Interview with Rick Trevino

© February 2007 / Bruno Michel


He was one of the shooting stars of the early and mid 90ís. Traditionalist Rick Trevino had a contract with Columbia Redords, several top hits and it seemed that there was nothing but the easy road for the young artist. But then things changed. Rick lost his label contract due to various reasons, sales figures dropped, his band lost faith in him.

Trevino, just married and with a little baby added to the family, started to worry. But after the skies had cleared, he remembered his roots and started to play small clubs again. One man kept believing in Rick Trevino. It was Paul Worley from Warner Bros. He encouraged Trevino to join with Raul Malo (former Mavericks leader) and start writing songs. The result can soon be heard on Whole Town Blue, the upcoming new album by Rick Trevino. When he played the Albisgütli Festival in Zurich, I sat down with him for an interview.

bm: Rick, when you lost your deal with Sony/Columbia you just got married and had a baby. Things went from bad to worse. You are quoted that this experience has made you hungry. What kept you hanginí in that business?
RT: The love for the music. You can either give up and cry about it or you can go on and re-invent yourself. Focus on making good music. Of course it was a disappointing time but it was also an opportunity to prove to the music business that I was for real.

bm: Nashville is putting marketing over music. Youíve experienced that yourself as we just discussed. What advice would you give young artists if they want to stay true to their music?
RT: Well, there are a lot of different situations in the various music genres. Sometimes companies want to define what the typical sound of the time should be. I think they need to stay focused but still learn from people who try to give you advice. Continue to grow artistically and musically.

bm: What truth about yourself would you like people to know?
RT: This is my third year to perform in Europe. The first time I came here I was a little nervous. The second time I was more relaxed but this time I was really looking forward. What I want them to know is that I enjoy the European wines.

bm: Your songs tell stories from the heart. Are they related to your personal experiences and what is more important in a song, the words or the music?
RT: All songs come from a real place in my life, whether they are personal or not. The words and the music count about the same, they go hand in hand. But if I write my own songs, the melody comes easier to me than the words.

bm: What song do you wish you had written?
RT: There are a lot of songs. He Stopped Loving Her Today would be one of my favorites.

bm: I heard that you are a Star Wars fan: What would be the first thing youíd warn an alien who has landed in Texas?
RT: (laughs). Good question. First thing I would warn them isthat Texas is a part of the United States.

bm: If people look back on your life in 50 years, what youíd wish they say about you?
RT: I hope theyíd say that I made them happy. That there were a couple of my songs that made them feel good, no matter if it was for the time of the song or for a longer period.

bm: Youíve appeared with many famous artists on stage. Who would be your dream duet partner and why?
RT: Up to now I didnít have too many opportunities to do duets. I did one with Freddie Fender which Iíll never ever forget. I will always be thankful that I had the opportunity to record with him. We recorded two Los Super Seven albums together and on the last one we did a duet. I also did a lot of singing with Raul Malo, although we didnít do any duets. Heís such a great person and singer. After that experience I really donít have an immediate wish to sing with anybody else.

bm: If you would find the lamp of Aladin, what 3 wishes would you ask from the genie?
RT: (laughs) The first would be to have three more wishes, so thatís six. Then health for the family. Donít know what the third one would be because Iíve got four left. But if there would be only one left, it would probably be a boat that I could sail to Europe instead of flying.

bm: Donít you like flying?

RT: Well, if I had my own boat it would be easier and more fun.

bm: If you were to interview Rick Trevino, which question would you ask him that I did not ask?
RT: Maybe I would ask what songs on the new CD I would like to talk about. Well, thereís a song on my new album, Whole Town Blue, called Cousin Paul. Itís a true story about my second cousin Paul Vada who died in Vietnam. I never got to meet Paul, but heard a lot of stories about him.

bm: Many thanks for the interview and we look forward to seeing your show tonight.