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JFH Indie Review

JFH Indie Inspection Review

Trey Tate
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Trey Tate
Graffiti - EP

Artist Info: Discography
Street Date: January 19, 2024
Style: Rock / Metal
Official Site: Musicville.wixsite.com/TreyTateMusic
Buy It: AmazonMP3



Trey Tate is no stranger to the music scene, having played in a variety of worship bands as well his CCM band, All Came As One. Now, having branched out as a solo artist, Tate is entering rock and metal territory, starting with his debut EP, Graffiti. The EP's sound is pretty eclectic; its roots are instrumental metalcore, but "The Journey" sounds like it may have a good deal of Creed influence, "The One With The Beats (2)" plays around with electronic and trap metal, and "Fire in the Night" closes the EP with an acoustic ballad. It really acts as a sampler platter full of all the things that Tate has to offer as a solo act, and it all has a lot going for it. That being said, there's also a lot of untapped potential here. There are occasions where the guitar riffs are just slightly out of time, and some tracks sound as if they're split between mono and stereo sound. The good thing, though, is that just about all of my critiques are things that could easily be straightened out in the hands of a skilled engineer and producer. I'd love to hear what Tate can offer with some quality studio time. Still, Graffiti is a solid introduction, and hopefully the first step toward releasing some killer metalcore.

- Review date: 2/21/24, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com



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  • Jesus Freak Hideout (Scott Fryberger): What inspired you to get into making solo music?

    Trey Tate: I actually started my “Trey Tate Music” Facebook page back in 2011, I think. It was after my first actual band broke up. Over the years I’ve posted guitar covers and little cell phone videos of me playing riffs that I made up. So, the idea of me making solo music isn’t new by any means.

    As much as I love being part of a group like my band All Came As One (where I am actually the Bassist), where we all come from different backgrounds and musical influences, there is a mesh of influences and sounds that happens and it’s awesome. Some really cool things come from that, and we could even be right on the edge of Christian Rock at times but we have always been a Worship/CCM band when it comes down to it.

    Having a solo project allows me to creatively try things that wouldn’t work in ACAO. It allows me to play guitar, write instrumentals, to sing, scream, play over Hip-Hop beats, and even write a weird acoustic ballad. I then can go back to the band and have more focus on what we do there, on the Worship and Ministry side, without feeling like I’m unable to showcase my creativity, and style. It allows me to get out my alternative genre roots so that I can better focus on the Worship aspect of our band.

  • JFH (Scott): Was everything from writing to production done solely by you?

    Trey: For the most part, yes, I used Fiver.com to have “The Journey” Mixed and Mastered as well as had a Lyric Video made for it, both of which I had to make a few changes to even after though. I I purchased and used pre-made drum tracks, and the beats on “The One With The Beats” were built using stock samples from the program Soundation, however I did layer them, altered their Key, and even Tempo to build the beats.

    I wrote all of the guitar parts (excluding Anthony Carty’s solo), Bass parts, and all most of the lyrics (the 1st verse on The Journey was a co-write). Everything else from production, web/graphic design, and marketing was done by me. I had a hand in just about everything by the end of this project.

  • JFH (Scott): Did you learn anything valuable in the process of making the EP?

    Trey: Yes, patience, resilience, and what can happen when you take a Leap of Faith!! I started working on this EP (“Graffiti”) in August of 2019 and just finally released the full EP at the beginning of 2024. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost quit, and deleted everything, I’ve been frustrated beyond belief, I’ve battled insecurities.

    I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had the “will anyone even listen to this?”, “Will my story reach anyone”, “Can God use me with this, in this project?”, “Does this even sound good?” thoughts in this experience. “The Journey” and “Fire in The Night” were especially vulnerable and difficult for me to get to where I wanted them to be (or as close to it as possible), I had to really push myself to get those songs to where they are, there were lyric rewrites, music restructuring, and even Key changes. I had never written a full on acoustic song, I have done scream vocals before but never on an actual recording.

    There were also the equipment setbacks, when I started this EP I recorded “Graffiti” on Garageband (on a 2015 Macbook Pro) and used a Zoom B3 Bass Effects pedal as an Audio Interface. When I started working on vocals, I bought a cheap USB microphone off of Amazon. And now the Lord has blessed me with being able to have a very small but usable, and reliable home studio (actual Audio Interface, studio monitor speakers with a Sub, and a legitimate Microphone). This process has been one of immense growth.

  • JFH (Scott): How do you like making solo music as compared to being in a band?

    Trey: I love both in different ways! I love being in a band and collaborating with my band mates. We have been together for almost 11 years and even though we aren’t as active as we once were, anytime we get together we can’t help but to be amazed by what God has allowed us to do and how he is still using us and how we still click so well as musicians.

