Hailing from Wisconsin, the band Green Tea has been making their indie roots music for over ten years now with a strong following in the Midwestern U.S. Upon hearing them, fair comparisons are John Butler Trio, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and even Jethro Tull. Lead vocalist and guitarist, Trevor Roark recently shared words with me about the band’s latest project, Wake The Conscious, and about the secret to Green Tea’s longevity as a indie band.
JW: There is a certain question I have about your latest album title, Wake The Conscious. Wouldn’t it seem that those who are truly conscious are already awake, or are they? What’s the story on that in light of the songs presented on the record?
TR: You bring about the key question in much of the theme presented in the music we have put together for this record. There can be several interpretations of the meaning behind the title, but there are two that we intended to portray. One is the obvious result of drinking Green Tea in that the body/mind is woken up more than the previous consciousness before drinking the tea. The other is a bit deeper in meaning and relation. Most of us are conscious, as in awake, during the day. However, our consciousness can only be defined by our experiences and environment. Thus, one person, for example, may have lived a rewarding life surrounded many joys of the American Dream and by today’s standards, that person’s consciousness was full and rich. Yet, that person may have never woken up to some of the most troubling social distortions of our time: junk thought through meta-memes designed by big corporations. This concept sort of refers to the “ignorance is bliss” saying… It’s kind of like when Neo takes the red pill in the Matrix. In the literal sense, he was conscious before the pill, but he was not conscious of who he really was, what role he played in his “real” environment, and how the wool had been pulled over his eyes.
JW: Given that your sound has been referred to as “roots music”, did the creation of this music inspire any individual epiphanies about your own ancestry?
TR: I would have to say an unfortunate “no”. The “roots” refers to some of the World and Celtic music embedded in some of our songs. Since John Coletta and I have been performing Celtic fusion music for years it was a natural fit to elude to this traditional sound in a few tunes.
JW: Many bands that begin at college don’t make it past senior year, especially given all of the individual expectations of your time in college. Green Tea has lasted ten years so far. To what do you attribute the longevity?
TR: We’ve had evolutions of the band over the years and it has never been easy. Managing and performing in a band can sometimes be troubling as an independent, but the dedication and love for music has kept this project alive. When we get onstage and the crowd cheers or screams we’re again reminded why we put in the hours of booking, rehearsal, finance, driving, promotions, etc. It’s gotta be one of the best jobs in the World! I’m convinced it is!
Connect more with Green Tea on their website.