Trusted Few

author PP date 23/12/07

Meeting with young bands is always an extra bit of fun because it's often them that are more excited about getting interviewed than you finding out about their band. This was the case when myself and TL met together with Trusted Few, one of Denmark's most acclaimed screamo acts, just before their support show to Puto Diablo at The Rock. It was their second ever interview, and it was noticeably weird in the beginning, when they didn't really know what to say or where to go, so we ended up just sitting down by a quieter area of the bar. The whole band was present, though most of the answering was taken care of by vocalist Johan and especially Bassist Andreas, who constantly kept talking over each other, making my typing task a nightmare like experience. It's often a problem with young newcomer bands that you don't really know what to ask them and they don't have much to say, but not Trusted Few. They were more than eager about telling me everything about their band that I actually had to drop a few questions off my list because the band answered them without asking! Enjoy the read, and merry christmas! Hi and thanks for doing the interview. First of all could you introduce yourselves and speak a little bit about the history of the band, how you came together and so on.
Andreas: We're Trusted Few. My name is Andreas [ed: Bassist].

Johan: My name is Johan

Adam: He's the lead singer, and I'm Adam, the drummer.

Philip: Philip, the guitar player!

Andreas: History of the band? Well, what can we say really, guys? We've been playing for, how much is it? Three, four years? But really history isn't that important for us anymore [all laugh]. We try to look forward.. But we started very very small and very very.. how do you say.. bad?

Adam: Yeah it's a progress So how did you guys get together as a band? Do you all know each other from like school or something?

Johan: Yeah me and Philip did and they came afterwards

Andreas: Philip and Andreas were playing in a band called Block D and I came in as a bass player when it was called Block'd, and Adam came in and we named ourselves Trusted Few, and that happened like three years ago. How are things in Trusted Few these days, what's new?
All: Great

Johan: We're playing more gigs every day and.. I don't know what to say [laughs]

Adam: Yeah there's a lot more at the concerts and we play approximately once a weekend, so it's much more than we've done before. Yeah, it seems that with Gaffa covering you for demo of the month and with the EP coming out it seems that you are picking up the pace.

Andreas: We are, we try to figure out where we should be. We've never tried this before, it's all very new to us.. even this interview you know [all laugh] so we try to figure out where we should be and.. the speed that it's going right now is perfect, because we can all still follow up. It's a slow process to leave more and more work to your band and backing up all the other stuff behind, because we don't really have any record company or booking agency or whatever, this is all our own work.

Adam: We just try to make us a name so people recognize it. So we just try to play as much as possible and don't have big expectations about money and that kind of stuff, just playing, playing playing. It's quite different here in Denmark starting as a band compared to like USA, isn't it? For example, over there, all the band has to do is to rent a van and just tour around the whole country... so how do you make a name in Denmark?

Andreas: We try our best. We were very very very lucky getting the coverage in Gaffa, it was such a surprise for us. I remember when I got the news, he was really mean to me. He waited like five minutes in the phone before he even told me, and then I was saying to him "what concerts, where, why?" and he said "we always do that for the demo of the month" and I was like "what, come again, please?" So it was a big thing and I went up straight away telling everybody at first [pointing at Johan] and he didn't believe me at first, it was the classic "WE JUST WON THE LOTTERY" [all laugh], so it was very weird for us, and we got in here, and we got a very positive live review also, so it's just been taking off from there. Then we could use that when we contacted places around Denmark and we put together a little tour.

Johan: Yeah it's nice now when we contact some playing place, and people say "yeah we have heard about you, we saw you in Gaffa"

Andreas: It's a huge difference really. "Yeah we've heard the CD, it's pretty good, we're gonna get right back to you" you know what I'm saying?

Adam: If we had a demo, and you make interviews and people go like "who are you?". A lot of bands I've interviewed before usually don't like to be called metalcore or screamo, but I noticed on your Myspace page it straight away says "screamo". But even so I think a lot of readers are still not too familiar with what you sound like if you're a screamo like, so if you could just describe your sound to anybody who doesn't know?
Andreas: Yeah. It's a lot of aggressive..

Johan: I don't really know, I think it's pretty hard to describe. We've mixed a lot of things..

Andreas: We hope we do!

Johan: Sometimes even pop and punk and metal and screamo, I don't know, we're just screaming a lot, and we have a lot of rock and punk, so.. that's what.. it doesn't have a deeper meaning or something like that.

