Interview with Trash Fashion
It's been a hectic three years for Trash Fashion, the London-based four-piece. After exploding onto the scene with their 2006 club hit 'It's A Rave Dave', the band have performed all over Europe and the US, and played at last year's prestigious SXSW festival. They have been on two mammoth UK tours and supported Faithless at the NIA. Their hard work culminated in the release of their debut album 'Nights Of Error' in October last year. But never quiet for long, the boys are back to kick-start our summer by putting their unique twist on the Hall and Oates classic 'I Can't Go For That'. Keen to find out more, Contactmusic.com took the opportunity to catch up with lead singer, Tom Marsh to talk music, sound reinventions, nudity and..Neighbours!
The one thing that strikes you about Trash Fashion is that they love to have fun. They don't take themselves too seriously and that, it seems, has been the ethos from the start. It was probably this party attitude, their unique image and their first single, 'It's A Rave Dave' that saw them pigeon- holed into the New Rave scene. And although the exposure was great at the time, that label hasn't been easy to shake off, as Marsh explains: 'The whole New Rave thing, I regret it in some ways because there was a backlash against it for a period in a way. We should have just said f*ck off.I'm proud of that song, but it was never meant to be a particularly serious track and wasn't meant to be a statement of what our band was all about'.
Keen to show the world what the band was about, Trash Fashion's sound has been through a number of reinventions. From their Daft Punk influenced electro-dance beginnings, they experimented with a heavier, more rock sound before returning to their roots. 'We've probably come full circle in some respects, and have gone maybe a bit more pop, definitely a bit more electro and a bit more dancey than we were before'.
It seems the Trash Fashion sound is now once again firmly rooted in dance (with band-mates and brothers Tom and Ben also remixing and DJing under the name RMRM). But listening to the new EP it's evident they are still a very versatile band; from the thumping, break-beat title track to the brilliant rock-tinged riffs of U Were The One. So dance music aside, it's not surprising that Marsh cites his influences as anything from Barry White and Stevie Wonder to Iron Maiden. 'The one thing I really love is normal music, the hooks and the melodies and the vocals and all that kind of sh*t, so I just try and get it all in. That's the good and the bad thing about Trash Fashion, that's why people call us the Marmite band in a way, because we try and do a lot of different stuff'.
Despite the Marmite reference, this eclectic formula seems to work and they have built up a large following through their MySpace and constant gigging. And although their stage names have fallen by the wayside (Marsh used to go by the name of Jet Storm), this has not changed the performances and their reputation as a great live band continues to grow. 'They used to be 50 million miles an hour, but now we try and get some dynamics in there, some softer bits and some heavier bits' says Marsh. But that said, their gigs still sound pretty intense; reports of 'fights' on stage, wolf masks (a legacy of their one-time mascot, Sniff the dog) stage diving and various states of undress all making regular appearances - it's clear these guys know how to put on a good show. 'I want people to have a good time with our band' he says, 'the audience is just as important as you in making the whole thing happen'. But why the nudity we ask? 'It just gets so hot on stage' he grins, 'that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!' As good an excuse as any I suppose, and the fans seem to appreciate it!
True to form, Trash Fashion continue to put their fans first with the release of their new EP. Credit Crunch, recession, whatever you want to call it, these guys are ignoring the lot and making the new tracks available on their website as limited free downloads in the weeks leading up to the official release. Each track will be accompanied by a video, and although keen not to give too much away, Marsh says 'each of the four videos has a different feel, different location, different vibes, but they all tie in together.there is a storyline, but it's tenuous in places.it's just a bit strange!' and we'd expect nothing less. Fans will also be pleased to know that with a number of festivals and summer gigs on the cards, they should be able to see the new tracks performed live in the coming months.
So finally, what epitomises Trash Fashion? Is it the inventive heavy beats, the image, the live shows? According to Marsh, it's 'Neighbours.and Sniff the dog, it's all about Sniff really - apart from that, vibes and flexes'. With that, we just had to ask, what is it with the Neighbours obsession? 'I've watched it since it started' he laughs. 'I tell you this, with God as my f*cking witness, I'm going to be on Neighbours - that's a f*cking fact'. And do you know what - he probably will.
'I Can't Go For That' will be released through iTunes on the ROCK 'n' ROCK label on 11th July. Each track from the EP will be available in turn for free download on their myspace starting with 'U Were The One' on 18th May.