Trapt’s Chris Taylor Brown Addresses Recent Altercations and Outbursts
Loudwire recently had a chance to chat with Trapt vocalist Chris Taylor Brown about the band's upcoming disc DNA, but during the talk the conversation turned to the topic of some of his recent outbursts and altercations, as he wanted to address and take ownership of what he said and did. He speaks out on the band's past legal woes with a former member, a name-calling incident in response to someone calling him out over an argument that had been settled with another artist, and video that surfaced online of a verbal confrontation with a support act. Those subjects started to come up during a discussion of the band's recent single "Passenger." Check out the chat below.
I wanted to start with "Passenger." It's actually one of my favorite songs in your catalog. Can you tell me about where that track comes from?
I was going through a lot of hard times with band and not really with the band but with an ex-guitar player. You know he came in after six years. He quit the band and had his reasons and whatever and you know we didn’t get along quite well. And he made some demands that we aren’t cool with and then he just took off in a fit. That’s it, six years. And then he came back with a lawyer when he had never called us, never talked to us, nothing. And we are like, "Hey, if you are looking for royalties, we will just look through it." You know it’s been six years so we will have to pull up a lot of stuff and they were supposed to send us a notice. You know, a band agreement and stuff, you know that people have when their in bands. And then you know he didn’t send it. So we finally just we had to move somewhere else. We didn’t have his address, nothing, no contact info. And then he comes back like I said and we said okay we will go through the stuff and we are just waiting for about three months when we get some money from another label. But he kept asking for stuff and from there we have basically said we only have so much to throw you now and he kind of used that against us and sued us. BOOM.
It was the sh-ttiest time of my life. For six months I had no idea how we were going to defend any kind of lawsuit. His parents were very well off and that is the reason why he left, we were assuming. But you know, he basically started the whole thing, went through the lawsuit, just freaking out and it was hard to do anything. It was hard to write and it was hard for us to be creative.
So we were able to get the money that we were supposed to get from the label for five or six months. And then basically that whole six months I was hoping that someone would save us. I hoped that somebody would come in and I don’t know just do something ... That someone would come in and make a deal for us and basically do something right. I was looking for someone else to solve my problem. And I was a passenger, I was hoping they could take me to where I needed to be. I knew where I needed to be, I just didn’t know how to do it. That’s what's up with that song.
It is really personal in that way and I think that we have all been faced with moments of where we are not sure what we should do or where we should go. I think that those are the moments that you have to realize that no one else is going to do it for you. And if it’s someone else, then they are probably going to take you somewhere that you don’t want to be. And in that 5-6 months, I am looking at my wife and family, knowing that they are dependent on me. I was like, 'How am I going to do this? I am going to figure it out.' So we did it the summer tour, a big self-titled tour. We did the acoustic album, we did the campaign for DNA. We did so much that I couldn’t even write. I could but I couldn’t. And we turned it around and that next year going through financials and going through this and that I tried to make it where we can win this without going bankrupt and you know we won. We kicked ass and we settled it up and we really triumphed and it was an amazing feeling.
But we will never forget the five months of just hopelessness of like I am going to lose everything. You know copyrights and everything. Cause when you lose that stuff, you know they put it on the auction block and you lose it. He was very angry at us. He had the lawyer telling us how much he hated us.
We never realized as to why. He seemed to be going on vacations and doing very well and all of the stuff. That is what we were hearing from people that we knew and we were like, "Okay, whatever," and we got through it. And that is why I think basically that song for me is so important to show people that you know when you are most afraid, when you are the most fearful and the most unsure and lost, that is when you just gotta go forward. That is when you find yourself for real. That is when you know who you really are. Going through that crazy abyss, nothing is like it when you get through it.
I saw the video you put up online basically explaining some of these things, as well, the lawsuit and everything. We've seen Tool go through this, as well, where legal issues led to them holding off their album for years.
We couldn't write or do anything. You put that kind of stress on an artist and it doesn't work. It's crazy, because we finally got done with this album in April of this year. All of these lyrics, everything, the album just poured out of me. It was an amazing emotion that it came back to me. For a year and a half, I was numb. I had no emotions. We win and that positivity comes and you start feeling again. But at the same time, all the things that angered you that you shut yourself off to, those come back too. You're now feeling emotions from both sides of the board, from anger to happiness to joy to sadness. Forgetting why you didn't believe in yourself, different things like that. We just went right into writing about it and we were recording at the same time.
