Mother Trucker hail from the birth place of Black Sabbath, Birmingham, UK and play some pretty infectious Groove Laden Instru-Metal, with not a solitary vocal line in sight and draw their influences from the likes of Red Sparowes, Pelican & Isis. They’ve already received numerous positive reviews to their name and with the release of their second CD due in Feb 06, things are looking good for these Brummie lads, so read on to see what their drummer James had to say about the way of the Trucker!
Hey James, hope life’s treating you well, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions so without further delay, can you give us a brief history of the band and a run down of your current members?
The long and short of it is that Mother Trucker are from Birmingham and started with myself, Charlie and Tom in a pub and talking about starting up a band. At this point Tom and I had never played our respective instruments….ever. So we had our first “band” practice in October 2003 with just the 3 of us, 2 weeks later we figured a real musician might be able to assist us on our quest. We brought in our friend Chris, who is a demon on guitar and then we just practised every week and jammed our asses off! Eventually we brought forth song structures, after a year or so we played a gig, recorded a CD and now we’re just trying to get our name out and we’re looking forward to putting out our next CD and seeing the response.
And for those that have yet to hear Mother Trucker, how would you describe your music?
Well first off we’re 100% instrumental, and not changing that. The music we feel speaks for itself. We’ve been put into metal, stoner-rock, doom, post-rock categories and I suppose we dip into all of those genres, and I for one hope we put our own slant on it, as opposed to just rehashing the same old ideas. We mix quiet with loud, riffs with the more subtle sounds and just generally have fun!
There are certainly a lot of influences that jump out when listening to you, from the likes of Red Sparowes and other Hydrahead related bands, but who would you say are your main influences?
I’d say you’re right on that one as all four of us love Red Sparowes, Isis, Pelican and alike. But then we take in sounds from Black Sabbath, Kyuss, Mogwai, Slint and far more obscure bands that sound nothing like us too! I think the amalgamation of all of our tastes, be it a bit of Meatloaf, a touch of Tool or the dreamy complexity of Explosions In The Sky really help to distinguish our band from the pack! We hope so anyway!
I really like the name Mother Trucker, although at first it did give me the impression you were a long haired, bearded, beer drinking Southern Rock band (how wrong was I!!), so can you tell us where the idea came from and is it as the name suggests a play on rhyming slang?
We started off as three guys in a room, 2 of which had never ever played their instruments at all, drums were foreign to me as was bass to Tom, and even Charlie was out of his natural habitat behind the drums and shifted onto guitar. To be honest I can’t even remember how we even came up with Mother Trucker. It just came when we were talking about the idea of a band and, well stuck. You either love it or you hate it. I agree with the people who say it’s a silly name, but then I wouldn’t have it any other way as we’re not your stereotypical metal band. It started off as a bit of fun, and luckily it’s remained that way!
Your debut release ‘The Last Ride of Dr Sanchez’ is nearly a year old now, so can you tell us how well this has sold, what kind of feedback you had and if anyone who reads this still wants a copy, is it still available?
At this minute we have about 20 or so copies left of around 250. So for a small band doing it DIY on their debut release, that isn’t bad going. The feedback has been utterly astounding. Every review has been overwhelmingly positive. When we started this, I never thought anyone would TRULY like us, chose to listen to us in the car, put us on when they’re DJing, or even rate us in their top 10 albums of the year! And all that has happened, and it means so much. I read every review about us and pass it onto the boys, and it’s so fulfilling to read people’s thoughts on our craft.
You also entered the studio during November 05 to record your second release ‘Electric Blacksmith’, can you tell us how you feel this recording went, what tracks will feature on the new CD, who’ll be releasing it and when is it likely to see the light of day?
The recording was over just three days with our fifth Trucker Carl Harris at The Zoo Recording Studios in Nuneaton, where we also recorded “The Last Ride…” too. It’s always fun to record the songs and hear them back. I’d love to say we got everything perfect on a first take… so I will! Ha ha. Drinking tea, playing the drums and reading magazines… what more could I ask for?