Andreas: Basically the thing is, what makes our own socks rock? What can we listen to in the practice room and be like "hell yeah, this brings a smile to my face" because really what we wanna do, is to bring a smile to people's face. It's why we go crazy on stage, and we hope that people follow it, and hope that people will dance with us. Personally I love when people go "WRAAAGH" even though it's your own friends who have been for like ten concerts in a row [all laugh] they're like "WRAAAAAGH", going crazy, like circle headbanging, it has nothing to do with the music but apparently they find some part of the music that they really like. I even had friends saying like "okay, I only listen to Illdisposed and really hard bands, but you guys got something" and that warms my heart, hearing that about us. So how did you decide on your name, Trusted Few?
Johan: I think it was a title of the demo.

Andreas: I made the cover and I was like, "okay we gotta do this, cause we gotta send it out tomorrow", and I just took some pictures and I think it was a part of Strøget taken from above, standing, and it was like a cigarette butt and my old shoe, and that was it. I was printing out the cover and it was the ugliest cover you've ever seen. And I was like Block'd - Trusted Few.

Johan: The name of our demo, and we thought it was a pretty cool name

Andreas: We tried to look away from Trusted Few, we tried to look away from the name, we were like "lets try something else, what can we do, some idea is better" and somehow Trusted Few just kept coming back. So it's been about six months now since you released the debut EP. Did you do everything yourself or did you have some professional studio or..?
Johan: No we were in Holsted in Jylland, with a guy called Christian Sørensen, and he was pretty much the producer, mixer and everything. We stayed with him for a week, and recorded five songs and had a good time, and it was nice. He was very cool.

Andreas: Getting the whole professional view of everything, like I said we were all very new, so it was like "wow", [points to Adam] like he couldn't even play with.. he never tried recording with a metronome, and he came in and was like "I don't know if I can do this" and you could just see the producer's face like "oh my god, what's going on?" but like five minutes he picked it up, and we just started off from there and it worked out really great. How did you get into contact with him then?

Johan: I found him on the internet, I was calling 20 producers or something like that

Adam: All the cheap ones!

Johan: [laughs] he was the cheapest! No no, we heard something that he made and it sounded cool, so..

Andreas: For prices like that, I really can't believe what we got out of the prices. It was amazing. Can you also tell me a bit about how the EP came together and what you think about it today now that you've had a little time on it?
Andreas: How did it come together? It came together with a lot hours in the practice room. We don't write songs individually, we write like pieces of two seconds.

Johan: It's jams

Andreas: And then we just jam off from there.

Johan: The songs take around five minutes to make, the real deal! [all laugh]

Andreas: So we got into a studio and we started recording and the first thought was "oh my god, can we sound like this, really", like putting it on a normal stereo, I remember listening to it in the car home and everybody was like "wow, cheers, that sounded gay" [all laugh] But the whole feeling about getting it out in a way where we could compare it to other CDs was awesome.

Adam: And how do we feel about the songs now?

Johan: I think we'll want to record some new songs now, and do it soon.

Andreas: We don't really... practice room is very hard for us to get ourselves together to play those songs over and over again, but we have to do it, we have to practice, because when we get out to concerts and see people's reactions, now people are even starting to sing along...

Johan: That's crazy. Tell me a bit about the artwort of the EP.
All: [loud laughter]

Andreas: I made it.. we got the recording done and we had mastered it and everything, and it was like "dudes, we need a cover!" you know? We practically paid for the whole thing, we need a cover, and I was like "fuck!". But I was like really, what are we gonna do? We talked about it, we want some pink, we want some black, we want this kind of image out of it, and I got home and I found all my old... I needed to use some high definition pictures, right, and I didn't have anything and we hadn't planned anything ahead, so I went home for a weekend and I started out by finding out some old pictures from Croatia where my girlfriend was on summer vacation, and it came out really great. My limited skills of photoshop compared with very basic paint! Which bands, if any, have been important to you so far in your career as a band?
Johan: 36, I would say that..

Andreas: 36 Crazyfists. What else?

Adam: We have a lot of different inspiration sources, I usually listen to very hard death metal and very speedy metal and the others don't listen to that really

Johan: Very very different, some listen to pop, some listen to rock, some listen to punk, some listen to hip hop.. some screamo

Andreas: But if you wanna name some bands, Alexisonfire...

Johan: Yeah what we sound like, I think..

Andreas: Alexisonfire for me anyway are awesome. This new music, this new wave that came, I started listening to it a bit before we started creating the EP songs and we were like "this is awesome, we really want to represent our own side of that" without being uber Christian or be totally emo. We wanted to find our own thing, and we love the music, this new wave of screamo bands. I read that you guys qualified to the final of the Melody Maker Contest in November, tell me a little bit about that experience.
Johan: It was really cool playing on the big stage, a lot of people there, and I think there were three votes that got us to the final, so that was pretty cool and pretty awesome. It was really cool, big stage, a lot of people, and great sound!

Andreas: The sound was amazing. The freedom was the biggest thing for me!

