Trapdoor Social
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Trapdoor Social

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Rock

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

May
07
Trapdoor Social @ Hotel Utah

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA

Jun
01
Trapdoor Social @ Make Music Pasadena, Oakland and Union Ave

Pasadena, California, USA

Pasadena, California, USA

May
18
Trapdoor Social @ World Fest 2013, Woodley Park, 6350 Woodley Ave, Lake Balboa CA

Lake Balboa, California, USA

Lake Balboa, California, USA

Music

Press


If you told me 10 years ago that “eco-friendly” touring would be possible, I probably would have chuckled a bit. But here we are, 10 years later, and the future has come through L.A. rock-outfit Trapdoor Social. In the short time these boys have been together, not only have they accomplished cross-country touring, and self-releasing two (yes, two) EPs, they are also championing a new era of environmentally friendly touring, all on their own. They're calling it “eco-touring,” which the band's co-founder and co-lead vocalist, Merritt Graves, talks about in our interview below. But first, watch the exclusive new premiere of their music video "Fine On My Own," featuring tons of awesome tour footage!

It is also necessary to mention that even with their incredibly packed schedules, these ambitious rockers wasted no time in helping raise almost $8,000 to help a Colorado high school marching band’s underfunded arts program. “Sometimes, you think that ‘Oh this would be crazy to do,’ but when you think about it more, it’s too crazy not to do,” Merritt notes when recalling the no-brainer decision to help the program. They even had the marching band featured on their track “Fine On My Own,” which Bandsintown is excited to exclusively premiere below.

I got a chance to hop on a call with Merritt where we talked about music, stories from the road with the rest of the band, and why the environment means so much to Trapdoor Social.

Tell us a little bit about your band and how you guys met.

We started the band about three and a half years ago. Our other singer Skylar [Funk] and I met at Pomona College in the Environmental Analysis program there. From there, we shared interests in music, but what really drew us together was our environmental studies and we both wanted to start a project that we could share our environmental activism by using music as a platform to connect people that wouldn’t normally relate to environmental issues.

I also heard about this insanely cool trailer you guys made that allows you to tour eco-friendly, can you describe what that’s about?

For us, it’s such a super practical thing, because we go on tour and we can’t always find venues to do all age shows. Which is a logistical hang-up for us because some of our fans aren’t 21 yet, and we can’t reach them when we are in their town if they don’t let them in. So we thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to put on our own show?” The trailer runs on solar energy and is basically a generator we can use anywhere. The trailer not only has a practical usage about it, by allowing us to reach all our fans and put on our own shows, but it also has a symbolic side to it. It really ties in our band's purpose, our lyrics, our fundraisers, and tech stuff we’ve done. It is sort of a visual that ties our band together.

How has touring over the years changed you guys from when you first started off to at this point in your careers?

I think we’ve definitely become a lot closer. It’s one of those things where, you know, some bands manage together because they get paid enough to almost tolerate each other. But where the situation is now for us, we are going around in a van that doesn’t have air conditioning going up hills. [Laughs] You really got to love each other and enjoy spending time together, otherwise it’s just not sustainable. One of the most amazing things for me is just getting closer with the guys and being sure that these are the people that I want to be in the trenches with. [Laughs]

Kind of going off touring and the road, have there been any cool, weird, or funny stories that you guys can share?

Louie Gonzalez: Oh I’ll start with this one! Eyal our drummer had this cup and it was filed with coffee. After awhile, he didn’t want the coffee anymore, he just wanted the milk, so he was on the passenger side of the car and he thought he could just roll down the window and throw the coffee outside of the car. But, we were going so fast that when he threw the coffee out the window, the wind just backfired on him and the coffee just exploded on his face. Skylar was in the seat behind him and it was wet all over him, his laptop, and backpack. It was such a mess, but hilarious cause I was sitting two seats behind him and all I see is Eyal all black from the coffee all over his face.

Patrick Griffen: I think it is also good to note that Eyal is always prepping food while driving. Like he is always trying to make sandwiches or eat something. It was just so funny that he seems to always be involved with food. Another story that also comes to mind was my first time playing with these guys in Vancouver. We were driving up and Merritt actually couldn’t do the show with us because he had forgotten his passport. So we had to go and do this show without Merritt and come back down to Boston. We had such a good time, we met a bunch of people at a tattoo shop and played at a BBQ on their roof. When we had gotten back to the van after the show, we had found out that our van had been broken into. We had so many important things in the van, all of our laptops, backpacks, luggage, and all kinds of stuff. Somebody broke open the door and stole one of our backpacks and actually took the cheapest laptop out of the bag and that was the only thing they took. They left all the other laptops and it was so weird because they took out Skylar’s passport from the bag and left it in the van. So whoever broke into our van was really, like, respectful. [Laughs]And it was the first time we had been robbed and we were in Canada and you expect Canada to have nicest people, and they are! Even when they rob you! [Laughs]

Where are you guys at right now? As far as what is to come and what you guys are doing now.

