Trash Talk have been a talk amongst the underground for some years now. After this year's run at South by Southwest and a tour slot with Alexisonfire, their buzz has certainly heighten. In true punk fashion, it seems like the band doesn't care all that much. With the release of Eyes and Nines on the way, they're just going to keep rolling on as Trash Talk whether it's on the floor, on a stage or in a backyard. Compare them to who you will, but they're going to continue to keep doing things their way.
I'm growing up in an age where contemporary punk rock is a bit different from the punk rock images I see in old videos and documentaries. Something I commented to Lee earlier about was talking with a friend and him commenting on the fact that Lee almost had the same hair spin as Henry Rollins at one point. What I witnessed tonight was kind of a throwback to those older images. How did that throwback come about and where is the influence not only in the music, but in the stage presence as well?
Spencer Pollard: I don't know. We don't consciously go out and do something like someone else. We just go out and do us. Whatever it is, it is. We go out there and give a hundred percent every time. We're just happy to play.
Lee Spielman: It's like what you said [earlier], if you go see a band that you're into, and they look bored, then you're going to be bored. Why would you be into something that someone is not even into themselves. We put one hundred percent into everything that we play.
On that influence, what are some of the things you guys grew up on? I don't mean to pick out a name like Black Flag, but I definitely see that. I know you guys did the song "East of Eden" with Keith Morris.
Pollard: I started playing music when I was fourteen years old. I played with local bands. You see bands come through, and you get thrown into that experience and stuff. I saw [this band] in, I think, 2000 that triggered me. These guys were going crazy the whole set. I was like, "That's what I want to do. It looks like fun. Let's do it." Since then, it's just throw caution to the wind and say fuck it. Let's go have some fun. We definitely listen to Black Flag and have seen tons and tons of video. Our influences are across the board, but it's never been a conscious effort to go out and sound like somebody or be like somebody.
Spielman: I think it's cool [that people see that influence]. I think it's humbling. If people see that, that's awesome. I grew up on that stuff. We tour as hard as we can and just do records.
What about going out there and grabbing the audience. Do you think that's one of the most important things for Trash Talk?
Spielman: That's what it's all about, connecting and making you feel like you're part of the show and being one with the crowd. We started out playing on a floor face to face. We've been on tours, but it feels good that we can play after shows and do our own shows as well. It's a good part of our band.
How did the collaboration with Keith Morris happen?
Pollard: Keith is still very active in Los Angeles doing punk shows. He's got a new band called OFF!. He DJ's at punk shows. He and our friend Shaun curate a festival called Fuck Yeah Fest. We played that festival and Keith was at the show and kind of took notice. We were like, "Hey, it would be cool to have Keith Morris on the record." We approached it like that. He was into the idea. It was like the old school meets the new school. It was really humbling and an awesome experience.
So there wasn't any sense of the term "star struck?"
Pollard: It's weird. He road up to the studio on his bicycle. He called us from a pay phone across the street. Walked down to the studio to play the song. It was like he was just a friend of ours. He was very humble. You just hear stories, and you talk to him and he's just got so much knowledge and everything.
Spielman: The experience was awesome.
Seems like the newer songs are a bit more progressive for you guys. Is Eyes and Nines the record that's going to be that next punk progression for you guys? Do you find yourselves taking those steps?
Pollard: Actually, not at all. From the beginning of the band, from the first record, if you listen to each one in succession, everything sounds different from the last record. It's just kind of where we are now. We're just challenging ourselves not to write the same music or write the same songs over and over again. That's boring. No one wants to hear a band, especially a hardcore band, play the same songs every time. We also try and just have a good time. We write what we feel and how we're in the moment. What comes out and what we are at that moment in time.
Spielman: None of us were the same people we were when this band started...My musical taste, what I listen to has gone so much further than when I was 17. When I was 17, it was just thrash, hardcore, punk all the time [when I was] skateboarding. We're just not the same kids we were...this new record is a snapshot of our band now.
Speaking of influence, with a shift from Deathwish Inc. to your own imprint Trash Talk Collective, was that kind of like looking at the system and saying, "We can completely do our own thing as well."?
Garrett Stevenson: Pretty much. It just seemed like it would be the easiest way to be the most productive as a band. Regardless of who was running a label, it was still a label. There's a difference between being on a label and being yourself.
What are your thoughts on how the whole "punk" scene has turned out in the past few years, comparatively to what you guys are doing now?
Pollard: To us it's just punk rock every night. To critique it that way is very humbling. I don't know, I feel like it's just coming to a Trash Talk show. I didn't grow up around [the 80's hardcore scene] so I wouldn't really know what it would be like. I've seen videos and to be compared to that is really awesome, but for us it's just a Trash Talk gig every night. We just go out and party.
So it's all just you?
Stevenson: We're kind of influenced musically and everything. What we do as a band and choices that we make are made by this band. Whether it's putting out our own records or playing our own shows. We're not trying to follow in anyone's footsteps. We're just trying to do what we do and continue to play a lot of shows and do what we can.