AWAY FROM LIFE: Hey guys, Trashcan Darlings split up 14 years ago! That’s a long time. How it comes that you release a new compilation named „Me Punk, You Fuck“ so many years later?
CHRIS DAMiEN DOLL: We are as surprised as you are! We got a mail from Mike from Last Exit Music a while back. He wanted to release the LP on his lable. We figured “why the hell not” and went for it.
STRANGE? GENTLE: We are not releasing anything. Some dude is! But I think it is a great honor and I’m looking forward to hearing the final product. It amazes me how people seem not to forget Trashcan Darlings. I truly believed we were the greatest band on the planet back then, but most people didn’t seem to notice. I still do! And people can’t forget us! Like you say, Trashcan Darlings have been gone for so long now, but we still keep getting live-offers, people keep name dropping the band, someone released a tribute album, and now this… Quite satisfactory!
AFL: „Real Fucking Makeup“ only came out on CD. The idea behind the record seems to be the same. Why didn’t you simply put out that one on vinyl after so many years?
CHRIS DAMiEN DOLL: Well, since the idea came from Last Exit, we figured it would be cooler if he chose the songs. To make it the record he wanted to release and save us from a lot of infighting about what to include. The cool thing about that is that it features a few tracks which wouldn’t be obvious to us, but which makes it a great album.
Real Fucking Make-Up! is a CD and wouldn’t fit on LP anyway, besides it’s kinda a odds and ends compilation to compile our, back then, long since sold out EPs and 7”s songs, together with some new songs and an early demo. This new release is more of a proper compilation, featuring songs from our 2 full-lenght records as well as tracks from the 7”s and EPs.
This time we also went to great lengths to retrieve the pre-master mixes of all of these songs, so we could have them properly remastered with state-of-the-art technology. Everything sounds a million times better than it ever did and we are very proud of this release.
AFL: I remember the first time I saw you live. I came into the room and you started a few seconds later. I think you started with „Violent Years“ and you have been extremely loud and noisy. I wasn’t sure if that was genius or crap at first. A few seconds later I was a fan! As a part of the band: what has been different in the Trashcan Darlings from other bands? What made you so much better than all the other bands?
CHRIS DAMiEN DOLL: You didn’t see us til the Getting Away With Murder tour? Damn, I thought you had been there from much earlier on? I think we drew inspiration from a larger pool than a lot of the others. That reflected in both our sound, image and attitude and set us apart. I mean, there were other great bands too, but this was the era of Scandi-Rock and there were a lot of racecar caps, dirty denim jackets, converse and bands who played rawk of differing quality. Many of those bands kinda drowned each other out.
We incorporated lots of different musical styles in our music that gave us a little more depth, but I think the main thing was the quality of the songwriting. We put a lot of effort into writing, arranging and spicing up our songs to make them the best they could be, and they were pretty fucking great to begin with.
STRANGE? GENTLE: Even when we were crap we were genius! I don’t think we had much to do with the common rock scene back then. Trashcan Darlings would probably sound more or less the same if we had been around ten years earlier or ten years later. We came from a different school. The best thing for us was that since everyone all of the sudden became into loud guitars and rock music, it made it possible for bands to tour a lot, which unfortunately is much harder now. Very early in our career, even before we actually started playing shows, we decided to be the band WE wanted to see and make songs WE wanted to hear. We drew inspiration from everything and were not very concerned about if it fit in any genre or style. Instead we created our own. I think a lot of people recognized that in us. We were different, and not part of the hype. Having said that, the band we wanted to see in 1995 wasn’t necessarily the same band we wanted to see in 2005, so it evolved but not as a result of any trends or rules or other silliness.
AFL: Since you split up, the band plays shows only rarely. I think you played 3 shows in Oslo in 14 years. What does it take to get you back on a stage in germany?
CHRIS DAMiEN DOLL: Money… a lot of money.
STRANGE? GENTLE: A record deal, prepaid studio expenses for at least one more album and well, I guess, a time machine.
AFL: Strange?, you play in Hard Luck Street. How active is this band? I haven’t heard anything of you since a while?
STRANGE? GENTLE: As far as it is possible for anyone to be very active these days, Hard Luck Street is doing great. We released the album Darker Days early in 2020 but we hardly got to do any shows to promote it due to the pandemic. Still the album is very soon gonna be sold out so somebody out there likes what we do.
We will release a new vinyl 7” in March called “Just another Story/ Hell is other People” and we are also working on the last part of the Eternal-tetralogy.
