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Premiere: The Trendees Unveil Album 'Nightmare City' + Interview

Premiere: The Trendees Unveil Album 'Nightmare City' + Interview

Monday 30th April, 2018 10:13AM

Oamaru noise-punks The Trendees have dropped their second album Nightmare City, the culmination of an arresting run of singles and EP releases which followed their smashing 2015 debut long-player We Are Sonic Art. The trio of Matt Plunkett, Eden Bradfield and Austen McMillan sweep any fears of sophomore slump under the rug, shaking up a sonic cocktail of trash-can drums, addictively barbed guitar riffs and in-your-face yet thoughtful vocals, occupying an aural realm somewhere between Half Japanese's minimalist no-fi cool and The Fall's erudite lyrical bent. Conjure up your own associations via listening to Nightmare City, and read our email interview with singer Matt Plunkett and guitarist Eden Bradfield below...

What inspired Nightmare City? The title is drawn from a film of the same name right?

Eden: It sounds pretty neat, like a hair rock band or an album from ZZ Top if ZZ Top existed in a parallel universe where ZZ Top were a modestly successful Midwest band.

The same inspirations as per usual - small towns and indifference and this sense of otherness. I feel more akin to Cardi B than to the usual kind of rock and rollers so these songs are my attempts at making pop bangers, except they get filtered through how I play guitar so they turn out a bit wonky. When I mixed some songs on the album I used this Kanye West trick on the kick drum - distorting it then placing a limiter on that. I’m interested in music that has an abrasive yet compelling quality - there is this album by Alex Chilton called Like Flies On Sherbert, and this cover of 'I’m So Tired' which falls apart and breaks down but is human and compelling. I used to play in quartets, Mozart and Bartok and stuff, and the best part was when you felt on the edge of falling apart.

Matt: The title was taken from the Umberto Lenzi film of the same name. It is a sweaty dumb deranged and damaged sort of moustache breasts and zombie film from 1980 which reflected much of the process of making this stupid frazzeled music.

How's the new album being released?

Eden: Digital, bandcamp. If someone wants to release it on vinyl then hollaaaaa at me

The Trendees are quite storytelling-focussed - where do these stories come from?

Matt: The lyrics explain themselves except maybe for 'Competition For Soda' which is just so much corndog jabbering for no fit purpose.

How do you keep the punk flag flying in your home town of Oamaru? Where do you play there? What is the reception?

Eden: Most people don't like it. Sometimes we do a house show, which is fun, but the only venue (the Penguin Club) is run by a group of misogynistic old men who only like covers and ask you to turn it down. It's a shame, the club used to be really great. Sometimes people seem surprised people actually listen to it. Austen’s brother is a builder and heard 'Masterpieces' on bFM in Auckland in his van, it's good builder music.

Eden - Matt was telling me that someone drove into your lounge, that sounds terrifying. Has your house been repaired?

Eden: It has. It was pretty scary, we lived with a half broken house, which is surreal - it's easy to forget how weird it was. I spent a lot of time in the garden or in the bedroom.

Are there artists in New Zealand / overseas that The Trendees feel a sense of kinship with?

Eden: Kitchen’s Floor in Australia, Girlpool in the States, The Breeders, etc. I feel a kinship with bands that have a sparse quality to them, short songs and a sense of space.

Matt: No kinship with anyone... it's an ordinary malaise today the rain is draining out of the clouds like my eyeballs feel and really kinship feels like it is something for armoured knights or brave soldiers or a post retirement netball team, but doesn't apply to me at all and the idea of a group which is of course a political entity of reflections frayed and bent out of shape and stretched by differences gross opinion jabs like how do you like 80s Lou Reed up piercingly loud and dry Dweezil Zappa repeated - that's hilarious. Just listen to the dullness. I like dull dull psych in the 70s electro new wave haze seems plenty all the grey and warm and you choose the negative connotation bleeding or dribbling smeared tomato sauce with a crust on it push this into the background please and say goodbye.


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