We’ve covered a few exciting young musicians over the last few years, but 12-year-old metal guitarist TreBell08 is easily the youngest. Furthermore, the young Canadian believes he’s part of a thrilling new generation of metal musicians with the world at the fingertips.
TreBell08 released his debut single Thief For Hire, which features vocals from fellow Toronto musicians Erica Knox and Kyle Clyma and was produced by Brian Gosling (As The Structure Fails), back in July. It offers up a hard-hitting metal sound that’s intertwined with a mixture of intriguing influences.
The track starts off with a light lick then bursts into big guitars that feed into Erica’s high-pitched vocals “Under this black moon, Words barely spoken, We yearn for the days of new, Calling on our sage, King of suffrage, Take our souls and make them true.”
A chilled atmospheric section of whispered vocals under eerie backing vocals and light instrumentals suddenly explodes into a heavy chorus of Kyle’s screamed vocals from Kyle alongside a booming riff. A fun bouncy riff takes over alongside pounding drums and give way to more intense screams “Burning in the fires with the wretched others, Want me as your prophet, Suffer with your brothers, Got it.”
There are Eastern-sounding influences throughout, including the melody of Erica’s clean vocals and the light instrumentals that intersect the hard-hitting choruses. The second gives way to a section of wild screamed vocals that feeds into another chorus, then an awesome blast of fun metal guitar brings the track to a big heavy ending. Give it a listen below:
GR: Who is Tre Bell?
TB: “My name is Adam and I am a 12-year-old musician and songwriter from Toronto, Canada. I’ve been playing guitar for almost three years and am one of the few people my age that I know who are interested in playing an instrument and metal music… at least in my neighbourhood. It’s tough to find kids that play where I live but I’m sure they’re around somewhere. Someone tell me if it’s the same elsewhere in the world, I’d love to find out.”
GR: You just released Thief For Hire. What should people be expecting from the song?
TB: “With Thief for Hire people should expect a metal song influenced by elements of groove metal, thrash, modern prog metal, Euro folk and Indian Thumri music. These are many of the sounds I grew up around in a multicultural city like Toronto. I’m not sure how much people will notice but there are elements of music from different places all over the song. Honestly, I really hope people dig my music not because I was 11 when I wrote and recorded it but because they can connect with it.
“The song is a story of being your own worst enemy at times. I admit I was watching Game of Thrones a bit at the time I was writing lyrics so it has a dark story to it. The main message is that sometimes there is nobody to blame for our bad times but ourselves. I wanted my first release to have both soft and harsh vocals to better tell the story in my lyrics.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
TB: “I write music because I feel compelled to. Every bit of me tells me I need to play and write. I feel happy and satisfied when I do. When I do build songs I usually have a story in mind, mostly influenced by great books, films or paintings I enjoy. Living in Toronto really inspires me. It’s mostly an urban music city (pretty cool) but it has some real solid Prog and metal roots. It’s an amazing place to create and it’s no surprise that massive artists are being developed here.
“My main goal is to inspire kids to learn instruments and play and record themselves! Maybe put the console or tablet down for a few minutes and make music. Music is such an amazing thing, it would be cool if they could experience it first hand. If I can do it, so can everyone. At the same time, I want my songwriting to get better and to become a more complete musician. Maybe a song on the metal charts one day would be great too!”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
TB: “My sound isn’t defined as of yet. You will hear my music progress and change with every song I release. It will always be inspired by all genres or metal tho. I have no idea what direction my music will go. Listen, I love metal but I also dig urban music, folk and symphonic music. I’ll just keep listening to new stuff and see where it takes me. It would be cool if people would come follow the journey.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
TB: “My greatest influences have been Periphery, Veil of Maya, Plini, Intervals, Polyphia, John Petrucci, Ofra Haza, Tool, Post Malone and many others! If you were to have asked me two weeks ago it may have been different but for now it’s them.
“Also, I can’t forget my parents. For my 11th birthday, they bought me a digital interface and recording software and I’ve been so hooked ever since. They are amazing. Not too many parents would support someone my age releasing a metal song. Also, I’m really happy that guitar plugins are getting so much better, it really inspires me to write riffs when I can find the tone I want.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019 and into 2020?
TB: “I have a new song dropping on Halloween 2019 and another likely 31 January 2020. I’m going to continue to work on creating the best music I can. The 31 October drop is going to be more up-tempo, obnoxious, in your face and fun. It is also inspired by an infamous character in literature. It’s a little less melodic than Thief for Hire but super fun to play cuz there were less rules. As for live shows, once I release enough of my own original songs I hope to play gigs wherever they want me to play.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
TB: “I’d love people to know that I’m doing this because I love music. I wake up in the morning listening to songs and playing my guitar. It’s my first love. Just let me play, let me record and I’m happy. I can’t thank the metal community in Toronto enough for the love. When I announced I wanted to record a song many people stepped up to help. I am blessed with awesome support. I could never have done it without my circle of friends and family.
“The last thing I would like people to know is that a new generation of musicians are ascending. Influenced by so many great sounds, sights, tastes and cultures of the world, we are going to create with very few boundaries. We are small now but the numbers will grow. I’m so happy to be a part of this new metal movement.”