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Seven Quick Questions: The Trendees

Seven Quick Questions: The Trendees

Monday 17th October, 2016 2:45PM

After sharing the awesome singles 'Abandoned Hospital' and 'Dona Marina' (and their accompanying videos) our favourite Oamaru no-fi trio The Trendees have let loose their new 7-inch through Epic Sweep Records. Titled Trendees Go To Town, the release marks a milestone for the group as their first ever real deal vinyl, and it also gave us a good excuse to drop the band a line and see how they're doing...

1. Hi Trendees! First off, can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do??

Austen is our freaky and supernatural drummer. He is a man who operates at the highest levels of octane on propane – he is also unnaturally friendly and prone to quoting supreme Fall songs at random. He is currently involved in 28 bands and will never ever stop playing as long as he has arms.

Eden is mainly guitar but also just great at anything. They are also one of the greatest chefs alive and also likes long walks with his dog.

Matt is the singer and does most of the lyrics. He drives a Toyota car and has an uncanny ability to forget things very easily.

2. How did you all come together as a band in a town like Oamaru?

Like it says on our We Are Sonic Art EP – indifference of others was a motivator. It started with me [Matt] and Eden, the first time we played together was awful but eventually we worked out a way to do it. Then came Austen and we were more like the bit of bash crash we are now. This town feels like a cultural wasteland mostly – we needed something to keep the good parts of our bodies alive. Also, Eden and I wanted to make something that was fun and never boring. Not pretentious and not dumb. Maybe just a wee bit of dumb. Absurdly absurd and excitingly exciting. I was tired of long songs. I think that you need to be very careful with long songs not to become tedious. To make them interesting you need to be very clever and consistently interesting – I guess we do not posses those qualities in enough volume.

3. Obviously Oamaru is well-known for its steam punk scene… but how’s the garage punk scene there? Or even the live music scene in general?

Well I don't get out much but what I do think I know is that we have a few pretty good covers bands, the odd hippy/folk combo and of course the usual earnest singer songwriter competence but nothing much else. Musicals and amateur dramatics are also hot stuff here. Then there is the Moonrakers. They rule. They are Eden and Austen's other thing which is maybe more free or something compared to the Trendees polished plop turds. To be honest we are SICK of talking about steam punk, steampunkers and rocketships in any form. If you are going to travel to Venus or time travel in a tweed coat then I wish you every success but please go about your business without fuss or involving me. There are many examples of craft here but less of actual interesting personal expression. I understand the need to market and brand but commerce is not a significant inspiration for me.

4. Your new EP Trendees Go To Town was recorded with Kraus. How did you find him to work with? What particularly Krausy things did he bring to the table?

Well in fact this idea that it was recorded entirely with Kraus is not true. I had Pat staying with me for summer and The Trendees was just recording away and I think one day Eden got tired of thinking about where to put the mics around the room and so it seemed like a good idea to get someone else to do it. This person was Pat. I love Pat and he is one of my favourite persons. I am in a band with him called Pouffe. I think we definitely used at least two songs from the PK session 'Dona Marina' and 'Trashcan Accent' – maybe one more but we can’t really recall accurately. The rest should be properly credited to Eden – and they are just songs from a few sessions we chose. Honestly we have no idea what we have done – or if they are the best. Unfortunately we had to cull two or three songs from the original concept – 'Barmaid' and 'Flat Tac On a Mooney Night' – which are both fine numbers. Once you are involved in the process, listening and choosing and listening and choosing and tweaking and editing etc it all becomes a big blancmange of sounds and songs and versions and versions upon versions. I have no idea if it is any good any more. No. IT IS GOOD. IT HAS TO BE. One thing I know for sure is that it is a beautiful looking object with bespoke screen printed covers that are all slightly different and not many have been made.

5. I think 'Dona Marina' might be my favourite Trendees song so far. What’s it about?

Dona Marina was an influential woman who changed the course of history with her words and intelligence. I am not sure that she gets her correct due. She was the interpreter for Cortes who arrived with a band of 600 men and took down the entire Aztec empire numbering maybe more than 100,000. Without her and her interpretations and finely nuanced way of conversations Cortes arguably might not have achieved anything. She is a source of derision for some Mexicans – perhaps that is understandable – but did she really have any choice about what she did? I think she was quite amazing and deserves more credit as a great human being.

6. You guys just made a trip to Melbourne for some shows there, what brought that about?

Just asking really. Pat put us onto MichaelZ from AG Picks record store. He did a great job and playing with people like The Aesthetics, Sarah Mary Chadwick and Bearded Iris was an amazing experience.

7. Any plans to line up a NZ tour to celebrate the release of your 7-inch?

No. But Yes. Especially Wellington – we would love to play there.

Head over to Epic Sweep to pick up a copy of the Trendees Go To Town 7-inch


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