Phebe and I go deep into Fillosophy and music talk. This is an epic and comprehensive 45min interview for that want to hear all about me and my music.
Experienced and talented artist Rob Fillo has just released his debut single titled “This Old Train,” a captivating and uplifting indie-folk Americana country track that is sure to be a hit for summer road trips. Fillo, a passionate singer-songwriter, has poured his heart and soul into creating this song, which carries a delightful country dobro flair and explores the journey of life and personal growth.
Collaborating with the esteemed producer John MacArthur Ellis, Fillo’s “This Old Train” has been given an extra layer of depth with Ellis’s award-winning Dobro (slide guitar) skills and his expertise in production. The result is a truly special and vibrant musical creation that is bound to resonate with listeners. Fillo’s music is known for its ability to touch the soul, evoking deep emotions and creating a profound sense of connection. In a world that can often feel chaotic and overwhelming, his music offers a sense of peace, catharsis, and hope. “This Old Train” is no exception, delivering a powerful message about perseverance and the potential for personal transformation.
In an interview, Fillo shared the story behind the song, revealing that it reflects his own experiences over the past couple of years. He went through a challenging period where he lost a significant relationship, faced the hardships of the pandemic, and hit rock bottom. However, he found the strength to turn his life around by taking a leap of faith.
“This Old Train” embodies the idea that one should never count someone out. It speaks to the resilience of the human spirit and the capacity for personal growth. Fillo’s lyrics remind us that everyone faces obstacles and setbacks, but with hard work, faith, and a belief in deserving a better life, we can achieve happiness and fulfillment.
Through his own journey of self-discovery and newfound sobriety, Fillo highlights the importance of gratitude and finding beauty in life’s simple joys. He encourages listeners to embrace sobriety and make a genuine effort to create a better world for themselves and others. Fillo’s music serves as a reminder that with determination and dedication, we can overcome challenges and create our version of heaven on earth.
With the release of “This Old Train,” Rob Fillo hopes to reach as many listeners as possible, and being featured in various publications would offer an excellent platform for his music to be discovered. His unique blend of indie-folk Americana and heartfelt storytelling is perfect for those seeking a musical companion for their summer road trips. So, be sure to add “This Old Train” to your playlist and embark on a journey of self-discovery and inspiration with Rob Fillo’s debut single.
Bursting with positive energy, this upbeat number takes listeners on a journey through heartfelt storytelling and melodies. From the moment it begins, Fillo’s honest and comforting vocals effortlessly draw you in, while the dobro passages, courtesy of the award-winning John Ellis, add a nice melodic intricacy to the proceedings.
Lyrically, ‘This Old Train’ shines with profound simplicity, with Fillo painting vivid pictures through his words, describing emotions, experiences, and lessons learned. The lyrics resonate with universal themes of freedom and the journey of life itself, functioning as a reminder that one should strive to remain positive despite adversities.
Now, on a personal note, this song really speaks to this writer. In the vast landscape of my musical preferences, I often dwell a bit too much in the pessimism and bleak lyricism of metal, doom jazz, and darkwave. When I need to, compositions like ‘This Old Train’ take me away from this universe and remind me of the good things in life, and for that I take my hat off to Fillo.
In short, ‘This Old Train’ is a gem within the realm of Americana music. With its infectious positivity, heartwarming vocal approach, and delightful dobro passages, it invites you to embark on a journey filled with warmth and bliss, it’s highly recommended.
"Rob Fillo’s captivating song, “This Old Train,” takes listeners on a soul-stirring journey through the ups and downs of life. With his brilliant songwriting skills, Rob crafts an emotional narrative that resonates with people from all walks of life. The powerful lyrics and heartfelt melodies weave together to create a musical experience that tugs at the heartstrings. “This Old Train” is a testament to Rob’s talent and ability to connect with his audience on a profound level. With its universal themes and timeless appeal, this song continues to touch hearts and leave a lasting impression on listeners worldwide.
It’s bright, it’s rich, and the energy throughout the record surely demands your full attention. Give it a spin and let us know what you think down below and don’t forget to share with your friends! Enjoy."
-Louis Cooper (Lost In The Nordics)
Q: Hey, can you tell us a bit about where you come from, and what made you want to start a career in music?
