TRIAL SWE (EN)

-Hi, how are you? Thanks for your time.

No problem!

-So later this month you are going to release this two songs EP, “Sisters of the Moon”. This is your first release with your new singer. Tell us a little bit about this, like how he has fitted in and all.

We are very excited to show our new Singer for you. Of course, you’ve probably heard AIR RAID, his previous work. But I think it’s almost typical to have a new singer in a band, especially when we’ve already released a couple of albums. Since he joined the band he’s been proving himself over and over. He’s an amazing singer. We’re glad that we can share this with you as well so the world can know that he’ll fit the band perfectly, it’s not like a great loss.

-Nice. This new EP contains two cover songs, one is for FLEETWOOD MAC’s “Sisters of the Moon” and the other is BLACK SABBATH’s “Die Young”. First off, how did you come up with the idea? I mean if we hadn’t been in a dystopian kind of universe would you have done it anyways?
(laughs) No, I don’t think we’d have. We were working on new material ever since Arthur joined us. We’d been doing some preproduction stuff in our studio, working at our own tempo, but then all this happened and we were like “hummm”. We wanted to do something and we were thinking about doing a cover. Maybe not to release a cover EP or something, but we’d always talk about doing a cover every now and then, it’d be fun. And we’d been thinking about doing “Die Young” for a couple of years. We were even supposed to do it maybe like six years ago, but we never did it. So it was an easy choice at least for “Die Young”. I think the whole thing started… like we talked about FLEETWOOD MAC’s song “Sisters of the Moon” for which there’s this video from the Mirage Tour, 1982 I think, and it’s just an amazing rendition of that song. Because let’s face it, the studio version of that tune isn’t that giving if you can put it that way. But that version is so fucking good. And that kind of triggered us into do something more towards that, like I had to rearrange everything and write new parts and everything, and make the new song come together. It was some work to do, but it basically just started out with us talking about “maybe we should just record something and release it on the Internet. Like here’s our new singer. So they could hear how we sound like”. And then it was actually Arthur who said “what about “Die Young”? You guys have been talking about doing that one before. Let’s do “Die Young” also”. And it was like “Yeah, maybe, OK”. We talked to the label and see it’s okay that we can record two songs and then release them, like on YouTube or whatever, but it turns out that both songs turned out great so they were like “yeah, let’s do like a special limited edition EP as well.”. So that’s pretty much how it came to be. We were just talking. We got nothing else to do. Well, we were in the middle of making a new record. Not recording, but the writing. We weren’t that close to finish the new record at that time, so we thought “we must do something”. It came out of nowhere for all of us (laughs). I don’t think we planned anything like this.

-Now that you just mentioned this, in what part of doing your new album are you right now?

We’re pretty close to finish it actually. We like to record all the stuff ourselves first. And to do, to feel like maybe like when you rehearse, that you end up changing it when you’re in the studio anyways. So we like to record everything in our own studio before and let it sink in and to listen to it and think “yes, maybe we should change that”. It’s a good thing to let it simmer for a couple of months or so, so you can really be like “oh! Okay, maybe we should change that part of the song, or maybe we should even not have this particular song on the album, because it’s not good enough”. So it’s always a long process for us. We probably could have been done with the album about now, but we always want to let it rest for some time and be sure that every song feels good enough and fits the record. We’ve already decided not to have at least one or two songs that we wrote and rehearsed and that we recorded at our own studio. We decided that they probably won’t fit the style of the album. It’s kind of difficult, because when we started writing at the beginning it was more like Motherless-esque stuff, but then it’s like… I don’t know. You have to write a couple of songs in order to figure out how the album is going to sound like, and then you just decide “OK, this song won’t fit the album”. But I don’t know. Maybe we need to write one or two more songs. I don’t know. And then we will try to enter the studio this year, so we already set that stuff in motion. It’s close. It will be another couple of months at least.

-Yes, I see. Well you don’t need to rush, especially now that you can’t go on tour or anything (laughs).

(laughs) Yeah! Exactly! That’s really the tough part… Well, the tough and the easy part, because we don’t have to stress (laughs), because we can’t go out and play anyways, so it would probably be better for us to wait a little bit more, and see how it turns out with all this vaccine and stuff, and see if it will be possible to do live shows by the end of this year or maybe early next year. Time will tell.

-Yes, we’ll see. So well, now going back to this cover EP, as we said you have covered here BLACK SABBATH and also FLEETWOOD MAC. They are two really well-known bands, between one from each other, different kinds of Rock music, but both share that they are from the same period. Is there something that especially draws you to 70’s music?
Well, I think all of us in the band have this attraction towards 70’s and 80’s music in particular. Almost everyone in the band listens to all kinds of music at least, but yeah, I guess you can say that our roots are in the 70’s and 80’s music. That kind of Rock. Hard rock, Heavy Metal stuff. FLEETWOOD MAC aren’t known for being a very hard Rock band (laughs). But that song has the perfect vibe for it to work like in a more Heavy Metal environment.

