Still Burning first discovered The Trade when they were supporting The Undertones in Dundee a couple of weeks ago. He decided they merited further investigation. Here’s what they had to say for themselves in our first glorious technicolour interview..
Drew, Ross, Liam, Craig, Bobo, and Andy
Tell us a bit about The Trade…
I’m Drew the bassist, 21 years old, born and bred in the sunny town of Forfar.
Bobo, Drummer 37, born Forfar also.
Craig, am 29 a Kirriemuir lad!! I play Lead Guitar.
Liam, Forfar 28, plays Rhythm guitar.
Ross, Singer 29 fae Arbroath, just recently moved back there fae Forfar.
Influences are wide ranging, maybe cause of the age range in the band, who knows, but anything from The Beatles, Stereophonics, Oasis, Pink Floyd, Mars Volta, Dan Le Sac Vrs Scroobious Pip, Hendrix, Marcus Miller, Interpol, Kasabian, Radiohead, U2, Fall Out Boy, Kings of Leon, Bob Dylan, Doves… och list goes on and on, we just love music!!
Who is the joker in the band?
I don’t think I could name just one of the band as a joker! There’s always some sort of madness going on in the bus coming home from a gig! Craigie Murray has possibly some of the greatest one liners of all times though!!
I suppose Ross spraying a fire extinguisher into my face ….. Twice on the way back from a gig!! But i think theres probably been a few things he could mention about me!!
Hahaha. I have to say there is more than one in The Trade!! We all have our moments, I would prob give it to Ross and drew, mainly for their drunkenness on the bus on the way home from gigs
We are all jokers at certain times but when the drink is flowing its Ross and Drew who shine, it’s usually mayhem.
Think a’body has their own jokes and traits, but when it comes to being out and out funny, that wid be big Drew, wie his crazy name dropping ie – something happens that involves guys havin to dae something and we will just hear ‘alright Hitler’!! Or ‘oh aye bully the fat guy!!’. Fuckin amazin big guy!
Where did you get your name from?
I saw a sign in a field one day saying “Tools for Sale, special discount for the TRADE” so I told the guys and they all liked it and that was that!
What are your favourite places to play? And places you have ambitions to play in the future?
ABC in Glasgow is a great venue and it was our proper first gig and the two times that we’ve played there it’s just been great! I remember asking Andy (Manager) one time there “Who have all these people come to see?” to which he replied “Us!” I couldn’t believe it!
Pyramid Stage at Glasto for me!! Love playing anywhere! A mankey byre right up tae King Tuts and the Carling (o2) Academy! It’s always awesome to play somewhere the greats have played.
A home gig at The Plough in Forfar is hard to beat. The Doghouse in Dundee is always a great gig for us, and the most recent gig in Fat Sams Live was a great experience, we hope to play there again sometime in the future, as it’s such a superb venue. For me though, it has to be The Carling Academy (oh the O2 Academy) in Glasgow, we played there for The Bodog final, and would love to play there again.
King Tuts is an awesome venue, also Classic Grand.
You’ve recently supported The Undertones to a packed Fat Sams, that must have been a good experience?
Yea it was cool especially as we had around 200 of our own fans in there to and we think we impressed a few Undertones fans so all good.
The Undertones gig was every bit as good as we thought it would be. Playing venues like Fat Sams, and supporting a band such as The Undertones, so close to home was special.
Really nice blokes also. They want a copy of the new album for their radio show too, so good times! Sound issues on the night, mostly monitors, but still an awesome night.
It was great fun they are really nice guys… and it was great to have so many of our fans there as well.
Any festival appearances lined up?
Aye Rock at the Racecourse in Kelso! Should be different and drunken!!
We are playing a festival in Kelso called Rock at The Racecourse on the 28th of August which I’m sure will be fun times! Frightened Rabbit were there last year so would be nice if they came back!
Would love to play Wizard Fest, great vibe to it, also Wickerman.
We will be applying for TBreak stage, also Rockness and Tartan Heart, but they’re maybe a year too early for us, we’ll see. There will also be a few local outdoor events we will be playing over summer.
A couple of years back you sent out over a thousand copies of a 13 track demo cd, how did that go? Was it a worthwhile thing to do (in case any other bands are considering doing a similar thing)?
I think dishing out free cds to anyone was good in some ways! I mean if that means that a thousand people are going to to listen to your songs then yes it is a good idea! But if a thousand people use the cds as coasters then not really! Plus (though it never about the money) we were losing out on making money that could have gone into e.g. repairs to the van, new merch so on and so on! So it’s a hard one to call but man if it feels good go for it! If it means you get one new fan out of it then that’s one more fan than you had!!