    But I also enjoy getting to write diverse music and fully put myself and my style into music. I also enjoy using my other gifts and talents in my solo project, while music is the main focus of it, I get to work in my other passions: Photography, Videography, Graphic and Web Design.

    There are also the downsides of being a Solo artist: For starters I am a studio only artist, I don’t get to do Live shows, I’m seen solely online through social media, through videos, audio, and posts! I have to do quadruple the work, everything mentioned above on top of writing lyrics and music, and the countless emails, Facebook Messages, Instagram DMs all trying to reach out to Christian Rock Radio stations, and Christian Rock social media pages, and with a quarter of the reach. If I put out something and it fails, then that’s solely on me! It’s hard trying to push, promote, and get out to the masses something that you have put all this time into. And I hate feeling like I’m trying to sell myself as some awesome product, when I’m just me, I’m just a normal guy in my little home studio trying to make something that sounds good and makes God and my family proud and that may possibly reach someone that needs it.

    All in all, I think the two truly balance each other out and allow me to express myself in countless ways, it’s not always easy and I’m usually busy back and forth but it’s worth it to me!

  • JFH (Scott): The EP is pretty stylistically diverse. Did you intend from the start for each track to stand out from the others this way?

    Trey: Short Answer:
    Yes and no! I knew “The One With The Beats” was going to be a switch up but it still has the Rock and Metal influences in it. “Fire in The Night” on the other hand was an unexpected addition.

    Long Answer:
    I knew I wanted to put an EP together, It started with writing “Graffiti”. I wrote and recorded it and put it out on Facebook and Youtube to test the waters, friends and family liked it well enough that I thought it would be cool to put together an EP.

    I wrote “With Faith We Rise” in 2012 I believe, for a IPHC Talent Contest (I lost lol).

    “The Journey” was a song from the first band that I was in (it’s completely different now, completely redone) back in 2010-2012.

    “The One With The Beats” was one that I did plan for it to be very different. I love Hip-Hop and wanted to merge metal and Hip-Hop. I really wanted a Christian Rapper to feature on it but had no luck finding the right person.

    “Fire in The Night” was a song that came out of nowhere really, the verse describes how I felt one night, just down and insecure (something I’ve dealt with as I mentioned earlier) and I just remember snapping out of the funk I was in and just started praying, and while not verbatim, the Chorus was essentially my prayer that night. That song was by far the hardest for me to release but was one that my Wife and Father both loved (my Wife loves the monologue specifically) and encouraged me to include it on the EP, I’m glad I did though!

  • JFH (Scott): What artists would you say have most inspired your heavier sound?

    Trey: That’s a tough one, there are so many artists that have influenced my sound: Metallica, Pillar, Skillet, For Today, Killswitch Engage, Memphis May Fire, Black Stone Cherry, Demon Hunter, 12 Stones, Korn, Starset, Wolves at The Gate, Flyleaf, Relent, The Letter Black, countless local bands from my area that you have never heard of, and while not really on the heavy side 3 big ones for me are: Johnny Cash, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Jimmy Hendrix. Just to skim the top of the melting pot that has influenced my style over the years.

  • JFH (Scott): What do you hope to accomplish with this EP (and any future music)?

    Trey: That is a good question, obviously on a surface level I’d like to be able to get my music out to a wider audience, and open doors for me to collaborate with other Christian Alternative artists, but on a deeper level I just hope that my music reaches someone that needs to hear it, someone that can relate to my story and what I’ve been through. Christian Rock and Metal helped me through a lot in my younger years, and I just hope I can give something back to the music that helped me, while honoring God in the process!

  • JFH (Scott): Have you already started working on new music?

    Trey: Nothing official yet, I have some ideas and some riffs that I have been messing with but have been busy pushing this current release. I've been working on this release for several years so I’m taking the time to push it as far as it can go before I move on to the next thing. I am hoping to start diving into writing new material by the end of spring though.

  • JFH (Scott): Where can listeners connect with you online?

    Trey: The best ways to connect with me are Facebook, my Website, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. My Beacons page has all of my links so I will share that here:

    https://beacons.ai/treytatemusic

  • JFH (Scott): Is there anything else you’d like to share?

    Trey: I would just like to say thank you for this opportunity to be interviewed as well as the recent review of the EP. As an independent studio artist I had little to no expectations of my Debut EP release making it past my local area, so having this chance to share this release with a larger audience is greatly appreciated.

    I never expected God to open the doors and create the opportunities that he has in this experience, I’m just a normal guy from small town America that wanted to release a few Rock/Metal songs that tell my story and what God has done in my life, as always I’m both amazed and humbled by what He can do with so little.

     

     

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