We’ve done a few shows here and there, and a short tour out West, but basically we are working on the new album right now. I’m also writing a book and we are doing a soundtrack for the book, which is super exciting to me because we’ve already done some demos of songs and it just feels like it’s becoming alive. The whole idea is that the music and the words are kind of fused together.

So we have your video for you guys’ track “Fine On My Own” premiering on here and what’s really cool is that it’s a sort of compilation of all your tour footage, almost like taking us on the adventure too. Can you talk about what went into making the video?

We had all this GoPro footage and touring footage from one of our tours and we wanted to do something with all of it. Everyone is filming now and capturing these moments, and we noticed it started accumulating, so as we were going through it, we were remembering different moments and different times, just having a laugh from it. We started pulling out the parts that were really memorable and then assembled them into a scrapbook of memories then put our song “Fine On My Own” over it. It was a lot of fun. - Bandsintown


After meeting in the Environmental Analysis program at Pomona College, Merritt Graves and Skylar Funk got together to save the world by being involved with Farmscape and Agrisaurus to promote awareness around solar and other renewable energy. However, the sing-along alt-pop songs they write together as Trapdoor Social would never have you thinking about such a serious mission. With Death Cab For Cutie’s Jason McGerr playing drums on their self-released “Death of a Friend” EP, songs are anthemic with an energy bursting somewhere between Jimmy Eat World and the Killers. Oh, and their music videos, such as the Arie Hovenkamp-directed clip for “Away,” will draw more fans of the TV show “Workaholics” and a Medieval Times dinner rather than any environmentalists. - See more at: http://buzzbands.la/2013/02/21/ears-wide-open-trapdoor-social/#sthash.cXbbHeO2.dpuf - Buzzbands LA


Los Angeles quartet Trapdoor Social is more than just a band—they use their platform to raise awareness of environmental issues and arts education. And while that sort of philanthropy is all well and good, it’s only the cherry on top of the alt-pop sundae that is Trapdoor Social. The band’s new album, Download My Dream, is actually two separate EPs’ worth of B-sides, with the band’s two songwriters Merritt Graves and Skylar Funk each contributing half. The band explains:

“Trapdoor Social is an amalgamation of our writing styles, but these albums were ways for Skylar and Merritt to each tell their own stories with songs that didn’t quite fit into the larger collection. Working together usually yields the most exciting, unanticipated results, but it can also blunt the individual vision—and this was a way to give those visions an outlet.” - Substream Magazine


Trapdoor Social is a new band from LA that consists of Merritt Graves and Skylar Funk (his real family name). They will be hitting the airwaves near you in 2013. The band’s first EP Death Of A Friend is now out, and you may have already come across “Away” via ESPNU’s sports programming. The whistling intro immediately made me think of The Drums’ “Let’s Go Surfing”, and about two-thrids of the way into “Away”, the heavy guitar break and the following complex vocals hit me by surprise, and helped show me what this very commercial band is capable of. I’d love to know what you guys think of the track or anything else about the band. - Blah Blah Blah Science


Trapdoor Social is a duo from the Los Angeles area. Merritt Graves and Skylar Funk met because they both were in an Environmental Analysis program at Pomona College. They explain that the concern for the environment is channeled into the music, which they describe as “a driving, emotive alt-pop experience.”
The whistling that starts the song “Away” initially brought our attention to Trapdoor Social, but it’s the music as a whole that maintains that attention. We’ve been a little more alert to whistling since we saw the group “Bad Books” and the front man stated that they wouldn’t have incorporated whistling into the song “Forest Whitaker” had they known how difficult it is to whistle during a live performance. Just two weeks ago, we went to a concert in which a singer had to switch to an alternative approach because he couldn’t duplicate the whistling in the song “5 Years Time” by Noah and the Whale (Now, there’s a great illustration of a song not requiring any complexity to be interesting).

Quid pro quo (Is it appropriate to use Latin when the Pope is stepping down? If not, we meant to say, “Something for Something”). There isn’t an actual connection between the two, but Trapdoor Social is allowing free downloads of much of their music and is in a KROQ runoff in which we can help raise the visibility of the band if we vote for their song over songs of other artists. In the KROQ runoff, there are a number of interesting songs, but we did truthfully vote for the Trapdoor Social song – “Like You Never." The KROQ voting occurs at CLICK HERE FOR KROQ. To be fair, we emphasize that Trapdoor Social is not offering free downloads as enticement for your vote. - Indie Obsessive


Explosively emotional and fun as hell, Trapdoor Social is an eclectic band of indie rock and pop influence that get better and better the more you listen to them. The L.A. based band’s first EP Death of a Friendwas released in November of 2012 and the EP’s first track, “Away”, was the perfect choice for an introduction to the band. With influences from Death Cab For Cutie and Muse, Trapdoor Social are insanely fun and have crafted a song in “Away” that fills listeners with the entirety of the song and makes the song infectious.

