Teenage Casket Co.

TEENAGE CASKET CO. from the UK just released an amazing debut album (‘Dial It Up’)with influences such as 80s hard rock and alternative pop rock. Waiting to see them live, the whole band answered our questions, aren’t you lucky?Our readers may not be familiar with TEENAGE CASKET CO. yet, can you give us a little bit of history?JD: I knew Rob (Wylde – vocals & guitar) from his old band CHINA DOLL using my rehearsal studios. Every week I used to ask them questions like “Who do you think is a better vocalist, Jani Lane or Don Dokken?” They took it all so seriously bless ’em. I knew that Rob just needed to be updated and unleashed a couple of decades into the present and he’d be very successful. I was right. I didn’t meet Mike (Hollinshead – Drums) and Bob (Lane – Bass) until our first rehearsal in January 2004. It was awesome, we nailed at least three songs piss easy! RW: Jamie (Delerict – vocals & guitar) and I wanted to do something fresh and exciting, but most importantly we wanted to shake up the really dull rock scene out there and give people some good time Rock n Roll. We got together, wrote some songs and went on a mission to find a kick ass rhythm section which we found in Rob and Mike. MH: I believe I’m right in saying that Jamie played bass for some of the last CHINA DOLL shows and TCC was born out of the ashes of their previous situations. Rob who I knew from our old band COURTESAN and he asked if I would be interested in trying out with this new band. He sent me a demo, I liked what heard and I got the gig! RL: I’d been bouncing around in bands for some time and never really got the chance to show ‘my real rock roots’ so when Rob mentioned he’d been writing some songs in a Marvellous 3, Goo Goo Dolls, 40ft Ringo vibe that was certainly my calling card! It was cool to get Mike on board cause he’s one of the most solid and professional drummers I’ve played with and Jamie is a real blessing to the band cause he’s got a great work ethic and can really crack the whip and get the best out of all of us. I’m pretty amazed to think how fast things have moved over our first year. We’ve all been able to draw on our contacts from previous bands and really step up to the plate much faster than a lot of other bands out there.Are you satisfied with your album “Dial It Up”?

JD: There are a couple of little things that I may have done differently, but I’m wise enough to know that “one is always one’s own worst critic”. I’m extremely proud of the album. I’m even prouder that a lot of other people are digging it too. That’s a bonus. RW: Obviously it would have been great to spend longer in the studio, but for the amount of time we were in there I think we did an awesome job. We managed to capture the two most important ingredients of this band…first and foremost the songs and secondly the sheer energy that we perform them with. We’re all really proud of the album and can’t wait for the world to hear it. MH: Hell yeah! The drums were all done in the first day of recording which was quite intense! I think we captured the raw, the spontaneous and the sheer energy of the band with some great production. The songs just shine. Now it’s out there it’s in the lap of the gods! RL: I’m really proud to hold the album in my hand and see the whole package and know that it’s totally ‘us’. What I mean is that I’m confident this album can stand up to just about anything out there on all levels – songs, production, packaging, image – the works! And at the risk of sounding arrogant it’s all down to us and the people who believe this band. Not some super rich record company with a vision or slick marketing plan, it’s all us!

You’ve been playing a lot of shows lately, what were the best/worst moments?

JD: Well, I personally play every gig like it’s my last, so I’d have to go with the last one that we played. That was a few days ago supporting TrashLight Vision http://www.trashlightvision.com on our home turf of Nottingham. There were a shitload of people singing along to our tunes with big grins on their faces and the album had only been out a week! It both baffled and pleased me. The worst gig was with Trashlight Vision again, but this time it was in London last year. It was a shambles of gigantic proportions! Maybe it’s just me, but I’m rather fond of gigs being well organised and run in a professional manner…. RW: I can quite honestly say, I can’t really think of any bad moments. Every time we hit the stage it’s 110% do or die. I enjoy every show we do, coz I’m on stage playing my favourite songs with my favourite band. You can’t really get better than that can you? MH: Once we’re up on stage we hit the ground running!! Other than minor problems with the sound or drums (the usual suspects) no real bad moments spring to mind. It’s just great to be out there and it’s awesome to play shows with this band. RL: Just the reaction from people who have heard the album or seen us play live has been the best moments. We’ve been shown some real genuine enthusiasm so far and can’t wait for this thing to grow and grow. Worst moments? It’s just not happening fast enough!

You have various influences but melodic hard rock and pop punk seems to be the most obvious ones on this first album, are there many bands sharing the same influences as yours in the UK?

JD: There seems to be a lot more good time rock bands seeping through onto the various music video channels that I’ve seen, so that’s a good start. Radio 1 will probably catch on to this in about a years time, but there’s something bubbling away right now yeah…. RW: I think there’s definitely been a resurgence in good time Rock n’ Roll over here recently but I really don’t see anyone out there who are doing what we do. We do our own thing which basically involves us all throwing our different influences in the pot and giving it a good stir. There’s a lot of 80’s hair/glam in there, lots of punk, hard rock and power pop. I think we appeal to a huge audience. MH: It certainly seems that there is a shift back to rock. Indie rock has been constant in its rise through 80’s and 90’s but ROCK dropped out of favour for a while. I think TCC is great hybrid of influences, we’re all pop savvy and we have our own take on the current UK scene. Some influences are overt within the sound whilst others are intrinsic. RL: Seeing how much Rock music is coming back into favour recently sometimes makes me think that a lot of the stuff I was listening to during the nineties was a little of a waste. Not that it was crappy music, I really dig and still love the bands I was into like The Gin Blossoms, Tom Petty and a lot of acoustic based rock which was kind of my escape from Grunge and Brit Pop. Just recently though I’ve been looking at it as something of a blessing ’cause I got that out of my system and now I’m more fired up and ‘ready to rock’ (oooh cheesy cliche) than ever before. I know I’m not gonna run off and do some bar room acoustic tour cause that’s just not me. Regarding bands that are out there today, there’s some really cool bands putting on good shows but they seem to be lacking killer tunes which I feel we’ve got a wealth of.

