Trombone Shorty, one of today’s most prolific musicians, just released his third solo album, Say That to Say This, yesterday, which will also features his band Orleans Avenue under the Verve Forecast label. Trombone, whose given name is Troy Andrews, is currently touring and set to depart for the European leg of his tour in early October. Although he is in the chaotic throes of finishing the U.S. leg of his tour, we were able to catch up with the trombone prodigy for a bit to discus his upcoming album, creating history in the studio with famed funk legends The Meters, and being mentored by Lenny Kravitz at only 18 years old.
Interview by Zoy Britton (@ZoyMB)
Growing up on the famed Treme street, can you tell us a little bit about that experience and what role it played in the making of your new album, Say That To Say This?
Well, I grew up right in the heart of Treme so it was a real music neighborhood, and there was a bunch of bands like the Dirty Dozen Brass Band around. My family played music growing up, so I’ve been playing and marching around the streets in the parades since I was four. Everything I do is influenced by my musical upbringing there—it’s my life. Without Treme, I don’t think I would have my sound or be where I am today.
I saw a picture of you circa 1991 when you were about six years old, marching with all these grown men in a band with this huge trombone…
Yeah, that experience was wonderful. I had a lot of older musicians looking out for me, teaching me, and showing me things when they saw how interested I was in music from a young age. They would take me to the side and just play some things in my ear and I would try to play it back to them.
Those moments clearly played a poignant role in your musical development. I wanted to get more into your new album. Is it a concept album, and if so, what story is it telling?
Well, basically we just want to put out great New Orleans music, and it’s also a timeline of my music and life. I’ve played in different settings and music genres all throughout my career, and on this record you can hear the influences of rock, funk, hip-hop, and blues. We just wanted to put all those things in, make it a little stronger, and just continue to grow.