For fans of modern hardcore, Trash Talk should need no introduction. The California four-piece have long been favourites for lovers of angry music, proving a highly influential force in contemporary hardcore with their furious blend of thrash-punk. Having played every noteworthy hardcore festival in the United States, touring to pretty much every corner of the globe with the likes of Alexisonfire and Gallows, and now set to play Australia’s Soundwave festival in 2011, they don’t look to be stopping anytime soon. With the release of their latest album "Eyes & Nines", the Sacramento locals have enjoyed unprecedented success for a hardcore band as a result of their do-it-yourself ethos and tireless international touring. Vocalist Lee Spielman recently caught up with KYS to chat about Air Jordans, Warsaw and weed.
Please start by stating your name, what you do in Trash Talk.
My name is Lee Spielman and I sing in Trash Talk.
The members of TT have changed a bit over the course of the band’s existence, can you give us some insight into how the band came to be as it is?
I started Trash Talk at the very end of 2005. I wanted to start a fast aggressive hardcore punk band so I got some friends together and made it happen. The current line up we have right now has pretty much been the same since the beginning with a few change ups here and there. Garrett and Spencer joined after our first few practices and have been gigging ever since. We met our drummer Sam when we did a west coast tour with his old band Pressvre. We asked him to join and he said yes so the rest is history. This current line up played on the Plagues EP, S/T LP, East Of Eden EP and our newest LP Eyes & Nines. Shout outs to all of our friends who have filled in and helped us out when we needed them. They have definitely been a big help to make sure we can stay on the road regardless of what is going on.
Having toured with countless amazing bands, what has your favourite show or tour been so far?
This is such a hard question to answer haha. We’ve had the opportunity to play with tons of different bands all over the world. I honestly don’t think I can pinpoint one specific favorite show or tour. Any day spent not at home is my favorite day.
What are the most important musical (or other) influences on Trash Talk’s music?
We all come from way different musical backgrounds and listen to tons of different weird shit. I’m honestly surprised Trash Talk sounds the way it does with the stuff we listen to. Our guitar player Garrett writes a lot of the music in TT and he listens to mostly Rap so that should give you an idea of how all over the place our musical influences are.
The new album "Eyes & Nines" has been released just recently, how has the response been so far?
The response has been great so far. We just did our first tour off the new record and a lot of people knew the new songs. It was rad. We recorded Eyes & Nines awhile ago so it was good to get out and play the new stuff in a live setting. We are all super stoked to take this record around the world and see what happens with it.
"Sacramento is Dead" is a sure favorite for many old fans, do you hate your city as much as the song would suggest? Tell us a bit about the scene in your hometown.
Sacramento is an alright town. It’s pretty mellow. It’s a great place to chill when we aren’t on tour. I’ve grown to like Sacramento more with age. The scene in Sacramento is pretty strong right now. There are a good amount of promoters and bands making stuff happen all around town. We have a really good house show scene going on right now. Punk, Hardcore and Metal shows happen in Sacramento almost weekly. It’s awesome cause there is always something to go out and do.
Having put out your last three releases without a record label, what do you think the impact of this has been?
I think it shows that you don’t need anyone else but yourselves to put out a legit record. You can do anything anyone else can do. All it takes is a little research and hard work. It definitely takes a lot of extra time to go do everything yourself but at the end of the day you will feel better about the finished product. It’s good to have people in your corner to help you do things but you should never lose control of your band.
Can you tell us a bit more about the TT Collective?
TTC is our record label that we release all of our material on. It’s run by us and a few of our close friends. We have put out a handful of records, some zines and a book titled Trash Talk Collective Volume 1. Our latest release Eyes & Nines was TTC – 007. We started TTC so we can have full control over everything that goes on with this band. It’s been pretty hard work so far but it’s worth it. Check out our website for a list of releases and fresh info as it comes in. We have a ton of cool shit in the works. Get with it.
You’ve had Kerrang! award nominations, coverage in Rolling Stone and now you guys are about to head out on what is essentially a world tour. Would you ever have been able to anticipate the level of success you’ve enjoyed recently?
It’s been a bit crazy lately. I never would have thought a band I started in my friends garage in Sacramento would go out and do this much. We started this band with the intention of putting 100% into everything we do and I would like to think we have maintained that since we started. The goal now is just to keep doing us regardless of what happens.
Having now travelled the globe with your band, what has been your favourite place and why?
My favorite city I’ve been to on tour is Warsaw, Poland. That city has gone through so much shit over the years and it shows when you walk around. I had a great time walking around looking at the town and the show was awesome. Kids were super stoked that a band made the effort to come out that far. It was all around a great time. I can’t wait to get back there.
Do you guys have any particular tour rituals?
We had a pair of baby Jordan 1’s that traveled from van to van with us haha. They were recently thrown out by the guy who we rented our last van from. It’s bummer because we have been through so many vans. Those shoes have seen the world. One tour ritual that will never leave this band is smoking weed. We smoke a lot of weed everyday. It keeps us alive.
What do you guys rock in the tour van? Any bands you’ve been listening to lately worth checking out?
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of The XX, The Cribs, The Spits, Touche Amore and Slices. Our drummer Sam has been listening to a lot of Best Coast, Sleigh Bells and Eddy Current Suppression Ring. All of those bands are awesome. Our bass player Spencer just sang on our friends band Sharks new record and it sounds sick. You should definitely check them out.
Do you or any other members of the band have separate musical projects as well as TT?
Not as of right now. Our main focus at this point is Trash Talk. We don’t really have much time for anything else.
With such an astounding list of recent successes, what does the future hold for you guys?
I’m not sure. We just want to stay on the road as much as possible and keep doing our thing. Our new LP just came out so we are going to be playing on that for a little while. We plan on hitting up the world. We have some cool stuff in the works for upcoming releases. We will have some new books and records coming out soon. Keep your ears peeled for those.
Thanks a bunch for the interview, keep up the good work! Look forward to seeing you in early 2011. Any last comments?
We are super stoked to be coming over for Soundwave next year. Australia was fucking crazy last time. If we are playing in your area come out and catch a show. See you soon. Forwards ever backwards never not working.