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TROY BARRETT on Across The Table with Ben Sorensen

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Published on May 5, 2012

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Cool chat with musician Troy Barrett.....

Some more on Troy:
Melbourne-based musician Troy Barrett is no stranger to the local music industry. He's been treading the boards in the rock scene for years, earning himself a solid reputation as a performer and songwriter. However, it is with his new offering that Troy really shines. After years of honing his skills, he has made a departure of sorts from the rock scene and transitioned over into his new passion... country roots. The EP Long Time Comin' highlights Troy's aptitude for storytelling and his innate skill as a musician.

When it came to stepping over to a different music genre, Troy says it was an organic decision. "I wanted a change and a new direction," he says. "I wanted to really concentrate on my lyrics and tell a story for each of the songs. When I first started listening to country music, the first thing that stood out was the story that was being told by the lyrics. I also loved having a pedal steel player play on my songs as I've never used or jammed with that instrument before."

After years of playing the rock scene around Victoria, and scoring gigs such as supporting the likes of Wolfmother in their early days, Troy found that he needed to be re-inspired by music. "I needed something different that got me excited about music again," he says. "It wasn't until one night I saw a country band playing, and they were awesome. Everyone was up dancing and having fun, and I thought 'wow, I'd love to play music where everyone would get up and dance. What I like about country music is that people aren't obsessed about an artist's age or appearance, they just like them because of the music. It is the music that is important."

The EP, which features four tracks all penned by Troy, also acted as a change in direction for his approach to the songwriting process, something he believes was for the better. Harking from a background that heavily featured electric guitar, Troy says he would finish the music first, before focusing on the melodies and lyrics. "For my EP I really tried to change my habit and write songs progressively, as in writing the lyrics as I'm working out the chords," he says. "I also really concentrated on keeping the number of chord progressions to a minimum and concentrating more on writing a great melody."

It was only as Troy got older that he really started to appreciate the importance of songwriting from a storytelling perspective. He found himself drawn to those styles of music and realised that while he enjoyed the rock scene, it didn't resonate with him as well as roots inspired country and the messages behind the songs. "I've really started to appreciate great lyrics and stories in songs," he says. "I've always tried to write my songs as if they were mini stories, so whenever I did an EP or album, I'd see if as a collection of short stories written to music. Plus I can be pretty bad with remembering lyrics, so if it's a story, at least I know where I'm up to [laughs]."

While the songwriting process for the EP was organic, the songs also started out that way. Troy started penning the tracks completely acoustic, without the addition of the pedal steel in mind. It was only when he had the thought of adding in the pedal steel on one of the tracks, that he realised the instrument fitted all the songs. "When I found my pedal steel player Drew (Gallus) and had a jam, I thought 'hey this sounds cool, why don't we try this over all the songs'," he says. "So I guess that's how my sound came about. I'm keen to still sound country, but to have my own take on it."

Troy's EP Long Time Comin' is out now through Masquerade Records.

For more information visit http://www.reverbnation.com/troybarrett

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