Chances of finding a new favourite band whilst MySpace trawling are admittedly pretty slim. In 2008, in amongst all the talentless singer songwriters, friend requesting nu-metal bands and pouting lad rock posers, Trash Kit managed to unearth themselves just before the whole ‘lo-fi’ scene was invented by bored bedroom bloggers around the globe. With a ridiculous work ethic, the band have spend their time since then by playing an inhumane amount of shows, selling out numerous 7” and CD-Rs and putting out a glorious debut on Up The Racket, all whilst wearing face paint. Taking time out from making short, sharp ditties about cats, one of the trio’s two Rachel’s had a break to chat with us about… well, lots of things.
Hi Rachel, how are you?
VERY WELL THANKS! I had tonsillitis though it was SO bad.
How did Trash Kit get together?
We were in other bands together at first – we met at The Here Shop in Bristol back in 2007 some time and we’ve been friends and collaborators ever since! We are really close friends but also we wouldn’t know each other if it wasn’t for music which is pretty cool.
What do you think about being branded as ‘lo-fi’ by pretty much everyone? Does it get annoying?
A bit. People who say our album is lo-fi really need to hear our demos – they would make their ears bleed!! Lo-fi is not a genre and never has been, All I can imagine it really stands for is a way of recording or an attitude towards instruments… nowadays digital technology makes recording things relatively “hi-fi” actually pretty easy so you have to go out of your way to record a genuinely lo-fi sound. The only band I can think of that actually do that would be someone like Times New Viking – they use VHS and some weird out-dated stuff to record. We get lumped with all those kind of bands but that’s just people being lazy – our sound is quite simple, but just because it’s not U2 or whatever we get called lo-fi.
Your debut was put out on Upset the Rhythm. Does that mean that you’re super cool?
YES! UTR have been our favourite label/ promoters for ages so we were so stoked when they asked us to record – it was straight after the first time they saw us play (it was terrible! my amp blew up!) so that was really so exciting. They are the nicest people ever and their attitude and ethos fits with everything that we feel strongly about – a perfect match!
What would you say inspired your sound? Any acts/albums/events in particular?
(Vocalist) Rachel and I used to live together and started the band. At that time we were listening to a lot of New York no wave stuff – I was really into Y Pants and every time I would go into Rachel’s room there would be these terrifying screams, but she was just listening to DNA a lot. Ikue Mori was a big inspiration for both of us – she’s amazing – we had a really goofy picture of her on our MySpace. A lot of people gave us gigs just because of that picture, I reckon. We were also really into Marnie Stern – completely the other end of the spectrum in terms of attitude but we think she’s pretty cool. Some songs on the album used to be called ‘the Marnie Stern one’ because we thought sounded like her! ha! I bet no one could ever guess that.
What was your mindset going into the recording of the album? Obviously, you earned a fanbase through your noisy demos, did that colour your thinking at all?
To be honest I never really liked our demos much. They sounded cool because of all the garage band shitty noise and there was a lot of energy in the songs because we were so excited when we recorded them (far too excited to do ANY second takes) but I was always aware you couldn’t really hear what was going on. Ros wasn’t in the band at that point so there’s no bass. When we went to record with John Hannon in his studio we deliberately didn’t play him any previous recordings at all – he’d never seen us play and had no internet access so couldn’t check out the demos even if he wanted to. We went in knowing absolutely nothing about recording but just told him we wanted to record the songs so you could hear them properly. The whole thing was recorded in 3 days – still pretty much no second takes though.
What are your songs about? They’ve got the most amazing titles, like ‘Pig Cat’ and ’50ft Woman’.
Pig Cat actually is just about a really fat cat that we used to know – we’re all a bit cat obsessed – but 50ft woman is totally serious It’s about the repression of feminist histories, but the lyrics are just about boring things so it could also be read as being about how anyone deals with personal history. It was originally called Attack of The 50ft Woman (after the B movie, I really love 50s B movies a lot) the 50ft woman is like the white elephant in the room, it a kind of cartoon imagining of how feminism is still important but nobody wants to talk about it
Oh and how did the facepaint start?
When we played our first proper gig we were both pretty nervous about it – we were playing to friends but also a lot of people we wanted to impress I think… but the face paint seemed like a way of psyching ourselves up – giving us some kind f voodoo power so we felt fierce and invincible think we still do it for the same reasons – and so that we don’t just feel like our boring un-confident selves, it’s kind of like wearing drag.
What are your plans for the future then? Anything exciting?
EVERYTHING EXCITING! We are planning a tour at the end of September and also we’ve just recorded two songs in Rachel’s living room for a split 7″ on Club Milk records with Woolf. We’re also releasing two tracks that didn’t make it onto the album through Upset The Rhythm soon – designing the 7″ sleeve for that now. Other plans involve making a new issue of our ‘zine, starting a dance troupe, learning to finger tap, whilst Ros is learning slap bass. Oh and Rachel and I have both got some new bands starting (you can never be in too many bands!) Halo Halo and Covergirl, they are not on the internet. YET!