Trey and Ty Turner of The Icarus Account are brothers that started playing musical instruments at a very early age. Trey told us that they started playing the violin and piano around five years old, then they picked up the guitar at the age of 12 and “were able to teach [themselves] since [they] already had some musical knowledge from playing piano and violin.” Trey explained that after that, they “always wanted to be in a band.” He said, “We used to learn every song we could on the radio and we would play every day after school and pretend that we were rockstars.” He continued saying, “It was only natural to start writing our own songs and recording them by the time we were seniors in high school.” That’s right, they were recording songs as seniors in high school.
Being a musician at the age of 17 years old might sound like all fun and games, but it definitly has its ups and downs. Trey told us that “at first it was a lot of just having fun and playing and writing songs because [they] loved it.” He said, “We loved playing shows and we wanted as may people as possible to hear us, so we worked really hard to record songs, and then promote them on social media (myspace was still a thing) to try and build a fanbase.” He continued, “After a couple years things had built up to a point where we were making a little bit of money so when we were 21 we dropped out of school and took the risk of becoming full-time musicians.” You can imagine how scary this would be knowing how competitive this job field can be. Trey said, “Our parents did not LOVE the idea of us dropping out of school, but they were supportive of us pursuing our dream of playing music.” With help from their parents, they “borrowed a couple hundred dollars to make [their] first order of t-shirts.” They ended up sleeping on their parents couch “until [they] were truly making enough money from the band to have [their] own place.”
For the first few years of their career, they toured for about nine months out of each year. During this time, they were living out of their car, sleeping on friends couches and only spent $5 per day individually. This money was all they used for food. That’s like McDonalds dollar menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Trey said, “It wasn’t glamorous, but it was the dream.”
As far as working together as brother goes, Trey said that it “is challenging, but also has its rewards and benefits as well.” He said, “Being brothers made it easier to tour together, we were already used to living together.” He told us that already knowing how to deal with each others stress made it easy to deal with living on no sleep. The downside is that “when it’s time to record, or write or have a talk about business or finances it can be hard to turn off the brother switch and truly get down to business instead of just hanging out.”
When it comes to writing songs, Trey said, “Our process pretty much always starts with a jam out phase. Grab a guitar or sit down at the piano and just play. Put yourself in a zone. Enter a new world and get lost. Let yourself discover a melody or a lyrical idea or a chord pattern that inspires you and then go from there.” After doing all of this, they take a look at what they have and decide if they are happy with it. He said, “The key is being open minded and not being afraid to experiment with new ideas.”
Trey said, “I think that with all of our songs we try to write from a place of honesty and authenticity, but there are definitly certain ones that come from a place of brokenness and vulnerability and those usually seem to mean the most to us.” He continued, “The songs about our parents divorce, our wedding days, our mistakes, or our journey to find love when we felt most alone seem to mean more to us than just the happy love songs.” The authenticity can definitly be felt when listening to any song by The Icarus Account.
It’s easy to see the passion Trey and Ty have for their music. Trey told us that they “are always working on new stuff.” He said, “We are constantly writing and we have a home studio so we are always making demos of new ideas.” Unfortunately there is no official album in the making, but they did release “Over The Moon” about eight months ago! Trey said that it “is one of [their] favorite projects that [they’ve] done.” Click here to check out the album!
When asked what bands they look up to, Trey said, We’ve been recording music and touring full-time for almost 8 years now so we understand the grind of the business and how much work goes into laying the foundation of a fanbase.” He continued, “Most success stories don’t happen overnight so we look up to anyone who has put in the work and found a way to grind through the hard time and make it.” You have probably heard of the band Fun. Nate Ruess is the lead singer and Trey told us that they “had been fans of his previous band, The Format, for years and years and the way they started small and toured in small venues for years before becoming really successful was remarkable.” Trey explained how The Format went bankrupt pretty much right when they started “making it big” causing them to have to split. Trey said, “To be able to climb back from that and make a new band and be able to build it back up again was just incredible and we have so much respect for that.”
Another band that you have probably heard of is Twenty-One Pilots. When they were first starting out, Trey explained that they used to play local shows together. Trey said, “To see how hard they have worked and how big they have become is amazing.”
If you are a 17 year old out there, trying to make it big in the music industry, listen to this. Trey said, “To the 17 year olds out there I would just say first off make sure you love music. It’s a tough road so make sure that you love music more than anything else in the world. If you do, then I would say write as much as you can, play as much as you can, and don’t allow yourself to be discouraged if things don’t happen as quickly as you want them to.” He continued, “When we first dropped out of school I thought we would be signed by the end of the year. Seven years later, we still aren’t signed, but we have found a way to make it work.” Trey said, “You don’t need a label to make great music that impacts people. Make the music, and then find a way to find people that will listen.”
Trey told us that he wished he had been told “that things go slow and that it may take longer than you think but to take a long term approach.” Trey said, “When I was 17 I didn’t envision myself being an unsigned musician at the age of 30 or 40 (I’m not 30, but I no longer see age being a reason to stop being a musician).” He continued, “I thought I basically had a window from 18-25 to be in a band and make it big and get rich or I’d have to stop and get a real job.” He said that he didn’t really “understand what it meant to be to have a career in music.”
Trey said, “I think if I had a more long term view I would have been a little less trendy with some of my writing choices and I wouldn’t have felt so rushed to jump in and start touring.” Trey doesn’t regret his touring, but now that he has been through life, he understands that there is a “bigger picture” that he did not see when he was 17 years old.
As for the most rewarding thing out of their music career, Trey told us that it is “the messages and letters [they] receive from fans telling [them] about how [their] music has impacted [others] lives.” He said, “Music is so powerful, and it’s amazing and humbling to hear about the way that our music has changed people that we have never personally met. To hear from people who use our songs to propose to their wives or shared their first kiss to one of our songs or were contemplating suicide but used our song to be encouraged and work through that dark time in their lives is amazing.”
Trey said that “being a musician is awesome and meeting people on the road has been amazing. We could never have made it to where we are today without the love and support of our friends and family, and also the compassion from strangers that we met on the road who have been willing to feed us and house us. To anyone who has ever come to a show or bought a CD, thank you!”
From seeing the journey Trey and Ty of The Icarus Account have been on, there is no doubt that even bigger and better things will be coming to them in the near future! Be sure to follow them on twitter @icarusaccount and like them on Facebook.
To read the raw interview, click here!