Defo worth doin’ cos fans want to play the stuff at home etc that you have been playing live and as it was relatively cheap to do ourselves then we feel it was worth it.We are not so keen on the cd now tho because we feel we have improved but it’s something we were happy with at the time.
I think it was the best thing we could have done. Before it came out, we had maybe six months of writing, rehearsals and recording. A couple of months after that we started the gigs. By the time of our first gig, a lot of the people there knew our songs.
We have actually shifted 4000 discs one way or another and it helps no end! The amount of folk we talk to that tell us it is still in their cd player in the car is unreal! And really, the sound has progressed heaps from there!! Canna wait for the new official album!! Mon the chem 19
How much of a help, or influence has working with producer Jeff Allen been?
Man working with Jeff was an experience and a half! We hadn’t really had much experience in the studio as a band and working with Jeff Allen at CAVA Studios was quite daunting! But we instantly got on with Jeff and he made us really comfortable in our surroundings and got the best sound he could out of us! It was all done in 2 days but we learned so much from all the guys at CAVA and I would recommend anyone to go there!
It was a good experience to get Geoff on board, I learned a few things from him and we have all gained from it, again another person in the know who has helped us.
It was a fantastic experience. He is so in tune with the music and the recorded sound!! He clearly gets a buzz from recording and producing music and it’s so much easier to get in the zone and get a ‘real’ recording when everyone is comfortable.
Would you like to be filed under indie or soft rock?
I would prefer to be filed under Soft-core/ dramatic/ Japanese /bell chime/ hip hop
What’s the one song that you have that is `the single` for The Trade?
I would have to say “Fight Club.”
The single would be Fight Club, it’s one of our new ones but it shows how we have grown as a band since our early songs.
Nae idea!! There are a few and the band has different opinions on this, but unfortunately it would probably be the simplest tune we have to kick things off, then there are loads of releasable tunes!! I love ‘In Colour’ but that wasnae the question
And the song(s) that get the best crowd reaction?
It would probably be “The Dealer”.
I would say The Dealer for some reason, also Let It All Out, Middleman get people jumping, Empire at the end of a set is amazing, I would like to think though that most of our tunes in the set are well liked.
Probably The Dealer, Let It All Out is a great sing a long, 20 with Ross on the drums and Empire has always been a crowd pleaser.
Let It All Out.
Empire, The Dealer, Fight Club, Middleman, 20, Do You Want It?
You also cover Sex on Fire. Are you trying to get on X Factor?
That came up when we played the Lochee Fireworks night in Dundee! We were asked by Tay FM to do a cover, Kings of Leon had just released it and it had now dug its talons into us and somehow manages to end up on the set list unknown to us until we are on the stage playing it!! I don’t feel that there’s anything wrong with playing a cover in front of a room of people who have no idea who you are and it gets them up dancing and It is a great tune but I think a new cover is in order!
No, we feel that sometimes a cover would go down well with certain crowds so we have a few that we do and that’s the only reason we do Sex on Fire, I hate X Factor.
Hahaha no thanks, we will leave that to the Jedwards of this world.
Maybe Ross is trying but I’m good.
Hahahahah we done it for a single gig and it stuck cos it went well. Folk like us doing it!! We are working on another cos ya can play things too often! Ah’m sure the Kings agree!!
Your album, Lie in the Dark is due out on the 14th of June. Want to tell us a bit about that?
It’s going to be a 12 track album recording it in April at Chem19 in Hamilton with Paul Savage! And it’s gonna be off the chain! Am really looking forward to it. I really can’t believe that we are going to be in the studio for 3 weeks.
A couple of new tunes that the fans don’t know and also lots of the tunes we play live but are not on any of our discs, should be a quality album with prob the best trade tunes to date.
It will contain 12 songs of which we are still to decide on. There’s a lot of work involved, so far we have shot the video for Fight Club to coincide with the album coming out. the artwork is just about finished and we had the photo shoot last week.
It’s a combination of all our best work so far. This will be the first proper release as opposed to ep’s and demos etc. We have high hopes and the fact that we had real trouble working out what not to put on it to save it being a thirty song cd is a good thing we hope!! Cd and artwork should be great tae!!
Being Forfar based you’d be in a good position to tell us a bit more about the Tayside scene, anyone we should be keeping a look out for?
