A Q&A with Trickshooter Social Club
Loud and literate American rock ‘n’ roll…
What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
Our latest single is ‘Honey I Believe’, off of our upcoming EP titled ‘Monte Carlo’. In terms of what the song ‘Honey I Believe’ means to us… We believe that this is essentially a song about redemption, resilience and the sublime freedom of saying f*ck it. In this song, our female protagonist is simultaneously filled with hope and hopelessness, fear and fearlessness, despair and ecstasy. She decides that she believes she can change everything. The Honey she is talking to is, of course, herself. And she does, in fact, change things. She grabs her partner, her regrettable cigarettes, and her dignity, and she hits the road in search of her own demons and angels. And she finds a glimmer of something that looks like truth among the ice machines and Bible drawers of a questionable motel somewhere in East Tennessee. May we all be so lucky.
What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
Covid. We wrote and recorded this music during the pandemic, which forced us to learn new technologies, new techniques and new tricks, which is ultimately a good thing. We learned how to embrace abundances and recognize scarcity with a sober, clear-eyed gaze. We hit our share of brick walls: hard drives crashing, files not opening, and dead ends. We worked and reworked the songs, changing the vibe and feel over and over until we landed where we felt we needed to be. Also, things took longer than we wanted them to due to Covid delays, but we just kept walking through it.
Who produced the release – what did they bring to it?
We worked with Mat Leppanen on the production of these songs. Mat was a great partner. Super talented guy. Larry and I (the other founder and principal songwriter for Trickshooter Social Club) developed the songs and got the tracks to a pretty decent level, and then we would bring Mat in to add, enhance, and bring colour and texture to the tracks. We would talk it through with Mat and then he would send us ideas, and that was super fun and exciting to be able to develop the songs with him and see what his sensibilities would bring to the tracks. Mat was in London. We were in Chicago. And we would work via Zoom and Drop Box. It was a unique process – but really kind of great.
What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
Our goal is honest music with no pretence. So, we really just hope to connect on a simple, human level. We believe that all good art needs to serve something (that is what separates art from craft) and we serve the lonely, the tired, the slightly fuc*ed-up… the people who have dealt with more than their share of sh*t, but still somehow remain at least a little hopeful. That is our tribe. Those are our people. We write songs for those bastards and misfits. Mostly so we can all feel a little less lonely.
How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
Kind of like packing a snowball. We build it bit by bit, part by part. It usually begins with a simple riff or a chord progression. Then we start to lay over melody. Maybe a counter melody. And then comes the story. Which is crucial. Music is too important to be half-ass about it. So, we sweat every measure, every lyric, every moment. In our experience, music is sort of that one thing that never lets you down – it can literally get you through. It has for us. So, we take this sh*t seriously. I mean, if you have the audacity to make music, you better have the obsession to keep working until you get close to something like the truth.
What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
Tom Petty – he made honest music without pretence his entire career. Just a badass in every way. And he wrote songs, with choruses and hooks and memorable lyrics. Not bulls*it soundscapes or indulgent pap. We also love Social Distortion for their punch and simplicity. Steve Earle for his intelligence and candour. And Kiss… because they’re fuc*ing Kiss.
What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
We want to tour the UK – we love it there and we’d love to spend some quality time with our label and our label mates. We’d also love to get to Asia. We play American roots rock – there’s not much of us over there. We think we could end up on a lunch box in Asia if we play our cards right.
If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
‘Honey I Believe’. It is a song that captures our vibe, our story telling sensibilities and our world view – it’s salty, sweet, whiskey-soaked, a little over it, but still willing to believe we all have a shot at redemption. It is a song equally sacred and profane – that’s about where we hover. And, in any situation, if you look someone dead in the eye and say, “Honey I believe”, you have just changed the molecules in the room.
What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
We just want our music heard. We are very focused on putting more material out into the world and working hard to get it heard – that is our main focus. We also love to play live and we put on, if I do say so myself, a fuc*ing blistering ass-shaking, beer-spilling, woke-up-somewhere-else live show. So, we’d love to play live in any appropriately shi*ty bar near you.
Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
I’d actually like to share some words of wisdom while entering the stage. The Double Door was the quintessential rock club in Chicago (now closed). Everyone from the Stones to Pearl Jam played there. We played there a lot. As you’d walk on stage, there was a little sign only the band could see. It read: No smoking. No pyrotechnics. And don’t close with a cover. We only broke one of those rules. And we don’t play fuc*ing covers.
For more info visit: facebook.com/TrickShooterSocialClub