Twas a wet and rainy night in December on the eve of the Cold Moon, as we arrived at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse to interview Welsh trio Trampolene who were supporting The Libertines on their Nov/Dec tour. The band also recently supported Liam Gallagher again in Cardiff. We were honoured to catch up with the guys as they haven’t done an interview in quite a while. Things have changed slightly since we last caught up with the band back in Camden, a new band member and album number two is on the horizon. Spirits were high as me and Jaqui from NE interviewed the band and had good old craic.
So, boys, I spy a new line up, how are things coming along?
Jack: I’m loving it, everything that’s happened to arrive us at this moment. I’m getting all philosophical already aren’t I but I’m having the best time ever, I’m loving playing and performing music again. It just seems like it’s the way it always should have been, it feels like we’ve always been together forever in my head.
How did it come about Jay becoming drummer?
Jay: We’ve known each other a while, we had one gig together about five years ago when I was playing in Carl (Barat’s) band, The Jackals and, well, what actually happened?
Jack: Well, our original drummer kind of left and put us in a bit of a mess really.
Wayne: Yeah, was just me and Jack with no drummer and we had a gig in Paris, and we asked Rob to come but their lass put his passport in the freezer. So, with no drummer, I just thought fuck it no point me taking my bass like and just went for the craic. Jack had brought his guitar and we saw Jay who offered to drum for us.
Jack: It was a great gig and now the stars have aligned, seems like our destiny was set.
So, your recording album number two, is there a lot of difference in the sound, lyrics and influence compared to your earlier stuff?
Jack: Yeah, we’re slap bang in the process so it’s a little hard to say, it’s different we’ve not gone ABBA or jungle massive or anything.
Not doing a Noel Gallagher then…
Jack: We haven’t got scissors out; we got the potato peeler out though. I’m interested to see what people think of it.
Has life changed much since you wrote the first album?
Jack: Yeah life changes all the time, like the moons, THE COLD MOON… (laughs) It’s the same moon but it keeps on changing. I don’t really know how to describe the change in sound, it’s a progression of the journey of the band.
When it comes to writing, obviously normal life must play a huge part in that. So, what does a typical day to you guys look like outside of the band?
Wayne: Well, we went bowling last night.
Jack: I don’t really have a life outside of the band. It’s 24/7 job really with the writing, you’re always thinking about what you can steal for the next thing. Everything that happens, you’ve got to be alert to see if you can use it in some way and how it affects you. I don’t know if you can ever totally switch off because even I when I watch telly, I’m always nicking lines from the TV. I do love a bit of Danish TV.
Jack: I watched the last episode of The Bridge last night. It was sad.
Wayne: It was fucking weird man.
Jack: I enjoy reading subtitles when I’m watching the telly because your eyes always get a bit droopy when you’ve been awake two or three days.
Jaqui: My Mum was deaf, so I’m used to reading subtitles, but there wasn’t any rewind back then, so I was like ‘Mother, why you deaf?’ ‘You what?’. On a serious note though it makes you more ambidextrous.
Jack: Does it? I don’t know really; I do remember it more though. Images are fast but when your reading it seems to stay in your brain more. Just loads of Danish/Swedish dialect flashing before my eyes.
Album number two’s in the pipeline… Two years ago, you released your debut album ‘Swansea to Hornsea’. There was a lot of controversy about the cover, how did you feel releasing a collection of your work so far and how do you think the album will sit in indie rock ‘n’ roll history?
Jack: I always wanted a lot and dreamed I’d have a lot and tried very hard to get it. I suppose when it becomes a bit real, I try not to think about it, it’s a bit strange. I was just chuffed to see we had an album out really. A proper album, but as soon as it got pulled because of the cover (laughing), it gave it a bit more of a mystique. It’s like two years old now and all the vinyl are gone, you can’t get it anywhere and I like that. It’s got this weird cult following.
Jaqui: Well that’s going to be brilliant, Antique Road Show tackle that.
Jack: Exactly… Exactly… that was the plan. We went to the head of Past Planning, that was an internal joke might not make sense. Thought it’d be a funny name for a PR company, head of ‘Past Planning’ or the Professor of Sales Prevention Strategiser. I think the album will just keep growing and growing. Maybe do a reissue. It will just become a true, rock ‘n’ roll working-class story.
So, in terms of working-class writers, such as Ian Curtis for example. His writing was an outlet for him to express himself, although in real life people said it wasn’t a true reflection how he portrayed himself, how honest of a reflection do you feel your writing is of your life?