Quiver and the Ladysnatchers, The Ghosts of Progress.
The Trade lol, i think The Law and Luvva Anna are doin well for themselves so wouldn’t be surprised to see them popping up everywhere.
Yeah, I would say there are a lot of good bands in Tayside at the moment, there’s Ghosts of Progress from Montrose, Make Sparks from Carnoustie, and look out for Quiver and The Lady Snatchers from Arbroath.
There are a good few bands out there but one of the best I heard are Quiver and the Ladysnatchers! They are ace! Luva Anna and The Law are always good! Root System are great for a mad night!
How easy is it to get good gigs in the central belt?
It is hard for any band I suppose to get started, a lot of the time it’s to do with building up a fan base wherever you are playing. I think to be realistic, you have good gigs and bad ones to start with, and it’s a case of taking what you can. At the end of the day as long as you enjoy playing in the band, that’s the main thing. We are fortunate enough to have our manager Andy Simpson, who is as passionate about our music as we are (if not more!), and he does endless hours of networking for the gigs.
We are in the fortunate position, that we have build up a lot of good contacts in Glasgow and Edinburgh, so we can play excellent venues, like King Tuts, Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, Abc2, Classic Grand and Maggie Mays in Glasgow and Voodoo Rooms, Cab Volt, Edinburgh Students Union and Sneaky Petes! In Edinburgh.
It helps me greatly that we have a very good and growing following in Glasgow, maybe not so much in Edinburgh, although in saying that our album launch gig at Sneaky Petes is sold out already and it’s not till Thursday 2nd June!!!
And how do you find the crowds compare across Scotland?
You know you hear massive international bands like the Foo’s or KoL alway say “Scotland has the best crowds in the whole world” and it’s fully true we are just a bunch of mad bastards and we love good music! And getting to travel the country and see crowds in every corner of it has defiantly proved that to me!
I would say the likes of Aberdeen, Glasgow we have a good following but kinda struggle in Edinburgh and most defo a great following in Tayside.
That’s a tricky one, but I guess the only way to judge is venue by venue. We’ve had great gigs everywhere from Glasgow to Inverness.
Glasgow crowds are pretty good always up for it likewise Aberdeen.
Mostly we have had brilliant crowds. The only time it was a little different was in Fife and Dunfermline. They are all still VERY oasis indie style there. Still good though!!
Any ambitions for The Trade for 2010 and beyond?
A few festivals this year would be nice! And a support slot with Daniel O’Donnell obviously.
I would like to make a good living out of this and play to happy fans in packed venues, just want to make quality music that people like Amen.
Ideally for The Trade to go full time so we can play music for a living.
To be the best band in the world easy.
I honestly canna wait for this year! We have all worked very hard to get somewhere! This is what we love and folk seem to agree, so up up up and letting the world know our stuff! That’s the plan!!
Five Desert Island Tracks?
Intergenic Esp. – The Mars Volta, You – Radiohead, Brighton Rock Solo – Queen, A Letter From God to Man – Scroobious Pip Vs. Dan Le Sac, Folsom Prison Blues- Johnny CashU2 – One, Oasis – Masterplan, The Cult – She Sells Sanctuary, Stone Roses – Love Spreads, The Prodigy – Firestarter
ACDC- Hells Bells, Oasis – Masterplan, Stone Roses – Mersey Paradise, Bob Dylan – Like a Rollin Stone, Guns n Roses – Estranged
Stereophonics – Just Looking, Oasis – Don’t Go Away, Beatles – Blackbird, Muse – Supermassive Black Hole, Beatles – Revolution
Pink Floyd – Hey You, The Sunshine Underground – Commercial Breakdown, Dan le Sac and Scurrilous Pip – Letter From God, Biffy Clyro - Machines, The Foxes – Trauma Town
Cold days From The Birdhouse – The Twilight Sad, Borders – The Sunshine Underground, There Goes The Fear – Doves, I Wanna Be Adored – The Stone Roses, F.E.A.R – Ian Brown
And finally, your favourite flavour of crisps?
McCoy’s Thai Chicken or Brannigan’s Ham and Pickle.
Salt n vinegar is a safe bet but I’ll try most ltd edition flavours, MTT.
Worcestershire sauce, get them!!
Salt and Vin.
Only recently changed! McCoy’s Sizzling King Prawn.
Thanks for your time lads, its been fun, and as they say… MTT! Still Burning
The Trade MySpace
The Trade play Cafe Drummonds on Friday the 19th of March (£4), why not check ‘em out and let us know what you think?