Unplugged with Plug In Stereo

TFK talks music with the singer behind Plug In Stereo

Mar 06, 2014 | By TFK Kid Reporter Rachel Landis
OWEN SWEENEY—AP

Who is the singer behind Plug In Stereo? Meet 18-year-old Trevor Dahl. Dahl is a singer-songwriter who has been surrounded by music his whole life. In 6th grade he picked up guitar and never put it down. Dahl’s music is unique because he has so many sounds. Dahl’s musical style ranges from pop to jazz to country to rock and roll. 

After being in countless bands growing up, Dahl decided to create his own unique music under the name Plug In Stereo. His first full-length album, Nothing To Something, was released in 2011. The album’s single, “Oh Darling,” became an instant hit. It had guest vocals by Cady Groves. With positive reactions from new fans, Dahl continued working hard. While other kids his age were finishing their junior year in high school, he had already toured the country.

To ring in the New Year, Plug In Stereo came out with a new CD A Little Peace. In January, Dahl toured with pop singer Cody Simpson. In March, he starts a new tour with Macy Kate. TFK Kid Reporter Rachel Landis talked to Dahl about his music and touring experience before his January 21 show in New York City.

Trevor Dahl and TFK Kid Reporter Rachel Landis pose for a quick picture before his show at Highline Ballroom in New York City.
COURTESY LANDIS FAMILY
Trevor Dahl and TFK Kid Reporter Rachel Landis pose for a quick picture before his show at Highline Ballroom in New York City.

TFK:

Your name is Trevor Dahl, but Plug In Stereo is your performer name.  Why did you choose that name?

DAHL:

When I first started, I used my name. But then, bands I had been listening to at the time and had influenced me were going by stage names and monikers. So, I thought it was a cool idea to go with a different name rather than a personal name. I just went with it when I was sixteen and I haven't changed it since.

TFK:

Your new CD, A Little Peace, came out this month.  What do you think your fans will like about this CD?

DAHL:

I think that the new songs are much different and stronger than the old songs.  I spent a lot more time on these songs.  I wrote a bunch of songs to choose from, rather than just writing a simple six songs and putting them out. I wrote about thirty songs and then picked my favorite six. I think it's a lot stronger this way.

TFK:

You're currently on an acoustic tour with singer Cody Simpson.  How is the tour going?

DAHL:

It's great.  Every show has been sold out so far, which is unbelievable.  It's really cool for me; I've never done that before. All the kids have been reacting really well.

TFK:

Your tour has been traveling around the US.  Tonight's show is in New York.  Have you ever been to New York before?

DAHL:

Yep -- I've been here quite a bit.  I've been here five or six times. I've played at the Highline Ballroom once or twice before, so it's good to be back.  It's a lot colder this time than in past times!

TFK:

How did you get your start in music?

DAHL:

I started playing music when I was in middle school. I started playing guitar, and I've been writing songs and poems since elementary school. I really started taking it seriously when high school came around and I was in a bunch of bands. I tried my solo project, this project, when I was a freshman, and then I really started taking it seriously. It kind of consumed my life.

TFK:

What instruments do you play and which one is your favorite?

DAHL:

I play a few different instruments, mainly guitar, but I can play some drums, bass, and some mandolin. But my favorite is guitar, for sure.

TFK:

Did you have any musical idols growing up?  Who and why?

DAHL:

I think that the Beatles have always been a big influence on me. My mom really loved them, so I listened to their albums a lot growing up. John Mayer's been a big influence. I listened to all types of music growing up, so whatever I was into that month was my influence.

Plug In Stereo will tour the U.S. from March 18 until April 1, 2014.
OWEN SWEENEY—AP
Plug In Stereo will tour the U.S. from March 18 until April 1, 2014.

TFK:

What kind of music do you listen to in your free time?

DAHL:

John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Jason Mraz, but than "indy-er" bands such as The Shins and Modest Mouse.

TFK:

Which of your songs is your favorite to perform?  Why?

DAHL:

Right now, on this tour, my favorite song to perform is probably Home Soon, just because it reminds me of home. I talk about a lot of things that I miss and it's personal to me. That's why I like playing it.

TFK:

What can your fans look forward to next from Plug In Stereo?

DAHL:

We have a new album coming out -- I'm working on it right now.  A Little Peace came out a few weeks ago, and I'm working on a second full-length album right now, which I don't have a name for yet.  I'm writing as many songs as possible.  I'm going to do what I did with the EP — write a bunch of songs and pick my favorites.