Singer/songwriter Jason Trout, who spent most of his early days growing up in the city of Marion, Indiana, has been a pretty free spirit throughout most of his life. Without any proper training or push towards it, Trout was around eight or nine when he started writing music. Late last year, Trout released his solo debut LP Out Of My Mind And Into Yours. The album is a lo-fi indie/folksy album that was recorded in his home using a Tascam 4 track. The new album, which follows his debut EP Off The Field Issues, marks a new direction for Trout. A path that didn’t come easy.
Creating and playing music at one point was put onto the side temporary when Trout started attending Ball State University in 1995 to study law. “I went into college thinking, ‘Okay, I’ll be a lawyer. Be will be a 4.0 student’,” Trout mentions. “That’s what my mom and dad wanted.” His progression into law was short-lived, because for Trout-law was never the direction he was supposed to go. Trout switched majors, going to theater. “I didn’t think I was a good enough vocalist or guitarist to major into those,” Trout added. The musical side of Trout, his desire to create something special, was growing larger and stronger. He couldn’t accept the fact that the direction of life is headed toward a future that wasn’t thrilled about.
Between the age of nineteen and twenty, Trout finally accepted that playing music full time was inevitable. He packed his belongings and moved to Austin, Texas. “I’ll be honest with you-Austin is the only place that ever felt that I belong. Without question,” Trout said. In spite of moving to Austin, the city wasn’t Trout’s first choice. The goal was to originally move to Los Angeles. With the guidance of his college theater group, along with his love of director Richard Linklater’s work, Trout almost immediately felt at home within the city. He quickly started to develop a following with his music, and soon started to see his hard work paying off. Large record labels started courting Trout-flying him back and forth from city to city, riding in limos. A year of writing and performing included, along with the dream slowly starting to become reality-things were looking good. The payoff was coming.
However, the toll on Trout started to mount. What was slowly a dream developing into reality quickly evaporated. There was an unraveling infrastructure inside one of the labels that were interested in Trout. He also was led astray from someone, giving false hope. Around that same time span, the relationship that he is in suddenly ended. The emotional toll began to weigh down on Trout. “I wasn’t able to think straight or move correctly. My body was affected. I didn’t know what was going on,” Trout explained. With his world crumbling all around him, Trout went to get away and visit his folks, whom at the time lived in Knoxville. While we was there, he was diagnosed with having a nervous breakdown.
Even though he wanted desperately to get back to Austin, there was something that pulling him to stay in Knoxville. The decision to stay turned out to be beneficial. As the healing began, Trout spent a great deal of his time there being with his mother. They would spend every single together, catching up. Trout mentions that his mother was a key component to getting healthy again. Little did they both know, the time together would be meaningful than they could imagine. Trout’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, and passed two months later.
Trout’s time in Knoxville also got back to doing what he loved-playing music. He led the formation of his band The God Star Social. They band began playing some gigs at local clubs like The Pilot Light, Axis, and Java. After the release of their first EP A Queer Sultry Summer in 2002, the band released their 2003 debut LP Decidedly Lo-FI/Revolution And Static Sky. The album garnered national and internationally acclaim, with critics singing the praise of the band, the record, and most of all-Trout’s vision. Trout spent the next 5 years touring the U.S. as The God Star Social, both solo and with a rotating cast of musicians. He released the last God Star Social record in 2008. During that period of time, Trout met his now ex-wife during a show in Columbus. When they were married, they lived in Austin briefly before moving back to Ohio.
Although we has had to overcome some obstacles from the past couple of years, ranging from divorce and family tragedy, Trout explained that he views this time in his life as a renaissance of sorts. With the release of Out Of My Head And Into Yours, it marks the first time is releasing music under his own name. He has found peace within himself, which is remarkable considering at one point-he didn’t write a single song for years. Now, he is currently planning and prepping on new records with The Touchy Feelys, his indie vocal duo with Andrea Dawn Courts, and City Deer, his punk folk band with drummer Lucas Longanbach and bassist Chris Lute. Trout is also working on a cover album on his favorite artist, Daniel Johnston. “I never been a big cover guy,” Trout says. “These songs feel like my own, so it’s real easy to do it.”
As he sits in his home in Athens, Ohio, longer is that struggle to be happy for Trout. One main reason is what came out of his now finished marriage-his wonderful daughter. Trout beams over the phone when we talks about his deeply introspective daughter. “We talk about what she could be when grows up. I ask her what she wants to be, an actress or a doctor. She says, ‘When I grow up, I just wanna be me.’,” Trout says.
That’s exactly what the older Trout is doing.
To get a copy of the new album, click on Trout’s website: http://www.jasontroutmusic.com/