Bronson: Thank you for doing this Trent. Trent Jeffcoat: Hey Bronson, I appreciate it buddy.
Bronson: You come from South Carolina? Trent Jeffcoat: Yes sir. Lexington County.
Bronson: And your family, were they musical? Trent Jeffcoat: You know what? My family loved music but hardly anyone played music. I started writing songs when I was about 8, and it was just kind of an interesting thing because nobody else ever had. Never even really played music, so it was kinda cool.
Bronson: What inspired you? Trent Jeffcoat: At an early age I think more than anything my mom, she'd play music. There was always music on, everything from classic country of course but also she loved (Frank) Sinatra, Dean Martin, (Perry) Como, Tony Bennett and all those folks.
Bronson: You started playing guitar at the same time or you just wrote? Trent Jeffcoat: Well, interesting thing, I've never played a guitar. I've always just written, wrote lyrics and melody in my head at the same time.
Bronson: Just sang them out a cappella? Trent Jeffcoat: Sang 'em out a cappella. Kind of an interesting way of doin' it. Growing up, whenever all my buddies and all from school would hang around we'd be wherever the party was at and I'd just sing a cappella for however long they wanted.
Bronson: So when you were 8, like when the family would be around you'd just start singing? Trent Jeffcoat: Yeah, family reunions.
Bronson: That's very cool. So the songwriting though, you always had a way with words? Trent Jeffcoat: Always had a way with words and I always had a interesting sense of humor. Like the first song I ever wrote was for my Grandma. She's a very humorous woman but she gets her way. (big smile) She's a wonderful woman but I wrote a song called "She Bosses Me Around This Little Town" for my granddad and her and it was pretty cute.
Bronson: So did you sing in church? Trent Jeffcoat: I sang in church later on. I was in a praise band when I was around 22, 23.
Bronson: In school, were you in the choir and the madrigal and all that? Trent Jeffcoat: I was. I was in the chorus and choir all through school until probably about 10th grade. I got out of it because they were real strict about how you're supposed to sing and you know, I wanted to kinda do it my way.
Bronson: So when did you start singing when you were actually getting paid to sing? Trent Jeffcoat: I was probably 18.
Bronson: Local clubs? What were the towns? Trent Jeffcoat: Lexington, South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, Swansea and Gaston.
Bronson: You found the band? How'd you get hooked up with the band? Trent Jeffcoat: I had a couple of friends that just played. We'd get together and that kind of thing.
Bronson: So what was the inspiration to come to Nashville? Trent Jeffcoat: I didn't do the normal thing where I played a bunch of dates and then just gradually came to Nashville. The reason I kinda finally made the decision was I broke my neck when I was 21. Me and my wife were in a car wreck and I wasn't supposed to be able to move anything from my chest down, that's what the doctors had told us. About 5 and 1/2, 6 months later I was up on a walker ...
Bronson: Thank the Lord. Trent Jeffcoat: Thank the Lord, yes sir. He's been really really good to me, and more than anything I look back at it now as a blessing because I wouldn't be here today, I know I wouldn't. I had played music, like I said, when I was around18 up till about 20 and I was still writing songs every day but I was working for my dad doing footing work, foundations for houses and the money was good. I was newly married, we'd just built a house, had everything you're supposed to have to be happy then we got in this wreck and it just kinda really made me look at things a lot differently.
Bronson: If you could be any where in the world right now and had had the success that you'd like to have with your songs, where would you be? Trent Jeffcoat: You know what? I'd love to go hang out in Hawaii for a little while. I went there one time just for a real quick thing and I'd love to be able to take my wife somewhere and let her enjoy a few things. You know the wife of a songwriter or a singer, it isn't all peaches and cream. There's a lot of sacrifice and a lot of weekends while she's at home and I'm out seeing the country and I'd like to be able to take her to Hawaii for a while.
Bronson: You live here in Nashville now? Trent Jeffcoat: I do.
Bronson: And how many years have you been here? Trent Jeffcoat: I've been here 8 years. I got here in July of 2003.
Bronson: You've had some good success's. Trent Jeffcoat: I'm really happy with the way things are going now. I thought that after 5 years in Nashville that things were really going to be slamming, you know poppin', and 5 years came along and I had to kinda reevaluate a little bit and now I'm really loving writing still, but I'm really trying to focus more on the artist thing now.
Bronson: You were just out this last weekend? Trent Jeffcoat: I was out this last weekend, Indianapolis. I'll go whereever, you know how it is.
Bronson: You were up in Iowa too, my neck of the woods too. Trent Jeffcoat: Definitely, love Iowa.
