The mighty Trollgasm have yet again unleashed a storm on the masses with their latest EP “Play Folk Or Die”. Blending a thrash base with folky overtones is a blend which works wonders for these Aussies. My main man Tim Read answered some questions regarding the EP, the recording process and a few other things….including my awesome backing vocals…..check it out…..
Congrats on yet another epic release with “Play Folk Or Die”…..have you gotten any feedback for it so far?
“Thanks mate. So far the response has been great. We feel it’s definitely a step up from the Northern Winds and everyone else (so far) seems to agree.”
How did this particular set of songs come about? Were they extras that didn’t make “The Northern Winds” or all completely new?
“Mead Fiend, and Grace’s Pudding Polka were written around of the Northern Winds release, and it shows compared to the other songs. We had one song we dropped that was called Raiders of the Lost Tavern which had been rewritten at least 4 times and half way through the recording of it I decided it still didn’t sound that great and we had just written Swamp Swagger which is one the band’s new favourites. The majority of the songs started out a joke that kind of went too far, including the title track which is the most serious number on there.”
“The majority of the songs started out a joke that kind of went too far, including the title track which is the most serious number on there.”
Do you still write a majority of the material or is it more democratic these days?
“I did write a big chunk of the music for this release but it was definitely more of a group effort in the long run. Having new members with very different writing styles to me helped shape this thing. We wanted thrash metal to be the main focus on the music for this release which is why the songs are as heavy and thrash orientated as they are but at the same time we wanted our keyboards and folk instrumentals to have a more fun and party vibe. I doubt we’ve done anything new or original for the scene with this release but we definitely created a release with a lot of different and diverse songs.”
Most of the tracks on here have a more party vibe than some of the more serious material you do……was that planned or just happenstance?
“We originally planned on having them on a full length with a bunch of other songs but we ultimately decided that we wanted our full length album to be a concept album with a lot of stylistic changes following a concept and. As a result we decided to put out just a small EP of a few party songs as a means to give us a bit longer to write a full length album and a way to still release these songs. A 3 song EP became 4, then 5, etc etc. We thought it we were going to do a party EP we may as well may it as party as possible but we also wanted it heavier than the last release.”
As long as I have been a Trollgasm fan, Jesse McGunigle from Yonder Realm has been one probably longer…..how did he (as well as Dana Lengel from YR) become involved in the EP?
“Jesse’s presence on this release came about after the original guest vocalist we had lined up for Liquid Black couldn’t meet the deadline and I still wanted the guest appearance on the song. I’m a sucker for that. Jesse and I had made a bit of a joke saying we should just appear on each other’s band’s releases from now on (having him do something on northern winds, and myself doing mandolin on their full length The Old Ways) so he was more than happy to do it. Dana’s involvement came very late as we made a crucial decision within the band about taking a long needed break from it as all the members are seemingly in different places both in life and in their mental states so on the off chance that it may be our last release we decided to hit up a bunch of friends to do guest spots. Be in backing vocals, keyboard solos, violins, whatever.”
“we should just appear on each other’s band’s releases from now on”
Let’s jump back to the epic song “Quest For Honour” you did for the “Tales From The Southern Realm” compilation……how was it working with Wulfstan from Forefather and just doing this track in general?
“Working with Wulfstan was very easy and enjoyable, which I can’t thank you enough for the initial set up of that Jeff. I sent him the song, the lyrics and gave him a basic idea of what we had in our head and he was just super casual about it, like “yep, I’ll do cleans but no harsh” and he nailed it. The song itself was the first real contribution that Jarred had when he joined the band. He got inspired watching the Hobbit and came to me with probably 60% of the finished so and we spent probably a month finishing it off. It was actually one of the slower songs to finish but the hard work paid off because it one of the most well written songs we have. It was also the first time other members put their hand up to write lyrics.”
You are involved in numerous other music projects, is it hard to jump from one style to another or do you have no problem going from one thing to another? How do you prioritize the time to work on all of the different projects?
“Transitioning from Trollgasm into other styles like the gore/pornogrind stuff and the brutal death metal is easy as. I find it hard to transition back into folk metal though. It takes a little while because my brain just wants to say “add blast beats to that, make that riff a slam, this is too happy, no, needs to be death metal” I think some of that comes across in the new songs to be honest. In terms of prioritizing, Trollgasm is always number 1 so if we have Trollgasm stuff to do, everything else is put on hold. As for my other projects they’re really just side projects I do when I want to do heavier stuff so I pick it up when ever. I never really set aside a few months to say “Okay this month I’ll start writing a Penetrated song” or “Trollgasm can suck it I’m writing a slam album for the next 6 months” I’m usually pretty a good at doing multiple when I need to be. But Trollgasm is always first.”
“Trollgasm is always number 1 so if we have Trollgasm stuff to do, everything else is put on hold.”
You have the Dragonsbane Folk Metal Fest coming up (May 26th) Any other tour dates in the foreseeable future?
“Looking forward to that one, some of the country’s best folk and Viking metal acts hitting up my home town. It’s going to be riot. As for future tours and shows, as I mentioned earlier we’re taking a long needed break from it all and Dragonsbane will be our last show for a long time. It’s kind of an album release party and a send off party.”
Have any favorite albums from 2016 so far?
“To be honest, I’ve been pretty far behind in the whole music thing of late so I don’t really have any favourite albums of 2016 so far. I’ve been too engrossed in video games of late.”
Tim: Thanks for taking the time to read all of this, I can go on and on about things at times so I’ve you have made it to the end then cheers! I hope you all enjoy the EP as much as Ol’ Jeff here. Thanks for all the support and thanks to you Jeff for wanting to do an interview with me