Starting in a cheerful whistle, the song gradually elaborates and grows into powerful verses and a hook that encourages singing along; “Hit the gas and drive it / like you stole the thing / The melody's alive so / let me hear you sing” “Leave it all behind and / run away with me / OHH WAAAYY AAHHH”. “Away” preaches carefree exhilaration and liberation from life’s troubles and it totally works. Such a message has been seen in many, many songs since the dawn of the Industrial Age, but Trapdoor Social, with their vibrantly unique sound, redesigns and gets to the heart of the message. It’s fantastic.

In addition to being amazing performers and song writers, Trapdoor Social is heavily involved with green technology companies Farmscape and Agrisaurus, and in the development of an awareness campaign around solar and other renewable energy. While participating in all this, Trapdoor Social is also now on tour for those lucky people able to attend. The band will continue to be on tour until mid-March but then they’ll leave us all craving more music and - Rock NYC


California-based duo Trapdoor Social are here to save the world. Literally. Members Merritt Graves and Skylar Funk met as students at Ponoma College’s Environmental Analysis program, and their concern for the planet has spilled over into their music.

“Unfortunately, climate change has become a large source to draw from musically,” says Merritt. ”We try to take our anxiety over it and transfer it into a sonic medium.”

“But we do it in different ways,” says Skylar. “Merritt channels his frustration when he writes, while I draw a lot more from empathy. I think it would be pretty boring if we weren’t so different of people.” Such differences have informed Trapdoor Social’s Death of A Friend EP. Released late last year, the album revels in a giddy blend of driving rock and melodic pop influenced by groups like Muse and Death Cab For Cutie, Cutie’s drummer Jason McGerr even playing on the EP.

Check out Trapdoor Social’s latest single “Away,” here. - Indies and the Underground


The guys in Trapdoor Social might be the first environmental analysts-turned-pop stars. Merritt Graves and Skylar Funk (how is this not already someone's porn name?) met at Pomona College in Southern California in the Environmental Analysis program. In between studying solar and other renewable energies, and getting all Captain Planet and shit, the boys made music. Death of a Friend is their debut EP, released in December, on which the rollicking "Away" is featured. - The Pop Sucker


Anthemic, catchy indie from LA. - Alfitude


Trapdoor Social, a promising, alternative/pop/rock duo based in Los Angeles, has won the SongwriterUniverse “Best Song Of The Month” Contest for December, for their song “Away" (written by mostly by Skylar Funk, with Merritt Graves and producer Curt Schneider). This song is included on the group's debut 6-song EP Death Of A Friend, which was released independently in November (2012).

“Away” is a modern, high energy alt./pop song which is very catchy. The intro sets the tone with some fun whistling, and then by the chorus a full-band sound kicks in with strong guitar tracks. The lead vocals are capably sung by Merritt Graves, with hooky harmony vocals by Graves and Skylar Funk. This recording was expertly produced in Los Angeles by Curt Schneider, who has worked with Jason Mraz, Five For Fighting, Natasha Bedingfield and others.

Skylar Funk grew up near Seattle, WA, and Merritt Graves is from Iowa City. They met at Pomona College in Southern California, where they both majored in Environmental Analysis, and developed a mutual interest in promoting renewal energy. They also started writing songs together.

After graduating, they moved to Los Angeles and formed Trapdoor Social in November 2011. "We started writing and went into the studio with Curt Schneider in January (2012)," said Funk. "We posted some music online in the spring, and we've put a band together—our first live show was in July."

Funk wrote "Away" with Merritt and Schneider right before they went into the studio. "The song is about breaking free from the monotony or an oppressive reality," he explained. "'Away' is a song that hopefully can inspire people to break out of the daily grind and cut loose."

Notably, Funk & Graves have produced a highly entertaining, festive video of "Away." "Arie Hovenkamp directed the video—the three of us came up with the video concept, and we hired a dozen actors and got a dozen extras to help us out. We're also working on a video for our song, 'Like You Never.'"

