One of Scotland's finest musical exports, the Trashcan Sinatras, will play at Slim's on Tuesday, June 1. We asked the band a few pertinent questions. Barry Gibb, if you're reading this: Get in touch. -- Vicky Walker
Izumi Kamazawa Trashcan Sinatras bring the swing
SF Weekly: What are we dragging you away from
Paul Livingston (lead guitar): Oh,
watching court shows on telly.
Frank Reader (vocals): I was trying my
hand at making rice milk ... very simple to make, but difficult to
make well, I think.
Ben Marts (tour manager): Advancing
shows, making sure details like interviews get done are indeed done.
as well as food, parking, sound and light details, and asking for no
brown M&Ms. Little-known fact: They switched the M&Ms to "no
broken potato chips," and they used to weigh the M&Ms to make
sure you still had a pound once you took out the brown ones.
You just toured the U.S. a year ago.
I know the album In the Music just came out here with extra tracks -- what was
the delay in releasing it over here?
PL: Our new record label couldn't fulfil their part of the contract, so we parted ways just before the album's release date! We decided to go ahead and tour anyway, and we had a blast!
FR: We were due to release the record
last year through an enthusiatic philanthropist/chemist, but the FDA
thought his nasal spray was an iffy sniffy, and funding was pulled.
BM: What Paul said. And most Trashcan tours are fun.
The online quiz is a real baffler. Has
anybody got all the answers yet? Did you make it difficult on purpose?
PL: No one has got it all correct yet. We wanted to make the quiz Google proof!
FR: I'm still working on it myself --
got about 80 percent of it solved, though I believe the competition
is not open to friends and relatives of the band -- or to the band
themselves. I'm more of a "spot the ball" guy. John is the
one that put it together, so the rest of us are as baffled as
BM: I took myself out of the running,
but wonder what Marvin Gaye has to do with Washington DC, unless
he's under Detroit, then it means I'm "dafty." But I'm good
at Jeopardy, and will take the quiz for bragging rights.
How was the Portland house party [on May 30]? Do
you have time to do any more on this tour, or would you consider it for next time?
PL: Oh it was great fun! We are maybe
doing another two on this tour.
FR: Hasn't happened yet -- will get back to you afterwards.
BM: Clever man, Paul. A seer. He's
confident the show did well before we've even done it!
Do you like being one of music's best-kept secrets, or do you secretly crave to be rocking out in stadiums underneath a giant lemon?
PL: It's not a secret; I'll take the lemon anyday.
FR: No, we'd rather not be a secret. That's part of what drives us out of our houses and away from our recipe books -- the urge to get our music heard by more and more lovely people.
BM: Leave the lemon at home and just rock out. Stadiums are okay if the musician's music and show reach everyone in stadiums. U2 do it well, as did the Jacksons reunion tour, the Eagles, the Dead; not many pull it off. I read U2 could bankrupt themselves with that show. There has to be a way to do it sanely. But music isn't always sane, nor have I seen the lemon, so ... their Achtung and Zoo tours were great.
I noticed a few Scottish and English accents in the crowd when you played at Café Du Nord. Are there any expat fans you regularly see at shows in the U.S. ?
PL: Not that I've noticed, no.
FR: We have a number of familiar pastier, pointier faces that turn up. We also get a smattering of Americans who come and talk to us in a weird, confused brogue, saying things like "Cheers mate!" and talking about snooker a lot.
BM: I can't recall expats either, but I'm sure there are a few.
Where do you like to hang out when you visit San Francisco?
PL: We don't get much time to hang out, but we usually try to hook up with Leigh and Ricky from the wonderful Mellow Drunk.
FR: Karaoke at the Mint was always fun. We don't really get a chance to hang out in the towns we visit, unfortunately.
BM: Tour managers don't get much hang time either. It's usually maybe 30 mins to eat ... if all goes well. When a band is "hot," you're always doing promo. When your band is "cool," you're always doing promo. Maybe I hang out doing promo, but I'm setting up more promo while the band are doing the promo I've already set up.
PL: No. But you can be sure we'll be there this time! Sounds great!
FR: I am always pining for fish 'n' chips, so I will try to make a point of visiting Mr. Black's establishment. The big question is, is it sauce or vinegar? (Ed.: Vinegar. Real vinegar.)
BM: No. I like San Francisco for the people being mostly the nicest in the USA. Great music town, no matter what Austin thinks. I've never been to Edinburgh, but I've been to a castle in Loveland, Ohio. I'm from Ohio and not much of a fish and chips guy.