Originally a two piece (which they occasionally revert back to), Trippy Wicked & the Cosmic Children of the Knight, to give them their full title, dish out an intergalatic fusion of Blues, Doom and Stoner, which was given a new dimension with the recent addition of Dicky on Bass and with their 2nd release ‘Movin On’ hitting the airwaves in late October, I fired some questions over to guitarist/vocalist Pete…
Hi Pete, firstly can you give us a brief history of Trippy Wicked?
Well, it all kind of started early ’05 with a song called “right foot leads”. It wasn’t heavy, but it changed timing a fair bit, which grabbed Chris’ attention and interest to give the drums a go. A riff from that went on to be a “Hang ’em high” riff, and before you know it, with a riff of Chris’, we were away. My good friend Paul Fryer was there playing guitar too, so we had a crazy sound with him playing through an octave pedal, we did go through a fair few amps! We did some “Battle of the bands” and won a years supply of beer, (lasted two months) but just wanted to keep out gigging. After Paul came along another Paul, Paul T from wartgore, after a gig played in Cardiff as a two piece, we realised the ease of which it was only us to organise, and stuck with it for a while.
The full moniker of the band is Trippy Wicked & the Cosmic Children of the Knight but where did this name come? And are you happy with being known simply as Trippy Wicked?
The name cropped up out of the blue one morning, from me turning round to my mate at work and just saying an answer “trippy wicked.” I say “wicked” to most things, (as most of my mates who grew up in the 80’s do) He turned round with a smile and asked “trippy wicked?” to which I said, “and the cosmic kid!” he said, “cosmic children” then I added “of the night!” At that time we both thought that would be a great name for a band that came out of a 70’s parallel universe, it was about 6 month’s later, when the band was developing, I suggested the name, we put in an & and made it a Knight, (just to mess it up some more) and there you have it! Just Trippy Wicked is cool with us, though it is fun to hear people calling it every name but the right one. The cosmic whiffy triffid is probably my favourite.
Following the recording of the ‘Imaginarianism’ EP, what prompted you to get a bassist in…and why Dicky?
We rehearse at the same studio that Dicky went to with his then band Olde Crone, Which Chris and I both really dug, but they broke up because of people going away, and other commitments and stuff. Well we were having our usual jam on a Tuesday, when we saw Dicky n he asked if it would be cool to have a jam sometime, we’d played a gig recently, so he knew our songs, and got Imaginarianism, loved the songs, and we were interested to see how his filthy bass sound could fill it out. To which it does excellently. He just seem to be a part of it all effortlessly, with his humour and good vibes. He does a wicked job of pickin stuff up real quick too, which is always a plus.
You still occasionally fall back to the two piece format for gigs, does this feel weird after playing with bass now for a while and do you need to readjust your sound to go back to this format?
When we find ourselves doing a two piece gig, it does feel a bit empty without the rumble there keeping it massive, but we have got a big back catalogue of rock and roll songs, that are stripped back to being raw and driven. I keep the sound the same on the amp, if i turn up the bass it could take the clarity of the riff away, I do change from the bridge to the neck pickup a lot more though, just to make the more evil riffs just that little more evil. Its mainly other people who have seen it as the full line up that say it needs bass, at the end of the day we know it sounds damn good with it, but it can still sound heavy when its not there, look at Pombagira!
You occasionally go out as an acoustic duo, any plans to incorporate some of this into the normal live set in a Led Zeppelin stylee or maybe include some recordings of this on future releases?
There is a snippet of acoustic playing at the end of sea shanty on “Movin on,” but as far as a whole track being on the next album, we haven’t really considered it. We tend to think of the acoustic side as a different thing, even though it is a lot of the songs stripped down to the nitty gritty of it. We are wanting to record a whole album of our acoustic songs, nice and chilled to be enjoyed with mead or a fine rum. As far as when the gigs are played with the big band, it could be far too radical to take it right down to being virtually unplugged. When its the big band, its the big band, no muckin about, its balls out rock and roll man, a wall of sound to melt your face.
You’ve recently taken on the task of releasing your debut album ‘Movin On’ yourselves. How did you find this process? Did it turn out to be a more complex task than you at first imagined and is this a route you would consider taking in future?
Chris has done an amazing job with all the work of putting the inlay together, and finding who to digitally release it, and then print it, then getting it reviewed! We decided to release ourselves because we did’t really know what else to do. Send it out to place after place after place and hope someone will eventually pick it up and says “hey! I’m going to make this work for you!” We have always wanted to have the tunes out there, we didn’t want it sitting around gathering dust while our fans ask “where the hell is it?” This way it was in our control, and yeah, it was a pretty tough thing sometimes, there was the worry that dead lines were set, release dates were set, and a postal strike is looming, but once its done, its done. Its all about getting it out there now, listened to and bought. Would we do it again? Maybe probably.
And how was your time at Chuckalumba Studios? Did it live up to all expectations?
