INTERVIEW: JOHN TRESCOTT LUIS
Country newcomer John Trescott Luis has made quite a splash on his local country scene and beyond. Discovering a long-burning passion for music after retiring, John has now wasted no time in writing and releasing music, releasing 2 albums and a multitude of singles that showcases a man on a mission.
His latest single 'Can't Stay Here' is a proper throwback country song that will have any fan tapping their toes along with John's charismatic vocal lines and his full band performance. It embodies the familiar vibes of country music, with a touch of blues rock twang that gives it that upbeat and energetic feeling that you can't help but get sucked into.
We sat down with John to lean more about this huge life change, the story behind 'Can't Stay Here' and much, much more, exclusively for FLEX!
Hey John! Your journey from the world of television to music is quite remarkable. Can you tell us more about this transition and what inspired you to make such a major career shift?
Hello, great to be with you. Yes, I guess my history is pretty unusual! I was a guitar player music major in college in Pasadena Calif. but realiSed that with great players around like Eddie Van Halen (who was playing local house parties in my neighborhood during the 70’s) I may not have been ready to compete at that level. So, I switched majors to Television Engineering!! I realiSe that may seem unusual but it was offered at my school and I seemed to have a knack for it.
Basically, I was a guy who loved technology and recording and also happened to play some guitar. While working as a Sound Engineer at ABC-TV Network, I continued playing guitar and recording in my home studio for fun with hopes for the future... i played in a rock power-trio band in the late 80’s called “JJ Trescott” and we wrote and recorded a bunch of Rock demo’s that I put out last year as an album called “1989”.
The band fell apart soon after, then flash forward 30 years as I was about to leave ABC-TV when I got an email from my old band mate and writing partner who had disappeared years before after moving away to Europe. We wanted to try writing and recording again, but he now lives in Portugal. Undaunted, I rebuilt my studio and off we went writing together over Facetime across eight time zones! This was before Covid and unusual to work remotely like that. We finished 2 songs with the triumph being “Fever Dreams”, a prog rock anthem. This jumpstarted my return to music, writing and recording in my revamped home studio. I started writing my own songs and collaborating with local artists in the LA area, writing songs in different genres and featuring different lead singers.
I started getting exposed to more country music and was loving the great story telling, melodies and musicianship which inspired me to write songs in that genre. I got together with a local legend, singer/songwriter Shawn Jones, collaborating on two songs with him. Inspired by that, I put together an amazing band in Nashville to record and, with the encouragement of Taylor Swift’s recording engineer, to sing my own songs.
How would you describe the essence of your sound?
I have been called an “Old School Rock Romantic”. That sums it up nicely. But now that I’m a bit Country, we may need to rethink that!!
Your latest release, 'Can't Stay Here,' is a catchy and feel-good country track with a blues rock twist. Can you share the inspiration behind this song and what it means to you?
I’m a story guy so when my friend Dick Wells came to me with the end-part of a chorus, I jumped right in and we wrote the whole song in a short time. I think most people can relate to being single and trying to meet people but having to find the courage to talk to a stranger before “closing time”. And if you do meet someone, the surprise that can happen when the lights come up…
You recorded 'Can't Stay Here' in Nashville with a talented band. How was that experience, and what do you think the city's musical heritage brought to the track?
When I was ready to record ‘Can’t Stay Here’ I had already recorded 5 songs in Nashville once before and it blew me away. I had an amazing band that I loved so I brought them back in and we recorded 12 new songs in 2 days! Each musician had tons of hit songs under their belts so playing with them was the second greatest day of my life. They are the consummate pros of Nashville and so much fun, too. After hearing the final mix on ‘Can’t Stay Here’, I thought this one could become a great song to play in bars across the country. Not to mention a great way to close a live show!!!
What is your favourite part of the recording and writing process?
I have always loved the art of recording parts for a song and discovering magical accidents. Now, this happens after I bring the recorded tracks back to my home studio and I add some “special sauce”. Since writing is a larger part of my life now, when I am searching for the “next great line” and one pops into my head turning the song into something special, that seems “sent from above”.
What's next for John Trescott Luis? Can we expect more music in the same country and blues rock style, or are there other genres you're eager to explore?
I’ve done Funk, Blues/Big Band, Prog Rock, Country, Rockabilly…I definitely have more Country in me but the next couple of songs out will be Rockers with several Ballads after that. They were recorded with the same amazing band in Nashville who were thrilled to do some different styles. What a blast!!
Listen to 'Can't Stay Here'