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Next on the Agenda: Second Agenda |  The Angelica Music Inteview | July 2011

Photography by Sam Balling

Hope is a Must, the new EP from Burlington’s Second Agenda, is an energetic short set with positive intentions. The lyrics are original and the music is a rocking blend of funk, reggae, and hip hop, and a dash of blues. Guitarist/singer Andy Lugo, drummer Trevor Jewett, bassist Josh Cleaver, and turntablist Michael Plante all sit around a table beneath a blue sky, just after a rehearsal in preparation for the album release party at Nectar’s. They are easygoing, cheery, and invested in Second Agenda, an amalgamation of many interests, backgrounds, and purposes. It is a unique sound and its clear from this conversation that it’s a natural inclination for the four.

Andy Lugo | Second Agenda

You guys all from Vermont?

Andy Lugo: I’m from Colorado. I moved around like a gypsy. I went to high school in Southern California. I ended up in Burlington, I have no idea how. I didn’t know Vermont existed in Colorado. Seriously. People in the West don’t know much about the East, in my experience. Right before I moved out here I learned about Phish. When I was growing up, a lot of my friends were listening to West Coast rap. There wasn’t a lot of conscious hip hop; it was all about gansta rap. That was something I noticed. It was interesting. It’s why I’m still here, because I like it.

Michael Plante: I’m from North Bennington, Vermont. It had no traffic lights, a post office, and a bar. I wanted to get out. But Vermont, and Burlington, it’s rural; there’s a human connection. It’s beautiful where I come from. People have each other’s backs. Burlington, it’s part city, part community. It’s a CommunityCity.

How long were you into music?

Michael Plante | Second Agenda

Plante: I was in choir and played violin. I got turntables at the end of my college days, St. Michael’s College. Somebody gave them to me and my friends from Russia had a whole set up. They were playing a whole different kind of music. It osmosified the process, watching them, how the set up worked. I wanted something else, too. I always wanted to add something, like a conversation. I was exposed to poetry and the idea of using a microphone to record ideas, more like spoken word, slam-ish. It got me going on this idea of multimedia expression. And being here, where so much of this is happening, you can access those elements. You can go out and have a conversation.

Trevor Jewett: My two cents is the audience is part of the show. Otherwise, all you have is a fancy rehearsal.

Josh Cleaver: Why disconnect anyway? We’re all there for the same reason, to have a good time. Share the experience. Why not mind that bond?

Trevor, did you grow up around here?

Trevor Jewett | Second Agenda

Trevor: A born and raised Vermonter, one town south of Canada. Shows in Montreal, that’s where you went, that’s where the big names came, and you could drink. I took my first drum lesson in second grade. In fourth grade I got my first snare drum cases- that has your stand and your book. I had to take it on a school bus because I grew up in such a rural place, a 10-mile ride. At one point I said to my music teacher, “Fuck this. Give me a trumpet, ‘cuz that’s more convenient on the bus!” All of a sudden, from reading drum charts that read linearly, there were these things and I was like, “Fuck!” And the next time, I brought my drum on the bus. (laughs)




 

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