You’re going to tour with The EROTICS http://www.eroticrocknroll.com both in the UK and US, did each band organize the tour in their own country?Any difficulties to find the shows?

JD: The EROTICS are treading a fairly similar path to ours, so it was good to hook up with them. Our partnership will hopefully be a mutually beneficial one and and be massively financially fruitful too! We have no problem finding gigs. Check the website out! RW: Well, we’ve handled the UK side of things, and THE EROTICS are handling the US leg of the tour. The hardest part of putting the tour together was getting all the dates to coincide which proved to be a bit of a nightmare, especially for Jamie who’s been doing most of the work. But we’ve got it together and we can’t wait to get out there! MH: As you can imagine a tour like this could be a logistical nightmare but our admin. has done more than rise to the challenge. RL: The EROTICS seem to have a similar work ethic to us. They realise that you have to get out there and grab hold of stuff rather than expecting it to just come to you. Their sound is perhaps a little more hard edged than ours but I think we meet somewhere in the middle. The shows should be totally off the scale!

Do you all have jobs? Do you manage to conciliate everything with the band?

JD: We do what we have to do to get by and to make sure that our bills are covered. The band remains the main priority. It is the means to the end for me. RW: We all have flexible day jobs or dead end jobs which are easy to toss aside when a tour comes up. Jobs that enable us to say ‘stick your job I’m going on tour!’ When we get back and need cash, we can get another job to tie us over till we go out again. Then it’s ‘stick your job’ time again! We just work to get by. Hopefully one day we wont need to. MH: Day jobs are not a problem. Most employers are okay! For me I have always been up front about my musical activity outside my job, and if it becomes a problem then I move on. RL: I’ve always been able to pretty much shut off whilst at work and just think about music and the band so it doesn’t really bother me that much. As long as my job doesn’t get in the way of the band then it’s cool. Once the band demands more then it’s hopefully time to say goodbye to Mr 9 to 5!

The Internet has made things easier for bands, but on the other hand many people just don?t buy CDs anymore and just download or burn them instead. What?s your opinion on that?

JD: The Internet is the most valuable tool that a band possesses. Except for their music of course. Personally, I wouldn’t want to burn a whole album onto CD from the Internet. I want the whole package that the band intended me to have. I want the lyrics, I want the booklet and I want the photos. There is even something strangely pleasurable about spending your money on records. I cannot be alone in this way of thinking. People will ALWAYS still buy CD’s. Downloading is a fantastic medium for promoting your music instead of mailing out samplers and that. RW: I’m not really concerned with the whole downloading side of things. If anything it may allow record labels to think about how much they’re charging people for CD’s in the first place. The most important thing is that people are getting to hear the music. How?…I’m not really bothered. To me if you download a couple of songs you like, I’d say 90% of people will then go out and buy your album because they want to be involved in the whole thing of coming to see you live and being a fan. In some ways I think it’s a good thing. MH: The download argument and debate is always an interesting one. I think it’s quite healthy, because you get to hear before you buy. I mean I’m sure we have all done the home taping, but at the end of the day if you like a band you will go out and buy the real thing. RL: Sure some people take advantage of downloading but it’s not much different to when you used to tape your mate’s albums onto cassettes right? I’m very much like Jamie and like the whole package. Albums which I’ve copied in the past are normally sat gathering dust and don’t even ‘qualify’ for my CD Collection! If I really liked one of these albums I’d go out and buy the real thing.

Rob, you’re also the editor of TrashPit fanzine, can you tell us about it? When did you start? What was your motivation? What are the best things and worst things when you’re a zine editor?

RL: I’ve been doing fanzines for the last 6 or 7 years. I started out doing a Fanzine called SoundCheck which promoted unsigned bands which got me used to writing and doing interviews. A few years ago I got kind of frustrated not being able to read about what my favourite hard rock acts were up to and what happened to all the bands I listened to whilst I was at college so I figured I’d track them down myself and let other people read about them! I’ve been really lucky to speak to some of my all time heroes (I’ve still to interview Eddie Van Halen and Bret Michaels though!) and thankfully they’ve all been really supportive of the magazine. It’s really opened me up to a bunch of other bands I’d not have heard before too. What’s really cool is when someone reads about a band in the magazine and goes and checks them out – that’s were the real rewards are, both for the magazine and the bands involved. The worst things are deadlines and of course the cost to do the whole thing. It would be really nice to be able to make the magazine pay for itself but at the moment “it’s all for the love of Rock n Roll!” (cheesy comment No.2!) Check out http://www.trashpit.co.uk

Anything else to add?

JD: Thanks for the “mic-time” Veglam, keep the faith and ninja survive! RW: We’d just like to say thanks for showing interest in the band, and if you’re looking for some good time, kick ass fun Rock n’ Roll come and join the party! See you on the road. MH: 2004 and this first half of 2005 has been mental! So much has happened. It’s great to be playing with so many awesome bands, and having an album out that we’re really proud of. So if we’re in your neighbourhood come and check out the lean mean TCC machine. We will not disappoint you! RL: Big up to Veglam for the support you’ve shown us so far. I really hope we get the chance to come over to France and play some gigs in the near future. I hear there’s a kick ass band called The Sparkling Bombs who are worth checking out!

http://www.teenagecasketcompany.com

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