INTERVIEW

The bedroom door is open, and so too is the entrance to any stage this ethereal four care to play

Photography by Kelda Hole

THE BEDROOM DOOR IS OPEN

Manteaser boob-tubes, Jack Skellington backpacks, Buffalo Boots and porkpie hats. Roybans, slow motion tourists, Proud Galleries and Suggs. There are plenty of shitters synonymous with Camden Town, but tonight we are treated to the typical north London vagrant of the piss-on-the-towpath-wash-hands-in-the-canal variety. It’s 10pm and Trailer Trash Tracys’ have just finished suspending the Lock Tavern in a bubble of reverberating shoegaze. By the water’s edge of Camden Lock they’re being photographed for the very first time, while – what with it being after dark in NW1 – a hygienically challenged ligger turns the air blue, unsatisfied with the positioning of Susanne [vox], Jimmy [guitar], Adam [bass] and Dayo [drums]. Sloshed and slurring he slumps just out of shot, professing to “know what I’m talking” until the polite four appease the moany Rankin by partaking in their second ever photo call, shot, naturally, on a Sony Ericsson mobile phone. Hands down, our pictures are better.

Further along the path the band have time to reflect on their fifth gig. “It was alright,” says an unsure Jimmy. “I had a problem with my guitar, but O Children let me use one of theirs, which was very nice of them. Every gig sounds a bit different, I mean, tonight was very distorted‚””

“It’s because we’ve got a very ambitious sound, I think,” reasons Adam. “We’re having to work a lot on the tones and stuff, but it’s coming together. It relies on the soundmen being nice as well. When we have nice soundmen we all enjoy ourselves.”

Susanne: “It was hard for us to know how we were going to get it sounding good live, because it was always a bedroom band.”

‚” Jimmy’s bedroom to be exact. That’s where the guitarist and Susanne would write songs intended for an old band. But demos like the shimmering ‘Strangling Good Guys’ – TTT at their most soaring – soon became products of a side project, and quickly their main interest. “I hadn’t really written music before and I didn’t think I could do it,” says Susanne “but we just had to learn together, I guess.”

Adam – a man so good with sound he’s produced the band’s debut single himself – joined on bass, while Victoria Smith of Ipso Facto initially helped out on drums. Now with Dayo thwacking the band’s electronic pads, Trailer Trash Tracys find themselves making dreamy, Cocteau Twins-esque pop designed for larger stages than those they play, and it’s starting to effect how the band are being perceived.

“We get called drone rock,” says Adam “but I think that comes from playing in small venues and we have to turn the amps up too loud because the PA’s not big enough. Then it does sound droney, but it’s not intentional. I think James and Susanne have written some really nice pop songs while keeping the aesthetic right.”

“Principally, we’re trying to write songs with melodies,” agrees Jimmy. “We let the thing breathe.”

Adam: “Our philosophy is to make every instrument sound big, and that for me sums up the music.”

“And we want to keep it minimal,” adds Susanne. “They’re all quite simple songs really, but we try not to put labels on ourselves. Whatever people say we are‚” okay.”

One term is pushing it though. As wide of the mark as ‘drone rock’ appears once you’ve heard just how euphoric Trailer Trash Tracys’ washy soundscapes are, ‘Lo Fi’ is something that may apply to the band’s early recordings (laid to tape by self-professed novice Jimmy), but not their music. The songs are simple and minimal, but sophistically crafted.

‘Candy Girl’ – a downbeat track pinned down by Adam’s lethargic, surfing bassline and Susanne’s emotional, breathy vocals – will be the band’s first single, released via the No Pain In Pop label. We meet at the end of a two-week studio session that’s seen the band attempt to recreate the melancholic strength of the song’s original demo recording, while “making it a bit more suitable to be played on the radio.” Because, sure, Trailer Trash Trashed are company so fine that they’ll pose for sozzled David Baileys covered in piss at 10pm, but they’re an ambitious crowd also.

When they started, Jimmy and Susanne simply wanted to play one live gig (“That was my only goal,” nods the singer “even if I only played once”), but since the shows came to them (unprompted and shortly followed by a manager, a PR and now the music press), the posts have been hugely shifted. Jimmy’s after a great album, Susanne fancies an American tour, much to the grins of her band-mates who remind her that not long ago one live gig, anywhere, was enough. And as sure as the fact that you’ll be offered “coke, hash, skunk” next time you’re in Camden, Trailer Trash Tracys will live out whatever fantasies they desire. They’ve certainly got the songs for it, and now, with 5 very different sounding live shows under their belt, they’ve got the confidence too.

“I personally think that we’re a global band,” says Jimmy. “I really think you could play our songs to anyone, anywhere and they stand for themselves. It’s not about a scene, it’s not about a time, it not about a location. I could play it to my grandma. I’ll strip down the distortion and she’ll like it.”

Originally published in issue 6 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. May 2009

« Previous Interview
Next Interview »