We’ve recorded five songs that will all feature on the new CD:
Horn Of Edwards
The Taking Of Planet 55
Kings Of Kabaddi
It’s all mixed and mastered now, but we’re meeting up with a label from down South in January to have talks with them about it, so hopefully it’ll be out in February through that record label. Which I don’t want to say now in case I jinx it!
And how do you feel your newer material compares to your older tracks?
So much better. I’m a better drummer than I was over a year ago (Thanks to my electric drum kit at home that I get to practise on!), we’re a tighter band than back then and we’re able to blend our own styles together much better to create better songs. We work hard on each song till it’s the best it can be and honestly I think the new stuff blows the old ones away! So if you liked those imagine what you’ll think now!
As mentioned earlier, your based in Birmingham, as with Bradford, this area has been responsible for some amazing bands over the years from Black Sabbath to Napalm Death to Bolt Thrower and now Mother Trucker, so can you tell us what the current scene is like there at the moment?
Up and down, truly it is. Our friend Phil Burrows put on a gig at Christmas called Moff-Fest and it was truly amazing. We had a bunch of our friends bands playing, visuals and a brilliant atmosphere with a load of people. But then you play to about 5 people and it’s kind of disappointing. However the thing that makes it all worthwhile and it’s cheesy I know, is if you play to 200 people and they all hate you, or you play to 5 and they all love you, I’ll choose the one with 5 every time. People rocking out to our music is what it’s all about. Enjoyment. We’ve found kindred spirits in local lads Una Corda and Capsule do an amazing job at promoting the more obscure bands, so hopefully 2006 will be a great year for the scene in Brum!
Do you get many opportunities to play live? And what kind of reaction/feedback have you had from your performances?
I’d say we play about once or twice a month. We’re only recently getting more out of town gigs, so the chance to win over more people beckons! The feedback in general is that people are mostly pleasantly surprised by us, and now we’re a tighter band we put on a better show!
And how was the gig in Sheffield put on by those kind peeps at NineHertz?
Brilliant. We couldn’t have asked for more. We might not have played to our best due to breaking strings and whatnot, but no one cared!! Playing to an entirely new set of people with bands similar to us as opposed to pub-rock or Indie bands was just great. We had such a good Trucker day out up there and Pete and Carey our hosts were awesome. We’d like to play again if they’ll have us?!
Your also involved with running www.BrumPunkScene.co.uk, so can you tell us a little bit more about this and what it entails?
Aaaaah I don’t want to soil this Mother Trucker interview with my own whoring, but basically it started up to try and bolster the scene around here, and although it’s not all I wish it was, the forums are always nice! I just need someone who can design a website (For free!) and someone to help me maintain it! Ha ha.
Your also yet another band to have a page on MySpace, personally I think, although a little bizarre and highly addictive, it’s a great way to meet and communicate with other bands from around the globe, but what are your thoughts on this whacky world and would you recommend it to others?
It’s the future. That might sound a bit crazy, but it’s such a superb way for bands to get out there. Without the likes of MySpace and PureVolume, half the bands popular now would have never even been heard. We can find friends of people who like us and maybe they’ll like us too. We can find other great bands and try to play gigs with them, and it’s just so useful as a means of communication and networking. I would recommend it to everyone!
And lastly, once the release of ‘Electric Blacksmith’ is out of the way, what other plans do Mother Trucker have for 2006?
Try and play as many gigs as possible, hopefully put out a split CD release with our friends Una Corda (www.myspace.com/unacorda) with brand new songs from each band and put out by another different yet exciting record label in the UK.
Thanks again James and please use this space for any final words/thoughts/plugs…
Thanks very much Lee for asking me to do this interview, it’s been great and for anyone out there interested in checking our band out go here:
You can buy our debut CD ‘The Last Ride Of Dr Sanchez’ for £5, or a CD and t-shirt for £8! So head on over to the above links to check it out, whilst stocks last!
Cheers again – James.
Interviewed by: Lee Edwards