Adam: It was a big experience because we've seen a lot of big bands and being in the same backstage room and all that was nice, and working with such professional sound guys, having a sound guy mixing the sound in the whole room, and to have two sound guys on the monitors, it was nice. The winner of this contest gets a pretty sweet prize for a young band - a production contract at the Sweet Silence Studios...
Johan: Or somewhere else.

Andreas: Some of the other winners have been able to be like "okay, we have this, and we would like to do this, we wanna do a single, we wanna make an album, whatever" and they were allowed to do that. And that's what we really like about the competition because it's so flexible. So how do you see your chances of winning in this competition?

Johan: I really don't know because it's a lot of pop and rock, the other bands, and I think we have a pretty small chance because we are a bit harder band. Otherwise we're just gonna play, and it's like a big concert to us, that's the cool part of it, because it's such a big concert. It's gonna be like six hundred people and that's really big to us, so it's a cool opportunity. So if you win, what does that mean? What's gonna happen then? Are you gonna record an album or?

Andreas: Album. Definitely an album. Or alright, we don't know a 100% but what we've been talking about has been getting the album done, just the recordings, and then go out to the record companies and say like "listen this is what we wanna do and we have the product right here", we just need some.. advertising money, and then we're good to go! So have you already written the album, or some songs for it?

Andreas: We have written some songs

Johan: Some of the new ones we're gonna play tonight

Andreas: What we have now is for another EP, so we need to get four times more songs, and then we can start thinking about an album, you know. If I jump onto a little bit something outside of just your band, if you look Danish music scene, this whole screamo thing that you guys have going on, or metalcore or for that matter emo even, it isn't a very big scene in Denmark at the moment, is it?
Adam: There's like five or six or seven bands or something like that, I haven't heard of more So do you think that because it's so small, do you think it makes it more difficult for you guys to actually get big, or is it better?

Johan: I think it's getting more easier to do,

Andreas: Yeah it does, it's precious new. We've known this music style that we play for, similar music that we play, we've known it for years, and I'm sure you guys have too, and when you love that music and you try playing it yourself and now that you're finally getting to a level where you can say like "okay, this is what people wanna listen to, perhaps", we don't know yet, but... so that's the funny part, when you go out there and people have never listened to music like that and go "that's awesome".. but it's been around for years, and this is our interpretation of it.

Adam: A few years back, the scene got bigger in Denmark than it had been before for this music. There's been more people listening to this kind of music and I think the USA has been a big inspiration to a lot of young kids, so I think it has become easier to play this music and to get people to listen to the music, because there's more of this music in the radio than there were before.

Andreas: Yeah, you have bands like 30 Seconds To Mars who are doing really really great, and putting a name to it, you have this actor in the front, Jared Leto, and he's doing a great job just getting that part of music and showing that this can be done. I'm sure in the States you have UnderOATH on MTV2 but you don't have here. Related to that question, can you name some other bands in this scene in Denmark that you reckon the readers should definitely be excited about out right now?
Johan: Yeah, the people that we're playing with tonight! Knife Of Liberty and Puto Diablo.. they are more rapcore but still cool, In All Her Ruin, and that's the ones I know. I don't think there are anymore actually [laughs]. I haven't heard of them yet, at least.

Andreas: You can say that this is going out: If there's any more bands out there who are into this kind of music, contact us, we wanna play with you [all laugh] Other than that, this is the last question, what does the future look like for Trusted Few?
Johan: If we are gonna win the competition, that we don't think we do, we're gonna record an album, but else we are gonna record an EP in Easter or something like that.

Andreas: We've had a few replies from record companies, and the Danish ones are still like.. they've sent some positive feedback but said "not right now", it's a nice way of putting people off I guess, but really what it shows us is that they're not cancelling it, they're not totally ignoring it.

Johan: It was them contacting us and saying they were maybe interested in like a year or something like that. So we just take it on the positive side.

Andreas: Everything comes as a surprise, and we have to think about it that way, because as soon as we get our expectations up, we start acting arrogant, we get sad, and we are gonna be like everybody else. It's important to keep a low profile until you have it in your hand then you can scream!

Adam: We just love playing music. So it's back to like slow and steady, handing out EPs and so on?

Andreas: Yeah we are gonna do that all year, that's actually the first new thing. We're handing out EPs at big concerts in Copenhagen, we're so amazed that there isn't seven bands out there, it's just us every time, and we're so amazed about people are out there handing out their CDs and doing it, because that's what it takes. You can't just sit, especially in Denmark, you can't just sit around waiting for people to listen to you. You gotta shove it down their throats, and if they like the taste, they'll come back! Thanks for the interview, any last comments for your fans, readers?
Andreas: We don't have fans, we have listeners!

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