you’ve ever played?

When I was with Xfusion, we went to Connecticut to play some Board Of Directors event for a theater there. Odd having a progressive metal band playing a function like that…

9.What do you like LEAST about how you play?

My left hand is weak. Coming from a prog backround I focused a good bit on training my right hand for solos. My left hand doesn’t do what I wish it could do sometimes.

10.The members of Rush – Marry, Screw, Kill?

F – Geddy; Marry – Neil; Kill – Alex

11.Have you had any ‘formal’ music training?

Nope…just a few lessons from my Aunt

12.Do you have any other projects you would like your fans to know about?

I’m currently a member of a new improv comedy troupe called The Basement. We do shows around town from time to time. I’m essentially the music director for the group, though I do occasionally participate in skits. It’s uncharted territory for me, so it’s fun.

13.Tell us anything else that you would like people to know about you.

I just enjoy writing, recording and performing. It really is what I do best.

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