Emotional honesty is a driving force of most good music in this world- and Robinson Treacher would have to agree. The New York City based musician has been the recipient of an Independent Music Award and shared the stage with legends such as Vince Gill, Iris Dement, and Joan Osborne. He is no stranger to the festival route and has built up quite the resume of musical respect from songwriting organizations and award nominations- but he values genuine connection through music above all. On a break from his most recent tour he took some time to answer some of our questions to get us excited for his performance at Gateway City Arts on Saturday, August 24th with Cassidy Catanzaro of Antigone Rising.
GCA: Hi Robinson! We are thrilled to have you at Gateway City Arts on August 24th. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what brings you to Holyoke?
RT: Touring brings me to Holyoke. We are always looking for areas to make in-roads and garner new fan bases. Mass is a great hub for kick-ass music and we want to be a part of it all.
GCA: I know emotional honesty is extremely important to you in your work. Can you talk to me about how vulnerability plays a role in your process and performance?
RT: Vulnerability is a connection that the corporate music world has lost touch with. They manufacture a "sound" or try to create a vibe theses days that can only translate in a real performance. It's always hard to create that in the studio because of the sterility of the environment- nothing a few beers can't relax. Making sure that it is honest and true on stage is another thing. I try to bring that to every performance, of course the venue has to be right for that kind of thing- I can't play bars anymore because of that. Clubs and listening rooms geared toward that work best because the crowd has to know what it is in for. If i can't connect while I'm playing it won't translate.
GCA: What are some of the main themes you explore in your current writing? How is this similar to your past work and how does it differ?
RT: I don't focus on themes, whatever is coming out of me at the time seems to be where I go. People have found that I have a penchant for going in a specific direction, it is not planned but I'm not going to curtail the direction either. I see what they mean when they point it out, and more often than not I'll agree that that must have been the mind set I was in at the time. I guess I sometimes seem to stay in that mode for awhile.
GCA: Is there one tour memory that sticks out in your mind that you don't mind sharing with us?
RT: My transmission blowing up in North Carolina really sucked, it took 3 weeks to get my car back. I had to drive my rent-a-car 9 hours pick up my fixed vehicle and turn around and drive 9 hours back...HA! So many great ones though. Showing up in towns where you have never been and having fans show up for shows are always amazing moments. They are so appreciative and I am as well. People inviting you into their homes and lives can be some of the best experiences, making those connections can be really rewarding.
GCA: What motivates you as an artist?
RT: The moment motivates me as an artist.
GCA: You are performing with Cassidy Catanzaro, can you tell us a bit about Cassidy and why she is a great addition to your line up?
RT: Cassidy and I clicked right away when we met at a gig in Philly. She and I don't "need" each other, that's what I love. A great relationship is one where you "choose" to do things together, and we enjoy that luxury. She is open to taking a front or back seat, as am I, so we truly enjoy augmenting each other's work. The male/female thing is also a great combo for the show, it adds a bit of "room" in the show's development throughout the gig. She is a total PRO!
GCA: Who do you currently have on repeat in your own listening rotation?
RT: My listening rotation is the same answer as #5, the moment motivates me. I am a bit of an audiophile so it COMPLETELY varies. From Nat King Cole to The Replacements. From Yes to Conway Twitty. From Joni Mitchell to Black Sabbath...surprised?
GCA: If you could have your audience leave your show with one impression, what would you hope that would be?
RT: I always want my fans to leave my shows as fans of "ME"...as a person. I hope that the music that I make translates into the type of person I am off the stage. If they feel as though they "know" me, then they probably do. I never understood artists who got angry at fans for feeling that way- they say, "He/She doesn't really KNOW me." What the F does that mean? You are bearing your soul on stage and letting them into your private world and asking them to return night after night, sure as SHIT they know you! I want the fans to have a total emotional experience with the ups and downs and ups again in the repertoire of the evening and then to walk away feeling as thought they would have paid 10X as much because they got more for their $ and that they can't wait to spread the word to others. That is the key- spreading the word to others allows me to be able to have a career and do what I love wherever I go.
Don't miss Robinson Treacher and Cassidy Catanzaro on Saturday, August 24th at 8:00PM at Gateway City Arts. Tickets are on sale now for $12 and will be available at the door for $15. You can purchase them here.
You can RSVP to the facebook event here.
You can learn more about Robinson here.
You can learn more about Cassidy here.