Face to face with The Trend

The Trend 2

Lively, fervent, impressive – this is The Trend, Glasgow-based rock ‘n’ roll piece. This February the collective celebrate their first birthday and with some seriously cool music under their belts, we can expect something special from The Trend this year. The band’s own Derek and Ryan chat to Rock Britain about music heroes, live shows and Glasgow.

– How have The Trend been recently? What have you been up to?

– Very quiet! We had agreed not to play any gigs in January as we played relentlessly in and around Glasgow at the end of last year so we decided to take a bit of time off. At the moment we’re finishing off the new songs that we’ve been working on and doing our bit to try and promote our most recent single ‘Act of God’ which had its fourth play on the radio earlier tonight. Our next gig is a headline slot at the recently reopened Barfly venue on 21st Feb so we are hoping to have the new tunes ready by then.

– In early 2013 The Trend were properly born as a band. Looking back at the past year, how would you estimate The Trend’s way in music so far?

– We’ve had confidence in the songs since day one but aside from our drummer John, none of us had any real gigging experience and so there has been a massive improvement in our live shows over the past year. We’ve become tighter as a band and everything feels more natural on stage and we’re enjoying the gigs more. One year in, we are far from being an established band, we’ve still not even played outside of Glasgow, but we are getting more and more recognition locally and have been able to support a few touring bands at some top venues. We’ve got no plans in terms of a tour yet but we will be doing a few road trips throughout the year to various parts of the UK so that should help to get our name out there.

– You’ve got a four-track demo EP recorded. How and when were the songs for the EP born?

– It was never intended to be recorded as an EP. Once we finally got the full band together, we were struggling to get gigs because we had no recordings online. We managed to get a studio booking at short notice because they had a cancellation and we just wanted to get a rough demo to send to venues so they would let us play. In the space of twelve hours we managed to get four songs fully recorded and mixed. It was a long day but the gig offers started to come our way after that so it was worth it! Much like gigging, we had very little recording experience too so it was a bit naive of us to even try finishing off four songs in the one day, but it seems to have went down quite well. We’ve had national radio play, thousands of listens on Soundcloud and even more on YouTube; two of the tracks have been used in sports highlight videos which we thought was pretty cool. I think, sooner or later, these tunes will be recorded again with a lot more time dedicated to each track as part of a bigger release.

The songs basically came about during the year or so we spent trying to put a band together. Most of them started off as a guitar riff that one of us liked the sound of or an idea for a few lines of a verse. There’s no formula or anything that we follow, it’s just tunes we like the sound of along with words that mean something to us. They normally take us a while to complete but ‘Beauty Queen’ was written from start to finish, music and words on one Friday night. I’m glad I stayed in that night!

– Are you planning to put out any new, official releases any time soon?

– Yes, our next single ‘Keep on Praying’ has already been recorded. It’s not online yet because we’re planning to film our first music video for it very soon. A few of our mates have agreed to star in it and we’re working on the story line for it as well as speaking to a well respected media company who are keen to film it. It goes down really well when we play it live so we are excited to see how the video will turn out. It will hopefully be out within the next month.

– Your biggest show to-date was at O2 ABC supporting The Complete Stone Roses. How has that experience been for you?

– Amazing. Both of us are massive fans of the Stone Roses and go to see their best tribute act just about every time they come to Glasgow. We’re quite lucky because there’s some really good bands in the city who’ve been around for years and never had the chance to play in a venue like that. We were offered the slot after only our 8 or 9th gig and we knew that we had a lot of work do to make sure we would be ready.

We had last minute nerves and we were all making an unusual amount of mistakes in the studio on the week leading up to it but on stage it couldn’t have went any better. The response from the people who came to support us was amazing too, we sold just short of 200 tickets of our own so we had a good crowd there from as soon as the doors opened and the venue really started to fill up towards the end of our set. Once we got the opening song out of the way we started to feel like we belonged up there and now we know we’ll be ready if we get a call for another big show.

It also made us much better as a band because we used the months leading up to the gig to work on things like our stage presence and we started to pull apart our songs and think about the tempo, levels, sounds and anything else that could be tweaked to make them better. One of the best decisions we made during this time was to get our bassist Michael on backing vocals as it’s really helped to lift certain choruses and key parts to our songs to make them as lively as possible when we gig.

– Which band’s song would you like to cover most of all and why?

– We’ve got a few covers up our sleeve. We ran a charity gig a few months back and done quite a few. We do a nice version of Sally Cinnamon which usually goes down a treat and have also recently done The Circle by Ocean Colour Scene and Supersonic by Oasis. I think any song that we do cover has to be a good old-fashioned rock n roll tune because that’s all we know how to play!

– What’s your main priority in your live shows?

– To make sure the people who come to see us enjoy it. We are essentially a live act. That is the only reason we are in a band. At the moment, recording and promoting singles etc is just a means to attract as many people as possible to gigs. One of the most important things we’ve learned is to make sure the sound check is as thorough as possible because you can sound so different from one venue to the next and it’s usually too late to make any drastic changes if there’s something you are not happy with after the set has kicked off.

– The Trend are based in Glasgow. How are you influenced by the surroundings and the atmosphere of the city?

– We don’t try to make ourselves instantly identifiable with Glasgow as a city but it has been reflected in the lyrics to some of our songs, particularly ‘Free’ and ‘Rock And A Hard Place’. One thing to say about Glasgow is that it’s a great place to be if you want to start a band as there is certainly no shortage of places to play. We gigged just about every other week last year and still haven’t played in half of the city centre venues.

– What’s your favourite Scottish band?

– It has to be Primal Scream for both of us. They have been around since before we were born and they are still one of the most influential and important bands out there. The atmosphere they create at their live shows is life changing!

– Who are your music heroes? How do they inspire you?

– Oasis, Stone Roses, The Clash, The Enemy, The Jam and many more. We are massive fans of British rock n roll and particularly these artists because of the honesty in their lyrics and how the songs address real life issues. A reviewer called us “Britpop revivalists” a few months ago. We’ll see how that works out!

– What’s your biggest goal in music?

– Our goal from the very start was just to get out there and gig as much as possible so in a sense we’re already doing that. We owe a lot to our mates who continue to come and see us each time we play and the crowds have been growing with each show so we are just going to keep at it and see where it takes us. To play at a major festival would be a dream come true as well!

Find The Trend on Facebook

Photo courtesy Ronnie Reffin

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