The “indie dreamboats” on pop bangers and fan tattoos.
Cramming into the back of a slightly stuffy tour van, TRASH graciously give me the middle seat directly in front of the air con before we start our chat. Parked in front of Bethnal Green’s Sebright Arms, which the band will wow later in the evening, we’ve relocated to the van for a bit of peace and quiet, but mostly so the Chesterfield born quartet can make a quick trip to the nearest takeaway after seeing London pub’s burger prices.
Made up of Daniel Longmore, Tom Barton, Evan Martin and Brad Weston, the boys have been creating music for three years and are now gearing up to release the follow up to 2015’s “Urban Glow” EP – due next month. The upcoming self-titled EP is set to establish the guys as indie frontrunners, with the four tracks showing their spectacular flair for technicolour pop bangers. Opening with track “Migraines”, its accompanying video (released this week) is full of their signature witticisms that flourish across the band’s Twitter page, and manifest brilliantly in between songs during their live performance. Following that with second track “81”, in which the guys tell us to make every second count, it’s clear the EP is destined to be infectiously fun, not unlike the lads themselves.
With the EP set for release on 11th August, the band are bound for greatness. But as they say on their website, they’re happy just to be known as “TRASH, the band that changed pop music.”
How did you all meet?
Tom: Me and Dan met over a love of 2013 indie pop, so Swim Deep, Jaws, Superfood era. Just going to gigs like little boys and wanting to do it.
Daniel: Wearing the band’s merch when we thought that was acceptable.
T: I’m a bit of an outsider actually because they’re all from the same place.
Evan: We all went to the same school but we’re all from the same town basically.
Brad: Me and Dan were in a band for a bit before these guys. That’s how we knew each other.
E: Dan just knew that I played guitar from school. So I was recruited through Facebook message, like “Do you wanna be in my band?” “Alright, will do.” That was it.
T: We all met at your old school. There’s a band rehearsal room there.
E: Dan would usually bring in his own songs and we’d just fiddle around with it and see what worked and what didn’t work.
T: We used to be really weird. Like, we’d write proper strange stuff but then we realised that people didn’t wanna listen to it.
How strange is strange?
T: Not like strange, but just kind of like weird structures, like three choruses and stuff like that.
D: There’s a six minute song called “Alone”. It’s really weird. It was really depressing, weren’t it?
T: Yeah, it was really weird.
E: It just goes on forever.
D: Yeah, we thought this weird time signature was quite clever.
T: Yeah, we thought we were so edgy.
D: We recorded it in 2014 when we were, like, 16. Basically it’s just really edgy and depressing.
E: It’s kind of weird that that’s the first thing we released so people got a bit of a strange image of what we sound like.
D: Well no one listened to it back then, did they? No one listens to it now…
B: It’s hidden away on Spotify right at the bottom.
E: Unless it’s ironic. Unless you listen to old TRASH shit ironically.
T: Someone’s got our old logo tattooed on them. He got it on his leg and then we changed it. We met him at Truck [Festival]. He just walked up to us. We were a bit like, “What the fuck?”
D: The thing about our name is when you’re on indie Twitter you see so many girls just saying like “Oh I’m trash” anyway so it kind of works, doesn’t it? If we ever break up, it’s still gonna have the same meaning.
When you first started making music together did you have the same idea of what you wanted the band to sound like?
B: We all like our different styles, don’t we? Like, I’m into pop punk…
E: That’s the Green Day cover band coming out in you!
T: I think that’s probably our most strong point. Like, the only reason we’re still around today is because we’re all completely different really.
Who are you guys listening to now?
D: I keep listening to bad Sum 41 type bands. You know all that poppy shit?
T: We don’t really listen to much new music anymore, do we? Like I said, when we started, we loved Jaws and stuff. Obviously Magic Gang and bands like that are really good, but we don’t really listen to them. You just listen to them when you play festivals with them.
D: You just realise that bands have got their sound by throwing back so you have to force yourself to dig a bit deeper. You can’t really take influence from modern day bands because you know that they took their influence from somewhere else.
T: That is another genuine issue. Like, listening to new music for me, I kind of found myself being like “Oh, I’d quite like to be like that” but then why would I wanna be like that? I wanna be like us. I listen to Moose Blood and I’m like “I fucking love this”, but then I think “Shit I should probably stop listening to this because I really wanna be in Moose Blood.”
D: I was talking to some fans in Sheffield the other day and I was saying “Who do we sound like, genuinely?”, because when you’re in the band you can only see the band from your own perspective, you can’t get out of your body and see it as a fan, and they literally said “You’re quite unique, you’ve got your own thing going on.” And that weren’t like anything we tried to do. I feel like naturally, because we are maybe a bit ignorant to old music, we’ve kind of created a new sound.
