Grateful undead

Trevor R. Todd

Photo By Larry Dalton

Catch Trevor R. Todd (center, front) and his band Sevenfootfetish playing Saturday, December 13, with I Set My Friends on Fire at the Boardwalk, 9426 Greenback Lane, Orangevale; $14 at the door.

One minute changed everything, and he can’t even remember it. Trevor R. Todd was on his way home when he apparently had some sort of car accident that broke practically everything that could be broken. A great big musician (he’s 6’10” and does not play basketball, although he does play guitar, drums, bass, saxophone, keyboards and pretty much anything he tries), Todd had just released his album Scathing Indictment of the Righteous. Then he spent two months in the hospital and even longer coming back. Now, he’s playing again with local band Sevenfootfetish.

So, how were things going before the accident?

I had recorded and put the record out—it was released on 7-7-07. And I was doing pretty well, but I was having a hard time promoting it because I play all the instruments myself, so gigs were a little difficult.

Then came the accident. I was driving on Fair Oaks Boulevard, and I don’t really have a ton of recollection about it because I had a pretty bad head injury. Apparently, around that thing called “Dead Man’s Curve” on Fair Oaks Boulevard, I lost control and was thrown from the vehicle. They found me in the suicide lane and the car was maybe 80 yards away. So it’s kind of a mystery.

You were hurt pretty bad.

That’s an understatement. I fractured my skull and broke all my ribs. There were puncture wounds where debris from the accident went through me. By the time the emergency crew arrived, I was dead, but they busted my chest to revive me. I ended up with lung contusions from the paddles. I didn’t know that could happen to you, but I’m grateful, because otherwise I’d have died.

I was in the hospital for just under two months. They had classified me as a level-four head injury, and they were talking like I’d be a ward of the state and such. You’re not supposed to regain a lot of cognition from that bad of an injury. I guess I slipped into a coma for a while and wasn’t looking good for that first month or so. They were looking for somebody to take care of me. But about a month and a week into recovery, I started to come back.

Do you remember what happened?

I had this really kind of weird spiritual thing going on while I was “absent,” you know, not conscious but not dead. It’s kinda trippy and I don’t like to talk about it, because I think people look at me like I saw a UFO or Bigfoot or something. Of course, I had a head injury, so it’s really easy for people to think I’m crazy.

I had a discussion with a being, a higher being, who listened incessantly to John Lennon. We talked about the overall lack of morals in the world, the way that people don’t treat each other very well and the lack concern for other people. He was concerned with the economy, too. I asked to come back to buy my daughter a prom dress, and then I woke up.

They brought a guitar in the hospital, and as soon as I started playing it I started to come back. I started to return to normal.

So the band is part of your rehab?

I had started the band before the accident to get playing and working.

Sevenfootfetish is the name of my label, and we just used it for the band. By the time I got the final lineup sewed up and we were getting to where we were playing well and ready to look for bookings, I had the accident. Most bands wouldn’t have survived that kind of layoff. But these guys stuck with me and waited. So now we’re ready to do shows.

Tell me about the band.

Aaron Curioca is a guitar player, and Bobby Campbell plays drums, and Luke Martin is another solo artist like me, and he’s playing bass in it. Luke just released a record a little while ago.

And what kind of music are we talking about here?

It’s heavy modern rock. My solo music is modern rock, but I have one acoustic song on the record. You can get Scathing Indictment of the Righteous at the local places: Dimple, R5, The Underground and The Beat.

Has your music changed since the accident?

I’m still healing. The skull fracture was right below my eyebrow and my chest is still giving me trouble. Breathing is still a little rough. It was affecting my singing, but I’ve kinda powered through it. I think it put a new vulnerability in my vocals. I sang too loud before.

God gave me a mandatory voice lesson. He picked up Fair Oaks Boulevard and smacked me in the head with it.

Did your daughter get her prom dress?

She’s still too little. I’ve got nine years before I have to go back. I’m just hoping no one asks her to prom early.