A: Music has been a compulsion from a young age. I use music as a therapeutic device, there was little choice on whether or not I pursed writing music in my life. The choice was more to pursue the career aspects of music. I took a leap of faith in 2021, as the COVID pandemic subsided. My long time partner left me and I was left alone and destitute. I took what few possessions I had and loaded them in a van and moved to a strange place called Vancouver Island. There I was almost instantly greeted with an incredible outpouring of support and demand for my music. That’s what lead me to recording This Old Train, my debut streaming single. It’s all in the song, if you listen to the lyrics. It’s the perfect first release because it authentically tells my story in a simple digestible way. It’s honest and authentic and that’s what you get with me and my music.
Q: And what other artists have you found yourself listening to lately?
A: Drew Holcomb’s wholesome folk-country vibe has truly been inspiring. There is so much darkness and pandering to ideological nightmares in contemporary music. I find Holcomb’s songs and overall vibe to be very refreshing.
Q: Who were your first and strongest musical influences?
A: Tom Waits taught me to write songs as they are given by divine muse and not try to appease people with songs. I write for myself as a way to cope with the frustration and confusion of the human condition. Country writers like Townes Van Zandt and Willie Nelson taught me the nuts and bolts of a good song. Great singers like Nina Simone, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby and Jeff Buckley taught me to put passion, love and deep emotional vibrations behind a lovely voice. Danny Michel (Canadian Indie Songwriter) continues to be an inspiration to me with the authenticity, independence and love that he puts out in every song. Danny also conveys a lot of authentic stage presence and I try to be true to myself in a similar way. I like artists that are real, not some idealized brand for a target audience.
Q: You have just released your new single, ‘This Old Train’. Is there a story behind it?
A: The story is simply and authentically about my last couple years. The woman I thought I was going to marry left me, I lost everything to the pandemic, and I turned it all around with a leap of faith. I found friends, I found a new path and a great music career trajectory and I found sobriety for the first time since childhood. The song, This Old Train, is about not counting someone out. We all have our speed bumps and roadblocks along the way, but with hard work and faith that you deserve love and a better life, you can achieve a much happier existence on this strange blue marble in the far reaches of the universe. There is so much beauty in life and so much to be grateful for. The world could be heaven on earth if we all just sobered up and put in the effort.
Q: Can we expect a new EP or even an album from you in the near future?
A: I have a single or two lined up to keep people satiated while I work on my first EP. I will be working very hard in 2023/2024 to get as much recorded material out as possible. People are screaming for my music to listen to at home. In the meanwhile, my live concerts are well attended and the bootleg recordings are seeping out to the delight of my growing fan base. Rob Fillo Music is a recondite community with a lot of love and I am so very grateful.
Q: What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
A: Authenticity is key. I write from my heart and my experience. There is also a strong element of intimacy. I contribute to my songs in a way that really gives the listeners a sense of joy, love, and even catharsis. When people relate to my songs they really hit hard in a positive way.
Q: Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfillment as the amount of work you are putting into it, or are you expecting something more?
A: It is an unimaginable amount of work, being a fully independent artist, but so many people are joining my team along the way because they believe in me and my music. That is an incredible feeling, to really feel appreciated and to have people want to be a part of your adventure. It’s a very wonderful honour and a pleasure to see my music bring so many amazing people together. The hugs, the tears of joy, the inspiration, all the elements that I see at my live shows makes the effort all worthwhile. What an amazing adventure.
Q: Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song?
A: I usually get hit hard by lyrics that carry a heavy emotional element, then something awakens in me. I called it a connection with the aether or the divine. Soon after a song is born. It usually happens fast initially, then there is a breaking in period of refinement. Alternatively, I can be sitting at a piano or picking at my guitar and a riff or chord progression will ignite that lonely spark of creation. The spark must be nurtured and allowed to ignite the inspiration to follow through to a song. Either way, this is not a prefrontal cortex process, it all happens in the deeper recesses of the mind and then comes to the surface to be calculated and written out.
