Interview: Trash Talk on "Eyes & Nines"
Mon, 15 Nov 2010 08:16:45
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Slum Village Videos
Trash Talk's Eyes & Nines would be the perfect soundtrack to Taxi Driver's bloodier moments. It's an unbridled exorcism of gnashing guttural riffs and coarse, raw screams that awaken all kinds of demons in the process. You could easily hear this pulsating through Travis Bickle's skull while he blasts away kinds of scum…
Trash Talk make hardcore in the purest sense of the word, and Eyes & Nines batters with a brilliant brutality. Produced by Joby J. Ford [The Bronx], there's a punk energy that bleeds through Eyes & Nines, and the Sacramento quartet's visceral live energy is loud and clear on every note. This is everything hardcore should be and a wake-up call for the genre at large.
Trash Talk guitarist Garrett Stevenson breaks down Eyes & Nines, talks about his love for hip hop and so much more in this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino.
Did you approach Eyes & Nines with one complete vision or did it come together piece by piece in the studio?
Typically, things just fall together. It's pretty rare that we have too much structure going into an album. We simply jam everything out and take it from there. We go for what's going to be aggressive and hard. Whatever comes out comes out. We wanted to write some longer songs, and that was one focus of Eyes & Nines. That's pretty much the only thing we really decided on going into it. Everything else sort of fell into place, but that's something we definitely had talked about.
Do songs always begin with a riff?
For the most part! A lot of our writing happens in the van because we don't get too much time off. It's either an idea for a riff, or one of us brings something to the table and we take it from there together. We'll either jam at soundcheck or when we get some free time. We record a new record pretty much every time we're off.
What did Joby J. Ford bring to the process?
He's really cool! It was one of the easiest recording sessions we've had mostly because he's a really good friend of ours. We went in and did our own thing, and we didn't have any pressure from an engineer, a producer or anyone. We chilled and had a good time. It was a really natural and cool experience. Joby definitely gets it.
Where did the title Eyes & Nines come from?
Eyes & Nines is a title that Spencer [Pollard, bass] came up with. He writes a lot of the lyrics, and the record is pretty much about the end of time and shit like that. That title fits that theme. It's a recurring theme that's been happening for the past few records.
Which albums shaped you?
Our band has taken influences from all kinds of different areas. We always go back to bands like Circle Jerks, Black Flag and a lot of other California punk bands. We've been listening to that music our whole lives. That's in addition to listening to hip hop and classic rock. As a band, the musical tastes are spread across the board.
Are there any hip hop artists you continually come back to? Trash Talk has a gritty vibe that definitely evokes rap.
I listen to hip hop pretty much exclusively [Laughs]. There's a ton of shit that I feel like A Tribe Called Quest and Slum Village. Slum Village is probably my favorite rap group of all time. J Dilla was a member of Slum Village from Detroit. They came out in the '90s, and they put out a few records. Fantastic Vol. 2 is probably their best record, but all of their shit is dope.
Do you feel like hip hop and hardcore crossover at all?
In a way, yeah. What I enjoy about punk and hardcore is the DIY aspect of things. I feel like you have to take that road to do things from the ground up especially nowadays in hip hop. The struggle to come out of it is incredible in both genres. They are similar in that way. It's very different from pop music [Laughs].
Well, both always remain gritty.
For sure! Slum Village is a massive force in hip hop over the last ten years. They're not necessarily known by every cat. You've got to check them out!
Do you feel like you're part of a NorCal scene or movement?
We're from all across California, but we all reside in Sacramento now. We're on tour so much that we didn't really come out of a Sacramento scene. We came out of a "California" scene. There are ton of dope bands out of Northern California. Our drummer and bass player are from Southern California, so we've all been traveling up and down going to shows for years.
Have you heard Trash Talk yet?