The concept of praxis (what happens when people extend themselves to do good and how their capacity to do good increases because of it) has been on Justin Dillon’s mind a lot lately, so much so that he has decided to do something pretty radical with Tremolo’s first full-length album release. With the album “Love Is The Greatest Revenge” recently released on FLAGSHIP Recordings, he is puting 50% of all of the record royalties into a benevolence trust fund.
Yes, you read that right – 50%.
Called the Love>Revenge Fund, through online voting, fans are able to decide where the trust fund money they contributed via their record purchase goes – be it cancer research, tsunami relief, AIDS hospice, anti-slavery operations, or the charity of their choice. Fans are also able to gain exposure for the causes that matter most to them on the site.
“Music has a way of welling up something inside of us to be better than we are,” says Dillon. “And then what do you do with that? To me, it’s like I’ve written these songs as a way to connect with humanity and hopefully uplift it, and I feel like it’s the responsibility of the record to act upon that and to follow through on it.”And uplift it does.
From the catchy grit of “Evil Twin” to the gorgeous lilt of “Promise Ring,” Dillon & Co. meld the bluesy, dirty guitars of The Stones and T-Rex with the lift-you-even-higher, anthemic bombast of U2, and tie it up in a hugely attractive package known as Tremolo. “I think the thing that galvanized the whole wanting to be in a band thing was going to see U2 play,” says Dillon, who began taking guitar lessons in high school. “I remember walking away from that feeling like I wanted to be a better person because of what I’d just experienced. It was transcendent.”
After going to college and getting an industrial psychology degree, Dillon still wanted to make music, so he did, playing with a band and touring until he was ready to move onto something different musically. “I felt like it was time for me to really learn how to be a songwriter,” he says. He worked hard to hone his craft. “It was like musical adolescence. I got my boobies. I started focusing more, writing my own songs, and that’s how Tremolo got started.”
Dillon reached a point where the songs he was writing “started working,” and former Counting Crows drummer and friend Steve Bowman was there to give Dillon honest feedback and mentoring. “Steve was very instrumental in moving me along,” Dillon recalls. “He caught me at the tail end of my songwriting adolescence and started moving me into my adulthood.” When the songs started working and working in a big way, Dillon began thinking about a way to get the songs out there. Tremolo, Dillon’s brainchild and alter ego, was born. “Love Is The Greatest Revenge” showcases his songwriting coming-of-age. To help frame Dillon’s songs in more of a band setting in the studio, several friends contributed their playing for the album itself: Steve Bowman (Counting Crows) on drums; Max Butler (Chuck Prophet), Julian Coryell (Aimee Mann) and Dino Meneghin (Liz Phair) on guitars; Kris Pooley (Jane’s Addiction) and Ben Patterson on keyboards; and Tim Hogan (Anna Nalick) on bass. The album was mixed by Joe Zook (Sheryl Crow, Mick Jagger, Jewel). A new version of the track “Promise Ring” was recorded in Nashville with John Painter (Ben Folds) at the production helm.
Prior to signing with FLAGSHIP, Tremolo had already seen a healthy dose of success from the EP, “You Were Born For This,” from which New Line Cinema borrowed the demo version of “Promise Ring” for their film “How To Deal” (and Capitol Records included the song on their soundtrack along with tracks by The Flaming Lips, Beth Orton, and John Mayer). MTV used the song “Evil Twin” as the theme song for their reality-based dating show “Dismissed,” while they also incorporated a number of Tremolo songs into several shows across the network (“Pimp My Ride,” “Bands Reunited,” “Newlyweds”). San Francisco radio stations KLLC and KFOG chose Tremolo as their “new emerging artist” and “up and comers,” respectively, and KFOG spun “Evil Twin” in rotation for a couple of months in late 2004. “Waiting Room” is currently in rotation on cable music service Music Choice. Tremolo has also graced network TV with play on “The Mountain” and “North Shore.”
Dillon describes Tremolo’s music as “one hand holding onto the roots of the grass and one hand reaching to the stars in the sky. I’m looking for this otherliness, this transcendence. That’s the reason I think music is here. I want to be part of touching something that is greater than the sum of its parts. Live, I strive for that collective effervescence that can happen to a group of people based around music. The performer/audience gap goes away, and it becomes this human community. Any musician who has ever experienced that is always trying to get back to it.”
Be it praxis or collective effervescence, Tremolo hopes to make a difference. “If you have the resources to buy this record, you’re doing pretty well compared to the rest of the world,” Dillon opines about the Love>Revenge Fund. “This is not benevolence as a marketing tool. Given the way the music industry is shifting these days, it is time for new ideas and new ways of doing things. In the chaos of how music is purchased today, there is opportunity for good. In this case, we wanted to connect with others in a way that hasn’t been done before. I want to release not just a record, but an idea.” www.loveisthegreatestrevenge.com
Tremolo (Tremol.O) it's the small orchestr from Třemošná in Czech Republic too. They released two album and they are very popular in their region.
3. Tremolo is noise-rock band from Bohumín, Czech Republic.
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