I've known Trent Rush from The Wild Frontiers for years now, we met at a Deep Ellum dive bar in Dallas and he was performing for a small crowd with the gusto of a seasoned stadium rockstar. Now, his band The Wild Frontiers is performing for much larger crowds, but some things remain constant: his captivating energy and his love for fashion. We caught up in Dallas before some thrifting and chatted about what's been inspiring them and that undeniable stage presence.
How did you guys first come together as a band?
Trent: We played a show. I was at my solo project, as you know. And we played a show in Terrell with their previous lead singer and things happen over the years and here we are today. I begged them to be my backing band for years and they begged me to be their singer. And you can see who won.
Perfect. And what do you look for when you're shopping?
Trent: Shiny. Can I curse?
Trent: Shiny shit.
I love that. And I feel like-- and ever since I've known you, and you posted on Facebook something I loved, you said ya'll play for arenas.
I love that because I think so many bands, they don't play like they own an arena. And I think it takes a lot of courage.
Trent: You won't get to that point if you don't play like you already are.
I remember I first saw you at some bar.
Trent: What was the first show? Where did we meet? We met at The Struts show, right?
It was just you and we were at some bar in Deep Ellum and there was like five people in there, but you really worked those five people. I was like, "But I was like, "I need to meet him. He's a rockstar." You made us all do a bunch of stuff.
Trent: I know we reconnected at the Kitten show at Three Links
Yes, yes. Definitely.
Trent: And Jimmy was really into your friend.
Who was my friend?
Trent: It was somebody with you. You and I were just talking about fashion! But he was on the prowl.
Oh God. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. But I've always admired that about you because I think that just takes a lot.
Trent: What part? In my what?
To command a crowd.
Trent: Yes, of course. I grew up listening to U2 and Coldplay and Queen and all of these arena bands. And there's just no way I could downgrade my performance to fit a smaller stage. So I'd like to command it like it is an Arena because it is in my head. When I'm playing, I look out and I see 20,000 people.
I love it though. But you guys have obviously had a ton of success recently.
Trent: The past year, so yeah.
Your shows are getting bigger. How does that kind of feel, this year's success?
Trent: It feels really cool. The best part about it is when you look out into the crowd and it's faces you don't know. It's not friends and family. It's fans and they're screaming everywhere. Lyrics you wrote in your bedroom.
And you played at The Whisky a Go Go. How was that?
Trent: We played with Christopher Mintz-Plasse, which is the actor that plays McLovin [laughter]. And we play with REO Speedwagon's kids, Sir, Please. And they are phenomenal kind of a psych-rock band. And they're phenomenal.
What kind of inspires you to create music?
Trent: Just other artists really. I kind of just base everything I do off of another project. I'll take something and I will just warp it into something of my own and that's how most music is great, and I imagined. But I get a spiritual and physical and an emotional connection to certain songs. And I'll just obsess over one song or one band for a year or two at a time and just kind of shape my whole writing style around that writing style for a while. And eventually, it comes out very refined and original and stuff like that. So it's kind of like recycling too. I don't know. It's hard to explain. The creative process isn't always very hard to explain. Each song is very very different.
And what is kind of the biggest challenge about being a band from Dallas?
Trent: Not living in Los Angeles.
I feel that.
Trent: We are moving to Los Angeles though.
Yes! And what's been the biggest challenge in your career?
Trent: In our career? To just keep attention, to write songs that people relate to that are popular and sing alongable.
And Drive has got a ton of plays on Spotify.
Trent: I think Drive is up to 63,000 now, which for a band that's coming out of the gate with no previous material, that's pretty damn good.
That's amazing. That's incredible. How does that feel?
Trent: It feels...as someone who's been trying a long time to get something. You don't even know any of them. 60,000 individuals and it's from all-- and we can look at our stats. There's a tool to look at it. And I mean it's all over the country. It's all over the world. We have fans in countries that don't even speak English. I mean, it's phenomenal. I love it.
And how do you stay motivated to keep going? Because it's an up and down. It's up and down.
Trent: More. More.
You want more?
Trent: I need more! I always need more. It's like clothing, I need more!
I love it. I love it.Well, what's your best piece of advice for a young musician?
Trent: Learn how to write hit songs,
Perfect. When you say that, what does that mean?
Trent: What that means is to learn what makes a good song. Actually, when I was around 18, I started going to LA on my own and with my dad and with friends to these songwriting seminars. And I learned how to really formulate melodies and lyrics and what lyrics work with what melodies and just kind of went to a songwriting college for a few days at a time every year and just really refine my craft. My best advice is just to write every single day. Write all the time. Don't just write for yourself. Keep the crowd in mind if you want to do something in this business because you have to keep people's attention. You have to make them want to sing along and that's a pop kind of rule.