1.Kate Bush once said that music gives her the freedom to
be who she wants to be. Is this the same for you?
Jimmy-Lee: I guess Kate was also referring to her alter-ego persona,
as well as her musical freedom. I guess for this band, Im in no
rush to wear a Ziggy Stardust outfit or a Russian Babooshka dress like
Kate, but in terms of musical freedom, essentially we are writing for
ourselves and there is no compromise.
Susanne: I completely feel like I am who I want to be when me
and James record and write songs in a bedroom somewhere. We are completely
in our own world. I still feel a bit uncomfortable singing live, but
this is getting a bit easier sometimes it feels like I am entering
another world, which is cool.
2.For music fans who may not yet know much about you, could you give
us some background information on your musical pasts / how you both
met + whats the story behind your name Trailer Trash Tracys?
Susanne: Me and James met in another band, that was kind of a
girl / boy band version of The Velvet Underground. As you can imagine,
this did not really work, so we started to write songs on the side and
eventually decided to start our own band. The other members that joined
(Dayo and Martha) were friends of friends. The band name was James
invention I still dont know where it comes from?
Jimmy-Lee: The band name is from a character in a film, but the
character was very interesting, she worked in a circus and swallowed
swords amongst other things it was her art. She was amazing,
and it was her attention-to-detail to this art, that I liked.
3.As a band, what was the first song that you ever played together,
and how long after this was it until you realised that you had something
special / that there was a chemistry between you?
Susanne: We started out writing a few years ago and it started
out bad, very bad actually. It was not until we finished Candy Girl,
that I realised there was some kind of magic there.
4.Your songs are very melodic and dreamy, but from all of your favourite
music, which melodies instantly spring to mind?
Susanne: ABBA - Angel Eyes. Roy Orbison - In Dreams. Blondie -
In The Flesh.
Jimmy-Lee: When I was a child, my Dad drove me to school and we
only had six cassette-tape albums to play, in the beaten-up stereo of
an Austin Maestro; The Beatles For Sale, ABBA Gold, Best Of Pet Shop
Boys, Stevie Wonder Greatest Hits, Filipino Traditional Folk Songs Vol.
2 and The Sound Of Music Soundtrack. For five years, this was my half-hour
jukebox in the morning five fucking years, because the radio
didnt work. So the melodies of these albums spring to mind, because
having been brainwashed as a kid with it for five years every day, its
the only thing I learned at school!
5.What would you choose as your Desert Island Discs?
Jimmy-Lee: Obviously not the above albums. I guess I would have
to have ridiculously happy sunshine music, to distract the mind from
contemplating suicide on the island
I guess it would be a lot
of heavy B-Lined Reggae.
Susanne: Evert Taube (Swedish composer).
6.As yet another sign of how The Music Industry is constantly changing,
The Boxer Rebellion recently announced a groundbreaking collaboration
with HMV, which will see the retailer act as a strategic partner for
their second album UNION. Late Of The Pier are also set to start
their own label, Zarcorp Inc, in order to run a monthly Singles
Club to help promote new artists / groups who they like. And Jack
White has just launched The Vault, a subscription service
that offers exclusive content including videos and music of bands he
is involved in, ticket presales, as well as sending physical releases
to those who have signed up. Do you feel these are all innovative and
beneficial ideas, for musicians and fans alike?
Jimmy-Lee: The Boxer Rebellion? Blimey, I remember getting spam
e-mails from them, saying how great their band was when the Internet
was invented, when I was at school. It is a revolutionary time in music
history isnt it? The Internet has decentralised the marketing
power, shifting it into the hands of the public
Or so youre
led to believe
Its still the large corporations who have
the money to put the big advert banners on MySpace saying, La
Roux - Best Haircut Of The Century etc. Nevertheless, you can
put your music up, send a link around and be as annoying as you want
in advertising it
Are these ideas innovative or beneficial? I
would be the wrong person to ask, I only listen to new music when a
reliable source tells me, Jimmy, you have to listen to this band
as it will save your life on a desert island. Otherwise, I wont
bother searching or subscribing
Jack Whites venture sounds
like its for the everyday consumer sheep.
Susanne: It is mostly good that The Music Industry is changing.
Big record labels seem to be slowly losing their power, so hopefully,
there will be less crap music forced upon us in the future. Unfortunately,
there is no money in music anymore, so I cant see myself giving
up my part-time job anytime soon.