In addition to filming these videos and performing shows with their band, Funk & Graves have returned to the studio to begin recording their next EP. "We want to release a new EP in a few months," said Funk. "Also, we've been developing our live show in L.A. and we played a show at the Hotel Cafe. Eventually, we'd like to do a college tour; we're starting to get good airplay from some college radio stations."
- Songwriter's Universe


Trapdoor Social, a promising, alternative/pop/rock duo based in Los Angeles, has won the SongwriterUniverse “Best Song Of The Month” Contest for December, for their song “Away" (written by mostly by Skylar Funk, with Merritt Graves and producer Curt Schneider). This song is included on the group's debut 6-song EP Death Of A Friend, which was released independently in November (2012).

“Away” is a modern, high energy alt./pop song which is very catchy. The intro sets the tone with some fun whistling, and then by the chorus a full-band sound kicks in with strong guitar tracks. The lead vocals are capably sung by Merritt Graves, with hooky harmony vocals by Graves and Skylar Funk. This recording was expertly produced in Los Angeles by Curt Schneider, who has worked with Jason Mraz, Five For Fighting, Natasha Bedingfield and others.

Skylar Funk grew up near Seattle, WA, and Merritt Graves is from Iowa City. They met at Pomona College in Southern California, where they both majored in Environmental Analysis, and developed a mutual interest in promoting renewal energy. They also started writing songs together.

After graduating, they moved to Los Angeles and formed Trapdoor Social in November 2011. "We started writing and went into the studio with Curt Schneider in January (2012)," said Funk. "We posted some music online in the spring, and we've put a band together—our first live show was in July."

Funk wrote "Away" with Merritt and Schneider right before they went into the studio. "The song is about breaking free from the monotony or an oppressive reality," he explained. "'Away' is a song that hopefully can inspire people to break out of the daily grind and cut loose."

Notably, Funk & Graves have produced a highly entertaining, festive video of "Away." "Arie Hovenkamp directed the video—the three of us came up with the video concept, and we hired a dozen actors and got a dozen extras to help us out. We're also working on a video for our song, 'Like You Never.'"

In addition to filming these videos and performing shows with their band, Funk & Graves have returned to the studio to begin recording their next EP. "We want to release a new EP in a few months," said Funk. "Also, we've been developing our live show in L.A. and we played a show at the Hotel Cafe. Eventually, we'd like to do a college tour; we're starting to get good airplay from some college radio stations."
- Songwriter's Universe


L.A. Indie Band, Trapdoor Social, is an amazing group that is bringing something refreshing to the music industry. The duo commits time, energy, and the message of their content to environmental work - promoting renewable energy - which definitely sets them apart from many of the other bands currently out in the music scene. Check out our recent spotlight with the two singers, who spoke candidly about their quest to bring their music to the masses. Enjoy!

Isaac: Thank you for being a part of our weekly music interview spotlights. Let’s get started. The Indie Music Industry is an amazing beast. Many music critics have stated that Indie Music is on the rise with many new performers being discovered each day. Do you believe that indie music artists can rise to the level of stardom that their major music studio counterparts are able to now?

TDS: Though the odds aren’t great, I think it is possible for some artists to thrive on an independent path, and part of the reason is they have the artistic freedom to do exactly their own unique style of art.

Isaac: What do you feel has been your biggest contribution you have made to Indie Music Industry thus far in your career?

TDS: As independent artists, we're proud to be doing exactly what we want to and letting the chips fall as they may. Though I think the most interesting addition we bring to the field is being activists. We both did environmental studies in college, and now we’re doing our best to champion renewable energy and be a force for change.

Isaac: I am interested to know if you could go back and change anything about your own musical career, what would it be and why?

TDS: We try to go as hard as we can every day, but I think there’s always that question of, “What if we had just gone a little harder?” One of our biggest goals as people is not to give ourselves grounds to think that thought.

Isaac: I am curious to know do you feel that the music industry as a whole is surrounded by an endless pool of undiscovered talents or overcrowded with mediocre performers.

TDS: Easier access to production and distribution tools means you get more of both of those. The tricky part is that the tools for new music discovery have not kept pace with the ones for production and distribution, so there is undiscovered talent out there, but it’s not necessarily easy to find.




Isaac: Are you currently signed with any of the Indie Music Labels? If not, what are you looking for in any music label that you hope will complement your music?

TDS: We are not signed - we’ve built our own team that has gotten us this far. We do have an open mind to working with a label, but it would have to be an arrangement where they help us market and promote, and not reshape us into something we’re not. Making music becomes meaningless if you don’t have the freedom to make music that gives you meaning.

Isaac: What do you feel are the biggest challenges for you to bring your music to the masses?

TDS: The declining value of musical IP (intellectual property) has reduced the amount of dollars that flow into the musical ecosystem and thus decreased investment into that ecosystem. So there's a lot of work to do before the job ever pays. It is also hard to reach first time listeners. Hopefully, when we get the chance we can make (and keep) fans, but for now we are one of a million acts clamoring for a piece of the attention pie. Especially in Los Angeles - there are lots of people here trying to do what we are trying to do.

