INTERVIEW: Trench Town Oddities

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Things couldn’t be better. So excited, so much going on! TTO is currently writing and rehearsing brand new material as well as right in the middle of booking a North Eastern tour of US/CAN. 

So you guys recently released your new split EP Bonk – how did you guys end up joining forces for this album?

Well first and foremost, we all live in the same small Canadian border town and we all hangout together when we’re not on the road. We’ve been talking for a while of doing a split EP but it took us like 2 years to make it a reality. We’re all really good friends and often do shows together whenever we have a chance. When the discussion came up of possibly doing a split EP, it was a no brainer.

What´s the story behind the title?

Lol, that’s actual a pretty funny story. Again, we all live in the same small town and there’s a guy here who, although a great supporter of bands and an actual musician himself, is a bit of a shit show, well actually a lot of a shit show. He’ll do the most random stuff! Like one time he went to a Winston Marley show by himself and had a bird mask on all night. No one had a clue who it was and proceeded to do the bird dance in front of stage for the entire set. Well, his last name is “Bonk”, for real, and we were all sitting around drinking and talking about his latest exploits one night when someone said if we ever did an EP that we should call it that, “Bonk” and it kinda stuck.

How was the recording and writing process?

On this release we took a different approach then our past ones. Both bands had previously did the “big studio” thing and although we were happy with the results we both found that the release we’re a tad bit over produced. So after much discussion, we decided to try our hand at recording and producing the CD ourselves. Over the course of several months at various places including various band members homes and Winston Marleys’ practice space, we managed to track the CD. Once everything was recorded, our guitarist Bix (who is also in Winston Marley) mixed and mastered the release. The whole process was a very big learning experience and although it is far from our best sounding release, we feel that what it lacks in polish it more then makes up for in energy!

Why did you guys decide to take a DIY approach on this record in particular?

Believe it or not, we’ve been talking about it for some time. And not because of cost but for an opportunity to make the release sound more like what we hear in our heads as opposed to someone else’s. We’ve always had a very precise sound we’ve wanted to relay in our releases and although  we did not nail it 100% we feel it was great step in the right direction.

What were the CONs and PROs of taking this direction?

Well the obvious one right off the hop in the PRO column would be the chance at creative freedom like we’ve never had before. When you control the knobs on the console, you, in the end, control the end product to some degree. Another obvious PRO would be the financial savings that come with doing it ourselves. We own all our own recording equipment, which we’ve had for some time for demoing purposes, so all it really cost us was our time. On the negative side of things, you have to have a good handle on more than just recording and mixing to make your own CD. We quickly learnt the importance of good mic’ing techniques and how hard it really is to record drums and make them sound good. Another CON, which would be one most people wouldn’t realize is that yes, its great to actually have the freedom to record in the comfort of your own home but with the freedom comes the freedom to be lazy as well. There were a few times that we had to crack the wipe in order to get the CD back on track and moving forward!

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics on this record?

Obviously I can’t speak for the boys in Winston Marley, but for me, a lot of what I write about is just from my life experiences. Whether it be a broken heart, self doubt or a funny story, it’s a way for me to get it out and often times it’s a cleansing process for me. As far as music goes, anytime I sit down with my guitar, I’ll noodle around to get warmed up, playing whatever comes into my head. If its something that catches my ear, I’ll record it on my phone. Once I have time to write, I’ll sit down and go through all the riffs on my phone and see if there’s any good starting points for songs. Usually I’ll have 1 or 2 good starting points and then I just start building the song from there.

Would you say this record will give fans of both bands a sneak peek on how your respective forthcoming albums would sound like?

I would say that absolutely 100%. We are currently working on material for our next CD and already have about 8 songs completed. We’ve got a couple of tours to do this year so we’re hoping to test run the songs live then start the recording process, and hopefully have something new by summer.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes, for sure. As far as Winston Marley, I believe they are currently working on material for their next CD and will be doing the odd show here and there but Trench Town Oddities are currently working on 2 tours. Our spring tour will be with another great band who will remain nameless for now and we’ll be doing approx 10 dates with them. In the summer, we’re doing a house party tour. We’ve put out a call to our fans online saying if you want us to play at your house this summer, hit us up. We’ve got quite a few lined up and we’ve just starting putting the word out. Throw in the feastival season and its gonna be a busy year for TTO.

What else is happening next in your world?

Well, like I mentioned above, we’re hoping to have a new CD out and that’s really at the fore front of our minds right now. To make a good solid CD! Once that is done a ready, we’ll do what we do best – hit the road and play anywhere that’ll have us!


About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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