Bronson: Since you are focusing on the artist part, are you getting ready to do some recording? Trent Jeffcoat: I am. I'm working with a producer here in town right now. It's one of those things where I'm a songwriter and I have a lot of songs. You know you have a lot of good songs and you have a couple that you think are great out of a big catalog, but I'm looking for songs too. I want to make sure that when I go in that we put our best foot forward. I want people to get a chance to hear great songs again and if I don't write 'em, that's fine.
Bronson: That's the ticket to success. All of the greats, they've all done a couple of the same things. Every great artist, songwriter, I've ever worked with said the same thing. "Be true to yourself, be true to your music and you'll be just fine." Every one of them that was the one reoccurring thing. The other thing is, you want the greatest song whether you wrote it or not so I think you're on the right track with that.
Bronson: You've wrote for different publishers. A regular day for you in Nashville coming to write. You write with other people? Do you sing your melodies and then go in with the band and do your demos? How do your songs come to life? Trent Jeffcoat: One of two things. I either cowrite. I write with probably 20 or 30 different people over the period of the year at different times but I have a team of about 4 that we really just click. They've become family and I know when we go in we're gonna have a good day. I have that but I also write songs by myself still and when I do that I have a couple of guys that I'll go to. You know it's a weird thing because like I said, I don't play. Music theory is way over my head somewhere out there but I can hear all the instrumentation when ever I'm writing.
Bronson: You hear it in your head. Trent Jeffcoat: Right so I come up with my own licks so who ever's playing for me, picking it out, I'm singing obviously in pitch and on time so therefore they can figure it out pretty quick. These guys are professional, they're amazing, and then I'll just whistle out the lick or hum out a lick and if they're stuck on a chord I'll say, "No man, that one where your pointer finger was up on that string, you know, yeah that one." (laughing)
Bronson: So if you could have your choice of who you'd want to hear singing your songs, male and female, who would it be? Trent Jeffcoat: Male it would have to be Don Williams and that's because Keith Whitley isn't here. Female, probably Patty Lovelace.
Bronson: Good choices (laughing). Nothing greater then hearing a great singer singing your song coming over the radio. I've had that honor before and you have to pull the car off the road 'cause you start shaking. Trent Jeffcoat: Yeah I bet.
Bronson: You have started your own publishing house too right? Trent Jeffcoat: Yes I have, Deer In The Headlights Music. We're building a catalog and trying to become a force in town.
Bronson: When are you going into the studio to cut your record? Have you started it? Trent Jeffcoat: I'm still looking for songs. I just put an independent album out so I'm at the tail end of that and at the front end of the next.
Bronson: What's the title? Trent Jeffcoat: The title of my independent thing I just put out is called "When I Find Me That Mountain". What I did on this album, I'm really proud of it. It is all more of a singer/songwriter album, stuff that I wrote but at the same time I'm very proud of it. It's an inspirational CD. It's all country but it's very inspirational, it's where I was at in my life at that time.
Bronson: Full length, like a 10 song? Trent Jeffcoat: It's a 7 song and it's available on my web site and at CD Baby.
Bronson: Anything you want to promote? Got any shows coming up here soon? Trent Jeffcoat: Right now I'm working on some stuff. I'm taking about a month and 1/2 off just to spend with family. I'm going to do some corporate stuff and some Christmas parties and that kind of stuff. As far as public stuff there may be a couple of things I'll throw in there.
One thing I was going to bring up to about what made me move to Nashville. It was a combination of our wreck and going through a lot of stuff there and having to soul search but more then anything, my son was born whenever I was 27. When he was about 8 months old I looked at him one day and like I said, me and my wife had the house you're supposed to have. The land, cars, bank accounts, I worked for my dad and she had her own business. We just looked at each other and we both knew we were miserable. We were happy with each other but we were just miserable at where we were at. I was looking at my boy one day and I told my wife, "One day he's gonna have dreams and we're giving him a reason to get out of them if we don't go follow ours." One thing that's cool about my wife is that this has always been her dream too. We started dating when we were 16 and just always been partners. So really my son kind of spurred things more then anything.
Bronson: Well I can understand that. Is he singing and playing? Trent Jeffcoat: Man he is amazing.
Bronson: How old is he now? Trent Jeffcoat: He's 9. Whenever we got done here in a little bit I've got something over here I'll play for you. He's unreal. He's a drummer and he has great rhythm and he plays guitar, he's a lefty.
Bronson: Raising up the band (laughing). You ain't gonna need a drummer, you've got your drummer. Trent Jeffcoat: (laughing) That's right.
Bronson: I really enjoyed doing this. It was nice meeting you and I wish you all the success in the world. Trent Jeffcoat: Yes sir, thank you buddy. Appreciate it.