Filed under: Press | Tags: Crossbeat Magazine, Magazine, Music, Press, Trashcan Sinatras
Don’t you just love music genres? Rock, Punk, Ska, Folk, Dance, Future Garage, Technical Death Metal and Neo-Acoustic?
I’m not really sure what ‘Neo-Acoustic’ means musically and it’s not a genre I’d associate with the Trashcan Sinatras, but it seemed to be on the agenda for this 1991 interview in Japanese rock magazine, ‘Crossbeat’.
Here’s Paul telling us what it all means…
The Boys Wonders
The Trash Can Sinatras
Making music on guitar is real.
Nothing beats a Rickenbacker.
The No.1 talented newcomers, comfortable under the shadow of the 1980’s Neo- acoustic scene
Somehow, there is a band that’s never been paid attention to properly, even though they have always been in the top 10 on the CMJ charts for the last 10 years. Even in their home country of Scotland they have been largely overlooked. The Trash Can Sinatras. You could say that they are the last remaining Neo-Acoustic band in existence, but their music is more than just a movement in the past. It has new potential for the future. Their debut album ‘Cake’ shows their genuine talent in the sound and the well thought out arrangement, even between each song. It has been almost a year since the first album was released but their talent still stands out. I personally put these guys in the top 3 rookie bands of last year. I would love them to be heard more among those who pursue real music. I hope they become popular, like The Railway Children after their success in England. Let’s listen to Paul Livingston telling us why “Neo-Acoustic isn’t just relaxing picnic music.”
Can you please tell us how the band came together?
There were different guys coming and going at first, but by 1988 I was doing covers with John, Frank and couple of other guys. We made demos, visited a few record companies and Go! Discs came and saw us when we were supporting The Lilac Time. We’ve all known each other since school, and often got together for drinks.
Is it true that you used to play Frank Sinatra, too?
That’s just a joke! (laughs) Although we did do some when we had just started out.
What does The Trash Can Sinatras mean?
This name was chosen before I joined. John was there when they decided on the name. I joined after so I can’t really explain it.
I love your debut album. It incorporates all the typical but wonderful Neo-acoustic sounds from the early ‘80s but with your own quality added to it. Were you inspired by those bands?
I don’t really like to say which bands I was inspired by. Besides, I don’t really have any. To be honest, I don’t like Aztec Camera. We are often compared to them, but the one similarity between us is that we both play the guitar and sing.
Well, that’s not what I was expecting to hear. I remember John saying he liked Aztec…?
I don’t know what everyone else says, but I don’t like them! I like The Smiths and the Cocteau Twins, but none of the others are any good at all. Lloyd Cole moved to Glasgow just so that he can pretend to be cool!
(Laughs) So what is your opinion of the guitar pop bands in the ‘80s?
I liked some of them, but I reckon most of them are crap! I do listen to the Stone Roses, but they are not enough to get me really hooked.
OK, then what was your purpose when making this album if your weren’t trying to encourage neo-acoustic to make a come-back to the music scene against this current dance music boom?
It’s not a big deal for us. We’ve never had any intention to do a specific thing. We just make music. We like to spend time in the studio. There’s nothing better than a Rickenbacker.
There are three people listed as producers on this album, the band, John Leckie and Roger Bechirian…
Yes, and I think that the album was good as a result. It shows us very well. Some songs are soft and melodic, some are a little harder. You need to listen to more than one song to understand us. You’ll know when you listen to the whole album. Those two have also been our drinking buddies. (laughs)
I noticed that you used the band name as a writing credit on the album….
It looks better that way, doesn’t it? After all, we are a band and we are all involved in making the music.
So nothing like Roddy Frame splitting to do his solo project, and not like the stand-out Morrissey/Marr combination. If we think recently, then more like Ride?
Yeah, we all get on really well, and we only think about music as a band. We’ve never thought about branching out into solo projects.
Would it be fair to say that your songs kind of seem to be about the conflict of becoming an adult?
Hmmmm, maybe …. No, on the surface it might seem like we’re writing about that feeling, but we don’t particularly follow any theme or philosophy. It changes with each song.
Thrupenny Tears seems to criticise the recent dance music scene…
Ah, that was just a little bit of mucking around. There’s not really any malice or harm intended. Some people write political lyrics, but we don’t try to do that. We don’t know enough about that field. Personally, I like Primal Scream. I don’t really know The Soup Dragons. In regards to recent house and dance music, I don’t listen to stuff that has no melody!
Did people around your age have any direct experiences with punk?
Some in the band did. George, John, Steve, those three were apparently really influenced by it. I think it was one of the reasons for starting the band. But me, not at all. I had no interest in it.
