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Interview: Lee Spielman of Trash Talk

Posted by on May 4, 2010

Metal Insider recently spoke with Lee Spielman of California hardcore punk band Trash Talk, who will soon be releasing their new full length Eyes and Nines on their label Trash Talk Collective. The new record will see digital release on May 18th and physical release on June 8th. Check out the new track “Explode” at the bottom of the post. The band is touring the US now and their intense live show is not to be missed.

Most hardcore bands aspire to be part of a label like Malfunction/Deathwish, what made you leave the label to start Trash Talk Collective?
Releasing our own records is something that we have always wanted to do as a band so when we had the option to do it ourselves we just went for it. We all feel that anyone can do what they want if they put their mind and effort into it. Any band can run their own record label and handle all of the day to day business that a label would deal with. You just have to work hard and make sure everything is right. For us we really like having full control over our band. Everything that comes in and out of our band is approved and done through us. Doing it this way makes it so that everything is exactly how we want it and that is very important to us. If there are any fuckups on a record or with merch there is no one else to point the finger at except ourselves and we like it that way.

What do you see as the role of a record label in this day and age?
I feel like record labels are safe havens for bands that are scared to fall flat on their face.

How involved is the band with running Trash Talk Collective? Is there a lot of outside help beyond a publicist?
We are all involved with TTC. Our guitar player Garrett handles most of the label stuff. He is the mastermind behind our label. Without him handling business and doing all of the shit he does we would probably be a way bigger mess than we already are. Trash Talk Collective is more than just the members in the band though. We have a tight knit team that helps us get things done. We are on the road for most of the year so they help keep us moving while we are out on the road getting wild. Without our friends helping us get shit done we would never be able to tour as much as we do so we are very grateful to have them be a part of the team.

Is there anything you learned from your time on a label that’s helping you now?
We learned what we didn’t want our band existence to be.

What advice would you have for a hardcore band starting out? Would you suggest they join a label or keep it DIY?
I think you should do whatever makes you feel the most comfortable with your situation. If you feel that you have to be on a label to survive as a band then go for it. If you think you have the time to handle all of the shit yourself then go for it. I definitely feel that if you do things yourself you will feel way more accomplished at the end of the day. Holding a record in your hands that you pressed and had done yourself feels a lot better than holding a record someone just handed over to you.

Will Trash Talk Collective ever release other artists or strictly Trash Talk releases?
We have actually been throwing this idea around a lot more lately. It is a definite possibility. Working with people we feel are like minded and on the same page would be rad. We released our first book last year called Trash Talk Collective Volume 1. That was the first release where we worked with other artists on one thing and it went great. We had all of our friends and people we have met out on the road contribute stuff like stories, photos and art. We are very happy with how it came out. Doing the book was a cool way to show more of our band than what you see live and hear on record. We plan on releasing another one within the next few months called Trash Talk Collective Volume 2. We are going to keep releasing these books as much as possible to keep people updated on what we have done and the people we have met along the way.

What was it like working with Joby Ford of The Bronx as a producer for Eyes & Nines in comparison to Steve Albini who worked on your previous full length?
Working with Joby was a way different experience than working with Steve. We enjoyed working with both of them. The difference was that Joby is a good friend of ours. Recording with a friend makes for a way more relaxed session. We just hung around the studio smoking weed, hanging out, doing whatever we wanted and we made a record in the process. There were no time constraints. We were just in there to make a record whereas recording with Albini we felt like we were on a strict schedule getting this and that done. Which was cool. Working in a cutthroat situation is cool too but for this record working in a relaxed situation worked out great. Both of those recording sessions were completely different experiences and rad in their own ways.

How are kids reacting to you on the Alexisonfire tour? I feel a large portion of their fanbase will be witnessing a live show very different from what they are used to..
Last night was our first night on tour with them. We had to miss the first week of tour due to the Icelandic volcano that left us stranded in London. Last night was fucking sick. It was our first show back in the states from Europe. The show was crazy from start to finish. Every band on this tour brings out different types of crowds and from the looks of last night it seems like it’s going to go well. We really like playing mixed bills it makes for a more interesting show. Playing the same shows over and over again gets kinda boring so mixing it up is a good breath of fresh air. Also who knows there might be some kid in the crowd who came to see Alexisonfire that has never been exposed to a band like us before. What if he gets stoked and looks into more stuff in the same genre? It’s really cool to be able to reach out to people who wouldn’t normally check you out. We are all very excited for the rest of the dates on this tour. It’s gonna get wild in the best ways possible.

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