Brian: I'm DC music rocks we are shining a spotlight on the great songs, and the incredible people behind the DC regions local music scene. Justin Trawick has been a staple in the scene for as long as I have been in DC and probably more. I will never forget the moment where, my bad was starting out and yours was one of the ones that get tossed around with DC music quite a lot. Your one of those names that I have known for a while. So, working with you, and gotten advice and guidance from you and your thoughts on different things. The local music world connects with Justin. So, I have been a fan for a while, and its truly an honor and I am excited. Thanks for being with us here today man.
Justin Trawick: Was it you and me that had a 45 minute conversation in my parent's parking lot on the phone, years ago before you started doing this show.
Brian: I am laughing so hard because I definitely, if it was in your parent's parking lot I wouldn't have known because it was on the phone. It could have been, we were talking about the business. This was even before this, it think that was a Fellowcraft conversation.
Justin Trawick: But I told you that you had a good broadcast voice. Do you remember that.
Brian: I do, now that you bring that up.
Justin Trawick: And here you are, successful, you own multiple beach homes.
Brian: Oh stop it, this is not about me and my beach homes. Thanks though. Alright so lets talk about you. Now first and foremost the name Justin Trawick and the common good. And the common good what is that.
Justin Trawick: I am from Virginia, I grew up in Louisburg and went to college in Fayetteville, Virginia at Longwood University and I live in Arlington now. I am a Virginian probably more technically a northern Virginian but I am a Virginian. So when i was looking for a band name, I really wanted to somehow involve Virginia in the band name. The common wealth was already taken, Justin Trawick and the Common wealth. So looked up Common Wealth in Wikipedia and on Wikipedia the definition of common Wealth, I would have to look at it again but the definition of common wealth in Wikipedia has doing something for the common good. So Justin Trawick and the common Good is a subtle reference to Virginia.
Brian: Oh my god, a little tribute to Virginia. I love it. You said you were in Louisburg, when did you, you’re in Arlington now?
Justin Trawick: I live in Arlington, just down the street from here. We can get drunk and stumble home to my place and watch Netflix.
Brian: It sounds like such a fun evening I got to be honest. It really does. How long has it been since you came to Arlington.
Justin Trawick: I been in Arlington since 2006, I was commuting back and forth from my parents house to regular day jobs for two years after graduating college in 04. Then I moved into an apartment building down the street, of which is in about 45 days is going to ceased to exist. I got a letter from my landlord that says that your building is going to be demolished. It is no longer going to be there. So i have to figure out my life now.
Brian: Okay. You got some figuring to do. My god. In regards to figuring your life out, I wanted to ask you when did you decide to make the decision to do music full time. This is a full-time thing for you.
Justin Trawick: Yes, my last job ended in 2008.
Brian: What was it that pushed you to the edge that made you say okay I am just going to commit to this.
Justin Trawick: I got laid off.
Brian: Okay. I was like I could find another job or this music thing could work if I give it ago.
Justin Trawick: My parents defiantly wanted your first option, they wanted me to get a job. Come on, my parents were the people who, my dad had two jobs for his entire adulthood, my mother had one. That's our greatest generation, that a baby boomer generation thing. I always wanted to do music full time, I think I am actually happy that I was laid off. If I had not been laid off, I don't think that I would have had the guts to quit a job that was giving me money to show up somewhere. It's everyone's dream, it's really hard to just say I don't want money just handed to me anymore, I am going to go do my own thing. So when that choice is made for me, I kind of in about a week or two of some thinking had realized without really knowing it. I amassed enough of business of bars that I was playing, and a little bit of notoriety already that I actually could afford to pay my rent, my health insurance, my car insurance, even going on terrible dates and stuff like that on music and DC is a really great place to do that, there is a lot of money to be made as an artist as opposed to anywhere else in the country.
The government is not going out of business, there is a lot of organizations that are spending money on events. I am a working musician here and I go to places like New York and I try to get seen.
Brian: You are involved in a lot of things, not just Justin Trawick and the Common Good. You play show, and I heard people talk about the nine. Talk about the other stuff that you are doing.