Q: What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
A: I struggled a lot in life. I lost many years of my life believing I was broken by experiences I endured, only to find that I had created my own prison. Mental health challenges, substance issues, physical challenges… I’ve seen a lot of pain and turmoil, more than most. But I saw through the darkness to the light and fought for my very soul. I don’t speak much on the darkness I have endured, but I do speak about the light I have found. I am not a religious person, but I am deeply spiritual. I have faith and I have experienced the deep darkness and the found the healing light. I have great empathy for the human condition and all of us contending with it. Through my experience I have found an endless well of hope and peace… I lose it sometimes, but I always find my way back. Music has alway been there with me as my stalwart companion and my life has made for a fantastic experiential journal to pull from for creative inspiration. We can all overcome our demon, it takes faith and all the strength we can muster. Luckily, we are all a lot stronger than we think and that is the great lesson difficult challenges teach us.
Q: On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
A: I am so proud to be where I am today. I don’t need to look deep into the past to know I have made a huge difference in my life and the lives of many others. My music matters to so many people and it comes directly from my heart. If I never make it any further in my career I have already accomplished what I set out to do, help one person see the light through the darkness. Everything else is just a bonus from here on out and I will do as much good with my music as I can until the very end of the journey. Purpose, music, has given me a way to live my life with happiness, a little bit of wisdom, and a grace I never thought I would find. I am so honoured to be granted the purpose of making music and so grateful to be making it.
Hi! You recently released ‘This Old Train’ and it’s brilliant. For anyone who’s yet to hear it, how would you describe the track?
This Old Train is an upbeat and inspiring Folk/Alt-Country song perfect for you summer road-trip playlists.
Where did you record it?
This Old Train was recorded at MacArthur Park Productions in Nanaimo, BC. Canada.
Are you planning to make it part of a larger release, such as an EP or album?
This Old Train is a standalone single for now. I have a folk rock record coming out in Fall 2023, followed by production of more folk/alt-country songs.
I’m very interested in how you started your adventure with music, and did you know from the beginning that this is what you wanted to do?
I have always been drawn to music as a therapeutic device. Even as a young child I would sooth myself by singing. As I grew older I started to grasp the real depth and power of music. It can have serious and powerful positive affects on human-beings and can also have detrimental affects like the normalization of violence and ignorance. Art is never just art and music is a major catalyst of human evolution and community building, so it needs to be treated with the utmost thought and respect.
Your music interweaves so many different styles and sounds. If you could collaborate with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
I am on a big Drew Holcomb kick right now. I think he has the folk country stylings and production I will work towards. My career is pretty fresh, but Drew Holcomb has that wholesome community oriented energy, I would like to strive for that Drew Holcomb vibe. I think we could do some great collaborations.
What’s been your favorite musical experience to date?
I took the longest running Canadian folk music showcase on a deep and emotional journey this past January. I was as authentic as possible and performed in a traditional folk setting, on condenser mic, not effects , no gimmicks. I performed for a packed house and received a very heartfelt standing ovation at the end of my performance with audience members from the onset of the showcase in the 1970s saying I was the best performer they have ever had. It was a very meaningful evening and a sincere honour.
Where are you based? Can you tell us how the music scene there has inspired your sound at all?
Victoria, BC is where I ended up after the pandemic. It changed the whole game for me. I immediately found an outpouring of support. It’s not a huge scene, but people really gravitate towards my music and that’s what all artists really need deep down, community.
If you could perform at any venue in the world, where would it be and why
I love intimate theatre settings. Some festivals in the far reaches of rural areas have these old churches and halls that act as performance theatres. I love the old wood and the smell of time in the air. Any old theatre with a receptive audience is a joy.
And what was the first album you remember owning?
I purchased my first two cassettes at age 12, to listen to on my walkman I received as a gift. They were Nirvana Unplugged In New York and Boys 2 Men Coolie High Harmony… I cast a broad net early on to find musical inspiration.
Finally, have you got anything to share regarding upcoming gigs, and what have you got planned for 2023?
I have more gigs than I can keep track of. One highlight is the Harmony Arts Festival where I will perform with my full band. That takes place August 12th. To keep track of my shows, even I, refer to my website. There are too many show dates to keep track up. My wonderful booking manager keeps me very busy. I am so grateful to my marketing/admin team and my band members.
I would also like to mention my growing YouTube channel https://YouTube.com/@RobFillo
I release at least one video every week for my Songwriter Session Series, where I discuss songwriting, Fillosophy, and perform a song live. I supplement these episodes with live performance videos, lyric videos for my original songs and official music videos.
-Jenny Clancy (Lost in the Nordics)
I'll put them up as they come out : )