Bronson: Your family, were they musical?
Trent: My family loved music but hardly anyone played music. I started writing songs when I was about 8, and it was just kind of an interesting thing because nobody else ever had, so it was kinda cool.
BH: You started playing guitar at the same time, or you just wrote?
TJ: Well, interesting thing, I’ve never played a guitar. I’ve always just wrote the lyrics and melody in my head at the same time and I just sing them out a cappella. Growing up, whenever all my buddies would hang around I’d just sing a cappella for however long they wanted. I always had a way with words and an interesting sense of humor. The first song I ever wrote was for my Grandma. She’s a very humorous woman and I wrote a song called “She Bosses Me Around This Little Town” for my granddad and her, and it was pretty cute.
BH: So what was your inspiration to come to Nashville?
TJ: I didn’t do the normal thing where I played a bunch of dates and then just gradually came to Nashville. The reason I finally made the decision was I broke my neck when I was 21. Me and my wife were in a car wreck, and I wasn’t supposed to be able to move anything from my chest down—that’s what the doctors had told us. About five and a half, six months later, I was up on a walker, and more than anything, I look back at it now as a blessing because I wouldn’t be here today, I know I wouldn’t. I had played music when I was 18 up till about 20 and I was still writing songs every day, but I was working for my dad doing foundations for houses and the money was good. I was newly married, we’d just built a house, then we got in this wreck and it just really made me look at things a lot differently. My son was born when I was 27. When he was about 8 months old, I looked at him one day and I told my wife, “One day he’s gonna have dreams and we’re giving him a reason to get out of them if we don’t go follow ours.” So really my son kind of spurred things more than anything.
BH: You’ve had some good success.
TJ: I’m really happy with the way things are going now. I thought that after five years in Nashville that things were really going to be slamming, and five years came along and I had to kinda reevaluate a little bit. I’m loving writing still, but I’m really trying to focus more on the artist thing and I’m working with a producer here in town right now. You know you have a lot of good songs and you have a couple that you think are great out of a big catalog, but I’m looking for songs too. I want to make sure that when I go in that we put our best foot forward. The title of my CD I just put out is called When I Find Me That Mountain. It’s more of a singer/songwriter album and I’m very proud of it. It’s an inspirational CD.
BH: You co-write with other people? How do your songs come to life?
TJ: I write with probably 20 or 30 different people over the period of the year, but I have a team of about four that we really just click. They’ve become family, and I know when we go in we’re gonna have a good day. I have that, but I also write songs by myself still and when I do that, I have a couple of guys that I’ll go to. You know it’s a weird thing because like I said, I don’t play. Music theory is way over my head somewhere out there, but I can hear all the instrumentation whenever I’m writing. I come up with my own licks so whoever’s playing for me, picking it out, I’m singing obviously in pitch and on time, so therefore they can figure it out pretty quick. These guys are professional, they’re amazing, and then I’ll just whistle out the lick or hum out a lick and if they’re stuck on a chord I’ll say, “No man, that one where your pointer finger was up on that string, you know, yeah that one.” (laughing)
You can visit Trent online at www.trentjeffcoat.com and read/listen to this entire interview at www.bronsonsmusic.com/trent_jeffcoat.html
By Bronson Herrmuth