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Trik Turner Biography

Last updated: 08/23/2007 12:00:00 PM

Keepin' it real. For most up-and-coming bands who blend hip hop with hard rock, that over-used phrase loosely translates as: "We own all three Limp Bizkit albums, and our manager hooked us up with a DJ." Trik Turner has a little advice for such acts. On "Let It Rip," the opening track of the band's self-titled RCA debut, the Phoenix-based sextet calculate the worth of performers who pay lip service to hip hop without backing it up with skills: "It doesn't amount to nothing, unless you let it rip."

That challenge comes from a band that prizes substance over style; positivity over posing; and confidence over cockiness. While each member of the rock-inflected hip-hop group approaches the music from his own unique perspective--influences range from indie rock to turntablism to funk--Trik Turner's primary sources of inspiration are old-school hip hop and firsthand experience. In other words, the urban feel on tracks such as the arena-ready "Let It Rip," the reality-checking "Friends And Family" and the Kiss/A Tribe Called Quest tribute, "New York Groove," isn't an afterthought--it's a precondition.

"The whole rock and hip-hop thing has been done in the past ten years," says vocalist David Bowers, eyeing an over-crowded field. "But we bring different elements into that format, and I think we're deeper lyrically than most of what you hear. It's our own thing. It's a unique spin on that combination of music, not a carbon copy." "Hip hop is a beautiful thing, but in a lot of ways it's been abused," adds co-vocalist Doug Moore. "This album is our way of showing another more sophisticated side of it. If it's done right, it can be loved."

Trik Turner have been doing it right and getting love in return since David and Doug formed the band in 1999. Both MCs have deep roots within the Phoenix hip-hop community, but they wanted to experiment with a more diverse array of styles. As they brought in musicians to flesh out their vision, they realized that the players' combined musical chemistry had created something beyond expectation. "When we first started, we rocked every day for hours and hours, even holidays," recalls Doug. "We worked with a lot of different stylistic elements and learned what we were about as a band."

RCA signed Trik Turner based on the strength of its 2000 independent release, Black Seas And Brown Trees, as well as a live show that redefines dynamic. Working with producer Mudrock (Godsmack, Coal Chamber, Powerman 5000), the group re-recorded many of that album's prime cuts for its major-label debut, crystalizing their sound's unique facets for an even harder edge. Lyrically, Doug and Dave set themselves apart by rhyming with brutal honesty about subjects that literally hit close to home. On the scathing "Father," they run down a list of paternal abuse, capping it with the line, "You gave me life, but you never gave me hope. I don't want to be my own father." And on "Friends And Family," Tre Thorstad's haunting nylon-stringed guitar supports an uplifting lyric that reminds listeners that "nothing else matters" as much as the title subjects--"even when their minds are against us."

"We're not what I call ABC lyricists, talking about bitches and blunts," says David. "Our music isn't formulated. It comes naturally. It's what we feel. And mostly what comes out of me and Doug is more introspective lyrics--looking within yourself ,and looking at the situations you deal with everyday." The album's theme is neatly summed up by the spoken intro to "Let It Rip": "We become what we think about." If that's true, then Trik Turner has a bright and surprising future ahead of them. "We still experiment a lot," concludes Doug. "Even though we've done a lot of big shows and spent tons of time practicing, we still pick up a mic and we're like, This is something new.' We still don't know exactly what we're going to do next. It keeps things fresh."