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The popular Swedish metal festival Metaltown is back after a three-year hiatus and will take place at venue Trädgår’n in Gothenburg on March 12th. Among the bands on the bill we find At The Gates, Katatonia and Heaven Shall Burn, but also the German four-piece Trailer Park Sex – an explosive must-see act that is highly devoted to combining DIY ethics with a great live performance. KulturUngdom had a lengthy Skype conversation with vocalist Juan Gracia, drummer Lea Swetlana and bassist Kain to find out who they are, what they sound like, and what we can expect from their performance at Metaltown Indoors 2016.

I’ve been listening to your music for about a month now and I have to say that it is very versatile. For example the song “Dirty Little Secrets”, it is such an adventurous journey. At several points you get hard rock, melodic death metal, Red Hot Chili Peppers “Sir Psycho Sexy”-esque funk, metalcore, Deftones, Incubus and Pantera. So my question is: How do you manage to put all these types of music together – in one song?
Juan: We used to do that to challenge people and ourselves. We had this policy that whatever riff came out in the jam, had to fit the current song we worked on, exactly where we were at. We didn’t try to make song parts coherent to one another; instead, we had fun at twisting things that wouldn’t fit until they did. And we were very good at it, I think.
Lea: But sadly we stopped playing that song live, because people that came to see us couldn’t dance to it.
Juan: I think we got afraid of not being understood, if we continued doing that type of music. With a song like “Dirty Little Secrets”, with its twists and turns, it’s almost like we were teasing people. So we try to do more “songy” songs now.

Is the song “Run To Hide” from your latest EP “From Below” such an attempt?
Juan and Lea: Definitely.
Juan: In that particular song I tried to use a formula and used the same riff for both verse and chorus. It’s the same riff and notes but it’s played in different octaves for verse and chorus. This always works well in terms of making a catchy song. I don’t know how we came up with it, but I tried to make it a bit similar to early Incubus stuff.

How do you feel playing this song live compared to your earlier material?
Juan: Simpler songs like “Run To Hide” have the difficulty that they have this one riff that people can remember, and it has to groove and has to be clean. While in songs like “Dirty Little Secrets” you can be noisy and maybe not that accurate in your playing, it’s about some sort of madness, crazy stuff. And if something goes wrong, or you fuck up some notes, it goes better with a song like “Dirty Little Secrets” than a cleaner song like “Run To Hide”.
Lea: For me it depends on the people at the venue. There was this one festival where we played “Run To Hide” for the first time, and as soon as we started playing, people from the back came closer to the stage, because they knew this song. For me, I enjoy playing those songs when I see that people have a great time.
Juan: And that is the reason why we approached “songier” songs. A song like “Dirty Little Secrets” is amazing from a musical perspective, but not that inviting for the average listener. .

Like you said, that is the entire idea of playing music live: Bringing people together.
Juan: I think that would mean success for us, if we bring songs to people that don’t know us and they want to party with us. When you see that, you feel much better and confident in what you’re doing, which makes you play better, which makes up for a better concert in the end.

You’ve put out an impressive merchandise collection. Could you describe what the “Do it yourself, motherfucker” print means for you? To what extent do you apply it?
Juan: The reason why we came up with that print was that we wanted some sort of slogan that represented the band. We looked at ourselves and tried to find it. We haven’t always wanted to do everything ourselves, but we soon had to face the economic reality of a small band. So we thought: If we can’t pay the services to do these things, there has to be another way. Because other bands that we have checked out have been able to things themselves, so why can’t we? So we started trying and probably the first area was merch printing, but we expanded to other areas, recording, video shooting and so on. Even for our stage rigs we have light cabinets and light boxes that can be used for the light show and also to create fog on stage, and all of it is handmade by us. We have no crew, so you can see us on stage doing all the preparations. Our guitarist Roman has made machines that make it possible for us to make our own merchandise. He’s a master at it and can now do screen prints as good as anybody. And he didn’t know anything about it in the beginning. And for the record, the magazine Metal Hammer has pointed out that we are possibly the very DIY example in German heavy music, they are presumably damn right.

That has to be reassuring, not relying on external services.
Juan: I think it is a good school to do everything yourself. Because if we ever get bigger and people are helping us with different things, we still have an idea of how things work. And if we look back at our time as a band, we wouldn’t have come this far if it wasn’t for us doing it ourselves.

What can we expect from Trailer Park Sex at Metaltown Indoors 2016?
Juan: This might sound cocky, but it’s not meant to be, but we deliver a show that is much bigger than our name. We care a lot about our live performance, we are well rehearsed. We’re a good live act; we have some special effects here and there, but we play songs in a very organic way. We are extremely happy to come to Sweden to play for you guys!
Lea: And we play songs from all our records, so people coming to see us get to hear from our entire discography.
Kain: We will deliver the DIY spirit, motherfuckers!

Any other bands you will check out at the festival?
Juan: All of them, I hope.
Lea: Heaven Shall Burn, definitely.

What’s in store for Trailer Park Sex for the rest of the year?
Lea: After the Metaltown gig we’re touring in Poland.
Juan: We have around 13 sketches of songs we want to polish and release by the end of the year.

Trailer Park Sex consists of:
Juan Gracia, vocals // Roman Karius, guitar // Kain, bass // Lea Swetlana, drums

Discography
Now Or Fucking Never (2010) // Struggle (2013) // Transatlantic (2014) // From Below (2015)


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