Trevor Hurst, the ex-lead singer of Econoline Crush, recently released his first post-Econoline disc, Wanderlust. Although the EP was co-produced by Hurst and ex-Collective Soul guitarist Ross Childress, it has yet to make a mark on the Canadian music scene, but Hurst still finds he has a lot to be thankful for.
"I've learned to appreciate every moment that you're in this business," he remarks. "With the Econoline Crush experience, I realized I need to appreciate every fan, every positive thing and embrace it. It's a blessing to be able to do this. It's something you can't take for granted."
A lot has changed since his departure from Econoline Crush. Hurst released Wanderlust on the independent label Fat Farmer Entertainment, a considerably different experience than being on a major label.
"Major labels have a lot of muscle and they throw their weight around," Hurst says. "As an indie you have a lot to overcome. You take your press, your bits of radio when you can get them and you're grateful for them. I can't give you two tickets to Celine Dion and a suite in Las Vegas if you'll spin my song. All I can say is 'I can come to your town and do my best.'"
In the last few months, this is exactly what Hurst has been doing. After touring with Thornley this fall, Hurst joined up with Theory of a Deadman to go back out east. While an artist on a major label can afford a bus and a driver to do all this extensive driving, Hurst has had to do a lot of his own grunt work.
"I've gone from zero to riding in a tour bus with Econoline and now back to riding in the van and doing it again," notes Hurst. "We have no crew. We have to carry our gear in. We count out our own merch. We do everything; every person in the band has a task to do besides just playing his instrument. It's a lot more work."
Despite these minor annoyances, Hurst is enjoying his time tremendously more than when he was on a major label. He finds going through all the hardships as a band really helps with the gelling process.
"You've been through playing at these tiny clubs where the bathroom didn't have a door on it and you had to take a crap before the show in front of all the fans," Hurst laughs. "It's stuff you live through. You can't put a price tag [on it], you can't tell somebody what that's worth or how that makes a band better."
Those trials are an element Hurst feels is missing from some manufactured bands today. Hurst was asked to be a part of the Rockstar reality show where they were searching for the new lead singer for INXS. He declined, and finds the whole process rather appalling.
"It's disgusting for me, that whole thing," he says. "No disrespect to J.D. [Fortune, the chosen new lead singer for INXS]. The guy's living his dream, I'm happy he gets to do it. [But] it's so disrespectful to Michael Hutchence. He was such a big part of INXS, if not the whole of INXS, and they go out and say 'well we can just replace him with some [guy] from the streets.' Like I said, [in an article I wrote for Chart]. If they wanted a real cool reality show, they should've taken them all out to Ayers Rock and beat them with a didgeridoo."
Though quite a strong statement, Hurst's position is understandable. The next band up for a new lead singer and degradation on the Rockstar series is '80s metal band, Van Halen, who Hurst saw as a kid back in 1984.
"There was magic with David Lee Roth," he laments. "That was something, man. That was a band. They put on a show. I've seen them with Sammy Haggar and it was like, 'oh, okay.' INXS is going to be the same way. It's just not the same magic. It's just something that goes with fighting the good fight together."
Hurst is willing to fight this good fight and will continue to work hard spreading his music. Hurst's first single, "Not Broken," has yet to find significant radio play but has been getting a lot of attention through his Myspace website. The website has also been successful at getting people out to shows and has produced unexpected, positive feedback.
"The best thing [about Myspace] is you get instant feedback about changes you've made in the show, to your attire, anything," Hurst remarks. "[The fans are] very blunt, very honest. There's that impenetrable wall of the internet space so they can say what they want and they do."
They've taken this to heart: one fan went as far as commenting about the shoes he wore at a show. Despite some fans' dislike of his choice in shoes, Hurst has the right idea about his job as a musician and is ready to do anything to ensure the show goes on.
"I don't want to be famous for being the guy that replaced the singer in INXS." he says. "I'd rather be known for 'Hey, when this guy comes to town, you've gotta go, it'll be a good time.' For that hour and a half or two hours, you're going to forget the fact that you've got some problems at home, or at your job or you're run down or whatever. That's our job as musicians, to give somebody a reprieve [from] the day to day."