Interview by: Allison Hade
Words by: Allison Hade
However, before there was Sundressed, there was Hedges – a guy who had a seemingly normal upbringing that through some terrible circumstances, resulted in drug addiction. Earlier this year Trevor took to the Sundressed Facebook page to commemorate eight years of being sober and the following details of how music helped him cope.
“During my senior year in high school, some friends and I got in a car accident while driving home from a party,” Hedges said. “Everyone was alright, but I ended up cracking my sternum and ending up in the hospital, where I was given a large prescription of pain pills to deal with the pain and help me breathe. Once I felt the high that these prescription pills offer, I really thought I had found the solution to all my problems. I could function normally while feeling totally okay in my skin. This led to abusing these pain pills until they ran out and eventually experimenting with harder drugs like cocaine, and eventually heroin. All while using these heavy drugs, I was getting straight A’s , I had a girlfriend, and my parents we’re proud of me. This was my ticket.”
He explained further, moving away from his problems wasn’t solving anything. While finding “comfort in bottle of cheap whiskey,” but still abstaining from drugs, Hedges ended up right back where he was before.
“Before I knew it, I was waking up with the shakes every morning,” Hedges said. “The only positive during this time was that a friend taught me how to play acoustic guitar and gave me my first instrument. Basically how it happened was, that I would always bug him to play bright eyes songs for me when we were drinking and one night he just said, ‘you know what, why don’t you just learn how?’ I can never thank Matthew enough for this as it became a necessity in my recovery and now my every day life. Music is everything.”
Hedges started out with a guitar writing and performing songs in and around Phoenix, Arizona citing songwriters like Elliot Smith and Ryan Adams as inspiration. One night he was invited to play a house show opening for some local punk bands and thought that, “it would be weird to have one person performing.” So, he invited friends Garrett and Forrest to play.
The night turned out better than he had anticipated and then he started writing for the three of them as a band. Pretty soon, Sundressed were making headway into becoming who they are today.
“It can change, but all the songs are written acoustically first,” Hedges said. “Once I find a melody and a line that I have a connection with the writing comes from that. One of the most difficult things transitioning from a solo project to a band is writing for the multiple pieces of the band.”
A Little Less Put Together, Sundressed’s first album released earlier this spring has been well received from fans and Spotify listeners with some songs garnering well over 70,000 listens. “Beck and Call” from The Same Condition has over 500,000 listens. Trevor was excited about the release having said, “putting out a full record, as a songwriter makes a bigger statement than you have with an EP.”
Hedges wrote more than 25 songs that were all considered for ALLPT before they selected which ones they wanted on the album and how to re work them. This was the third time that they had worked with Curtis Douglas and he wanted to give them enough time to put into the album.
“(He) gave us about 6-7 months tracking and rewriting the songs, sometimes once I have a song written its stuck in my head a certain way and that can make rewrites difficult,” Hedges said.
Hedges’ favorite song off the record is the last song, “Something Good.” He had to convince his bandmates of its place on the album, “trust me, this song is going to be the last song on the record,” and had to swing the band over to believe him. In the end, it all worked out and it is in fact the last song on the album.
Another surprise was “Feelings Mart,” an older song that was exclusively played live and never made a record appearance until now.
“It didn’t really fit the [record] done before, as it doesn’t have a pop chorus and has more layers to it,” Hedges said. “It seemed to fit really well for A Little Less Put Together.”
The album as a whole continues to have an emo, punk, pop-punk aesthetic to it and Hedges said the record comes from “focusing on dark subject matter.” Hedges wants to be absolutely transparent about the things he has been through because you never know who you might be able to help that is going through something similar.
“A lot of emo, pop punk is focusing on dark subject matter, kinda relishing in those moments instead of going through them and finding hope,” Hedges said. “You feel like you don’t have it all together and finding that everyone feels like that in a way.”