Isaac: One of the best attributes for any performer to possess is tenacity. What is your professional and/or personal drive that has made you continue to make great music over the years?


Trapdoor Social
Photo by: Nick Leitner

TDS: Well, we haven’t been at it for too long yet, but we’re in it for the long haul. One must keep in mind that the best work isn’t always the first product - or the second or third, for that matter. We know that if we keep at for long enough, we will create something seriously unforgettable and that is a great motivating force to just keep writing.

Isaac: How has living in your current city affected the way you look at the music industry?

TDS: Living in Los Angeles is great for recording music and making videos, but makes it more challenging for building a local fanbase because there is such an abundance of other entertainment options here.

Isaac: We would love to see a music video from you! Do you currently have one that you can let our readers know about?

TDS: We are very excited to release a video for our song, “Away”. It’s our confession of Nerd-Rocker-dom, and we hope you enjoy it. In the meantime, here’s the video we did for our song, “Inertia.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfjfH3FUpwg

Isaac: At the end of the day, if you never reached musically to a certain level of fame and fortune, would you be happy that you made music on your own terms?

TDS: While it’s nice to - Junior's Cave


Coming up from beneath our holiday food hangovers, we took some time to talk with self-described Alternative Energy Rock group Trapdoor Social, one of our SB7 Artists. Trapdoor Social is one part Merritt Graves (informed by symphonic British rock) and one part Skylar Funk (with singer-songwriter influences), so the resultant sound is an eclectic collaboration.

The guys have been pretty busy and just last week released a new video. Their unique video storytelling is an important part of their music identity and their constantly evolving visual style is compelling and entertaining. Check out the new video below!

Along with releasing the new video, Graves and Funk are also working on raising $15,000 to put solar on the roof of a local Los Angeles non-profit. In fact, eco-conscious activism has been a part of their music mission since they met in an Environmental Analysis program in college. Here is a little more about their activism and process.

What are some different types of venues where you would feel really good and excited about playing?

A non profit event (especially related to alternative energy). For example, we played at GRID LA’s event Solarthon, which was an awesome renewable energy construction event in South LA. We plan to stay involved with this kind of volunteer work and we think our music is our best way to contribute to this cause we care about.
Intimate house party setting. In this kind of relaxed performance situation we’ve found we can really unlock new energy, and it’s a blast.
At a festival. Coachella is the dream.
What is a source of inspiration when you are feeling stuck on something?

Knowledge and life experience are the raw materials your mind uses to make it’s own ideas with, and so if you don’t put anything cool in, you can’t expect anything cool to come out. So we just try to load up; learning, and living, and hopefully we’ll have something to say worth saying as a result.

What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

It is a risk to be vocal about alternative energy issues. Some listeners will disagree and not give our music a chance. Some may say we should just focus on the music. But we’re activists, so this is what we do. I think the biggest risk you can take is to not doing something you have your whole heart in, even if it’s considered risky by conventional standards.

For more on Trapdoor Social, check out their unique Songbird page here: http://www.songbird.me/artists/trapdoor-social
- Songbird


Updated - Innana Naked Magazine


Upcoming - Skope Magazine


An interview with Merritt Graves and Skylar Boorman from Trapdoor Social, a new Los Angeles based band making music as a tool for change.

Can you provide an overview of your backgrounds leading up to Trapdoor Social?

After meeting in the Environmental Analysis program at Pomona College, Merritt started making his way through the music industry, while simultaneously helping start two green companies, Farmscape and Agrisaurus. Skylar worked a few post-grad desk jobs in the environmental sector, then decided to go full-steam into music, and a while later we reconnected and BOOM! Trapdoor Social.

How did Trapdoor Social begin and get off the ground?

We got together in November of 2011 and starting singing and writing, but it took a bit of time for us to feel each other out, establish a creative relationship, and really get into a flow. Since then, we’ve been focused on writing like hell so we could keep new stuff coming out to our online fans every couple weeks. We also recently created a pretty crazy video for our song, Inertia, which you can see below.



You have a strong focus on the environment in your artistic and entrepreneurial initiatives. Is Trapdoor Social related to the environment in any way, and if so, how?

Funny you should ask! Both of us have big dreams of propelling the environmental movement during our lifetime. We haven’t figured out exactly the best way to do it yet, but Trapdoor Social will be a tool for change.

How would you define success for Trapdoor Social?

For both of us, there is no greater honor than to make our fans feel when they listen to our music, the same way our musical heroes have stirred emotions, reactions, thoughts, and motivation inside us. Being a popular band would be great, because we would reach more people with our message and our emotional interaction, but really the finish line for us is to successfully pay forward the experience that we’ve had from the greats that moved us.