To be honest, we didn’t know what to expect. All we knew was that The Wizard had recorded there, and got a heavy heavy sound, and we wanted that. So with time booked, we went there and tried to find it for about half an hour. NO SIGNS! There were wild horses walking around as nature intended. Beautiful landscapes around there. When we did find it, it just looked like a shed, it was a proper, “huh? is this it?” But we fell in love with it. Wood nailed to the walls, dogs and cats laying around, putting our cabs in with lathes and drills and lawnmowers and various tools, it just felt like you were a part of something real and natural. We did all the recording in 3 days, then spent 3 days mixing it all down. that took a lot of effort. We did a mastered CD of all the mixes, but it ended up being far too bassy, in hind sight we should have had a bit more of a break in between, but we do always push forward before the rot sets in. John was great, a real friendly, positive and happy chap. The week away was a really nice holiday for us all, was good hangin out with Dicky for longer than just jam time and gigging time.
The official release date was the 30th October so how can people buy a copy, which distro’s will be carrying it and will it also be available as a download?
People can get a copy from our website www.trippywicked.com, even Amazon. Though there are links on all our social websites, the myspace, the facebook, the lastfm, the moon, whatever. It is available for download on itunes as well. People can also hear it on spotify, our website, all of the above. Its pretty available I’d say!
You tend to flit between styles on your album which does make you hard to categorise. Are you not concerned that this may go against you when the reviews start coming in?
At the end of the day, we make music that’s ball’s out rock and roll, the influences and styles come together to hopefully make your toe tap continually throughout the whole journey of the album. We write these songs because its what gets our love muscle twitching, we don’t really want to be categorised into a little section with other bands of our ilk. We flit and float around because we like a lot of varying music, and want to get to play it all when we can. Besides, I think we would find it boring if we just settled on playing one style at a time. The age we live in now is really fast, with technology making everything available instantaneously, keeping peoples attention can be hard, so when you play dirty cool riffs in styles you love to hear, other people pick up on that and can see that yeah, a lot of songs are different from one to the other, but they seem to unite together. Reviews coming in now are embracing this fact. Which is nice.
What spurred you on to do a frighteningly heavy cover of Seasick Steve’s ‘Things Go Up’ and why wasn’t the recording featured on your album?
Chris played it to me a little while before he got really famous, I really liked it, just sounded like proper blues. I worked it out and we started to jam it, but it was how he play’s it and Chris was all “I thought we were gonna heavy it up?” So I showed him a more basic version of what its like, and it was born.We did record it when we were at the studio, so it was a tough decision to leave it off when it sounds so good. It was really because of the copy write, publishing deals, all that red tape that goes with it. We sent messages to his record company asking how we can go about it all, but had no reply, we did think that “what the hell, were a tiny band from England, they won’t even know!” but thought better of it.
And for all those equipment geeks out there, can you give us an insight into the gear you use?
Dicky has an Orange AD 200 head with 2×15 home made cab. Play’s a Rickenbacker bass and uses a big muff, Digitech bass chorus and a bass crybaby wah. I use a Marshall JCM 2000 with a Marshall 4×12 and a Orange 4×12. I use a cry baby and a boss phase shifter and flanger. I use a Digitech vocal 300 for my voice. Chris has a Yamaha beech drum kit and it is blue.
What’s the deal with Wartgore Hellsnicker? Is this a side project or another fully functioning band?
Wartgore are a fully functioning machine. I joined them a few years back because I saw them and thought they were wicked. good rock and roll with brass. I said to my mate that I just got my tuba back from my mum’s and would be up for a jam sometime, Two days later I had a message from Paul T sayin “HELL YEAH! Come along!” So I did, and I still do now. Chris played drums with them for a fair few month’s this year, but with sorting out the album, rehearsing, gigging, and living, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all, so has sadly left. But the Wartgore line-up is always a changing thing, so it will never die, like a zombie, it just won’t stop.
Where did you get that shirt…the blue flowery one!!!
Ah! That little beauty. Got it from Burton’s a few years ago for a 70’s disco I used to work at in Watford. They were short of having a male dancer one week and I bought it especially. Though in the end they didn’t need me. But I ended up wearing it for a laugh on some occasions, and it always has a good reaction for it. Makes it a winner I say, and it makes the show a little more interesting I think. Makes me want to get a whole Jimmy Hendrix style wardrobe. Some of the shirts he wore were well good. Proper cosmic.
And finally, what does the future hold for Trippy Wicked?
Well, the first thing we want to do is try and get more gig’s, expand our horizons and tour this album. Get a bigger van to be able to stay in on the longer journeys, and live the dream. Sad and hippy as that is, but we really love what we’re doing, putting out good grooves and making people grin. Dicky has another little buba on the way at the moment, so around May time, he might be pretty busy, and we don’t want any tough decisions about what he can or can’t do, so that’s where the acoustic stuff can come in handy, just to keep us movin. Though as it stands, we have about 8 new songs that we’re perfecting for the next demo, so the future is looking sharp and handsome!
Thanks for the interview and please use this space for any final words…
Dig it man, its been my pleasure, From comments we’ve been getting back from our fans, and some reviews, it is noticing that people are starting to get where we’re coming from, their getting what the album is, not what they expect it be. To me, it’s my way of telling people who are going through hard times, that their not alone. Its dedicated to my Dad and Grandad who have both past away, that’s what “Movin on” and “Because of you” are all about, in time you’ll be just fine. When you get over obstacles, its good time’s, live life, act like a pirate, tell a girl you want to see her clothes on your floor! Regret nothing. I hope this has been a good insight into my mind.
More info on Trippy Wicked & the Cosmic Children of the Knight at: www.trippywicked.com
Interviewed by: Lee Edwards (with a little input from Ollie Stygall)