An Evening With Chris Trapper, Push Stars' Frontman
October 23, 2009
On Friday, October 23 at 8pm, the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street in Arlington will present and evening with singer-songwriter, Chris Trapper, formerly of The Push Stars. Opening the show will be special guest, Gregory Page. The trick to the irresistibly organic, pure pop sound is that the music, and even the lead singer, take a back seat to the real star: the songs. As the principal songwriter and singer for nationally acclaimed alt-rock trio The Push Stars, Chris Trapper is equally sure-footed in his solo career. When on hiatus from The Push Stars, Chris writes, records and tours in support of his solo CD’s. His words and music can best be described as an interesting blend of 1950’s pop, 1990’s rock and old-timey jazz with the ever-present under story of Chris’ distinctive baritenor. It’s intricate power-pop with a compelling knack for telling everyday stories. For Trapper, it all traces back to those first, halting, joyful songs, when he found another language in music--a deeper language – that connected him to others in a way more profound than ordinary conversation. "Especially when I was a kid, but it's still true--I'm kind of desperate to get thoughts out in a complete way. Songs do that for me, so I know how much they can mean. It's important to me to be inclusive, rather than perceived as intellectual or clever or so creative that people don't get it. I really want to reach people and do it in a way that makes them feel part of what I'm trying to say. Because, like I said, I know how much songs can mean." His ability to craft songs that are both elegant and accessible is evident on each collection. His organic understanding of classic pop melody is infectious. There is a smart, honest quality to the lyrics that never panders. Trapper writes songs that at first listen are greeted as old, familiar friends. His musical stories are accessible but never trivial, smart but never snobbish, honest but never pandering. He writes about real folks coping with real lives--people whose far-flung People Magazine dreams never pan out--laced with a properly jaded sense of humor and the essential survival tool of not taking yourself too seriously. Trapper’s talent as a singer and storyteller stems from what some might call an eclectic apprenticeship. A native of Buffalo, New York, by grade 9 Chris had found his voice, and his older brother’s guitar. "I'm a stutterer," he says, "and I used to get picked on a lot in school. One day, after I'd been called on to answer a question and just couldn't spit it out at all, and the whole class was laughing at me, I went home and picked up my brother's guitar and started writing this kind of whiny song about how everyone picked on me. It wasn't a very good song, but I'd found this incredible outlet to express how I felt. So that's how it began, just a couple of chords and a bad day." High school was something to be endured but the time spent in a barbershop quartet would prove to be musically invaluable. As a college student Trapper’s passion was his first band, ‘Awake and Dreaming’. They quickly became a Fredonia phenomenon. Once introduced to the life of a singer and performer, opportunities conspired and Chris found his wayfrom the embrace of campus-fame to the anonymity of life in a big city. Trapper’s songwriting flourished within the boundless energy of Boston’s lush musical community. His unique style and original voice had found a home. It wasn’t long before Trapper discovered his musical soul-mates and in February of 1996, with bassist Dan McLoughlin and drummer Ryan MacMillan, formed the alt-rock trio The Push Stars. Trapper recalls: “There were about seven people at the first-ever Push Stars concert at the Middle East Bakery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The stage was so small that we had to adjust our “rock moves" in order to let people get by to use the restrooms. We got paid about fifty dollars, some falafel and a few Pabst Blue Ribbons. It was terrific.” After building a strong following in Boston and self-releasing their 1997 debut CD "Meet Me at the Fair”, The Push Stars found themselves in a major label bidding war and quickly signed a two-album deal with Capitol Records. The 1999 sophomore CD "After the Party" gave Chris and the band a national audience, prompted the New York Times to call them “classic pop perfection” and yielded the tongue-in-cheek radio hit ‘Drunk Is Better Than Dead’. The year 2000 got off to an auspicious start with the sudden departure of their mentor and A&R guy Gary Gersh (Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Counting Crows). The band was about to become a major-label ghost. Anxious to maintain momentum The Push Stars parted ways with Capitol Records and returned to the world of indie musician. They released their third – and most popular – CD “Opening Time” during the spring of 2001. Trapper’s indie work ethic was evident and the touring was relentless. Push Stars fans were devoted, loyal, growing exponentially and most importantly, organically. "Opening Time" is secure in its place as the band’s most successful release. The Greg Collins- (No Doubt, Matchbox Twenty, Jewel) produced CD “Paint The Town” was released early 2004 on indie-workhorse 33rd Street Records. Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty took notice, met with Chris and the band and subsequently invited The Push Stars to join Matchbox Twenty on tour. The Push Stars embraced the opportunity and successfully won over thousands of stadium fans across North America. Trapper’s solo projects are effortlessly woven within the scheme and schedule of The Push Stars work. The solo CD’s exist as a natural byproduct –unique in their conception and execution. They belong as part of The Push Stars repertoire and the fans make the transition with ease. For much more on Chris Trapper, visit http://www.christrapper.com/bio.html.