-Yes, and the lyrics and everything I think fit you.

Yeah, exactly, that’s mainly why we chose that song also, because if we were to choose any other FLEETWOOD MAC song we had to make sure that it fits our band. We can’t just take a random tune that all of us like and do a cover, because it wouldn’t feel like TRIAL.

-Anyway even though both bands are pretty much 70’s bands… I think “Sisters of the Moon” is from the late 70’s, like 1979 or something like that, and “Die Young” is already from the 80’s, from “Heaven and Hell”. It’s singular; I mean if anyone was to choose to cover something from these bands they could have picked earlier stuff, and BLACK SABBATH’s Ozzy era.

Yeah, yeah. Exactly. I don’t know. We could’ve easily done something more like early BLACK SABBATH era with Ozzy as well. It’s just that we’d been talking about doing “Die Young” for so long, because it’s one of our favorite BLACK SABBATH songs with Dio. So it’s probably more like a hang-up or something. You know, there are too many BLACK SABBATH songs that we could have done to be honest because their entire catalogue is just insane. It wasn’t like a conscious choice that we wanted to do anything with Dio rather than Ozzy, it just came to be that way. There wasn’t really much thought behind it. There are so many good BLACK SABBATH songs (laughs).

-Absolutely. What other songs do you like by them? As a listener, not a song to make a cover.

Oh man (laughs), there’s too much. But my favorite period is probably until “Sabotage”. “Technical Ecstasy” and “Never Say Die!” don’t appeal me that much. They’re not particularly bad, but it’s not my favorite. My favorite period is from “Black Sabbath” to “Sabotage” I think it is. And of course the Dio stuff is just insane as well. And well, “Born Again” and “Seventh Star” also great albums. It’s so hard. I don’t know. They did plenty good songs. My personal favorite is “National Acrobat”. It’s really good. That’s a song I really like with Ozzy.  

-It’s a good one. But it’s really difficult; they had good albums with all their singers.

Yeah, every new singer they had had a really good period (laughs). It’s so hard to decide (laughs). Yeah. I can agree with that. It’s tough but yes, maybe “National Acrobat”. That’s my favorite I think.

-OK. So yeah, FLEETWOOD MAC and BLACK SABBATH are very well-known bands. Are you a person that goes back to the classics and the big bands or do you also like to find and discover rare bands from that era? More obscure stuff.

Yeah, of course I’d love to find some more obscure bands from that era, as hard as it is. I don’t know, you’ve heard those big classic bands so many times… I rarely put on BLACK SABBATH records anymore, because I’ve listened to them so much throughout the years. But there are a lot of cool bands, like 70’s bands that are not that well-known that I probably like, like… I can’t tell you, I don’t know (laughs).

-Some bands that I like from that period that aren’t the big ones would be LUCIFER’S FRIEND, JPT SCARE BAND, ATOMIC ROOSTER…

Oh, yeah, of course, they’re great too. It’s always difficult because I guess you can tell those are lesser well-known bands are not so well-known, because of a reason, like if you’re lucky you find an album that is so good by one of those bands, ATOMIC ROOSTER and stuff, but I think it’s more likely that it’s just a couple of songs that are good and the rest is just doesn’t do it for me.

-Yes, one-hit bands.

Yeah, exactly. But there are like… It’s hard to say. There’s this cool band that Tobias from RAM talked me about. It’s called PESCADO RABIOSO.

-In Spanish?

Yeah, they’re from Argentina. There are really cool videos on YouTube with them. And that’s like one of those bands that had really good songs. I think they only released one or two LPs. But yeah, they’re just insanely good.

-I’ll check them out.

But maybe they were known in the Latin American community or something. I don’t know.

-I think to find this kind of obscure bands, that it’s easier to find bands from your own country (An; speaking of this I feel the urge of suggesting that you listen to a band called TARANTULA from Valencia). It’s too broad to try find something obscure from a specific period from anywhere in the world. You said earlier that you don’t play your BLACK SABBATH records anymore because you’ve listened too much to them, so what have you been lately listening to? Bands, albums…

I’m gonna be honest and say that right now I don’t listen to that much Metal, mainly because every now and then there’s a really good Metal album coming out, but it’s really rare these days actually. So I’ve been listening more to like 60’s-early 70’s music, like Blues, Blues Rock… That kind of stuff. But you always have certain periods.

-Yes, of course.

