By Lily Wellen, Special to OnMilwaukee   Published Sep 15, 2016 at 11:16 AM

Most artists go on stage, play their songs and just do their thing, but 25-year-old Trapper Schoepp doesn't just perform; he goes out to tell stories that breathe even more life into his uptempo rootsy rock 'n' roll sound. He performs this weekend at Rock the Green.

"Rangers & Valentines," Schoepp's latest album, released this past April, finds that storytelling at its best. Despite his success at a national level in recent years, Schoepp remains committed to Milwaukee.

"For a big small town, there's a lot going on," Schoepp explained. "One night, you can stop into Company Brewing and see New Age Narcissism onstage, and the next, you can go down to The Pabst Theater and there's Jenny Lewis! Milwaukee thrives on summertime and festivals, but there's a diverse and surprising amount of music you can take in year round."

Schoepp either takes the stage solo with an acoustic guitar, or you can catch him with a seven-piece band, performing at Milwaukee's many venues. But his favorite in particular is Anodyne Coffee.

"[It] is a great addition to the scene," Schoepp said. "You can get your coffee or beer buzz on there and take in a show without too much commotion​. It has a listening room feel and feels loose."

Of course, Schoepp's performances aren’t limited to these small venues; he's also a festival favorite. In fact, you can catch him taking the main stage at Rock the Green at 1:35 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17. OnMilwaukee caught up with Schoepp to chat about the event's return after a hiatus in recent years and the environmental issues it champions. 

OnMilwaukee: What made you interested in performing at Rock the Green?

​Trapper Schoepp: I'm down with any effort to ​raise awareness about environmental issues. Unfortunately, many big festivals don't seem all that concerned about their footprint, and it's good to see Rock the Green taking a stand. There's usually a great deal of waste involved in putting on a production of this size.

What environmental issues are important to you?

We're seeing a major decline in the ​population of bees and other pollinators, which is alarming because of how important they are to our food supply. They help produce up to 70 percent of our plant based food, and colonies of bees are dying off worldwide due to pesticides and climate change. I just played an event for the Pollinator Friendly Alliance in Minnesota, so that's an issue that I feel strongly about at the moment.

In this state, we need to do a better job of protecting and preserving our natural resources. We've had a longstanding environmental legacy in this state that's been tarnished in recent years. If we continue to put commercial interests above environmental ones, we'll pay the price. 

What's your favorite part of nature?

Nature is extremely humbling. Go sit by Lake Michigan and consider its vastness or get out of the city and take a look at the stars. For me, nature gives perspective and makes the mundane day to day problems seem trivial.