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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

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In Music

Trashcan Sinatras perform Monday night at Shank Hall.

Trashcan Sinatras bring Scottish soul to Shank Hall


After putting out critically-acclaimed discs for more than 20 years, the Trashcan Sinatras hit Shank Hall for a gig Monday night with the Candles (8 p.m., admission is $16).

The band is touring behind "In the Music," which was released in the United States in late April.

OnMilwaukee.com caught up with John Douglas (rhythm guitar) and Stephen Douglas (drums) and chatted about the CD and the gig.

OnMilwaukee.com: It took a while for "In the Music" to be released in the US. What was the reason for the delay? And, what about the extra live tracks?

John Douglas: The record was supposed to be released to coincide with our summer tour last year but the sudden collapse of our US label on the eve of the tour led to the delay in releasing the record in the USA.

We are now in league with Lo-Five Records, Ingrooves Records and Fontana Distribution and the album was officially released a few weeks ago. The extra live tracks were recorded in Glasgow at one of our acoustic shows in a bar called Brel. The shows were recorded with no specific purpose, but, the show was pretty special so we decided to add some tracks as a bonus to the USA release. The full recording of the show is fantastic and will probably surface at some point.

OMC: What kind of show can the Milwaukee audience expect?

Stephen Douglas: A rocking, melodic extravaganza.

OMC: Who devises the set lists for a show? Any battles about what gets left in or left out? Are the nightly lists rigid or fluid?

SD: Frank (Reader) usually, with input from everyone. Setlists are fluid; variables include mood, type of venue, if Frank has a sore throat, etc.

OMC: Which songs seem to get the best response, night in and night out?

SD: "The Engine," "All the Dark Horses," "Weightlifting" and many others. People are very receptive to our tunes

OMC: Are you playing any covers on this tour?

SD: Not as yet, but anything's possible.

OMC: After this tour, will there be a "cooling off" period, or are
there plans to get back to the studio? Is this a band that does
writing on the road? For that matter, is this a band that can write collaboratively, or does everyone come in with riffs, melodies, lyrical ideas and let others add to them?

JD: After this tour, we go home to our lives and spend the summer domestically. Maybe with a vacation thrown in. We get back in the saddle for another US tour and a UK/European tour after the summer.

There are dreams and wishes to get back into a studio at some point, but time is pointing us towards the road for the foreseeable future. We write collaboratively and individually in various combinations. Sometimes, lyric is in need of melody. Sometimes, groove is in need of melody. A lot of times, melody waits for lyric. Sometimes, songs arrive fully formed... there's no predicting how these songs come together.

OMC: What do you think of The Candles? Have you worked with them before?

JD: Never worked with them before but looking forward to it. I
like the sound of the band. I heard a few tracks on their MySpace site and I heard cool slide guitar, nice, organic instrumentation and a great voice. Looking forward to hearing more of there tunes at the show.

OMC: Has the band encountered any beer-soaked hijinks during previous visits to Milwaukee? Any amusing stories from shows here?

SD: Not really, but I'm up for some if Fonzie is around.

OMC: Has the band drawn inspiration from famous Milwaukee exports like Miller/Pabst/Schlitz beer, Harley-Davidson or Les Paul?

SD: (We) definitely got some inspiration from Miller and Schlitz when they were on promotion in Irvine's bars when growing up... Milwaukee was calling!

OMC: Our managing editor, Bobby Tanzilo, is friends with Justin Currie. Do you have any good / incriminating stories about him or Del Amitri that you can share?

JD: Aaaah, the firework display that is Mr. Currie -- brilliant fun, always completely entertaining or thought provoking... never a dull moment. I could not possibly incriminate Mr. Currie. He is above the law -- way above.


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