What I listen to today or whatever, it will be very different in just a month or something. I listen to all kinds of music, I can’t really tell you what I’ve been listening to lately. Let’s see. Oh yes! I’m in an 80’s KISS era right now.

-Yes!!! Yes!!! They’re my favorite band.

They’re mine too. Oh, I’m such a… Well, not as much as anymore, but I’ve been collecting KISS stuff since I was a child. I put a lot of effort in owning like the original US pressing of their albums.

-I’m the same. I even used to collect stupid memorabilia. Mugs and anything I could find that was KISS-related.

Yeah, yeah, I have some dolls in my basement (laughs). Yeah, man. It’s enough with the collection I think. It’s just like now KISS haven’t done anything relevant at all for a couple of years.

-Yeah, several years.

Maybe for 30 years (laughs). But I think 80’s KISS is underrated.

-Absolutely.

Especially “Asylum” and “Crazy Nights” stuff. It’s just so good. Mainly Paul Stanley songs. They were so fucking good mainly because I think Gene Simmons had some mind in other things, making movies and stuff (laughs).

(laughs) True!! I’m a sucker for 70’s KISS especially. In fact when I was younger, like in my teens, I didn’t want to admit that I liked their 80’s material, because it wasn’t “cool”, like American 80’s Hard Rock, you know? I hadn’t listened to their 80’s albums until recently, until last year, when I was with a friend from Gothenburg. We were talking about KISS and I told him I didn’t like 80’s KISS and we were kind of arguing over this. He was sort of trying to convince me about how good “Animalize” is. So the next day I went to some record store in Gothenburg and bought the album. And I was like “why do I say I don’t like this? I really do!”.

(laughs) It’s really good. I can agree that it’s not the coolest thing to like 80’s KISS, because they weren’t dressing up and all that.

-Oh, yeah, the looks…

It’s not as appealing for me like be chilly, but it’s more Heavy Metal 80’s KISS. Probably my favorite 80’s album by KISS is “Music from the Elder”. It’s got too much hate during the years I think, because it’s experimental and all that. If you can put it like this, it’s not a good KISS record, but it’s a really good record. It’s not a record that KISS should have done, because it doesn’t fit them as a band or whatever. They really shouldn’t have done that career-wise at least, but I think it’s my favorite KISS album of all time actually. Because I’m a big fan of what Bob Ezrin had done both with KISS and ALICE COOPER, and PINK FLOYD… I understand that he was a coke addict but then, but he did some insanely good albums (laughs). SO something good came out of it.

-Totally. In fact from the 80’s I really like “Creatures of the Night”. I think it’s one of their darkest, and heaviest.

Oh, yeah. I think “I Love it Loud” was the first KISS song I ever heard, the “Alive III” version. I had it on cassette when I was like six years old or so. My neighbor went to the reunion shows here in Gothenburg and saw them. And he came back and showed us, so I took his tape and I did a copy of my own and I just listened to that Alive II “I Loved it Loud” over and over. Today that song isn’t my favorite from that album, but yes, “Creatures of the Night” is almost so classic now that it’s insane, because I like every song. They should really play “I still Love you” more. It’s a shame that they haven’t played it that often throughout the years. I think they only played it at the Creatures of the Night Tour. I don’t think they played on the Lick it Up Tour… I’m not completely sure. And I guess they played it every now and then during the years, but it’s a song they’ve should really played more, because that ballad is so good. But “Killer”… Oh, “Killer”! “She’s a killer…” (sings). Oh man, it’s good.

-(laughs) Have you seen KISS live?

Yes, yes. I’ve seen KISS live. Unfortunately I was a little bit too young to go and see them when they had the reunion show. I guess I could have gone back then, but I think my KISS interested maybe peaked after they did those shows, like in 1996-1997 and then they came back here in 99 and 2000 I think, for the Psycho Circus Tour. It was just like right after that when I really started collecting KISS stuff, so my first time seeing them was maybe 2008 I think? But then I watched them a couple of times. Was it the Alive 35 Tour in 2008?

-I think I watched them around that year too, and it was for the… Sonic Boom Tour? I can’t remember. But I remember the opening band was IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC and I didn’t know. So I arrived after they had played and watched KISS front row besides someone who I believed was a Nicke Andersson copycat, but it was actually him. I remember I believed the show was great, but I’m not sure if it really was or that I was just super excited to be watching them for the first time, because I also watched them like three years ago and it was embarrassing. It was terrible.

