Happy Saturday Everyone!
Today, I am so excited because joining us is the band Trench town! I found out about this fantastic group one day while surfing the net and I came across their cool video Waves:) I loved it so much, I knew it would be awesome to have them as guests. I was so excited when they said yes! Woo Hoo! So I would like to give a big thank-you to Trenchtown for hanging out with us today! So let’s get started.
For Trenchtown, brotherhood is everything. From the first time five kids with guitars met up after school in the rural town of North Adams, MI, just some 50 miles south of Detroit, they simply followed the path laid out for them.
It was one that would take them to far-off places as well as other rural towns, still guitars in hand, providing their signature four part harmonies blended with driving punk beats and rhythmic reggae accents.
That was when life got really busy. I recorded two mixtapes and an EP, booked tours during my school breaks, played out every weekend, and quietly built a super dedicated online fanbase through my social networks.Trenchtown’s music, then under the name Maryz Eyez, garnered them 1 and 3 hits on XM radio and two spots on the Vans Warped Tour. After several years of calling the Detroit music scene home, the band decided to take their show to SoCal and relocated to Hermosa Beach to work on their self titled debut “Trenchtown EP”.
Since arriving in the same beach town which has given rise to bands such as Black Flag and Pennywise, Trenchtown has been hard at work writing songs and learning the LA music scene. Upon a chance encounter, Nichols ran into Billy Graziadei of the band Biohazard at a local Best Buy and offered up a demo.
First track, the driving ska fueled opener, (“Ay Oh”). “We literally had this song complete,” vocalist Ryan Wagler reveals. “But Billy thought it needed some changes, one being a slight tempo increase of two BPM. Needless to say, we started over and worked all night. That’s how dedicated we all were on this project”
The six songs move from the melancholy and abstruse (“Paralyzed”) to the hook laden feel good reggae/pop of (“Unpaid Holiday”), featuring shout-it-from-the-rooftops choruses (“Let it Go”) and narratives about the wrongful conviction of an innocent man (“Murderer”).
Yet, the Trenchtown brotherhood is best conveyed live. “Our shows are no different from the house parties we started at,” Nichols says. “You rarely find us back stage, we only want to hang out with everyone before and after shows and share music during. Hope to see you there!!”
Indiewritersreview interview with Trenchtown
Indiewritersreview: Thanks so much Trenchtown for stopping today
Indiewritersreview: I recently discovered you guys when coming across your video Waves…I enjoyed the song and the video so much! It just seemed a lot of fun! After viewing…I knew you would be great on IndiewritersreviewJ
So, I would like to go ahead and get the basics out of the way…Starting with an introduction…help me if I get it wrongJ
Welcome to Ryan Wagler (vocals), Eric Wagler (bass), Greg Bolenbaugh (lead guitar), Mike Nichols (rhythm guitar) and Mike Burlett (drums)
Trenchtown: Yea Michelle, that’s pretty much it. Everyone in the band contributes a bit on vocals- nostalgic three and four-part harmonies are sort of a cornerstone, if you will, to our sound. Like most people, we grew up loving all different kinds of music. I guess we can thank our folks for the early influences of Motown & Doo Wop to artists like the Beach Boys; they certainly are instrumental in the molding of our vocal melodies. Then I suppose, as we discovered the bands of our generation- from big hitters like Green Day & Nirvana to Rancid & Sublime- and of course a hundred other bands that fall in there similarly- we began to drop it all in the blender that is “the art of creating music” and what comes out is more less what you hear on our records. As for the instrumentation of the band, it’s varied slightly over the years but basically is how it is at the present. We switch up instruments a bit throughout our live set- we like to think that it keeps things interesting and fun, for us and for the people that come to see the show.
Indiewritersreview: I have read that you all are from North Adams MI… a rural town outside of Detroit…so you all grew up together? How about a little history on how Trenchtown started?
