Friday, March 15, 2019

interview: Trauma

The U.S. band Trauma originally came out of California in the early 1980s. The debut was issued in 1984 and it was called Scratch and Scream, thereby putting the band’s name in the book of heavy metal way back when. There was silence for a long time, and it looks like it was some 30 years of absence, but in 2015 they hit back with Rapture and Wrath. Now they returned with another album called As the World Dies, proving Trauma had unfinished business to settle. The band’s drummer Kris Gustofson took time to answer questions about the current state of Trauma.
How are things in the Trauma camp nowadays? Who is in the band in 2019?
The current Trauma line up is Joe Fraulob guitar, Greg Christian bass, Steve Robello guitar, Don Hillier vocals, Kris Gustofson drums. Things are starting to take shape a bit for 2019. Honestly this has been a struggle for us to get this off the ground. Not an easy task for being off the grid for a long time. In this day and age we have to lower our expectations because the infrastructure of the music business is not there anymore. Yes, we all get along great especially when we are on the road together. That’s when it’s really fun. Everyone is fucking nuts; not in a bad way but quite fun.
The album is on Pure Steel Records. How did you hook up with then? Those guys seem be hoarding all the U.S. bands from the 1980s. Are you selling more albums in Europe, especially in Germany, than in the U.S.?
We submitted the Rapture and Wrath album to them and they came back at us with a worldwide contract. This was in 2015, the audience for metal is not here in the US as it once was. Don't get me wrong, there are pockets here and there, however not as many as there once was. Europe however is where all the massive festivals take place. nothing to compare to here in the U.S. If you’re a HUGE band that can put asses in seats then you’re doing quite well here in the states. It’s hit and miss.
Another thing that I have noticed is that the German fans love to hear resurrected U.S. bands. Have you had any invitations to play in Germany yet?
I’m not gonna lie here. Trauma, unfortunately has had a very difficult time with this. We have played Head Bangers Open Air in Germany and 70,000 tons of metal cruise. But, we haven't been really invited to play any other festivals yet. We hope this will change with the new album. We want to go tour ASAP.
Trauma 2019 is rather heavy, and features a big dose of groove. The music sounds very modern. What explains the band’s embracing of more modern sounds?!
Most of the ideas for the songs came from Joe, Steve and Greg. Lyrics were written by Don. As far as the actual structures as you will, there was a lot of pre-production going on. I would get guitar riffs sent to me and then I would add drums to the tracks and this would go back and fourth quite a few times then we would get together and try it live. It was a long process until we thought we had something. I think there were another 6 or so songs that didn't make it on the record. We have a lot of new material to still release. As far as sound, we wanted it to be between old and new. So I think we had a pretty good balance of both.
What has it been like having two veteran guitarists, Steve and Joe, and agreeing on the style? I bet there is no shortage of riffs!
Both Steve And Joe are great guitarists that share respect for on another. There is no trying to out do the other going on. Thank god!! it is working together as unit that is the important thing, and they both do solos within the material. They trade off. As far as it being interesting we have 2 veteran guitarists in the band, who else would we have? We are all veterans in a unit doing this.
As the World Dies paints a pessimistic view of the world. Is there anything in particular motivating this view? When you think back to 1984 and the album Scratch and Scream, how are the lyrics differently now as compared to back in the day?
Don Hillier wrote all the lyrics. We aren't trying to paint a picture of gloom and doom. We are not anyone that wants to dictate anything to anyone. It’s all based on a perspective. Everyone has their own. This is 2019, not 1984. A lot of readers perhaps reading this weren't even born yet. The 80's was a completely different animal. The music scene was thriving and off the hook... Scratch and Scream came from that era. The recording session for that record was completely fucking nuts as well. There are many positive things going on in the world today. It's just a perspective thing and everyone has their own opinion on the world as it is today. Lord know what we will call the next record.
Does Trauma take sides on the current political climate?
No, we don't talk politics among ourselves. Personally, I don't pay attention to that BS. It goes back to the perspective thing. We are not trying to preach anything to anyone. No hidden messages etc., as the world dies is just a point of view.
What drummers did Kris like when he was a teenager? We all know that Zeppelin had a legendary drummer, but did he like Bonzo in particular?
My father was a big Band drummer. Jazz music played nonstop in my house. My influences as far as other drummers are. Gus Gustofson, Buddy Rich, Art Blakey, Gene Krupa, Louis Bellson, Max Roach.. I was 12-13 years old and went to see Zeppelin's Song Remains the same seeing this, blew my mind. Of course, Bonham and tons of others. There are many great players in this day and age. I am always searching for New approaches for drumming. No one will ever know everything. In my opinion Buddy Rich was the closest I have ever witnessed in doing this. Fucking Jaw dropping live...I was lucky enough to meet him and see him play several times...
Do you have information about the availability of the album and other details?
We have made 2 videos. youtube.com/watch?v=CBDMcCFs64Y
youtube.com/watch?v=SXsclL7JkTk
facebook.com/TraumaThrash/
The new album can be bought here:
amazon.com/As-World-Dies-Trauma/dp/B07CXGKZFD
Do you have any other news of things going on in the Trauma camp?
Trying to secure some live dates. Thank you for all the questions and interest in the band!! Very much appreciated!!! A big THANK YOU!!!!!!! from TRAUMA.

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