Plug in Stereo reveals musical origins


"I started playing music in sixth grade," says the Portland-based musician Trevor Dahl, who performs as Plug in Stereo and opens for He Is We at the Varsity Theater tonight. "Playing acoustic guitar, and playing in all different types of bands, rock, pop, even hardcore stuff."

Dahl, who has locks that would make even the LMFAO folliclemeister Redfoo jealous, solidified his solo project by his freshman year in high school. It was more by default than design, as his bandmates at the time were simply unavailable. Dahl was used to writing and playing music alone though. "When I first started playing music, I wanted to be in a band, and my brother and his friends all played music in the garage. I didn't have any friends that played music, so I was kind of forced to play music on my own up in my room."

Dahl settled in to working solo pretty quickly, and is three years into Plug in Stereo. Not surprisingly, his biggest influences have been artists like Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat, and John Mayer. "Lately I've been listening to the Shins and a lot of indie bands," he admits.

Plug in Stereo's live set has recently drawn heavily from the EP The Patience, including the best-known track "Oh, Darling." Sounding a bit like Never Shout Never (another one man act), Plug in Stereo takes an overall mellower route. Indeed, Dahl seems quite at ease for someone who at first resisted singing. "When I first started Plug in Stereo I just did instrumentals, I didn't really know how to sing," he says. "I liked writing lyrics, and people said, 'Hey, you should try singing,' so I got more into it and became more comfortable with my voice." Plug in Stereo will remain on the road for a few more weeks promoting The Patience EP, with a full album due later this year.

Plug in Stereo performs at The Varsity Theater, 1308 Southeast 4th Street, with headliner He is We, as well as Deas Vail, and Windsor Drive, Wednesday May 2. Doors 5:00 pm. Show 5:30. Tickets cost $15. 612-604-0222.

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