Why do you do what you do?

Again, day to day, we are driven to move our listeners, and we really do want to spread the message of being aware of the future and how our actions today will affect us down the line.

How can people find out more about Trapdoor Social?

You can find just about all of our stuff at our website, but if you want more, look us up on Facebook and Twitter. - Unexus


Interview:
1) We've gathered you know/have worked with a member of Death Cab for Cutie. How did that relationship come about and how has it benefited your album?

Death Cab’s drummer, Jason McGerr, is a badass. He put a lot of effort and creative energy into finding the right beats for our songs. Our producer, Curt Schneider, introduced us. And Death Cab for Cutie has always been a huge influence for both of us, so it’s an honor to work with a musical hero.

2) Tell us about your experience with Music Xray so far!

The DIY music industry is filled to the brim with fan management and engagement tools, but you have to have something to manage first; you can’t engage a fan base you don’t have. It’s cool to see Music Xray being a resource to newer bands faced with the challenge of fan acquisition. Things like Fan Match level the playing field and make it more about the quality of the music, and less about the strategy and marketing behind it.

3) We see that "Away" is your next video currently in production. How's that going? Also, can you tell us anything about the story/concept behind your video "Inertia"?

The video is going well! We did all the shooting a couple weeks ago, and now our director, Arie Hovenkamp, is hard at work – or so he says – editing. As for the Inertia video, let’s just say it’s a visual display of a parasitic relationship, where love is extracted rather than earned.

4) It's inspiring to see both of you so concerned with affecting change; in particular, environmental change. Tell us more about your involvement with this, specifically with Farmscape and Agrisaurus, and how you want to use music to speak to any environmental concerns at hand.

There are many serious environmental problems facing us right now, but we’re of the mindset that it’s better to give people clear, positive steps toward addressing them rather than focusing on fear. Fear is paralyzing. There are many things people can do right now that would actually save them money, like swapping out their incandescent light bulbs for LEDs and putting solar panels on their roofs in sunnier places with rebate programs (companies like SolarCity actually offer financing so there’s no upfront cost and you’re saving more on your utility bill than you’re paying out in a leasing payment from day one!). In order to promote this cause, we’re planning a fall fundraiser to build a solar roof for a local non-profit.

Merritt helped create Farmscape and Agrisaurus, which are solar projects as well, just approached from a different direction. Instead of solar panels converting solar energy to electricity, these companies help people convert solar energy to food. Farmscape is the largest urban farming venture in California which seeks to make urban land productive again and grow top quality produce right where it will be eaten, in the city. Agrisaurus is a web app just now raising funds on kickstarter. It will help gardeners plan and manage their plots for greater yield. Both ventures are about increasing efficiency and eating better food, for the good of our health and for reducing the environmental footprint of our food supply.

5) Do you plan on staying in California? If not, where do you see yourself living and gaining the most traction? Also, have you ever made it over to play in NYC?

Yeah, for a while anyways. We’ve got a heck of a team here helping us produce songs and videos, and we’re starting to develop a great fan base for our local shows as well, which is a blast. Plus all the sunshine is great for Skylar's cycling habit. National touring is on our to-do list, so book us some super-high-paying gigs, and we’ll be right there.

6) What's the most challenging thing you've had to face in the music industry to date, considering there is such a high concentration of bands today, and especially those with an online presence?

It’s tough to be in a town so full of other bands and entertainment. You have to stick it out for a period where nobody knows or cares about what you’re doing. Not to say that we’re out of the woods on that one… But it's what we love, so we're going to keep at it.

7) So you both sing, write and play? How does the songwriting process usually go given you both have entirely different personalities, inspirations, and musical styles?

We play bloody knuckles like 8th graders to settle lyric disputes. Really though, it’s a bit weird to let someone else write a song for you to sing and represent yourself with. It’s like holding somebody else’s baby. Or something. Sometimes we write on our own, sometimes together. Merritt has a darker, alternative sound and Skylar's is more light and pop, so we meet in the middle and the final product is a bit of each.

8) What is the coolest thing to date that has happened to you guys ever since you started the band?