Oh! Yeah, I know. I haven’t seen KISS for a couple of years now, but the last time that I saw them I noticed that… Oh, man, they were really declining. And Paul can’t sing his songs anymore. And I don’t want to get my memory ruined. I think along with bands like BEATLES and THE WHO, KISS have meant the most to me basically when I grew up. So I don’t want that memory ruined by their playing and not being able to sing stuff. I actually saw this New Year concert. Well, I didn’t see the whole thing, but I saw like the soundcheck, when they rehearsed for it like the day before, and I think they actually put Paul Stanley’s backup vocals outing the PA system, so I think they must’ve played the songs to a click track. Because I heard Paul Stanley sing backup vocals for himself. So that speaks a lot, he can’t take those notes anymore.  Which is a shame. I think he peaked during “Crazy Nights”. He never sung better than that. That range he had on “My Way” it’s just like full voice hitting those notes. It’s really insane. So it’s a shame. I watched some videos… Maybe it was today. I just saw something flashing by and I looked at it and they played so slow, and not full of energy, and… Yeah… Argh. I was really disappointed. I decided to not go see KISS these last couple of times that they came to Sweden, or even abroad as well. Maybe if they come here one last time, maybe, I’d go. But because it’s more like a nostalgia kind of thing if I go, more than because I’d be enjoying the music, because I probably wouldn’t (laughs).

-Well, I would only see if they were playing a festival that I was attending.

Yes, yes, if that was the case I would probably would most like go and see them, yeah. But I wouldn’t single-handedly go and watch them.

-So you mentioned this “Alive III” tape. Can you remember what was your first album, or the first one that you bought yourself?

Uhm… I don’t know. But probably was… Bought myself… Yeah, I would say it was probably a BEACH BOYS’ LP (laughs).I grew up to 60’s music basically, so I really dig that stuff too. I guess it was either like a compilation BEACH BOYS’ CD… I think it’s called like “Beach Boys Gold”… Or something… From like 90-something. Let me just check how it’s called… Oh, yes, it’s “20 Golden Hits”. Anyways, but it’s not that exciting like that. I guess I remember like my first Metal or Heavy Metal album being “Peace of Mind” at least. I guess you can say that was like my first album. Well, I come from a family where my brother plays music and stuff, so I wasn’t that common that I would go and buy a record myself, it was usually my father who would buy the record for me and my brother so we could listen. Yeah, “Peace of Mind” was probably my first album I got, that I can remember.

-I can’t remember my first album, but I think one of my first was “Fly on the Wall”, by AC/DC. Only because I knew it was a Hard Rock band and was cheap (laughs).

(laughs) Oh, yeah, “Fly on the Wall”. Is that 80’s? Or is it 90’s? I can’t remember now.

-I can’t remember. I’m not a fan of that specific album. I’m gonna check…

1985. It’s so hard with AC/DC, because their drummer Phil Rudd, he’s like the best drummer ever at playing like a regular 4/4 beat. It’s so good. He plays it so well. And he doesn’t do like fancy stuff on the drum kit. I’ve always admired his playing style. I’d listen to some stuff like AC/DC maybe up to “Back in Black” probably. Everything after “Back in Black” it’s just not as good, I think.

-Maybe I agree, but I believe that “For those about to Rock” is newer, after “Back in Black”, and it’s really good too. “Flick of the Switch” also.

Oh, yeah, exactly, they have good albums still, but I think after “Back in Black”… I haven’t really listened that much. I’m more like I know the classics after that.

-Yes, me too.

But I really like “Dirty Deeds done Dirt Cheap” and stuff like that. I really love it. But now I think “Powerage” is a really good record. Probably I would say “Highway to Hell” isn’t that good, really.

-Yes, could be, I think I prefer… I don’t know, it’s really hard, because they aren’t that different (laughs).

(laughs) Yeah, yeah, it’s the same style, but yeah song-wise maybe.

-Yeah. For me there are two bands that can always do the same and it’s fine, and you can’t do that if you’re not MOTÖRHEAD or AC/DC.

(laughs) Yeah, exactly.

-So well, that’s all but before we finish this kind of interview, what are now the near-future plans for TRIAL?

It’s to record this year and hopefully to release this year, I don’t think that’s a problem. We will try to record maybe in the summer or something like that, I don’t know, and then have the record out by late fall or winter this year. So that’s basically what our plans are. As you can imagine it’s more difficult now to know for sure, but after that we’ll just have to see because we really can’t go on a tour and stuff like until we know it’s possible. Right now we don’t know when it’ll be possible.

-Yes, it’s very uncertain right now.

Yes. So our main focus right now is to finish the songs on the album and then do our own recordings first and then we’ll start recording the drums in the studio. Stuff like that.  But it’s so overwhelming to record an album. It’s so energy-draining, so we have to make sure we’re really prepared before we do it (laughs).

(laughs) well, you can take it easy.

Yeah, I think so.

-So that’s been everything.

Okay, it was nice talking to you.

Tania Giménez

Tania@queensofsteel.com

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