Tricia, the former frontwoman of Christian pop-punk band Superchick, released her second solo album, Radiate, in August and just finished up a tour in support of it.
Tricia chatted with CP in an email interview and spoke about her views on being a role model, transitioning from rock to pop, healthy self-image and being a mom.
From punky rockstar to pop star. Is it tough musically to write for yourself as a solo artist than as a band, and how did you transition into the style of music you are doing now?
The whole transition has been harder than I imagined it would be. I was used to writing as a band, and in Superchick, Max was the main writer. Being solo has stretched me, but I'm becoming a better writer. I'm not really even sure how we came into this sound. It's definitely more pop than a lot of Superchick albums. We knew going into it that's what we had planned. I guess albums tend to be reflective of the season we're in. We had just had our little girl (our first) and I think it was a happy, pop music season!
How is Radiate different from The Road, and do you feel you have progressed as an artist since your first release?
As different as they can be! I had always hoped to record a worship album. It was kind of how I found my voice in worship as a kid. So that was a really special thing for me to do all around. My dad, sister and husband all sang on the album with me and I'm so proud of those songs because they were from our heart. I definitely think Nick and I are constantly learning as writers and him as a producer. I'm learning what I love to sing live; that's always important to me to – loving the songs that I sing live!
What's it like working with your husband on the album as far as the writing and production work?
We had to learn how to communicate, how to work and not take things personally. You have to be honest and try to be perfectionists, so that was the hardest part, I think. And sometimes the fact that our studio is here in our house, it's hard for us to walk away from it like a normal job.
What are the themes of your album, and what overall message are you trying to convey?
God’s faithfulness, self-image, being an individual, dependence on God, acceptance of who I am and where God has me in this moment, choosing to be grateful for the good every day, choosing joy today no matter the circumstances around us and the list goes on!
In August Superchick announced their breakup. Was this a necessary step towards the future for your development to move forward as an artist, or more of "the right time?"
It was definitely the right time. When our drummer Chase passed away, I think we felt like there needed to be a goodbye and kind of an explanation to our fans. After 15 years there is such a relationship with fans and radio teams and everyone who's a part of your career. We didn't want there to be rumors or have it be anything it wasn't to our fans. It definitely helped our fans understand why I was going out on my own and that I hadn't broken up the band to do my own thing.
Do you perform any Superchick material in your sets, and do you see possible reunions in the future?
Yes, I play a few of the favorites in my full sets! These songs have never gotten old to me and I still love that I was a part of something so special for so many years. I still hear stories of how our songs helped someone through a season when they were broken or hopeless. I love that songs are sort of a legacy and they will go on long after bands stop touring.
I keep saying that I wouldn't be surprised if the chance came to tour together again one day, and I would be the first to sign up! I look back at the time with Superchick and feel so blessed by God choosing us and letting us travel the world and be a part of something really special as well as becoming family in the process. For me to have been able to do this with my sister, no words can describe how much fun we had together!!
How important do you feel it is to be an example to young woman as someone with a platform to do so?
I believe that we all are leaders and each one of us chooses whether we will take that role seriously. But I do think we are accountable with what we do with our positions of leadership in life. I love that I have a chance to speak into girls’ lives! I remember vividly what high school years were like. I remember struggles and fears and insecurities and I want to be an example of a strong, courageous woman who is willing to be vulnerable about my faults and my struggles. Trying to appear perfect just doesn't work and it's exhausting.
What would you say to girls who try to be the embodiment of perfection because of what they see in magazines, TV, etc?
My song “Mirror Mirror” really says a lot of how I feel. It angers me that the way beauty is portrayed is almost that it's the beautiful, "perfect" people who are happy. That happiness or wealth is a result of outward looks. There is not such thing as “perfect” and beauty is so much more than our reflection. I had people who really spoke those truths into me as a teenager and it helped me re-focus when I would start to obsess with how I looked and to think that who I am is just my reflection.
Do you feel music is a great tool for evangelism and why?
Music seems to be able to speak to people in a way just words can't. I know God uses it at just the perfect times in our lives to heal and encourage us. I love to be a part of that in someone's life! I get to meet people who were strangers and they share their heart and their stories of awful times in life and that I was a part of healing for them. I am so humbled by it and I love how it connects us as people from all over the world.
What would you like God to say to you about your career when it is all said and done?
I imagine what we all want to hear – “well done, my good and faithful servant!” I'm sure my heart hasn't been right every moment of every day, but when I pause and have God moments I know in my heart why I have stayed in this ministry for this long and still don't feel like God has moved me yet. I love to be a part of changing people's lives. Of making someone smile when they haven't for so long. Thinking that my songs can reach someone I haven't and may never meet, such a gift!
What's in the immediate future for Tricia?
I just did a month of touring this record and had such a great time! This winter I am mostly home being a wife and mom. And at this point, we just pray that these songs start to connect with people. Next year the plan is to tour as much as we can! We will just keep writing in our down seasons and we will see where God takes us this year. I've gotten kind of used to a lot of working and then trusting and waiting in this career. We can only do our best and then see what happens and what doors open.