Finding a guitar in a closet somehwere in the house, pulling it out and teaching yourself to play is a pretty common story when it comes to musicians. But for Quietdrive’s Kevin Truckenmiller, instead of a guitar, he discovered a violin and it was in his grandmother’s house. “I had been taking piano lessons,” Truckenmiller explained in a phone interview, “but I started taking violin and I stuck with that for a long time. I added the guitar around fifteen,” shortly before video games became a distraction. He always played music, however. Growing up as one of five brothers (which he described as “fun”), there was always competition, but also “someone to teach you.” “I remember waking up and my brother was learning a solo, and then I wanted to learn it — I was inspired by my brothers.” The music he listened to during that time — including No Doubt, Reel Big Fish and Matthew Sweet — were also influences. “Different parts come from different artists,” particularly Sweet when it came to writing songs, which he started doing while in college. “I saw the world a little bit before I got introspective,” he explained. Toward the end of college, he became focused on finding musicians to play those songs with, which is how Quietdrive came together. Their sixth album, Up or Down is their biggest writing collaboration so far. “I have control over how it goes, but you’ll see a lot of different musical visions,” three of which you can hear here. As for the band’s success, he credits focus. “Working harder and doing it [practicing] more than anyone else does, but having a passion behind it. You have to have a mantra, so you can go towards that north star” when people question what you’re doing or when you “start to feel the dread” that inevitably comes with taking a risk. “If you don’t have that, you’ll get distracted.” “Avalanche”


“Every Day”




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