STL Now: Jameson, Red Stripe & Rock-n-Roll
Local rockers Troubadour Dali talk music, making it and what being in a band is really all about.
Local psychedelic rock band Troubadour Dali has weathered the St. Louis music scene for the better part of a decade, and August is their time to shine. In addition to appearing on St. Louis’ biggest indie music stage at LouFest this month, the rockers are releasing their highly anticipated second album, “Let’s Make it Right,” on Aug. 6. ALIVE sat down with the album’s songwriters, Ben Hinn and Kevin Bachmann, for an inside look at the St. Louis music scene, a sneak peek of their upcoming album and an open invitation to hang with the band.
ALIVE: You’ll be sharing the stage with a lot of great talent during your first ever LouFest performance; who are you most excited to see?
Ben Hinn: I’m really excited to be playing right before Sleepy Sun; we played with them about a year ago, and they’re right up my alley in terms of taste. But the overall lineup I think is better this year than it ever has been.
ALIVE: In addition to LouFest, you’re releasing your second album—congrats! How does it compare to your previous record?
Kevin Bachmann: Two different paintings from two different eras. This one is definitely a little more rockin’. It’s groovier—groovadelic— and it’s a little sunnier overall.
ALIVE: What is it about your music that gets people going?
KB: We can definitely put up the wall of sound, but I think what separates us from other bands in the genre is that we have strong songs and strong melodies. There are a lot of bands that have really awesome songs, and there are others that are really jangly. I think we fuse both of those elements together in a good way.
ALIVE: What’s your take on the St. Louis music scene?
KB: I’ve been on the scene for a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs, but I’d say right now we’re in the middle of a really special time. We really have a great community of musicians and artists, and I think it’s cool that we live in a place that is capable of that.
ALIVE: What are your favorite local venues to play?
KB: Off Broadway is my favorite place in the city, hands down. They’re like a family to us, and they’re very supportive of the music.
BH: I’ve been playing open mics at Foam recently, and that’s a cool hangout. There’s a sense of unity and inclusion, and the atmosphere is very accepting.
ALIVE: When was the best time to be a musician?
KB: If I could just sneak up to the back door of Motown when the Funk Brothers were in the basement recording, like with Stevie Wonder or Martha and the Vandellas or The Supremes. Even if I could just peek through a window, I’d be cool with that. And Boyz II Men “II” that was released on Motown—don’t act like we all didn’t have that one.
ALIVE: If Troubadour Dali were going to collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
KB: It might be cool to work with someone unexpected; we could collaborate with Dan The Automator, or Beck would be really cool because we’d come out on the other side with ridiculous Samba songs, or something just crazy.
ALIVE: How do you know when you’ve “made it”?
BH: When you can pay the rent and do what you want to do. I want to be able to live off of what I do, and then after that, I don’t really know. I don’t ever want to stop. If everyone in the band could make enough to live off of, and we could tour and make records, that would be cool for sure.
Like what you read? Join Troubadour Dali at Off Broadway on Saturday, Aug. 6 for the release of their sophomore album, “Let’s Make It Right”… we can assure you, they did.
Local Band: Troubadour Dali
Photo credit: Photo by Joanna Humphrey, courtesy of Troubadour Dali