"Opposites Attract" by Paula Abdul may have been about her ill-advised, zoophilic flirtation with a denim-clad cartoon cat, but the song's sentiment, that ying plus yang equals awesome, remains unsullied. Take Trailer Trash Tracys. Like a tidal wave and an ice sculpture, Jimmy-Lee's reverb bombast and Susanne Aztoria's fragile coos shouldn't get along, but the combination ends up both potent and poignant. Here is the demo of their epic new Spector-goes-shoegaze single, "Candy Girl". I spoke to them about Twin Peaks and New Edition and stadium rock.
Download: Trailer Trash Tracys, "Candy Girl (demo)"
I think your name is great, but a lot of people are down on it.
Jimmy-Lee: Yeah... I use to work at the Bull & Gate [a rock venue is north London] and the coolest bands had trashy names like Anal Beard, Switchblade Sadie, Death Club 7... Got to smile, aint ya? The name is actually from a Soviet all girl stripper group in the Stalin period. Stalin had abolished the arts, religion, general free thinking, except he would employ these young girls as strippers, who were, in the former Russia, classically trained ballet dancers. Although banned from performing their classical dances, they were forced to perform their stripteases to the Stalin and the Politburo. However, they did their strip tease in the style of their old ballet dance routines. They crept in their art. They were called something like "trekov teh Tractevs”. A Russian friend had translated that to me as "peasant girl Tracev"(Tracev is like the name "Jones" in Russia). I was immediately inspired. Haven’t polished the strip act just yet though.
Susanne Aztoria: Let’s face it, most band names are pretty bad. A lot of people think we are some trashy girl group. I really like that our band name does not reflect the music we do at all.
Would you encourage people (me) who call you Triple-T or T3?
Susanne Aztoria: No. How did you manage to come up with names that are worse than the one we have?
Jimmy-Lee: T3? Sounds like the Terminator trilogy. Triple-T? Sounds like a Techno MC.
I’ve read vague allusions to things not working out with a former band, what’s the deal with that?
Susanne Aztoria: That band was very much manufactured by the songwriter/guitarist back then (Jimmy was bassist then). He was trying to make this indie band when it almost could have been a band from Pop Idol. But if it wasn’t for that band me and Jimmy would not have met and this band would not have existed.
Jimmy-Lee: Swedish singer, dark-haired, dark-skinned axe man... You dont recognise us? Yep, we are Roxette. I’m still hoping we can have a hit like the old days.
Do you know the band New Edition; it was the band Bobby Brown was in as a young man. Pre-crack. They had a song called Candy Girl. It's quite different to yours.
Susanne Aztoria: How weird, we just watched their video this morning. It’s a great song and they really had the moves! Candy Girl was actually just the working title of that song. I persistently tried to convince Jimmy that we had to change it but that never happened as he loved it.
Jimmy-Lee: Candy Girl is about my older sister. She's dead now, hence the lyrics "heart beat stops."
Oh, I’m sorry. Musically it reminds me of the Twin Peaks theme and your name also reminds me of that show. Actually, I think you remind me more of the seedy novelisation, The Secret Diary Of Laura Palmer.
Susanne Aztoria: I’m a fan of David Lynch. He reflects the dark side of America very well. Also music is an important part of his work, it always gives you a certain feeling. I want our music to make people feel something, whatever that might be.
Jimmy-Lee: I think of our music more like a John Cassavetes film than Lynch. But I recently watched Twin Peaks, and there is a hint of 80s cheese in there. I can do the reverse vocal, dance midget thing to a tee. It’s my only impression; "Lawwuuura Pwalmerr". If I would put those two in a band I would put Lynch as lead guitarist and John Cassavetes as lead singer.
You've spoken about the importance of great song writing and making records that are universal. Do you want to be a stadium band? T3 play the 02?
Jimmy-Lee: You decided on T3 already?! Sneaky so and so. T3 playing the 02, with the XX,Mc5,M83,XTC,B-52s,5678s,the YYYs not U2, but UB40 headlining. That would be ideal! I guess world domination isn’t really what we are after. If we started to get crowds to fill a stadium then there is something wrong with the music. It’s that simple. I would never forgive myself. Music has to challenge. Pop music can challenge, without wearing cone bras. We just have a soft spot for melody. You know, non-cheesy pop songs are the hardest things to write. Don’t be fooled by some Shoreditch band producing ‘interesting’ rhythms, and sonics from the latest electronic Roland R2D2, then calling it a "tune" with no song. It’s tiresome technical wankerage. Cut paste, cut paste on Cubase...
Susanne Aztoria: I have no intention to play any big venues like the O2. I went to see Prince there and he was just this little dot. If it wasn’t for the TV screens it could have been anyone so I might as well have watched it at home with surround sound.We work hard and are complete perfectionists most of the time. As I work as well there is not a lot of time left over to do other things, but it is all worth it. Nothing beats writing a real good song. We have this dream of doing a great album. Also it would be great to be able to do music full time even if it’s only for a year or so.
Trailer Trash Tracy’s debut single "Candy Girl"/"Wish You Were Red" is out soon on No Pain In Pop.