Life comes with unexpected highs and lows and for Joe Tripp, that couldn’t be truer. He’s seen the best of and the worst of times, from his time with The Hops to heading out on his own. Now we’re talking with him about it all, including better times that include his latest album Composer of Record.
Kendra: When we first met you were part of The Hops. What went down with that between then and now?
Joe Tripp: Well, we toured around the Midwest and as you know we heavily invested in radio promo. From an exposure standpoint that was good, but from leaving us broke and bankrupt, that was bad. However, we did get some good responses from DJs throughout the country and I don’t even know how cause I didn’t even think we sent them a CD but Chicago’s main music mag, the Illinois Entertainer, named us one of Chicago’s best Local Acts in 2012. That was pretty cool because I was right at the end of my rope at that point and was thinking that the album sucked, and I should just hang it up.
Kendra: Was the new moniker inspired by a new direction in sound?
Joe Tripp: No, it just had a nice ring to it. However, the fact that it’s just Joe Tripp or this album rather than Joe Tripp and the Hops I feel is more honest, because this one was written by me entirely, with the help of some great studio musicians.
Kendra: Are there any songs from your past that you may have written but never recorded that made it onto the new album?
Joe Tripp: Only one tune. That would be “So Dear.” I always liked that song because it had a real nice vibe lyrically but for the album I reworked it and made it into an Alicia Keys-influenced piano tune.
Kendra: If you had to describe the new album using nothing but three emotions, what would they be and why?
Joe Tripp: Yikes, I don’t know about emotions. I could think of some artists that influenced it, but emotions? Love, dejection, and hope.
Kendra: Are there any real life lessons from the last couple of years that inspired your creative process for this album?
Joe Tripp: More than I can say but truly this album is more representative of who I am as a person than what I’ve done before. If other people like it it’ll be because they like the tribe that I’m trying to create.
Kendra: With the new album out soon (possibly out by the time this goes live), what’s next for you musically?
Joe Tripp: This could be the last album I record, but I do plan on playing some shows around Dallas (where I’m living now) or somewhere else. I might be moving soon, so it could be there, too. There’s a lot up in the air in my life right now.