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Singer/songwriter Trevor Hall has taken a leaf out of George Harrison's book and lived in India for the past four years, seeking spiritual truths and musical inspiration—concepts that aren't exactly mutually exclusive. He's incorporated lessons from his spiritual journey into the reggae-infused songs on his new album, Everything, Everytime, Everywhere, which he says is named after a particularly profound lesson from an Indian teacher.
Hall lives with Buddhist and Hindu monks in an Orange County temple, which he asked us to not identify, during the rare moments he's not globetrotting on tours or looking for the meaning of life. A rather dreamy-sounding Hall spoke to us from the road and enlightened us on some of the concepts behind his new album.
OC Weekly: What's it like living in a temple?
Trevor Hall: It is the hardest time of my life and also the greatest. You learn a lot about yourself. A lot of things come out of yourself that you never knew were there. You have to work through that. At the same time you're always around a really positive and healthy environment. There are vibrations going around that are really, really positive. You're constantly learning about these ideas. They're inspiring. I was never short of inspiration to write music. It was awesome but it was also very hard.
What are some of those ideas you learned?
One thing is not to believe everything you think. It sounds easy, but 99.9 percent of the time, everything you're thinking and what you think is really happening is not the case.If you do believe everything you think, it gets you in a lot of trouble.
Another thing is there are all these practices out there today in the world—New Age-y things and all that stuff. Some are pretty out there. I don't doubt that those practices are good or bad, but sometimes we get caught up in these things, and we have to be this person that is all loving. When we find out we're not that person, we can really beat ourselves up. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others also. You have to love yourself first. Just be a good person. Don't try to get caught up in these certain things, you know? Try to be simple and clean. It's a lot harder than we think.
What does Everything, Everytime, Everywhere mean to you?
I was in India last December and I was sitting with a teacher of mine just talking about how hard it is to keep your spiritual stance in tough environments. I asked him what I could do to hold on to that and he said, "Be everything, every time, everywhere," meaning spirit is in everything all the time everywhere you go. So if you have that mentality then it won't be so difficult. The album is about that journey of trying to get to that place and the journey of holding on to that place and what that place is going to be like when you get there.
Do you have a specific message you try to get across in your songs?
No, not so much. I say what's on my mind and in my heart. Whatever people want to take from that [is] their decision. I don't have any control of that.
This column appeared in print as "Make Me One With Everything."