Interview with John Douglas – Trashcan Sinatras


We had the chance to talk to John Douglas from the Trashcan Sinatras about making music, touring and their new album ‘Wild Pendulum’. You can see the results below!

The Workman’s Club presents Trashcan Sinatras – Date: 12 Nov 2016 – Time: 8pm

It’s been a strange few years for the band. Was it a great relief to get back to doing what you do best; making music?

We had begun the process of making what became this record after coming off some extensive touring and feeling exhausted on many levels. We were all pretty tired of our routines. The thought of making another record seemed way off and not very appealing.  What got us back writing was an offer from an old friend to write melodies and lyrics for some instrumental tracks that he had composed.  For me, it brought back an enthusiasm for writing that had been at a very low ebb.  A chance to write away from the routines that had evolved over the years in our band.  A bit like the old McCartney/ Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band idea, though there was no imaginary new band in my head, just a ‘packed away’ old band and a fresh, white, empty page.  I came up with some solid ideas pretty fast, the other guys had ideas too and we began sharing MP3s and chatting about where we could take these raw ideas.  It was an exciting time.  These Instrumentals we had been given had a lot of character, they evoked so much, dusty old Walt Disney music, rough Beach Boys demos, Syd Barrett lopsided wonky music, Cinemascope Cowboy Western melancholy sunsets. It became a real challenge to find lyrics to match the sonics but, we rose to it. Eventually we found out how to stretch and enhance these instrumentals into songs. Once there were enough of them (as well as a few songs written in the more traditional sense) we felt it was time to record. And, yes, it was a great relief to get back to making music.



You have just finished a quite extensive tour of America. How was life on the road?

Life on the road is tougher as the years go by, though the road wisdom that comes with experience can soften the daily blows.  Meeting folks who are appreciative of our commitment is heartening.  Some of the shows we played on this last US jaunt were beautiful.  Our Los Angeles show was particularly memorable. Frank’s singing was on top form. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so relaxed and in control, a very special night.



Where did the name of your new album ‘Wild Pendulum’ come from?

It came from one of the lyrics, which came from a book a friend had, which included a tale of a physics experiment involving pendulums that unveiled an inexplicable (so far) result. 30 pendulums were placed in a controlled environment and were all set swinging at different speeds.  Over time the pendulums would all eventually fall into the same rhythm.  Except one in every hundred or so experiments, one pendulum would not follow suit and would stick to its own wayward rhythm.  Then eventually all the other pendulums would adjust to match the rhythm of the wild pendulum.  This tale appealed in a metaphorical way and resonated with our wayward habits.



Categories: Gigs, Header, interview, Music

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