Interview: John and Linda Trinckes
John and Linda Trinckes have just released a new album,
Q: What was your introduction to music? How old were you, and how did it affect you?
Linda: My introduction to music was singing in the church choir starting at the age of six or seven. Then it was duets with my sister for family and friends; as a teen I sang with various groups.
John: My mother insisted that I take piano lessons, so it was off to music lessons with the nuns. I learned very quickly to avoid the ruler across the knuckles for playing the wrong note. My high school band director needed a tuba play and then a string bass player so I was enlisted to cover those spots. I got my BM and MM in Music at Youngstown State University and completed a 38 year teaching career about 6 years ago. Throughout the years I played with numerous groups ranging from rock to disco to a Polish Polka band.
Q: Did you grow up in a musical environment?
Linda: Yes. My Father was a very talented musician who played the guitar and sang.
John: My mom’s family were all musicians so I grew up around lots of musicians.
Q: What styles of music had the greatest impact on you?
Linda: I was influenced by many styles. When I was younger I liked country, pop and dance music and as I’ve grown older I am drawn to smooth jazz and easy listening.
John: Classical music was a major influence early on. I’ve always been drawn to Broadway and Show tunes; smooth jazz and big band have also been a major influence.
Q: How would you describe your musical style?
We have our own unique style the is a little bit old style jazz but with an updated twist. We try to have the listener feel that they are experiencing our performance live.
Q: When did you learn to write songs and what was that process like?
John: Linda writes the beautiful lyrics and I get to create the music to bring them to life. Linda had a background as a published poet and writer. I have alway dabbled in creating music and arranging, so it is only natural to put Linda’s poems and writing to music. I start with Linda’s lyrics and that inspires the music.
Q: Not only are you two a duo but a married couple as well. How did you two meet?
John: Life takes strange turns. Both Linda and I had lost our spouses about a year before we met. We both gave a dating site a try and within a short time we met we have never been apart since them. We have been together 3 1/2 years now. We began singing together as soon as we met, first covers and then Linda showed me her poems (many that were written for the beautiful soft sculptured teddy bears and animals that she creates) and some love poems that she had published. We have been creating our songs ever since. We now have 13 albums and 3 singles. They cover several genres including contemporary christian, folk, country rock, easy listening, and smooth jazz. One of our most listened to albums is an album of Teddy Bears and Doll songs. Our trip to Ireland last year inspired our EP album of Art Songs.
Q: What artists influenced you the most growing up?
John: The Beatles had a great influence, but I’ve alway enjoyed jazz and big band artists.
Linda: I liked the old style “crooners”. I actually like the jazz and blues singers like Billy Holiday, Sara Vaughn and Peggy Lee.
Q: How have you evolved creatively?
John: We started with our Christian music and folk music. We have moved into more of the smooth jazz and easy listening. We had our first album recorded and mixed in a local studio. It was not to the standard that we felt reflected our style and taste. Since then, we have written, arranged, recored and mixed all of our music at home. I record all the music tracks playing all the instruments. Linda provides the lead vocals. We both do the final mix and editing to create a sound that we feel best reflect our musical style.
Q: Was it a challenge coming up with original Christmas songs?
John: As with any original music you want to make it new and different but still something that will become Christmas Classics that will be played year after year, and be loved.
Q: What inspired the new Xmas record?
John: Our love of smooth jazz and our love of Christmas. (Our house already has the Christmas trees up and decorated). Linda’s hand sculpted Santa’s, Dolls and Bears decorate the house. Her paintings adorn the walls throughout the house. John’s handmade harps, guitars, basses, and cajon drums are adorned with garland to give them a festive flavor.