…AND as we speak Hard Luck Street are finishing the demos for our third album. We hope to do pre-production this summer and then start recording the album early spring. Once again we will work with producer Chips Kiesbye who worked with us on Darker Days. He is just the greatest person and producer in Scandinavia. Chips have worked with The Hellacopters, The Nomads, Backyard Babies, Michael Monroe and tons of others. He understands very well the sound and atmosphere we try to achieve in our music. Hopefully this time it will be possible to tour again too. Hard Luck Street got gigs set up in England and Sweden and I would love to finally do some shows in Germany again!
AFL: Chris, the SUiCiDE BOMBERS, your current band, plays a lot in Czech Republic,but you only rarely make it to germany. When can we expect a tour here (if Corona makes it possible)?
CHRIS DAMiEN DOLL: We actually had a short tour of Germany set up for last year, but due to covid it was canceled… like everything else. We play Norway a lot and have made several trips abroad. We played Germany on The Sex Tapes tour and would love to work more there. It was so cool to meet many of the old Trashcan Darlings fans again. Good friends we hung out with and friends who worked for us in the past. SUiCiDE BOMBERS are currently searching for a good booking agency for abroad, so hopefully we’ll be able to do more with the next album.
AFL: Regarding the hat you wear on stage with the SUiCiDE BOMBERS: there is a SS-skull on it. Many people criticized this and say that this kind of provocation is not contemporary any more. How do you feel about this? Would it be an option to turn off the skull or to change the hat?
CHRIS DAMiEN DOLL: I was actually kinda surprised by the reaction. I mean, some people come on our Facebook page and make noise about it, then I go on their pages and find that they are huge fans of Motorhead and Turbonegro. It will take you two seconds to find a picture of Lemmy online in a full nazi uniform and those same people who come on our page seem to have no problem with that. That double standard annoys me. Shouldn’t there be a fixed set of rules? Why is it ok for Lemmy to do that and not for me to do what I do?
On the other hand I never meant to rub anyone the wrong way and I don’t have a political bone in my body. I’m certainly no nazi and am against extremism of any kind, be it political, religious or something else. The thing that surprised me was that when we did all those Trashcan Darlings tours for years and years, we would talk to German kids everywhere we played. A lot of these concerts were at political leftside youth clubs and we’d sometimes talk about WW2, as I guess most bands do. What we were told was that the swastika was a huge no-no, but the iron cross and skull was ok. So when I removed the eagle and swastika insignia from my hat, I thought everyone would be ok with it. Most people are, but every now and then we hear from a few that aren’t and that was never my intention. Maybe times have changed and it’s all different now, or maybe I just remember the reaction to the skull wrong… I have no clue.
Regardless I did remove the skull last year when we could finally afford to make another custom SUiCiDE BOMBERS pin to take it’s place. If you check out our latest video, Worlds Without End, you’ll see the hat with both original insignia’s removed.
AFL: Are the other bandmembers, like Frankie Nachtnebel for example, still playing in bands as well?
CHRIS DAMiEN DOLL: I’m not really sure what Frankie is doing now. He was in a cool Norwegian singing band for years, but I’m not sure if he has a current band. Andy Hunter and I still play together in Norwegian singing punk band Ronny Pøbel. We’ve been at it for years and released a ton of records. Andy King, one of our early guitarists, has his own Ramones style band The Dahlmanns. Skinny Shotgun passed away some years ago. I don’t think any of the others are in bands now, but I can’t say for sure.
STRANGE? GENTLE: Have no idea, but Danny Dee and I start a new band every time we have a beer!
AFL: What are your future plans as Trashcan Darlings and with your new bands?
CHRIS DAMiEN DOLL: The Trashcan Darlings plan is probably to try and get everyone to meet at a pub when the compilation record arrives. Have a few beers and talk about the old days. Gonna be good to see them all again.
SUiCiDE BOMBERS are in the prosess of recording our 5th album, to be released in late 2022 or spring 2023 (depending on current pressing times for vinyl). With that there will be more videos and tours and hopefully more abroad shows too. The new material is among our best and we can’t wait for everyone to hear what we’ve been working on.
STRANGE? GENTLE: Not many future plans for the Darlings unfortunately, apart from the upcoming collection. Hard Luck Street, like I mentioned earlier, will record a new album and hopefully play in every fucking city that wants ut to come!
AFL: Thank you for your time and the good answers!