What happens when a Burton-sponsored Olympic snowboarder irreparably tears his ACL (knee) at the height of his career? My guess is that most boarders would just retreat to the backcountry for a while to hole up in haze of frustration, and eventually open up an overpriced snowboard camp for kids in Tahoe. However, if your best friend and fiancée is the hotter-than-hot musician Santogold, and she helps you rehab by channeling your rebellious snowboarder mentality into songs, you might end up finding your second calling. That’s exactly what Trevor “Trouble” Andrew did a little over three years ago, and now his group is shredding stages (and the occasional slope) with their fresh crunk-rock sound. After a show last week at the Mercury Lounge, members of Trouble Andrew sat down with us in the venue’s bunker-like basement. Amongst beer boxes filled with empty bottles, Trouble Andrew, guitarist Joao Salamao, and bassist Masa took us behind the music.
So, Masa, let’s start with you. Is your head sweaty under that fedora? Trouble: You should see his hair under that. We told him not to cut it off. It looks like a helmet. Masa: It’s Lego hair. Trouble: You know, the little Lego guys. That’s what Masa’s hair is like.
Joao, I see a wedding ring. Masa, are you married? Masa: Yes and no. Trouble: Not married, but Santi and I have been engaged since last Christmas.
Do you ever feel like you are cheating on your wives or girlfriends with your art? Like music as your mistress? Joao: What a weird question … Maybe? Trouble: No, because my partner is a musician and she totally gets it.
How did you meet Santogold? Trouble: We met at an event six and a half years ago, when she was in the band Stiffed. After that, we would talk every day by phone. Then, when I injured my knee snowboarding in 2005, I had to stop boarding and rehab it for nine months. So I moved to Philadelphia where Santi lived, and she encouraged me to write down the lyrics in my head and helped me work them into songs.
If the universe hadn’t provided her inspiration and practical help, do you think you’d be here now? Trouble: I think it would have happened a lot later, that’s for sure. Originally, I only wanted to make music for myself and the snowboard kids. I wasn’t looking for success in the commercial sense. I already had that kind of success from snowboarding. But as I continued writing and performing, I now understand that the hustle is so the music can reach people. I mean this crunk rock won’t stop, you know?!
How does training for a professional sport compare to training for music? Trouble: You’ve got to really love what you do in order to succeed in it. I’ve been snowboarding since I was very young, and I remember way back, Shaun White’s mom being at the top of the half pipe being like, “Let Shaun drop in.” I consider skateboarding and snowboarding like art and in that sense. Shaun is a fucking great athlete and artist. For musicians and athletes, to succeed it takes great determination and dedication.