For example, Irish band Power or Dreams said this; “We want to be seen as a completely new generation of band. Don’t put us in the same basket as any previous Irish bands.” How do you feel about your own Scottish roots?
We’re not part of a music “scene” that comes out of Scotland, and we have never thought of ourselves as being part of any scene. It just so happens that at the moment we are doing this kind of music, and it just happens to be that we are from Scotland. Besides, there’s a very real chance that our music could change a lot from now, and I think that it would be a natural thing. There’s nothing particularly “Scottish” in our music.
So there you have it. Neo-Acoustic explained. I don’t think I’m any the wiser to be honest. An interesting part of the article for me, however, was the little fact of the Trashcan’s being ever present in the CMJ’s Top Ten charts. Here’s the proof for the album, ‘Cake’ and also debut single, ‘Obscurity Knocks’…
1991 Crossbeat Magazine, Japan.Follow @fivehungryjoes
Filed under: Press | Tags: Album Reviews, Music, Press, Tennents Live! News, Tracey Pepper, Trashcan Sinatras
‘Spoofs’ was the original working title for the Trashcan’s debut album before it was changed to ‘Cake’.
Prior to it’s 1990 release, some music publications did review it under the original title. One such publication was Tennents Live! News – a magazine produced as part of the Tennents Live! music sponsorship programme which focused on the Scottish music scene.
Here’s the review, however, Tracey Pepper was hardly wetting her pants at what she’d just heard.
July 1990 Tennents Live! News Issue #9Follow @fivehungryjoes
Filed under: 2015-2016 Wild Pendulum | Tags: CD, Music, Pledgemusic, Trashcan Sinatras
‘Wild Pendulum’ is the sixth album from the Trashcan Sinatras – and it’s a triumph.
Coming seven years after previous album, ‘In The Music’, Wild Pendulum was released with some help from the band’s loyal fan base, who donated in various ways through their Pledgemusic campaign. You could’ve bought a CD, a T-Shirt, a vinyl, a bedtime story, a guitar lesson or even a guitar itself, if you were feeling flush. It’s been a great campaign for the band and those who pledged have been rewarded with a wonderful album.
There’s a different feel to the songs this time with strings and things driving the music along while the guitar riffs get locked up in the back seat. However, don’t let that put you off, they do get unbuckled for a few lovely solos, particularly on track 7, The Neighbours Place – a track which shuffles along at a pace similar to In The Music’s ‘Oranges and Apples’. There’s also another nice little touch on track 3, Ain’t That Something – about half way through, there’s a wee tip-of-the-guitar to ‘The Genius I Was’ from third album ‘A Happy Pocket’ – at least that’s what I hear.
Simon Dine, who many years ago signed the band to Go! Discs, makes a return and according to the sleeve notes, provides some ‘sonic scenery’. The whole thing was then brought together by Mike Mogis. If you’re a fan of the work of Conor Oberst, you’ll recognise Mike as a member of Conor’s Bright Eyes project. Mike has produced and performed on a number of releases on Nebraska’s Saddle Creek label and also sprinkled his magic on two albums by Swedish folk duo, First Aid Kit.
The magic continues on Wild Pendulum…
Some pledgers became executive producers for the day and got their names printed on the liner notes…
The artwork and design on the sleeve is wonderful. Designed by ‘How It Is Nowadays’ who are based in Brooklyn, New York.
2016 Trashcan Sinatras / Pledgemusic / Red River EntertainmentFollow @fivehungryjoes
Filed under: Press | Tags: Freckfest, Irvine Herald, Music, Plain or Pan, Press, Trashcan Sinatras
Here’s a recent article written in my local paper about the wee army of fans who’ve helped keep the Trashcan Sinatras going over the years.
‘Off The Freckord’ is a weekly feature, written by Craig McAllister, and is part of the Freckfest initiative who’s main aim is to revive Irvine’s flagging local music scene.
If you were a member of the Trashcan’s forum (remember that? – screw you Facebook), you’ll know him as the infamous Phil Spector. He also writes the very wonderful and brilliant Plain or Pan blog. There’s a link over there on the left, or you could always just click here.
3 June 2016 Irvine HeraldFollow @fivehungryjoes
Filed under: Press | Tags: Album Reviews, Music, Press, Q Magazine, Trashcan Sinatras
David Roberts wasn’t happy with The Trashcans’ third album, ‘A Happy Pocket’ in this two-star review from Q Magazine. According to David, the band had moved away from their coy, jangly sound to cardboard, cartoon pop.
Q Magazine, September 1996Follow @fivehungryjoes