Some of our favorite moments are just working on our music. It can be extremely satisfying creating a melody that mov - Music Xray


Today's Featured Song of the Week is Inertia from Trapdoor Social. Visit Trapdoor Social online at www.trapdoorsocial.com. - The DIY Daily


Today's Featured Song of the Week is Inertia from Trapdoor Social. Visit Trapdoor Social online at www.trapdoorsocial.com. - The DIY Daily


Trapdoor Social is poised to release their EP Death of a Friend in October. The L.A. based band formed in November of 2011 when Merritt Graves of Iowa City and Skylar Funk of Seatle joined forces. While both provide vocals Skylar also cranks out the guitar riffs at the heart of their backing arrangements.
If you like the sound of bands like Foster the People, Muse, or Coldplay then give these guys a listen. Currently making the rounds around Los Angeles, the guys plan to tour after releasing more videos and recordings.
SpeakerCone got a preview of their new release. “Save the World” has great layers of vocals amongst the wall of sound created by guitars and synths. The upbeat lyrics and the pop sensible singing give the listener a chance to sing along with the chorus. Hear the song below:

Building from the outset until the beat joins a gang of vocals, “Away” is a pleasure for this gritty element inside of these usually polished tunes. The title track “Death of a Friend” visits similar territory to Tom DeLonge’s Angels & Airwaves with big sweeping synth passages mixed with driving interludes when the percussion comes back in. The song also has a visually amazing animated video that accompanies. - SpeakerCone


Meet Trapdoor Social, a Los Angeles duo taking Jango's alt-rock scene by storm. In their first three months on Jango Airplay they've managed to wow almost 30,000 fans, and with Popscores consistently in the 90's they're bound for success. We're happy to present them as Jango Band of the Month - below you can read about what inspires the duo and watch their brand new video. Enjoy!

Describe Trapdoor Social's sound in one sentence?
- A wildflower trampled into the mud, then picked up, dusted off and sent into space in a harmony-fueled rocket.

When was Trapdoor Social formed and where?
- November of 2011, in Los Angeles


Name three people who have influenced your music, and tell us why? Living or dead.
- Three bands that really taught us what Rock is are Radiohead, Death Cab for Cutie, and Third Eye Blind. The first is a bit more Merritt's feel, and the third is a bit more Skylar.

How do you connect with fans and get them involved in your music?
- We love talking with fans on our Facebook, Twitter, Fanbridge, etc., but nothing beats rocking out live with people at shows.

What do you like the most about Jango Airplay?
- The fans! People are reaching out to us from all around the world, telling us they found us on Jango. It's amazing to have their support! Many are too far away to reach at this early stage, but we dream of touring to all sorts of wild places and linking up with our early supporters.

Is there any recent project you'd like to share with us? Tell us about it.
- We recently released our first big music video for our song, Inertia. It's a twisted vision of how to get love and a fun way to help our fans find their own interpretation and meaning in the song. You can check it out at trapdoorsocial.com/video or watch it here.



Are you guys playing live and do you have any shows coming up soon?
- We sure are! Mark your calendars for August 31st at the Bootleg Theater in L.A. We're pumped! - Jango


Meet Trapdoor Social, a Los Angeles duo taking Jango's alt-rock scene by storm. In their first three months on Jango Airplay they've managed to wow almost 30,000 fans, and with Popscores consistently in the 90's they're bound for success. We're happy to present them as Jango Band of the Month - below you can read about what inspires the duo and watch their brand new video. Enjoy!

Describe Trapdoor Social's sound in one sentence?
- A wildflower trampled into the mud, then picked up, dusted off and sent into space in a harmony-fueled rocket.

When was Trapdoor Social formed and where?
- November of 2011, in Los Angeles


Name three people who have influenced your music, and tell us why? Living or dead.
- Three bands that really taught us what Rock is are Radiohead, Death Cab for Cutie, and Third Eye Blind. The first is a bit more Merritt's feel, and the third is a bit more Skylar.

How do you connect with fans and get them involved in your music?
- We love talking with fans on our Facebook, Twitter, Fanbridge, etc., but nothing beats rocking out live with people at shows.

What do you like the most about Jango Airplay?
- The fans! People are reaching out to us from all around the world, telling us they found us on Jango. It's amazing to have their support! Many are too far away to reach at this early stage, but we dream of touring to all sorts of wild places and linking up with our early supporters.

Is there any recent project you'd like to share with us? Tell us about it.
- We recently released our first big music video for our song, Inertia. It's a twisted vision of how to get love and a fun way to help our fans find their own interpretation and meaning in the song. You can check it out at trapdoorsocial.com/video or watch it here.



Are you guys playing live and do you have any shows coming up soon?
- We sure are! Mark your calendars for August 31st at the Bootleg Theater in L.A. We're pumped! - Jango


Trapdoor Social sound like it's members are used to living a sun-baked existence. Guitar's crackle like they've burnt up in one hundred degree weather, there is snappy programming and a wash of synths cooling everything down, and vocals reach for the kind of anthemic choruses that sound best in a convertible moving very, very quickly. Like Weezer, Rooney, and The Killers before them, the LA band make a kind of power-pop that seems to come easiest to bands residing in the Southwestern corner of the country. To put it simply, Trapdoor Social specialize in summer music, which is why we're thrilled to be premiering their video for the not-so-surprisingly-titled single, "Sunshine" on this, the dreaded last week before everyone flips the switch to Fall.