Jack: Wow… Fucking hell. Yeah, I think it must do for me. That’s a strange thing because I think all artists should know who they are and what they stand for. I suppose I do because everything I do is autobiographical. I’ve tried writing fantasy stuff, but it never really feels like it’s coming from the heart. I tend to keep to my own experiences that I know I’ve had. I know that Kelly Jones from Stereophonics made a lot of stuff up and Bruce Springsteen did too to be more like the working class. I’m not like that when I write my books and spoken word. It’s like a therapy for me writing and performing. I don’t tend to put myself out there on social media though, as I see so much fakeness online. It’s probably my downfall.
Jay: I suppose that’s like the music and doing the creative thing. You almost get to exhale all of that when you perform, and you can become someone else on stage and that’s like your outlet.
Jack: I’m more myself when I go on stage. It’s the only time when I get to be myself because everything else can tend to feel like a bit of an act. Just getting through the day and stuff can be a bit tedious sometimes.
Jaqui: You should hear me on karaoke.
Wayne: We did karaoke in Scotland where we were waiting to go on downstairs, we did a karaoke warm-up then went upstairs and straight on. We sang Tom Jones ‘It’s Not Unusual’.
Jack: I want to meet him so badly… I used to tell everyone he was my father. When I was at school, I used to tell people my Dad was John Frusciante as well…
Rachel: Jaqui tells everyone she’s Anthony Kiedis.
Jack: We should definitely start a band! We might do well. Who’s got some lyrics?
Rachel: Ha not me I’m no wordsmith. Jaqui also makes little figures of famous people. She’s given them to Paul Weller and the Arctic Monkeys.
Jack: I’d be honoured if you made me.
Jaqui: I will make you small.
Do you all now play a role in writing alongside Jack or is a solo effort?
Wayne: An unorthodox part I would say. I just like the colours and sounds.
Jack: My Mum writes all the lyrics really. Complains about the moon.
How working class would you say you are?
Jack: It’s strange for me, my Mum was from Bents Green in Sheffield and her Dad was a doctor, there was some sort of altercation happened and she ended up going for a job in Swansea and met my old man. They were a very strong Catholic family and I think by my Mum having me she kind of got outcast. So, I was brought up in a flat in Swansea in an area as rough as it gets.
So, what started all this? What got you into music? For me, it was the RHCP album ‘Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic’
Jack: Ahh any particular song?
Rachel: I like them all, but I’d go with ‘Sir Psycho Sexy’. My Mum would hear me blasting it out and be like WTF are these lyrics!
TRAMPOLENE: SIR PSYCHO SEXY THAT IS ME SOMETIMES I FIND I NEED TO SCREAM! HE’S A FREAK OF NATURE BUT WE LOVE HIM SO!
Wayne: It’s mental!
Jack: We watched the DVD and we had the subtitles on, and his mother was like turn that bloody filth off! (Jack breaks out into song ‘THERE’S A DEVIL IN MY DICK AND SOME DEMONS IN MY SEMEN!’)
My old man really got me into music, I wasn’t doing well at school and had very little contact with my father. I was expelled from school, I jumped on my art teachers car and took all my clothes off and said I wanted to be a woman and some other shit like ‘Try and make me draw them fucking sunflowers now!’.
Wayne: We went to different schools, but I used to wag it at his house. When he came and joined the football team with us, and he told me about that with the Art teacher car and screaming I wanna be a woman I was like this is my new best mate.
Jack: Yeah and the way things go though, I was playing for Swansea City Football team, but they let me go at about 15 years of age. The guy who managed Wayne’s team saw me and said come and play for us, so I did and the first time I saw Wayne it was his hairy legs that got me, I was pubeless. (laughing)
Back to what got me into music, I had a Christmas present under the tree from my Dad that may have had some significance of wanting me to connect with him. It was a guitar and it said on the wrapper ’I hear things aren’t going too well at school, maybe it’s time to think of an alternative career’. I didn’t play it for a while, there was this guy who played the guitar who was going out with a girl I really liked so I thought if I get better on guitar, I might be able to steal her. A classic story that.
What can we expect from Trampolene in the New Year! When will we hear new music and how are you spending Christmas?
Jack: This year its a Trampolene Christmas. Wayne’s Christmas last year was good. Last year he sent me a picture of this Christmas plate with just a big tab of acid on it.
We’ve got new music and gigs coming, keep your eyes open.
2020 looks very bright for Trampolene, the band seem very relaxed, focused, very happy and together. Keep up to date on their socials below…
FEATURED IMAGE: BAZZA MILLS PHOTOGRAPHY