FM Static’s brand new album, My Brain Says Stop, But My Heart Says Go drops this week (read the review here) and I had the great pleasure of getting to chat with Trevor McNevan, who pulls double duty as frontman of both Thousand Foot Krutch and FM Static:
Hollywood Jesus: Alright let’s start with the basics. I’m a long time fan, so this is a real treat!. I’ve always wanted to know where the names FM Static and Thousand Foot Krutch came from?
Trevor McNevan: Hey man, thanks so much for your support and for listening. FM Static was one of those names we just kind of pulled out of a hat at random honestly. TFK on the other hand had a little more meaning to it though… it just represents our support system and, you know, our Krutch being because we can’t make it on our own without that support.
HJ: So TFK has been rocking hard since the 90’s. Was FM Static a natural outpouring of that or maybe another side to your personality, or how did that start?
TM: Well, we actually signed a deal on the first record with FM Static before TFK, which is a little known fact, and weren’t sure what would happen. Over the years it’s been a real blessing and it kept growing and developed its own legs. Now this will be our fourth record, coming out April 5th.
HJ: My wife and I got to see you guys few years ago at the CreationFest Tour as TFK, but got there late and missed the FM Static show. Do you ever find yourself accidentally slipping into a TFK track like “Move” or “Fire it Up” in the middle of a FM Static set? How do you keep the two separate?
TM: In my head, they’re two different worlds almost, man. Yeah, the live shows are fun. Steve Augustine, the drummer from TFK, is the other half of FM Static, and whatever friends we have around join us up on stage when we tour. Static is a whole different energy from TFK with all different instruments and different vibe… they’re a much more colorful and lighter side of things than TFK
HJ: Let’s talk about the new album for a bit. I’ve heard you have a concept idea going from the beginning, where the first two discs were more about high school days, and number three (Dear Diary) was about going off to college. My Brain Says Stop, But My Hearts Says Go almost sounds like a summer break album. What kind of sound were you going for on this one?
TM: Yeah exactly. This new record is more like an inspired batch of songs. I wrote it in on tour last year with TFK. No guidelines on this one, just fun and inspired. Kind of a variety pack of songs, even stylistically. That’s the fun thing about FM Static, is we can be completely uninhibited, and have a couple songs with drums and loops, one full on rock, and then another more danceable. I grew up listening to a lot of hip hop and stuff, and still love it to this day so that kind of creeps in there as well. Everything in the grab bag, man. I feel like it’s our strongest record so far, and I’m really stoked about it.
HJ: It sounds like there’s a huge variety of influences on the disc. I hear a bit of rap, pop-punk, some cowbell and cheerleaders and that’s just the first two songs.
TM: Yeah man, as a fan of pop in general, being a part of all genres is just fun. I love it all the way back to the Beach Boys in the sixties, and like, Michael Jackson too, all the way to the stuff we love and are inspired by today. Definitely takes a page out of a few of those books. We’ve got some tunes with three or four part harmonies, and kind of more of a sixties vibe on some. A few are more top 40 type with runs in it and beat-driven, and then some of it’s straight up, guitar-driven like classic FM Static. But it’s very much a summertime record. I think you nailed it on that point for sure.
HJ: So what kind of stuff do you have spinning in your playlist these days that’s influencing these days?
TM: I listen to everything man. On my way home today, I had a twenty minute drive today from downtown, and I had the country station on for five minutes, listening to some top twenty countdown, then turned on some old school hip hop… kind of musical ADD, all over the place.
HJ: With the new disc, is there any particular song or vibe that you are most excited for people to hear?
TM: I hope people can check out the whole record. There’s a lot on there that I’m really excited about, but I think the song that’s probably the most heartfelt for me is one called “Lost In You.” It’s the closest thing to a traditional worship song that I think we’ve ever done. It’s kind our own different spin on it, and it’s very honest to us, so I hope people can check it out and hope they connect with it.
HJ: Now I read that you co-produced the record this time around. Who were you working with and what is that process like?
TM: Our buddy Aaron Sprinkle, who produced our first TFK album Phenomenon, and the first Static record, What Are You Waiting For… he and I got to work on this one and Dear Diary, as well as the most recent TFK album, and he’s crazy talented and so great to work with. Co-producing, in our experience, allows you to be a part of every step until the very end, and allows you that much more creativity, so it’s been a lot of fun.
HJ: Do you guys have any tour dates lined up in the near future?
TM: For Static, we are looking to support this new disc as soon as possible. Trying to figure out the juggling act of whether we tour the bands separate or together, but keep checking the website and we’ll keep it updated as soon as we can!
HJ: Now you guys have always done a great job of reaching out to non-Christians without being overly preachy, and at the same time, not alienating anybody. What do you attribute that to?
TM: Thanks so much, man. I feel like, for us, we make music that is honest to us. I was never the kid growing up, that got reached by any real preachy-type stuff, so we make music that is honest to us and try to keep it that way. We give God all the glory for that though. As a Christian, making music, and as a songwriter, your heart’s going to come out in that, as well as what you believe, and the stuff you’ve gone through. We just try to keep it honest and don’t try to write music that is for these people or for those people. It’s who we are on the track, and hopefully people can connect with that.
HJ: I really appreciate your time and chatting with us, and look forward to everyone getting to hear the new album!
TM: Thanks so much, brother, and thanks for your support!