7.Continuing with this train of thought, Abbey Road is now offering
its services to new acts at reasonable rates, whereby artists / groups
can submit music via www.abbeyroadonlinemastering.com for the studios
engineers to master their singles and albums. Do you think this is a
positive step and are there any records that you just love the overall
Jimmy-Lee: Its a positive step, if youre a band that
doesnt have an idea of what you want to sound like. I have to
be physically there to produce and master its your music
being processed. Doesnt matter if its Abbey Road or Tinpot
Studios does it? You need the final say.
Susanne: Sounds like a good idea, but if everyone can afford Abbey
Road, maybe it will not be that special anymore? We love this American
band, Sunsplit, their production is amazing and we hope we can hear
them play live one day.
8.How often do you learn / deconstruct other peoples songs,
to help develop new techniques and increase your knowledge of sounds
etc. and do you have any specific examples of tracks that youve
analysed, or musical arrangements that you are fascinated by?
Susanne: I really like old rock 'n' roll you cant
Jimmy-Lee: The best pop songs are simple and minimal even
just 2 chords. Too much drums and guitar parts can spoil a song. Ive
been listening to a lot of Charles Mingus and his arrangements were
crazy, but thats jazz. In terms of pop music, I did deconstruct
a lot of Blondie and Roy Orbison songs and there is a key vocal note
that exists in all these songs. Songs we like, have a minimal low note
phrase for the chorus and no big high note wails for a chorus. Thats
cheese, too obvious, too easy
Its our choice to have songs
stripped down, no big dramatic drum rolls, no keyboards, no string section.
One of my favourite albums was by Young Marble Giants, just making the
sound less epic and more sincere, natural and innocent
this sounds pretentious.
9.Is the length of your songs important to you and what are the main
themes of your lyrics / do you make sure that every word fits into a
song, or is there a process of editing involved?
Susanne: We dont really worry about the length of our songs,
as long as it is all good parts put together. Usually, we write the
lyrics about a certain incident in our life, but as some words sound
better than others, we do have to change it around sometimes.
Jimmy-Lee: Whoever came up with these questions, is obviously
in a band!!! At this stage, its usually the lyrical phrase that
suffers for the melody, but 90% of the time, we can get the desired
lyrical phrase in the song.
10.There was a recent report on the sad demise of the a-side / b-side
single package, and how standalone singles may help to reverse this
trend. Do you think this is feasible, and what are some of your favourite
a-side / b-side single packages of all-time?
Jimmy-Lee: Singles are doomed. Nothing can save them.
11.Music critics often argue that the best music is as much
the expression of a state of mind, as a construction in sound.
What are your feelings on this, and do you think the traditional printed
music press will be able to survive for much longer / continue to have
an impact, with the ever-growing number of webzines and bloggers?
Jimmy-Lee: In answer to the first part of your question, yeah,
thats a small part of it. I would put the cultural significance
and uniqueness too.
Susanne: Also, I know it sounds cheesy, but we really want people
to feel something when they listen to our music, there is too much emotionless
music out there.
Jimmy-Lee: You cant fake that, it all has to be genuine
and this should transcend on record. Will the printed music press be
able to survive for much longer / continue to have an impact? I hope
12.What would be your dream gig, if you could choose 1 headline band
and 2 support acts?
Jimmy-Lee: I prefer playing music than watching, so, headline:
Jimmy-Lee with Elvis. First support: Jimmy-Lee playing guitar with Jimmy
Hendrix guitar duel to the death. Second Support: Jimmy-Lee with
Susanne: The Beatles (in The 60s), Blondie (in The 70s)
and Suicide (in The 80s).
13.How would you spend your ideal day?
Susanne: Reading a good book in the sun by the seaside.
Jimmy-Lee: Travelling on a train to a place I havent been
14.What are your biggest hopes for your debut album, and for Trailer
Trash Tracys long-term?
Susanne: We would love to do that one great album and for TTT
to go full-time.
Jimmy-Lee: I just want people to keep playing the album time after
time after time. We are not aiming for a quick sale, something stylistic
for the moment
Dare I say it, a classic. But realistically, bands
are too easily taking the easy option and picking up the latest sequencers,
keyboards etc. and going for the grooviest rhythm and disregarding a
decent song. Guitar-driven bands are still the coolest.
15.Lastly, chips or cream buns?
Susanne: I dont care so much for this kind of English food.
But as I like cream, I have to say the cream buns.
Jimmy-Lee: Without a doubt, it has to be chips. I would lace and
drench them with as much vinegar as the chip bag could hold
one of Britains greatest institutions, The Fish & Chip Shop.
A very special thanks to Susanne + Jimmy-Lee, and
to Tiger @ Fourth Floor Music, for all of their time and help.
7 oclock and my heartbeat stops
My candy girl