In my time in LA, I’ve met some absolutely amazing people who tirelessly advocate indie music as much or more than myself. I wanted a spot once a month where I could showcase these badass people so you all get to know a little about them and why they do what they do.
That being said, the first person up is one of my favorite people, Trina Green. I met Trina outside The Troubadour before I even moved to LA. We were both there to see Bethpage Black and The Active Set. I was aware of High Voltage Magazine, whom Trina writes for, and that was all I needed to spark up conversation after Steve Coy form Bethpage Black introduced her to me. Though many of you in LA and beyond may know Trina (If you don’t, you need to change that!), you may not have ever asked her where she is from, who her favorite bands were growing up, or how she started writing for High Voltage Magazine. So, one night after we went to a show, I decided to. Read on to get to know the lovely Trina Green.
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
How long have you lived in LA?
Since December 2009. That’s when I made the move to Los Angeles from Orange County.
Why did you make the move from Brooklyn to LA?
I didn’t actually make the move from Brooklyn to LA. I left Brooklyn when I joined the Army in 1990. I went all over the place, but my last duty station was Chicago. After Chicago I came here because I was dating someone who was from here. When I got out, I had to figure out what I was going to do. I figured California was a nice place.
Favorite bands growing up?
It’s hard to say because I listened to so much, but the standouts are probably Prince, Queen, Whitney Houston and Air Supply. I loved me some Air Supply.
Best live show you have ever gone to?
Out of the millions of shows I have been to, nothing has compared to a U2 show in New York. It was actually in New Jersey at Giants Stadium, but it was a New York show. It was on the 360 Tour. The thing that made it the most brilliant show of my life was that U2 was my staple, go-to, God of a rock band. I met a lot of U2 fans on their website, that’s how I meet a lot of my friends. So after years of being a presence on U2.com in the forum and making friends (meeting some of them in person, and knowing some of them only online) the New York show was a show where everybody and their grandmother was coming. So I was going to see people I’ve known for years, people I’ve only known online, and people coming from Europe and Asia. There was one friend coming from Europe, a 25 year long fan, who was bringing his wife for their anniversary as a surprise. It was the most epic and communal show. The thing about U2 is, and I’ve seen them plenty, there are only so many times you need to hear “Where Streets Have No Name.” The thing with U2 is that 75% of a U2 show is the people you’re seeing it with. It was pure love and joy. Nothing has topped that show.
Clearly, the music makes a live show great, but what other elements make a live show one you talk about for a long time?
It’s the combination of the music and the band doing what they do and doing it well. It’s usually always the people that I am with. All the friends I have made, I’ve made through music. One of the best parts of seeing a band you love is seeing it with someone who is in the same headspace or digs the band as much as you do. It’s the people.
Was there a specific band or moment that tied you to the LA music scene?
It’s hard to say, it was so gradual. I’d spent 10 years in Orange County, and a good amount of that time I spent getting in my car and travelling 70-something miles to come to shows in LA. I literally moved to LA to go to shows. Once I landed in LA in 2009, I could go wherever I wanted as often as I wanted. It probably had a lot to do with The Viper Room, because I met people at The Viper Room. You know, social media is a big thing and that’s how I met a lot of the people that I associate with, like Nic Adler at The Roxy, the folks who worked at Viper, like Chelsea Schwartz, Nate Levinson and Sarah Berkowitz. I think maybe the moment I figured out I was part of a music scene was when The Roxy/Viper Room would respond to me personally via Twitter. It was like I’m that person now? You’re talking to me?
You work at High Voltage Magazine, how long have you been doing this?
I was introduced to High Voltage through Chelsea, who was the Talent Buyer at Viper at the time. I was becoming a regular at Viper and on the Sunset Strip. I met her via Twitter, then in person, and I realized she had High Voltage. I was always writing on a personal blog or Facebook notes about a show. I was always active on social media writing about bands people should see and why. So, somehow we put two and two together and we became friends. When she made the decision to bring High Voltage back as a full time enterprise I was like, “Okay, I’m on board.” I became one of the main writers; in fact, I think I was the only writer she had back then. That was around 2009, shortly after I moved to LA.
Favorite moment working with High Voltage?
Getting Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on the cover of High Voltage. I had always put it out to Chelsea, half-heartedly as a joke but mostly seriously, and she always said, “Make it happen.” And I did. BRMC is kind of the band of my heart. I don’t know if I can effectively explain why. The music is fucking amazing, they are incredibly talented musicians, and the fact that they were so gracious and kind to work with me. They are very caring of their fans and taking care of their fans musically. They are probably one of the most underrated and understated bands, especially for a band that makes so much fucking noise live. They are so incredible, subtle, and under the radar. They don’t care about much else but making music and I love that about them. There isn’t a lot to their shows, no pomp, no egos, just the music. So getting them on the cover of this magazine, that’s my crown.
Favorite Venues? Why?
The Roxy, The Viper Room and The Satellite, but if I had to pick one, it would be The Viper Room. Probably because if you talked to me 15 or 20 years ago, the last place I ever thought I would go to or fit in would have been The Viper Room. Everyone knows the Sunset Strip and The Viper Room’s notorious reputation. Back then it was all hair metal and velvet rope-ishness when Johnny Depp owned it. Today, I am at home there. I know just about everyone that works there, I love going to see the shows there, the current Talent Buyer there, Dayle, often asks me for recommendations for bands. I’ve made myself at home there and they have made me feel at home there. It’s a small venue, small enough so you can see a show comfortably, but reputable enough that big names still play there. I saw Smashing Pumpkins there for a one off show they booked. You never know.
If you could book one night, with ANY 4 bands you wanted, who would the lineup consist of?
BRMC, Imagine Dragons, The Silent Comedy and Irontom.
If someone came up to you right now and asked “Who should I be listening to?” Who would you suggest to them?
The Silent Comedy, Irontom, The Janks, BRMC, Dead Sara, The Moth & The Flame, Beware of Darkness, Ivorydeville, Percy & the Gunslingers, and The Dig.
What is one piece of advice you would give bands?
Engage. Engage your fans. You don’t need to tell them what you had for breakfast, or what color underwear you’re wearing, but you do need to engage them. Figure out how to use social media to reach out to your fans and keep them in the loop about things. If social media is not your gig, then hire someone to do it and do it well. High Voltage can do that for you, if you need to hire us, let us know. One of the best things about the music scene over the past five or six years is that bands are making their music, themselves and their shows more accessible. That wouldn’t be happening without social media. It is your tool…use it.
See Trina’s work (as well as all the other talented High Voltage staff) over at: http://www.iamhighvoltage.com