The Russ Liquid Test, the name is a mouthful and one you won’t soon forget. The Russ Liquid Test is made up of the robust penetrating sound of Russell Scott’s Trumpet, the powerful vintage sound of Andrew Block’s guitar and Devin Trusclair’s dynamic mastery of the drums. With a hometown like New Orleans, the birthplace of Jazz, that influence runs deep in style and sound, but they are no replication of the old Jazz sounds that they know and love. With the introduction of electronic production The Russ Liquid Test has coalesced a fresh way of making music. TRLT harnesses the roots of music history and the place they call home, ultimately paying homage while creating a sound authentically their own.
Their Summer Meltdown set was one of the highlights of the festival. Tucked away at the Late Night Tent Friday night it was a phenomenal way to dance into a weekend of radically honest self expression. While there we reached out to the guys if TRLT. Here is some of what Russ of TRLT had to say about music, politics, unicorns, oh my!
Earthlings Entertainment: Before Russ Liquid Test you spent some time playing on cruise ships. How did that come to fruition? Where did you travel? Do you have any fun stories?
Russ Liquid: I got really into jazz back in college so that’s why I worked the cruise ship because I had the opportunity to have a jazz band and play every night. The cruise industry is evil and they take advantage of people. All of these major cruise line companies make their ships in third world countries that have no laws protecting anyone so they get away with slave labor on these ships. I have a huge problem with the way tourism has basically an extension of slavery in the caribbean.
It was a really fun experience until I made friends with everybody on the ship and heard all the different stories
Q: You talk about wanting, “new colors to paint with” when referring to electronic music, which sounds a lot like synesthesia. Is that something you experience?
A: Yeah I see colors but I was just using it as an analogy. If you were a painter and you’ve been painting with the same pallet of colors your whole life, traditional band instruments in the traditional band setting, and then you discover this whole new pallet of sounds or “colors.” It’s like you have only been using basic colors and then someone showed you neon. It gives someone more of an opportunity to come up with their own unique sound.
Q: You have performed at bigger festivals like Shambhala and LIB as well as smaller ones like Summer Meltdown and Moods of Madison. What would you say is the biggest difference and you favorite part about both?
A: I prefer smaller festivals or larger festivals that are extremely well ran. Electric Forest is probably my favorite US festival. They have figured out how to make a big festival feel intimate. That’s what I like about the smaller festivals.
Q: You’ve said, “Our world is falling apart because honesty is not prevalent in our political culture. Being honest with yourself translates to being honest with others.” I think that a lot of people would agree, especially after the last election. Were you surprised by the results?
A: Oh yeah. When I look at that part of reality it doesn’t seem real. It’s so outlandishly bizarre. The things that he has said and done in the present are shocking to me. What’s better? A wolf in sheep’s clothing or a pig (laughs). The others, at least in the public eye were someone who had couth and a little respect for themselves and the people that they were addressing. That’s been probably the most shocking thing. Seeing someone that is running our country that has a mentality of a high schooler.
Q: As an artist with a platform and some influence do you ever feel the need to address these topics more publicly?
A: I definitely use my social platforms to spread good messages. I try not to necessarily say things like “Fuck Trump.” because it’s just feeding the negativity. When Charlottesville happened I just tried to say positive things. Go hug your neighbor. Go meet your neighbors. Go get involved in the community. What can you do to make your world a better place? I’m trying to do that rather than feed into the negativity feedback that we are all in.
Q: Do you think that is what it would take to change the current path we are on?
A: I do believe that there is supposed to be a balance and we are not in balance. I believe that by throwing out into the consciousness more positive information and focusing less on the negative information would make a huge change.
I think of what is going on in the world the same way feedback works with a delay pedal. You put a signal into the delay pedal and then the amount of feedback adjusts to how much the loop continues. If we interject into that feedback loop positivity then you are going to start eching back positivity.
I’m not saying we should have a world of ignorance or like “well we’re just gonna turn our cheek and not talk about it,” but just imagine if the news was full of amazing things that human beings are doing and that is what you were reading and waking up to every day.
Q: Part of the conversation around the recent election was people believing that their voice doesn’t count or matter. So do you think in the grand scheme of things that one person’s voice does make a difference?
A: Absolutely. That’s the problem with our society today. Everyone feels like they don’t make a difference. It’s infectious. You see those movies and there is a dramatic moment and one person stand or starts to clap and then someone else does and the next thing you know the whole audience is clapping. That’s how positivity can work.
Q: Do you think that there is some truth to sharing that information so that people have knowledge about the issues.
A: Yeah! I’m not saying be ignorant to what’s going on. I’m saying that there are healthier, more productive, positive ways to assimilate information. I feel like there are healthier ways of letting people know what is going on.
Tell the story about how someone is making the situation that needs to be reported on better. That’s how you’re getting the information out. I feel like the news shouldn’t be profitable organization. Magazines about music and stuff sure, but as far as straight up information, the greed for money is feeding off of human emotion. Feeding off of negative human emotion. That’s what I see.
Q: 1984 is your latest release, You mention all the great movies that came out around that time. If you could pick one to be in, what would it be and why?
A: Hands down ghost buster because of Bill Murray. It’s also a fun movie but Bill Murray is an interesting human being to me. I would love to be on set with him.
Q: The weirdest thing you asked for on a rider was a unicorn horn. Did they deliver?
A: Metaphysically yes, they did. Actual physical real world, no.
Oh, bummer. Haha