Plug In Stereo is the moniker of Portland’s Trevor Dahl, an eighteen year old multi-instrumentalist with a knack for writing heartwarming acoustic lyrics and melodies. In a recent interview, A Music Blog, Yea? was lucky enough to catch up with Trevor to discuss his lyricism, musical memories, Portlandians, and his love for Haim. Dive into our conversation below:
AMBY: Hey Trevor, thanks for speaking with us today.
Plug In Stereo: No problem!
AMBY: Your record Nothing to Something was released back in 2011 and you recently dropped a new EP, but I wanted to start off by asking about future music endeavors! What’s next as far as releases go?
Plug In Stereo: The EP recently came out and we’re mainly going to be touring around that. After that, we’re doing an album. I’m just finishing up the album and I’m still writing songs for it. I’m just going to keep writing songs until I feel satisfied with it.
AMBY: Off of the first record, many of the lyrics are rather sweet and endearing. Especially when you dive further than the single Oh Darling and into tracks like A Love Like Mine and Hopefully. Lyrically, what is one of your favourite Plug In Stereo songs?
Plug In Stereo: There’s a lyric in my new single, To Be Wanted, and it’s “save your love for somebody who earns it”. I think that’s a strong line and that really struck out with me. I think that a lot of people will really connect with it and it will resonate.
AMBY: A lot of the lyrics on that first album come across as pretty sentimental. When it comes to songwriting, where do you draw inspiration?
Plug In Stereo: Anything that happens in my life; whether it happens to me, or a friend, or a family member. It all depends on how I’m feeling that day and whatever I feel like writing about. If something happens to me specifically, I’ll definitely write about it. But if I just feel like writing and nothing happened to me, I’ll make up a story or think of a different situation that happened to a friend or something.
AMBY: I read in an interview from back in 2011 that you picked up a guitar for the first time when you were in grade six. Having played for such a long time, what would you say is one of your favourite musical memories?
Plug In Stereo: Oh, wow. As far as musical memories, in the last ten years… If I’m thinking about old memories, the second show I ever played as Plug In Stereo was really cool for me. I got to leave Portland and play a different city for the first time – it was a very special experience; it was my first time taking pictures with people and signing autographs. That was pretty crazy.
AMBY: You mentioned Portland there! Do you happen to watch the show Portlandia?
Plug In Stereo: Yea, I love Portlandia. It’s great [laughs].
AMBY: It really is [laughs]. How accurate would you say the show’s portrayal of the city is?
Plug In Stereo: It’s pretty accurate.
Plug In Stereo:Obviously, it’s stretched out and a little bit more crazy than it is in person. But it’s pretty close as far as how particular Portlandians are to their food and where it comes from and all of that stuff.
AMBY: Well, thanks for answering that one for us.
Plug In Stereo: No problem.
AMBY: Of course we’ve been discussing your music, but with a name like Plug In Stereo, who have you been plugging in and listening to lately?
Plug In Stereo: My favourite band right now are a band called Haim.
AMBY: Oh, alright. I know them.
Plug In Stereo: They’re great. It’s three sisters from California and I think it’s just so good and refreshing. When you watch videos of them, it feels like they’re a band from the seventies which is so cool. I love them and I love John Mayer’s new album. I’ve always loved his albums, but the new one is really great. The 1975 are also a great band.
AMBY: Would have to agree on that!
Plug In Stereo: Yea, that’s who I’m really into right now.
AMBY: And if you could create your ultimate concert line-up, who would be included in it?
Plug In Stereo: Can I be included? [laughs]
AMBY: Of course.
Plug In Stereo: Perfect! I would love to play with John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, and any of my favourite influences.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Plug In Stereo that most people don’t know?
Plug In Stereo: I’ve been biting my fingernails since I was in second grade and I can’t stop!
Thank you Plug In Stereo, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout