Trash Kit

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Trash Kit are a London-based trio of face-painted rhythm bandits who make thrillingly asymmetric, no wave-style bursts of noise incorporating everything from Afobeat to Filipino rhythms. In amongst all this, they find time for some sweetly affecting multi-harmony singing and lyrics which explore identity politics in a way that's both intimate and playful. Like the best urban music, the songs on Trash Kits' excellent self-titled debut document and transcend the environment they were made in, creating a new geography out of the polyrhythmic, strangely funky music the band make.

The band is made up of Rachel Aggs, Rachel Horwood and Ros Murray, who came together in 2009 after paying in various other awesome outfits. Along with bands such as fellow Londoners Wetdog and Brighton's Cold Puma, Trash Kit seem to be part of a crop of DIY-minded, fiercely experimental groups coming out of the UK right now. Soundblab swapped emails with guitarist/singer Rachel Aggs to talk about what inspires the band and what they're planning next.

Soundblab: You were all in bands previous to forming Trash Kit, including Lesbo Pig, Electrelane, The Madrigals and Ray Rumours. Are those bands an influence on Trash Kit or is Trash Kit a break from the past?

Rachel: We're all the same people so I think there must be more than influences from those bands - we don't really like to think about things that way though. Nothing is very pre-meditated, we just knew we wanted to do something loud and energetic and use our imaginations. That said, when Ros joined the band Rachel and I, we were very excited 'cus we love all the bands she has been in!

How did the band form?

Rachel H and I used to live together and jam all the time. Then we eventually got asked to play a gig at Club Milk (which is run by an amazing guy called Andrew who is now our good friend). Ros knew us through Ray Rumours already but she saw us play there and asked to join the band a few weeks later!

What inspires you?

EVERYTHING! Especially cats, being mixed race and queer, Filipino dance music, b-movies...

Your songs often have really interesting structures. How do you usually write material? Do you jam and experiment is there more of a rigid process?

It depends, really. Nowadays we never seem to have time to properly jam but we used to a lot. I tend to figure out most of the song in my bedroom but I'm not very good at doing the proper structure, the others are good at that so we figure it out together.

At lot of the songs on your debut are like short explosions of energy. Again, was this a deliberate thing?

Yeah, it's all about energy! They're just short because we feel like when an idea seems complete you shouldn't bother over-complicating it just because of some boy-rock model where every song has to be three mins long with a verse, a chorus and a guitar solo.

Did you have to play together a lot to be so musically tight or was it something which clicked naturally?

It's really very natural actually, I hope that doesn't sound as big-headed as it seems but it's true! We have short attention spans so we don't practice very much at all, you can probably tell that too though.

Who would you site as influences?

Sleater-Kinney, Y Pants, DNA, Raincoats, New Bloods, Marnie Stern, Dirty Projectors, Wetdog, Corey Orbison, Drunk Granny, Peepholes some western Saharan guitar music (I could go on and on!)

Your album incorporates many different styles - Afrobeat, no wave, Filipino rhythms, punk-funk, math-rock, almost jazz at some points. How conscious was that?

MATH ROCK!!??! Brilliant. Yes totally intentional!! No, not really, actually. Again, everything we do it very impulsive, and, err, organic? But we find it hard/boring thinking about things too much. We listen to all kinds of music, lots of folk and weird stuff and I hope that comes out in what we do - we just wanted to use our imaginations really.

At lot of your songs don't have many lyrics but those that do seem to deal often with identity. Was this something you wanted to address?

Yes. I think it's pretty important to all of us. Both Rachel and I are mixed race and that's something that inspired a few of our songs but generally personal politics - such as identifying as queer female and mixed race - are important to us in that sense, and I hope a lot of our songs communicate a sense of pride in difference in general.

What are your favourite bands around at the moment?

ALL OF OUR FRIENDS!! Like the ones i already listed plus Cold Pumas, Way Through, Male Bonding, Woolf, Vera November, Divorce... I'm also really into the new future islands album, it's amazing!

What's pissing you off in music right now?

I dunno, I'm just enjoying concentrating on the positive right now! We have a small but exciting kind of scene in the UK at the moment and it gets me really buzzing sometimes. There are hyper money driven promoters and misogynist and lazy journalists out there but it's quite easy to avoid them if you stick to what you believe in and only put energy into things that you really care about.

What's next for Trash Kit?

We just finished recording for a split 7 inch with Woolf that's coming out on Club Milk records - it will be the first 7 inch they have released which is exciting! also we have two songs on a 7 inch coming out on Upset The Rhythm soon too - we are also planning a tour in September so watch this space!

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