The visuals for "Sunshine" seem Madmen inspired. A classy, backyard cookout initially seems perfect on the surface, but domestic turmoil boils underneath, all while the band makes appearances advising our housewife heroine to "fill it up with sunshine/Get on with your life". Something tells us this here marriage ain't meant to be.

The band recently shared their self-titled album earlier this month and they're currently smack dab in the middle of a tour that's made stops in all over the country so far. Check out dates HERE and pick up the album HERE. - Baeble Music


Trapdoor Social’s indie rock is the pop-sensitive kind, music which embraces prospective mainstream appeal instead of giving it an elitist cold shoulder. “Sunshine” is all monster hooks and full-blown chorus, snarled guitars warping anthemic vocal harmonies. Stylistically, it’s pretty close to the Arctic Monkeys, but Trapdoor Social have dropped a little bit of the band’s sneering edge in favor of a more sun-baked garage rocker a la the Raconteurs. Rock-wise, it ticks all the conventionally-used boxes which keep the genre pumping, and pop-wise, it taps the production and memorability necessary to embed itself in the style’s good books.

“The verses are a brooding, melancholy meditation on unrequited love, while its chorus launches into an almost naive proclamation about filling up the void with sunshine,” says the band. “The song’s theme is one of embracing contrast and using loss as a catalyst to move beyond the ordinary.”

Trapdoor Social releases August 12th. - Pop Matters


When they weren’t masterminding June’s inaugural Sunstock Solar Festival, the Trapdoor Social braintrust of Skylar Funk and Merritt Graves have been busy making music. The L.A. quintet, hatched after its principals met studying environmental analysis at Pomona College, displayed a knack for buoyant indie-pop on their first two EPs, including 2014’s “Science of Love.” Their forthcoming full-length, though, ratchets up the guitars, sharpens the hooks and leaves in place the infectious energy that often sees Funk romping through the crowd at live shows while doing saxophone solos.

The first single from the album — Trapdoor’s first new music since the big band collaboration “Fine on My Own” (which also appears on the new release) — is, not surprisingly, also solar-themed. Except this “Sunshine” is of the metaphorical kind. Is darkness visiting your life? “Gotta fill it up with sunshine / gotta make up your mind / Get on with your life,” Funk sings in the big chorus, which was penned by Graves. “The verses are a brooding, melancholy meditation on unrequited love,” the band explains, “while its chorus launches into an almost naive proclamation about filling up the void with sunshine. The song’s theme is one of embracing contrast and using loss as a catalyst to move beyond the ordinary.” No sunblock needed here. The album is out Aug. 12. - Buzzbands LA


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Trapdoor Social’s Merritt Graves and Skylar Funk met in an Environmental program at Pomona College and bonded over a shared concern for the future of the planet. They started off on a journey to make music and do some good along the way.The duo introduced themselves with the 2012 EP “Death Of A Friend”, a driving, emotive alt-rock experience. Produced by Curt Schneider, the EP features Death Cab For Cutie’s Jason McGerr on drums. The EP made waves when “Like You Never” became the #1 listener-requested track on KROQ’s “Locals Only” show, and the second single “Away” enjoyed radio play from a number of major market stations around the US (including regular rotation on Q87.7 in Chicago) and a national Discount Tire/America’s Tire commercial for much of 2014-15.In May 2014, Trapdoor Social released the ‘Science of Love’ EP, which explored both sides of Skylar and Merritt’s influences as songwriters. As the boys started work on the EP, they decided to channel their music toward an environmental initiative in their community. They partnered with a few great non-profits and used their unreleased EP to raise $35k of solar roofing, which they are donating to Homeboy Industries. The 6.4 kW project represents 100% of the fundraiser’s earnings and will be installed soon.TDS toured 2 laps around the US in the summer of 2014 with new members Eyal Dahan (drums), Louie Gonzalez (guitar), and Patrick Griffen (bass). The following December, the band toured to Colorado Springs to play RXP1039’s Christmas festival. Having discovered that the local high school (Mesa Ridge HS) marching band program was underfunded, the boys decided to record a song with the band to help launch a fundraiser to help keep the program alive and promote the benefits of music and arts education in the public school system.“Fine On My Own” was released on April 20th, 2015 and has been on high rotation in Colorado and played in other major markets. The song attained “Hall of Fame” Status on Las Vegas’s X107.5 nightly contest “The Beatdown” by winning ten times in a row. Trapdoor Social toured to Colorado in May 2015 and promoted the fundraiser by organizing and performing a benefit show with the marching band. The fundraiser brought in over $7K for the school.

The band is now back in LA working on a new album and a new solar project.

Band Members