A Year in Music – 2020 – Trevor Ristow (Author)

A Year in Music – 2020 – Trevor Ristow (Author)
by Killian Laher

Photo Credits – For the cover photo: © 1985 Ulf Berglund

You can read our interview with Trevor in relation to this book ‘Waiting for Another War’ here.

An extraordinary year in many ways.  How did it affect you specifically?

It turned my entire life upside down in every single way.

Where did music fit in during 2020?  Does it seem important?

I got to listen to music this year mostly while driving, which was a real change for a city boy like myself.  I’ve put many, many more miles on my car since March than I did in the previous three years combined.  I can’t imagine what I would’ve done without music in the car, so it was definitely important.

What albums resonated this year?  Can be old or new.

The album I’ve listened to most this year is Floodland by The Sisters Of Mercy.  When I published my book, there was suddenly a lot of interest in Volume II (of Waiting for Another War), which covers the Floodland years.  So I started listening to the album with fresh ears to assess whether my old lyric analyses still made sense to me.

If you had to pick one album to sum up this year, what would it be?

Maybe a week before the pandemic hit New York City, I received Laibach’s enormous “Revisited” box set in the mail.  This was something that Laibach offered for direct pre-order in 2017, and I was probably one of the first people to order it.  It was delayed and delayed again, for almost three years, but finally, it arrived.  I think it was right at the end of February.  The entire package is magnificent, with all kinds of extras: a book, a poster, great sleeve art, maybe a badge.  But the centerpiece is a reissue of their first album from 1985, as well as a new reimagining/rerecording of it.  I played the records for a couple days at home and then — WHAM.  We had to flee New York City and its mounting COVID death toll.  The box set ended up, along with everything else I own, in storage, but thankfully I had already downloaded the music on my phone.  I love Laibach any time of the year, day or night — I’ve seen them play a lot and I think they’re by far one of the best currently active bands — but “Revisited” came at just the right moment.  I’ve listened to it on country walks and meandering afternoon drives.  It’s a little call back from life before the pandemic and a reminder that what was great in the past can be reimagined and made new again, maybe even better, with enough effort.

How have you got through the last 7 or 8 months?

One day at a time.

Your book has been well received.  Where do you go from here?

I guess I go on to Volume II. The unexpectedly warm reception of Volume I has made me a bit more ambitious for Volume II. I’d like to speak to some more people, unearth some more stories and anecdotes, track down some more rare photos.

Any hopes for next year?

A vaccine.


Categories: Header, interview, Music

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