@skopemag Q&A Featuring Tripi

We are now days away from Christmas and 2019, this is getting exciting. We have been inundtaed with holiday music this year but we love it. It is only for 1 month so its all good. Today we have Tripi on here hanging out. Tripi blends Classic Rock, Blues, Roots & Americana. He recently released a few rockin’ Christmas songs we have below via Soundcloud. So lets not delay as Santa arrives in less than 1 week.

@skopemag: Where are we talking from today and how are preparations for Christmas coming?

T: i am in my office today in Niagara Falls, NY working on the Christmas songs. Christmas prep for me is like the stock market right now, it’s a mix of ups and downs. a lot of interest in the Christmas songs…. I’ve been rehearsing, performing and releasing the music but I have not started my shopping yet and I’m getting a bit wrecked up over it.

@skopemag: How do you spend Christmas Eve & Day?

T: I usually host Christmas Eve. and we either rent a ski house in Ellicottville, NY and all take to the slopes or all get together at my house and have a loud, Italian/American music infused party with food, friends and family. Last year we did both. :)

@skopemag: What inspired you to put out some new holiday music for 2018?

T: Some of my music buddies and the ‘Hall Family’ at The Sportsmens Tavern have been hosting a Christmas event for the Blackrock food pantry for years and all the best Christmas songs were taken (six bands were performing) and i thought maybe i can take a shot at writing one. So i wrote ‘Whole Wide World’ and we added a TRIPI vibe to ‘Lil Drummer Boy’ and then I did a Rock n Roll spin on ‘Merry Christmas from the Family’ by Robert Earl Keen. So i went South and we recorded the Christmas songs at Blackbird Studios in Nashville in the Fall.

@skopemag: What is your #1 favorite holiday song and why?

T: ‘Lil Drummer Boy’ the line “then he smiled at me” is the hook for me. I thought…..this kid has nothing to give but his love through his music and that’s beautiful that he played and gave of himself, but i think the really cool thing is he was just plain happy with the smile he received from baby Jesus. We all know so many musicians, nurses, coaches, teachers and many other people who give of their talents and their love, and are happy to do so with just a little appreciation and gratitude in return. And they keep on giving. It’s amazing, this human spirit, how it gets lit. I see it everywhere.

@skopemag: How long have you been making music and have your family/friends supported your ambitions?

T: I started writing poems in Junior High School and i used to write them for the guys when i was in the Coast Guard. They would tell me their situation and i would give them lines to put in their letters’ home. I wrote letters and poetry to my Gram and Mom and years later they gave those back. :) Moms are pretty cool that way, they saved all that stuff. The first one i put to music was a song about John Lennon a couple months after he was shot. I only knew a couple songs on guitar, like Freebird (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Back in Black (ACDC) and Dream On (Aerosmith) so the song came out like a mash up of those three songs, with a story about what happened to John. I wish i had it recorded somewhere. LOL

@skopemag: I love your version of ‘Drummer Boy.’ What is it about that song that made you wanted to cover it?

T: Thank You, it’s been my favorite for a long time. There are so many great versions of the song. There’s a scene in the Movie Talladega Nights with Will Ferrell and John C Reilly. they’re praying and he says something like ‘Dear Lord Baby Jesus’ and its a really funny scene. My kids would do it every time we sat down to eat for years after seeing the movie. And about 3 or 4 years ago my drummer and i were in Nashville at Roberts Western World and we see John C Reilly get up and sing with the band and do some Cash songs and he kills. And i didn’t think about that for years until i started working on the song and ‘Hello Baby Jesus’ pops in my head. I didn’t want to turn Lil Drummer Boy into a comedy, so i started to think about what i might say to him if i was there when he was born knowing what i know now in 2018. Or if he had an inspirational coach like Tony Robbins or Les Brown whispering in his ear. i thought it would be cool if someone was beside Jesus encouraging him and cheering him on. like when he was down and feeling forsaken someone time traveled back from here to let him know what his life was going to actually do for the rest of us. I hope i did the song and more importantly the message some justice.

@skopemag: You have performed in Niagara Falls and Buffalo for many years. I must ask, how do you deal with the brutal winters?

T: Ski, Snowboard and find someone to hold.

@skopemag: What does being a musician offer your life that nothing else can compare?

T: My friend Dom captured it on video in Washington Square Park in NYC. We were playing and a lil boy 3 years old was there and he was fascinated by the music and sound. He rushed up to the stage and his Dad grabbed him and when we stopped playing i asked about him, and it turns out it was his 3rd birthday that day. So i invited him to come up and he helped me play the next song (I think we did a Lou Reed Cover) he was so happy and the crowd loved it and his Dad was beaming. His name was MARS. But the coolest part of that was my son (Vinny) was there with his cousin (Chucky) and a few other friends and they were all checking out the crowd and the scene, but Vinny was looking straight at me with this shine in his eyes and a look of pride on his face that i have never seen until i saw the video. I chokes me even now talking about it. I’ve got hundreds of moments like that.

@skopemag: What are 2 goals you want to pursue in 2019 and how will you do it?

T: I am close to being a Vegan, I’d like to go all in next year, and we found a few fans in Asheville, Nashville, Detroit, Champaign, and NYC and I want to tour Texas with some storytelling Rock n Roll and see if they would dig these songs. Maybe I’ll find a Texas Vegan Barbecue.

@skopemag: What is coming up for Tripi and where can we follow you?

T: We have some exciting things happening adding to our line up and new music and touring ahead. And diving in deeper to the Live Music Mediation scene. We will keep our fans updated at tripirocks.com. ~Tripi