A couple of days ago, I had the pleasure to be interviewed by one of my favorite people in the world, musician Adam Morrow of Callooh! Callay! fame. Due to some site troubles, we’ll put up a little chunk of that interview on here and then I will direct you to go to WellThatsCool.com for the whole thing. Good times.
I met Trey Irby for the first time at some point in the fall of 2010. He paced around the mostly empty upstairs bar of Mellow Mushroom. It was definitely a Thursday, and probably 9pm, long before the first band would start, but there he was, PBR tallboy in hand, ready for music. He talked to folks with gusto, he absorbed all of the music that was played with an attentiveness that would thrill most bar bands hoping someone “gets it,” and he laughed loudly and genuinely. And that’s Trey. Since then, he has amassed a body of work that speaks to that spirit, and conveys just how much he is thinking about not only music, but how it fits in a larger cultural landscape. Where are we right now? He’s perpetually grasping to figure that out, whether it be in this column, at the shows he frequents, or in 140 characters on Twitter. It was high time someone asked him about himself.
What was the last thing you listened to?
Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones (Part II),” out of all things. Just before that it was Wye Oak’s “Holy, Holy.” I think I’m only doing that because I have to be like “I listen to everything, I’m not just into hip-hop!”
Where were you born?
I was born in Oak Grove, Louisiana. Very, very small town in the northeast Louisiana area. Thats why, if anytime you pay attention to my Facebook posts, because I know everyone does, thats why I have a sudden, random liking of the University of Louisiana-Monroe, ’cause I would have actually ended up going there if we had stayed in Louisiana and not moved here.
So where did you grow up?
I grew up here, basically.
When did you move to Tuscaloosa?
About 5. I would have been about 5. In Oak Grove, you really could not get a job anywhere. Its one of those, its a classic small town situation. You would either be working at the gas station or you’d be working at, I don’t know, the Merle Norman or whatever.
So by the age of 16, Trey Irby is living in Tuscaloosa. Where’d you go to school?
Introduce me to 16 year old Trey Irby.
He was…kind of a dork. There’s a lot of other layers to this. The famous picture of me now, in the Eagles (basketball) jersey and all that, that was from my Christian school days, when I went to Open Door Christian School. But when I went to 10th grade, I went to public school, and obviously I didn’t know a damn thing about public school. But it was probably the best decision I ever made. I was probably going to have all this resentment if I didn’t leave Christian school.
16 year old Trey Irby, he started to pay attention to the Internet a lot. Like, go on an online forum, and they’d be like, “You should listen to this band…they’re called the New Pornographers!” and I was like, “Huh, ok, I’ll listen to a couple songs.” I kind of grew into this indie hipster…there was part of me that was like, “I’m getting really into these bands that I found on this site called Pitchfork!”
The rest will obviously be seen in due time. And if you are in Tuscaloosa, come out to Green Bar tonight to see Callooh! Callay! perform. You’ll enjoy it.