Trent Renshaw is a local musician with a full plate. He currently performs in various projects, including: Trent Renshaw & Friends, The KB Project, Mudcracker & the Beat, and the Backroads Band. He lives and works in Hagerstown, MD, as well as travels wherever his music takes him. In addition to studying with some impressive names in percussion, he has aligned himself with a similarly talented gang of local musicians. His journey has been built upon a framework of creativity, perseverance, and self-actualization—and a whole lot of music. The wisdom he has gained from it all is definitely worth sharing. It took us a while to track him down, but it was certainly worth the wait.
YEP: You’re very talented and could work and play just about anywhere; why have you chosen the tri-state area as your place to pursue music?
Renshaw: I wouldn’t say I’ve necessarily chosen the area for any reason other than it’s where I’m from and where most of my family lives. I enjoy the proximity to major markets that the area provides without living in a metropolitan area. I like the open spaces of the country more than the city atmosphere. Also, I’ve built up a network of musicians and venues that I really like working with in the area, and feel like I’m adding to the artistic community that is here.
YEP: What does it mean to you to make a living doing what you love?
Renshaw: I am truly blessed, and I think about the fact that I can do what I love all the time. Although I’ve worked hard on my craft, my teaching practice, and have made personal sacrifices along the way, I feel very lucky to do what I do. It’s not easy and it’s a lot of work, but at the end of the day, I’m in total control of my career, and that’s a very good feeling in times like these.
YEP: What advice do you have for people seeking a career in music, as well as simply seeking a life doing what they love?
Renshaw: I tell students to never stop learning—no matter what. Learning holds the key for your personal growth, and if you stop growing as an artist, then it’s very difficult to say new things or be creative. You have to be willing to give yourself completely to what you do to get anywhere with it. If you have an idea you’re trying to follow, then become that thing—never let it go.
YEP: Chasing dreams is a tough road; what have you learned about yourself, and life, along the way?
Renshaw: The road I am on is a singular path, and I can’t turn off of it for anyone or anything. If I stay on the road long enough, I’ll get to a place I want to be. Chasing my dream has taken dedication on my part, and support from those around me. I am blessed to have family and friends who understand what I am trying to accomplish. I have gotten strength from these relationships and used that strength to better myself. Mostly, I’ve learned a lot about acceptance. I have to accept who and where I am as an artist, and the world will accept what I’m putting out and find value in it.
YEP: If you had a chance to do it over, would you change anything?
Renshaw: I wouldn’t change a thing. I have definitely made my share of mistakes, but that makes me human. I think that there is a synchronicity to life. After being on this planet for thirty-four years, there have been too many coincidences, and I wouldn’t want to have missed anything that I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of. I have really benefited from some chance encounters and opportunities that have been afforded to me, and those relationships have helped me too much to be random.
YEP: You must take a lot of inspiration from these encounters; what motivates you to keep moving in such a positive direction?
Renshaw: In short, growth. I am striving to be a better performer and teacher, and to do that, I have to keep learning and growing. Music is a communication between the players and the audience. You have to have a vocabulary, musically, that makes sense, and that the audience can understand. I am always pushing myself to build my vocabulary. My motivation also comes from my family. I have a daughter who is the light of my life, and I want to show her what is possible when you hold on to the things that are important to you.
Take a listen to Trent and The KB Project:
YEP: Who are you listening to at the moment: locally and not-so-locally?
Renshaw: As a drummer, I have pretty big ears, musically. I mean, I listen to a lot of different styles of music. Locally: The Boro Boogie Pickers, The Hello Strangers, Mightychondria, and The Tonehounds, to name a few. These groups are friends, as well, and there are more local artists that I support but I thought I’d give you some of my favorites. On a more national level, I listen to mostly jazz groups and artists. Jazz is my passion and I’d say that most of my music library is devoted to my collection of it, old and new. I like all music. I am currently into Wicked Knee, Medeski Martin and Wood, The Bad Plus, Brad Mehldau, and Keith Jarrett’s trio—to give you an idea of what I like. Incidentally, the first two groups are ones that my current teacher plays in, and I really like everything he does.
YEP: You’re a busy man; what do you do in the area to relax and “get away” from it all—and, if you don’t mind, where can we see you next?
Renshaw: To be honest, there really is no getting away from it. I love what I am doing and don’t need a break from my instrument or helping others to understand it. That said, I do enjoy spending time with my lovely fiance and our daughter. I also enjoy being outdoors in all seasons, and think that this area has a lot to offer in that way. I enjoy the mountains, and have been snowboarding for the last thirteen winters—locally, and on the East Coast. I have some exciting shows coming up in the next couple months and always appreciate anyone that wants to enjoy live local music. I will be performing at Bulls & Bears in Hagerstown, on October 28th and November 11th. I’ll be at the Mecklenburg Inn in Shepherdstown, WV, on November 12th, and at Maloo’s in Hagerstown, MD, on November 18th. You can always see my event listings on my website and learn a little more about the various groups that I’m currently performing with.
Stay up-to-date, listen to music, learn more about Trent, and get the dates for more live shows:
Trent’s website: TrentRenshawDrums.com
Follow Trent on Twitter: @TrentRenshaw
Friend Trent on: Facebook
Visit The KB Project on: Facebook
Check out The KB Project on: Reverbnation