Justin Trawick: The nine was right before my job ended, I was attempting to come up with a way for me and my friends to get in better venues and to get in front of more people. Some sort of collective, at the time there were two different national tours happening. There was one called the Hotel Café tour, which is Hotel café is a really famous [inaudible 00:05:49] venue in Hollywood, California. Of people that become famous from playing there. The same way people are becoming famous for playing at Rockwood, or the living room in New York. There is also something called ten out of Tenn. Which is ten people out of Tennessee, national specifically. These two tours are doing things that the Hotel Café tour were touring as all these people hanging out at Hotel Café, all friend were like why don't we just tour together. Ten out of Tenn was all these friends, big artists from Nashville touring as a big collective group. One of the best shows I seen happening was at Iota, which again if your listening we are in Arlington, Virginia. Iota is now a club that is defunked just down the street from us, it is where I got started. Very sad that is gone, one of the best shows I saw was a Ten out of Tenn. So with the Nine, I pitched the town of buyer Steve Lambert the DC Nine which is on the corner of u street and ninth street.
You know the DC9. Hey I'm looking to do a collective kind of shows, a unique kind of show structure. What if we call it the Nine at DC9. Sometimes I wish the place was called DC six, Dc Seven cause nine is a lot. But now it's like I've committed to the branding at this point, this year is my tenth year. This year we are actually planning a very big tenth anniversary show, I am talking to some of the bigger venues but I am really excited about it but the Nine has been great. Rachel Planton, which everyone knows is on the radio now has done it, Jimmy Haha from Jimmy's Chicken track has done it. I mean Adam Levy who is the guitar player for Nora Jones. The guy who plays the sweet guitar licks. Give me one reason by Tracy Chapman which you always here when you are shopping for pasta or any kind of grocery store. We have had some big people on it, and I am attempting to try and expand it.
Brian: That's amazing. When you are not doing all this stuff what are you hobbies, or interests. You mention Netflix earlier, does that mean you’re a Netflix nut, what do you do in your free time.
Justin Trawick: I play racquetball, do you play racquetball Brian because I am looking for racquetball partners.
Brian: I totally used to play racquetball.
Justin Trawick: Like used to in college?
Brian: Like meaning in college, or when I was growing up. Meaning I totally know the rules of racquetball and can play.
Justin Trawick: Were you good?
Brian: No but...
Justin Trawick: What did you call yourself a sportsman?
Brian: No, I am a recreational person. I don't think I would call it sports with the level that I played at. That's to say. For you, so there's racquetball and what else.
Justin Trawick: I mean I do like my stories. Which is kind of like what women say about their soap operas but I do like watching Netflix. I really do.
Brian: When you say I like your stories, what stories are you referring to. Like certain shows.
Justin Trawick: Well no , like did you never watch All My Children when you came home from kindergarten with your parents or with your mom specifically. Unless your dad really liked soap operas.
Brian: No, I can’t say that I did.
Justin Trawick: No, me either.
Brian: I escaped that apparently. Sadly I missed that from my childhood. I have been deprived.
Justin Trawick: So I love a good dramatic television show and I think that is because the fact that I am also an emotional songwriter. I say that as a joke like my stories, because I heard people talk about watching soap operas and they call them their stories. Truthfully, I love a good story. I really do. This is sad, but this is true. I can figure out a way to cry during a commercial. If they told the commercial really well.
Brian: That's amazing. Alright. In some time in your life I want you to watch television with Justin Trawick, because that sounds like maybe a Superbowl, with what they do with the commercials. It would be good. Tears would be involved it would be like an Emmy winning performance I'm sure.
Justin Trawick: We will just put mute when the game happens.
Brian: My favorite question to ask though, and I definitely want to ask you this is if you can offer one piece of advice what would it be.
Justin Trawick: In terms of what.
Brian: However you want to answer it. I am purposely leaving it open for you, it's a blank canvas, what advice.
Justin Trawick: I would probably say see the sunlight.
Brian: Say more.
Justin Trawick: I mean get out, it is extremely easy especially when you work for yourself. It is extremely easy to live in your cave, to live in your own world and to just forget that anything else exists. It's very easy to not socialize yourself if no one else is doing it for you. When my last day job ended, i kind of really had to learn that. I didn't learn it the hard way but I kind of started off with a handicap of really not understanding it. So again, I very often at times Brian do not see the sunlight. I can be at home, I can be working or something like that and suddenly it's six o'clock and I'm like okay I am going to play a gig.
Brian: You didn't leave the house until after it already had gone down.
Justin Trawick: No you have got to have hobbies, so I play racquetball because I meet up with my friends, I get to hear what's going on in their lives. Then I get to go back in my own world.
Brian: Alright get out and see the sun I like that. That's good advice. Okay one more time for those folks that want to find out more about you and all the stuff you have going on where do they go?
Justin Trawick: My brand new website, JustinTrawick.com. There is videos, there is t-shirts and all kinds of music.