A beer crate comes sailing from the cramped Camden Barfly stage hitting a crowd member squarely in the head. Neither the band on stage nor the seething, surging crowd that are bordering on all-out riot miss a beat. Flying beer crates, and an ability to whip audiences into scenes of cultish adoration and violent chaos within the space of a few chords have become second nature to Californian hardcore malcontents Trash Talk.
While all of the bands’ members have served in hardcore outfits across the Bay Area neither Trash Talk’s hometown nor influences are cut and dried. “We come from all over California and despite none of us living in Sacramento it is still home for the band” says guitarist Garrett Stevenson, “and although we’ve all played in punk acts before if you took a ride with us in the van you’d realise we aren’t a bunch of hardcore purists. Lee (Spielman, vocals) might be playing some nasty hardcore one minute and Sam (Bossan, drums) will play some Lady GaGa the next, then Spencer (Pollard, drums) will play some avant-garde stuff and I’ll probably be dropping some soul or hip-hop”.
Tales of multiple shows at both CMJ and SXSW last year are already legend and the band will happily play anywhere with whoever they can. “Getting to play one show is awesome but to be able to play five or six shows in a day and have people turn up and go nuts is mind-blowing”.
As to the band getting crowds a little too excited Garrett isn’t convinced it’s a bad thing, “people are just having a good time and letting off steam at our shows. Sound & Fury last year might have got a bit much though. We drove there in a U-Haul, parked up and played out of the back of it. There were people kicking all of our stuff over and stage diving in to guitar amps. But it was still really fun.”
The bands’ third album, Eyes & Nines, due this autumn, was recorded with Joby J. Ford of The Bronx. “This time around we sat down and really thought about the songs. Some of them are over two minutes long!” enthuses Garrett and for a band whose catalogue includes titles such as “Just Die” you can expect another dollop of misanthropy. “I think we have the same issues that most people have in the world today. We just choose to vocalise them and people identify with that”.
A band that spends “eleven months a year” on the road inevitably have their share of Black Flag-esque road tales. “The time we were driving out of Cali to go record our second record with Steve Albini sticks out. We got pulled over and locked up for having some stuff in the van we shouldn’t have. We were sitting there thinking, “shit, we’re gonna miss recording with Steve Albini because we’re in jail”.
Jail terms notwithstanding, you’d be a fool to miss Trash Talk’s live onslaught when they return to Britain later this year. Just mind the flying beer crates.