The Artist Explains: Trenton - 'Not The Road'

Trenton talks us through his intimate, artfully crafted visuals for ‘Not The Road’ which lyrically offers reassurance, hope and expresses the gratitude found in overcoming life’s hardships.

Where was the video for 'Not The Road' filmed?
In Ry Cox’s backyard. We didn’t have much of a budget, so we had to rely on minimal resources and creativity. Ry Cox, the director, came up with the whole idea and concept for the video.

How does the video connect with the song?
The first line of the song “A face I adore’d dissolved into an endless grey…” sets the mood for the black and white (the grey-ness) of it all. There’s a sense of loss... but then also a redemptive quality with how the light shines through the trees and the free movement of the smoke. Also just the simple idea of a person alone with their thoughts and emotions, sorting it all out.

Do you have any behind the scenes stories you could share with us?
We used smoke grenades for this video. The only colours we had on hand were bright purple and neon green. If this video was in colour, it would probably look like something out a circus horror film. Ry’s brother, Andrew, was behind the scenes the whole time waving around purple and green smoke grenades like a champ. The neighbours were terrified because the smoke was wafting into their yards.

Could you tell us about the ideas/ themes/ imagery used?
The goal was to convey a sense of vulnerability. There’s no one else appearing in the video. Just me dancing around like a mental patient in the woods. I don’t know if it gets much more vulnerable than that. When Ry told me that his idea was going to involve me dancing around in a cloud of smoke, I had to mentally prepare. It’s not easy to turn the jumbotron in your own head off and let your whole body move to a song you’ve written without judging yourself … Fortunately, my comfort level with both Ry and Andrew is pretty high. So it was mostly pure feeling put into movement without thinking too much about it. I don’t know if I could’ve pulled that off in front of anyone else.

Is there a message the video is trying to convey?
The video is a feeling piece. There’s no straight forward story, but my hope is that it somehow conveys a sense of hope in dark times. There’s a lot of collective insanity going on in the world, but the idea is that we’re all working through our own individual feelings of grief, loss, or fear… and in that way no one is really alone. Any hurt from the past isn’t who you are and it doesn’t have to define you. You can look back and just be grateful for everything that has brought you to this point in life, and dance right through the grey.

Interview feature by Karla Harris