Trenchtown: (Ryan) Yea we all pretty much grew up together. Eric is my brother and Nichols my cousin for starters. Eric, Nichols, and Burlett formed the original lineup of Trenchtown (then called Maryz Eyez) when they were still in Jr. High. Myself and Greg Bo were a few years younger and pretty much envied the fact that they were in a band so we started our own (a two piece called Pocket Lint). Although Pocket Lint shows were pretty much limited to when Maryz Eyez would let us open for them at a house party. Regardless, we were all great friends back then, went to the same high school and shared the same musical interests. When the guys looked to grow the band’s flavor, they came directly to me and Greg Bo and the rest is history.
Indiewritersreview: The release of your album, Trenchtown EP has garnered some great reviews! How did this album come about? Explain the process? Did you start out with the plan to create the album or had you accumulated music and decided to then feature it in this release?
Trenchtown: (Ryan) We had been on a short hiatus previous to these songs coming about. Eric and I lived in California and the others were still in Michigan. We would still play shows but very few (probably one weekend in Detroit every 3 months and one show in LA every 6 months). Eventually we all ended up together again and started doing what we always did, getting together and jamming. Naturally, ideas are formed and songs are put together. Once you have songs put together, might as well release them. That’s the formula for our albums/EPs. All but one of the songs (Unpaid Holiday) were brand new at the time we decided to record. But like I said, we had been inactive for a little while so we wanted a product at our shows for people to take home if they liked.
Indiewritersreview: I have read reviews stating that your music is a mix of Green Day and Sublime…bringing back old school Punk! How do you describe your music? What are your influences and why?
Trenchtown: I think we all have personal influences that may differ but down to the core we definitely share the love for the 90s punk wave (fat wreck chords, epitaph, etc…) and also grew up with grunge so that may come through a bit. Personally, I always loved how the band Goldfinger could take a nearly hardcore song and throw in a chorus that was straight up reggae. Sublime mastered the art of mixing genres too. To pull off something like that is something I admire and definitely influences how we want to make music.
Indiewritersreview: OkayJ I am switching gears a little, I’m curious how do you feel the trend of selling music on line, streaming and such will affect the music industry? Any prediction concerning CD and Vinyl sales; will digital music replace these formats?
Trenchtown: Wait, what’s a CD? 😉 Although Vinyl will probably be around forever due to the nostalgia factor, in my opinion, anything that can’t be turned into 1’s and 2’s, sent around the world in a millisecond, and finally downloaded onto a cell phone will eventually go the way of the dinosaurs. The old music industry is already dead. I think people should support bands they love (buy the music, see the shows, etc…) I also think bands should be generous and not try to rip off the people who get them to where they are. The coolest thing I’ve seen in awhile was about 3 years ago when the latest Pennywise album came out. They literally posted on their MySpace page that the album was free for a certain period of time and anyone who messaged them would get the free album download link sent to their email. Not saying that’s feasible for every band to do considering how many thousands it takes to create and distribute music, but that showed their fans they were grateful. Play a free show; give out a 1 song free download. A little goes a long way. Uhh… what were we talking about again?
Indiewritersreview: Alright, what’s in the future for Trenchtown? Are you touring right now? Do you have any projects in the works?
Trenchtown: Just got off a national tour and are doing some regional runs here in SoCal and the Southwest. Next month we’re heading overseas with a unique opportunity to play 2 weeks of shows on a US Naval Base (island of Diego Garcia) in the Indian Ocean thanks to Armed Forces Entertainment. Not sure what to expect but have a feeling it should be fun and probably one of the most interesting 4th of Julys we’ve ever been a part of. We have many friends who serve this country and meet new people all the time at shows that have been or are going back to serve. If we can bring a piece of home to these guys half way across the world we’re happy to.
Indiewritersreview: I want to thank all of you for stopping by to chat with us for a moment, where can my audience grab a copy of Trenchtown EP?
Trenchtown: Grab the EP or our newest album Against The Sun on ITunes http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/trenchtown/id387764167
Or of course at a show near you.
Indiewritersreview: Again, thanks guys for coming by and Fam: please, rush out and grab your copies of this incredible band Trenchtown and their new EP, self entitled Trenchtown!
THANKYOU!!!! – Trenchtown
Okay guys check out TrenchTown’s cool video WAVES!