I won’t lie, doing this interview was mildly terrifying and downright scary. As someone who has never given an interview or anything along the lines, a request was sent out, “I’m trying something new. I’m working with a little blog called Scene Stories NW, it focuses on musicians in the Seattle and nearby areas. I’m technically doing my first “interview” and I was wondering if you’d be interested?” And with that, I had thrown myself down the rabbit hole. Not ten minutes later, a response slip into my inbox. “I would be honored!” was all it said. Okay, step one complete, let’s move on. Eventually apologizing for my lack of experience within the field of interviewing, Mike Lewin of “Testing Trinity”, (which sound’s very ominous to say the least) was understanding and welcomed the idea of opening up. Some might have heard this Seattle based group before, or even the man himself, at locations such as Louie G’s and Studio Seven (Club Sur).
“Heavy, dynamic music with great melodies that you can head bang to!” Okay, straight to the point, solid. One might ask what this group has to offer, which currently is limited to a 9 song, self titled EP, that was released October of 2017. The first display of what this group could achieve was stunning, from the calming and serious vocal lines, to the deep, grooving drum tone, songs such as Priviation, Privileged Lies, and a personal favorite of not only my own, Empty Houses.
Typing with mild uncertainty and fear, the first of my questions were sent to the void for answering, and did they get answered.
SSNW: What would you say started you down the path to becoming the musician you are today?
Mike Lewin [ML]: My first love of music began during the 90’s grunge era, when I latched onto the melodies and raw energy of groups such as Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Rancid. When I was 13 my best friend and I thought that “Hey, we could totally do that too!” so he bought a bass, I bought a guitar and we started our first band. It was around this time that I first heard Megadeth and was blown away – I had no idea that music could be that heavy, technical, and melodic all at the same time! I spent a summer in my room learning how to play most of Megadeth and Metallica’s discographies, and was never the same
SSNW: What do you feel is the best song you’ve released with your current project?
ML: There is a song that we released on our first album called “Empty Houses” that I think is the best representation of Testing Trinity: heavy, groovy, melodic, and dynamic. It was the first song that let everyone’s individual strengths shine while still being a cohesive band effort. To this day, I think it is one of Mel’s (vocalist) most catchy melodic efforts and Oof’s (bassist) most flavorful achievement. Seriously, listen to the bassline during the chorus!
SSNW: Speaking of current projects, you’re working with Testing Trinity. Where did the naming stem from?
ML: The name comes from the Trinity Test which was the first nuclear bomb detonation that was conducted by the United States Army in 1945 before the end of WW2.
SSNW: Can we possibly expect a full length album from Testing Trinity in 2019?
ML: While there are no immediate plans for a full length album, we are currently working on a 3-4 song EP. The bass and drums are already done, so we’re working hard on getting the guitars and vocals finalized for a summer 2019 release.
SSNW: If you could play any genre (and be entirely successful at) what would you play?
ML: I would be bored with any genre other than heavy metal, specifically, the stuff that I do with TT. I am extremely fortunate to play the music that I love with a group of people that I love and admire. To be able to be successful would just be the icing on the cake.
SSNW: Do you have any pre/post show traditions that you follow?
ML: Pre-show tradition: beer. Post-show tradition: beer. Haha
SSNW: Again, with shows, is there any upcoming ones that you’re particularly excited for?
There is a show coming up in June, that I’m not at liberty to discuss just yet, that we are extremely excited for. The venue, lineup, and details of the show are all important to the scene and we are honored to be a part of it. As soon as the specifics are ironed out, we will be heavily promoting it.
SSNW: What group of band would you want to play a show with the most?
ML: I would love to play a show with some of the bands that I have been heavily influenced by: Faith no More, Megadeth, or Opeth. There are also some great local bands that we haven’t played with yet that are on my wish list to share the stage with – After the Fallout are a highly talented group that does headbanging heavy metal in the vein of Unearth and Trivium. Great riffs, solos, and an awesome group of people. Slam Shifter is another group that I would love to play with. They are possibly the best local band in their vein of heavy music – extremely dynamic, tight and groovy – they are a hidden gem in the local scene, check them out! Lastly, Arisen from Nothing is a amazing group with a similar style to Testing Trinity, but heavier, that I would love to share the stage with.
SSNW: What would you say to up and coming musicians in the Seattle scene?
ML: Every group works differently and has varying interpersonal dynamics, but what has worked best for me and Testing Trinity is to make sure that we are passionate about what we do. Each members’ voice and opinion is important so we are all willing to compromise to ensure that the end result is something that we all enjoy.
SSNW: Following the line of the Seattle scene, how long have you been a part of it, and what was your favorite memory?
ML: I first joined the scene around 2002 with a prog band called Lyranthe, then moved onto a thrash band called Solace in Black before joining Testing Trinity. There are so many great memories with Solace in Black that I couldn’t narrow them down to one specific moment, but some of the best that come to mind are “Dick Darts”, “Bubba Chang’s white trash/Asian fusion eatery”, and “Cocaine Island”. The people that know us already know the details of the hilarity that ensued, and those that don’t are missing out on some of the greatest drunken times that fives guys can get have together.
SSNW: Is there anything you’d like to showcase or say to those that are fans-to-be?
ML: We love making and meeting new fans and hope that you might give us a listen and share the love. Testing Trinity is primarily a heavy metal band, but our unique mixture of influences keeps the music interesting and diverse: Mel’s vocals are very catchy and melodic due to the grunge era and 70’s-80’s pop influence, Dan and my guitars are thrash and prog based, Oof’s basslines are smooth and cohesive in the vein of funk and reggae, and Shannon’s drums are heavily punk influenced. We are active on all social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and if you would like to hear what we have to offer, our album is available on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, and Google Music. You can also stream our music for free on our website www.testingtrinity.net along with bios, photos, and details on upcoming shows.