B: Do you remember when people used to say that we sounded like The Stone Roses?
T: The only people who say that are 40 year olds and they’re like “Ooh a bit of reverb, that sounds like The Stone Roses.”
How do you think you’ve changed since you first started putting music out in 2014?
B: Got fat? No, we’ve definitely got a more rounded idea of the industry and things like that.
E: We do more, like, straight up pop structures.
T: Not like selling out but just being more aware of radio times and the perfect song length.
E: More like how to write a good song.
T: We didn’t know anything about anything when we started. We were literally just thrown in the deep end.
E: And that’s how we ended up writing a six minute song.
D: Yeah, like, we’re more precise. Like, get the guitar hook and don’t fuck about with it, just ride with it. A lot of our songs now have got that one big hook that people remember. Before we’d do all these intricate parts and then realised that people don’t need them. They need that one thing that’s stuck in their head all day.
T: I think once we landed on our song “Migraines”, which has just come out, that’s when we realised we’ve got it in us to write a banger. When we played that to my brother for the first time he was singing it to himself two weeks later because it was still in his head.
B: Yeah, he gave himself a migraine…
The video is also brilliant.
T: We always said that that video is made for us, like there’s loads of little inside jokes that no one else will get.
D: The contract that we have to sign on the band maker app is full of proper funny stupid shit. One of them is like, “If you sign this contract, you have to write your setlist on a Post-It note and stick it on the front person of the crowd at every single gig.” Just shit like that. We didn’t even think about it. Cameron West did it, our friend from Bournemouth.
T: He just got inside our brains and did it.
You also just released “81” and both tracks feature on your upcoming self-titled EP. What can we expect from the EP?
B: Just indie pop bangers.
D: We’re gonna drop a third [track] before the whole thing.
T: It’s an 80s banger that we tried to make sound as much like The Cure as possible without being The Cure. I think it stands out on the EP as you can tell we had a bit of a moment when recording it. We turned all the settings on the pedals up and got the reverbs going on that.
D: The best thing is, is that they’ve all got that peng chorus. It’s not like five tracks but actually you only stick three of them on. It’s like five tracks that have each been given the same amount of attention, so they’re all our favourites. We don’t really have a favourite song… Apart from the last one which is called “Favourite Song”.
And what’s it like performing all the new songs?
B: Well now we’ve got even newer stuff.
T: As soon as you record songs, you’ve already written loads of new ones anyway. We recorded the EP like over a year ago so they’re not even new to us anymore.
E: And we wrote them probably two years ago.
T: Exactly. So we like playing our newer newer stuff.
D: The nicest thing is that now the new songs have come out, people actually know them. We’ve been playing “Migraines” for, like, two years but then no one actually knows it, so as soon as people know it it’s like it’s a new song again. It brings it life again.
T: I’m excited to give these songs a chance of having a good crowd.
B: Yeah, people singing it back to you, that’s the best thing.
Any plans for another EP or maybe an album?
D: Just singles I think this year and then we’ll sit down and figure out what the fuck we’re doing.
T: I think with an album, there’s no point in doing it if it’s not absolutely gonna bang because it’s so expensive. That sounds really corporate saying that, but it is just so expensive. I think the label would want an album but only when we’re ready.
D: I think we’ve got a lot of maturing left to do.
T: Definitely. I don’t think our songwriting is at the point yet where we could write 10 or 12 songs that would be good enough to put out. But, I mean, we’re all in this for the long run.
D: Yeah, I was watching a Black Honey interview the other week and they said how there’s no point in releasing something if the audience isn’t there.
T: It’s the same with Blossoms, they put it off for two years and they got number one so…
D: I hate bands that drop albums with like 2k likes, it’s like who are you doing it for? Your mum and dad? You’ve got to wait. But we’re putting out this EP and getting some more exposure so hopefully will get some new fans so we can eventually put out an album.
Finally, on your “About” section of your website you say that “true love is connecting with someone on a deep level at a TRASH show.” Have you seen that happen yet?
T: I’m sure someone did say that they met their girlfriend at one of our gigs…
E: No way!
T: Yeah, a lad in Sheffield. I think he met her on Twitter and then they met up at our show and I think he goes out with her now.
D: I think our gigs are good because there’s a nice balance between aggressive moshing and arm round friend, lighters in the air, so maybe that gets a bit romantic. A lot of bands are just pure rock and pure mosh, but as soon as you talk about your girlfriend or growing up, you get the feels and everyone can relate.
T: A lot of people have fun at our gigs. I think at our gigs, you don’t get hurt or anything, you just get a nice feeling.
D: Yeah you get that tingle… Or maybe that’s just when I had that curry.
E: Yeah, where exactly is that tingling sensation?
D: Well, it’s more of a burning sensation…
Maybe we should end with “burning sensation”… Thanks guys!