So April, May, June through July 15 -- the last day of recording -- to the first day of the tour we're on right now, it was just go, go, go. No time to process these emotions. And that led me through the last couple of weeks of craziness, just the stuff dealing with this guy who did a YouTube thing. I got it from some social media guy who popped it up and thought it was a funny video and I didn't know what it was. I got mad, went to rehearsal -- Can you take it down? No problem. Take it down. All good. I said I'd like to compensate you, it's your video. Nah it's fine, we're cool. But then this other guy from the YouTube channel put stuff up about how bad that was that we put out this video for ten hours. I was like, "Really?" All these fans going after us. I definitely went hard back at him, only because of all the stuff I had gone through this last year and a half. It was hard to be that bigger person that I should be. Because of all that emotion, it was so hard for me to be that level-headed. You should be like this or that. Well in the moment it's really hard to be that clear.
Absolutely. Let me ask you this, just because there's so much going on with social media these days and bands getting involved. It's great for informational stuff but there's also all kinds of people who love to troll. What's your take on social media and the role musicians have to play with both positives and negatives these days?
I think the biggest thing you have to do for yourself is collect yourself and realize that you're in a position where people are looking up to you. You do have to be the bigger person, no doubt. If you say something derogatory because you're angry -- I called someone a butt boy. I knew it was wrong, it was wrong. But he was fighting that guy's battle. I deleted it in 45 minutes but Metal Sucks put it up and like, spread it all around. I should have never said it. I felt bad. Little things like that, people can get under your skin and you can say something publicly that you should never say. That bums me out, that I stooped down to that level just to get my anger out. I normally wouldn't be like that, but when you're in that emotional place it's hard to, like I said, to be that clear and step back and be that better person and not let them get to you.
While we're addressing things that happened online, tell me about what the deal was with the confrontation with The Dangerkids. What happened? What was at the root of it now that you've had some time to reflect on it?
It all comes from the same place, it wasn't Dangerkids, it was this other band that opened up for us on a Sunday night. It was July 27 and they sold 10 tickets. Our other support act sold 35 and we pride ourselves on getting locals out there selling 50-60 tickets out of 300 to 400 to get the ball rolling. This band though had three tables of merch. We're out with the band Sons of Texas, and we asked if they could use one. Just one. The merch girl started bitching about it and we were like, "Whoa. If you could just do this, that'd be cool. Please be cool about it." She just got real nasty about it. We'll just take all of our stuff and leave, they were already mad about being first out of two bands but they didn't sell. They sold less tickets, and that's how it goes. Promoters will always do that. So they were already in an angry mood. So we were having this back and forth, the bass player's girlfriend was the merch girl and he was like, "You guys are treating us not cool," and this and that. "Hey, this is not a big deal. It's one table." I'm kind of laughing. They brought up the YouTube thing. I'm laughing, laughing and they go crazy at me and my guitar player. And then he's like, you just spew videos -- other people's and all this stuff. That set me off. I went, "Who the hell do you think you are?" I got too emotional and angry. He was saying stuff to me, "Go ahead and hit me." I was like, "Go ahead a hit me, man. I'm not going to jail."
Especially with what I went through last year. There's no way any fight would have ever started. It never got to that level, he didn't push anyone or anything. It was just two dudes yelling at each other. Who hasn't seen that before? He put it on video and all of a sudden it looks crazy. Again, another situation where, over the span of a few days where all this stuff happened. From there, the next day maybe, that band Dangerkids is friends with that band or something. I don't know. But they just started going on our site, saying we don't like local bands. When did it get to that? I think they just did it for attention. Tagged the page, he wanted people to see it. In the end, I just made a joke and said, "Oh yeah, the fight wasn't between me and the opening band, the fight was between me and the singer of that band." I told him, "I really want you to go up there and make Dangerkids the biggest band in the world and really follow your dreams. You're letting your dreams be dreams." I just made jokes about that to Alternative Press and AP thought that was the truth [laughs]. Two other sites thought that's what happened too, that it was a fight between me and Dangerkids. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was just a local band that had some problems with opening the show instead of being second and having to give up one merch table out of three. They wanted to get a rise out of me and they got a rise out of me. That's really all it was, kind of blown out of proportion.
Stay tuned for the rest of our chat with Trapt vocalist Chris Taylor Brown as we dig more into the band's upcoming album and tour plans.
Watch Trapt's 'Passenger' Lyric Video