ENTREVUE / INTERVIEW

Trifecta

With: Adam Holzman

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ALBUM REVIEW HERE

Frederik Roy - October 2021

Hello and thank you for this opportunity!

PP: First, how did you find the name Trifecta? Is it linked to the fact that you form a trio? Does it have a special meaning to you?

AH: We were throwing ideas around and I suggested “Trifecta“because it implies a trio and the number three. Trifecta is a racing term; if you correctly guess the first three winners of a race you win the trifecta.

PP: You guys worked with Steven Wilson who gravitates around the prog universe a lot with his own compositions and remixes of the genre classics. What is your relationship with prog music in general, knowing that you also worked in several progressive rock projects?

AH: I have had an “off & on” relationship with progressive rock. I listened to quite a bit of the classic bands when I was growing up, and they were a big influence on me, but then I drifted away when I started getting more involved in jazz. But I still love the idea of long pieces and complex arrangements. One of my early attractions to progressive rock was the intricate rhythmic syncopations and jagged, experimental grooves. Things like the first three minutes of “Close to the Edge,” or “Fracture“ by King Crimson. These are pieces that use rhythmic innovations borrowed from jazz and other styles and go into some new territory. Progressive rock seems to absorb many different styles of music, but, ironically, it doesn’t seem to influence other styles as much. I think terms like that are overused anyway… When I was on tour with Miles Davis (in the 1980s) I was surprised to find out he really dug the ‘new’ Yes song, “Owner Of A Lonely Heart“. So, it came full circle!

PP: Did composing music while touring with Steven Wilson influenced your music somehow?

AH: Definitely. Steven can be very influential, and a lot of the ideas he was working with were things that I had been gravitating toward, but I hadn’t caught up to him yet! For example, most of my solo work has been instrumental, but on my last few solo projects (check out “Truth Decay” or “The Last Gig”) I’ve begun to incorporate vocals and heavy guitars, and I’m looking towards a more song-based approach.

PP: Your first album, Fragments, seems to have received a good reception from jazz fusion's enthusiasts. Are you planning on releasing more material in a close future? What's next for the band?

AH: I think we would like to get out there and play, but that is not likely to happen for a while because of the current world situation. On the other hand, I think we would all like to do a second album. Perhaps it might make more sense to tour when we have two albums
under our belt anyway. We will see…

PP: I've read that you prefer the term "Jazz fission" instead of "fusion". How is that?

AH: ahhhh! That’s Nick’s term. I like it! I think he said it was more unstable and more difficult to control than fusion! :-)

PP: I've seen that you've made physical copies of your album (CD and vinyl). What do you think of the vinyl revival and the reality of selling music today?

AH: It’s a lot of fun! There is an inviting appeal to the sound of vinyl. I love looking through the used (and new!) bins and blasting stuff on my turntable. But I will say this in defense of CDs: for very quiet ambient music, including solo piano and solo guitar, CDs might be a better format. No surface noises.

PP: Many of your songs are instrumental only and I've found most of the titles very interesting. How do you come up with such titles when there's no texts attached to the songs?

AH: If it’s an instrumental song, why not get a little crazy with the title? Some of the names are just ‘work’ titles that ended up becoming permanent. But…maybe it’s also a bit of a Zappa influence? I think humor can be a great component when it comes to instrumental music. We try not to take ourselves too seriously!

PP: One of your songs is called The Enigma of Mr. Fripp. Is it some sort of tribute to King Crimson's renowned guitarist? What can you tell me about this enigma?

AH: Correct, it is a tribute to Fripp and King Crimson, working with some of their motifs and sound palette. Actually, it is really amazing how well 70s & 80s King Crimson holds up! That is a forward-thinking band. A lot of their music sounds like it could’ve been recorded last week!


PP: The song Nightmare in Shining Armor made me think of Return to Forever's Romantic Warrior. Am I just looking for similarities or is it inspired by it?

AH: I can see a connection there. Weather Report is also a big influence for me on those types of pieces.

PP: I'm always very impressed by the complexity of jazz fusion's compositions. How does it work for you? Do you all work simultaneously on a piece or does one of you bring written material and you work on it from there?

AH: That’s the cool thing about this album! The DNA for a lot of the basic ideas was stuff we created together. Or, perhaps more specifically, Craig might play some very cool and inspirational drumbeats, then Nick and I would join in. So, the raw ideas are created by the three of us. Then, during the pandemic, we would work individually or together in different combinations to complete them.

PP: This will sound like a very "cliché" question, but what are your principal influences when it comes to music? Or at least, what are the bands or artists that you enjoy the most?

AH: Miles Davis, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Yes, King Crimson, the Ohio players, Keith Jarrett, Leon Russell, Led Zeppelin, Porcupine Tree, The Doors… etc., etc. I could go on and on… :-)

PP: What do you expect people to feel when they listen to your album? What emotions do you wish to convey through music?

AH: That’s a really great question. Hopefully they will feel “vibe-y” when they listen to this album! ;-) The emotional side is difficult to predict, but I think over all it has a positive energy. And maybe it will open up more possibilities when it comes to the interesting area between rock and jazz.

PP: Finally, are you planning on hitting the road anytime soon or did you have any opportunity to perform live as a band yet?

AH: Not yet, but at some point, it would be great. Touring with a new project can be difficult in the best of times, but right now, who knows? Nobody can predict where we’re all going to be a year from now. So, stay tuned on that front! ;-)

PP: Thank you for your time and your answers. I really hope to hear more music from Trifecta very soon!