In an ever-growing world of punk/pop-punk, we’re always looking for something new and unique—Trash Candy is just that. The female-fronted 5-piece group has already released 3 full-length albums, been nominated for a 2015 MTV VMA Best Adria Act award, toured all over Europe and are really just getting started. In hopes of unraveling the band to see what makes Trash Candy tick, we talked inspiration, activism and the future. Read the interview and check out their latest music video for “Useless” below.
Can you give me a background about your band? Your history.
We grew up listening to the skate-punk sound of the 90s. For us it was either Blink 182 or NOFX. After playing in a bunch of bands that mostly played fast-paced punk, we decided to do something different, more catchy with a girl in front of the mic. It was a side-project at first, but turned out to become our main priority soon after. We started in 2009, but it became serious in 2011. So far we played over 180 shows all around Europe, including some bigger fests like Mighty sounds in Czech Republik and Vans Warped tour 2013 (Vienna leg). We released 3 full albums and are currently creating new stuff for album number 4.
What has been the biggest challenge you have face as a band?
There are two things. First, playing pop-punk is a hard thing to do in mainland Europe. The scene exists but is a really small community. Most shows we played, that weren’t festivals, were with either melodic hardcore or pop-rock bands.
Second, having a girl singer and playing pop-punk means you will always be compared to that one band that made it big—giving us “hard times”—which can be good or bad. We are not a cover band and never will be.
What type of perspective, as a European band, do you provide to the punk scene? Has this influenced your sound? If so, how?
We certainly sound a bit different than bands from US or UK. In fact, sometimes we intentionally write songs differently. We don’t wanna sound like just another pizza pop-punk band, but rather implement either more pop or more punk elements, even synths and samples sometimes.
What inspire us the most, are the problems certain generations are facing. We came from a town that was once an industrial power-horse in our region, but after the fall of socialism (back in late 80s), became a nightmare for a generation of blue-collar workers that couldn’t keep up the pace of capitalism and tried to stick to their own and of course failed. This generation has problems even nowadays, but it is up to us, youngsters, to change the mindset here and so far it’s going pretty well as the town and the region is changing on a daily basis.
Do you think being a female-fronted band has posed its own challenges? How do you think the scene views women?
We never had any major problems with this. Not once, but we heard a lot of stories. Maybe Shana, or even Pia before her, got some sexist remarks, but that’s it. Shana ignores those things. We think that you should never respond to these idiots as this gives them even more will to harass you. And on the other hand, Shana will probably kick the living shit out of anyone that would even try to do something stupid. The only challenge Shana is facing is being surrounded by four guys that tell bad jokes and talk about music 24/7. Girls need their own private space too and we almost always make sure that happens.
What’s the general theme or goal of your music?
We tend to write about different things, but it’s usually about ups and downs of certain generations. We think all generations should learn from one another and not repeat the same mistakes as other did. We try to write about it in a positive way, but sometimes you just have to be critical and pissed off about it. And we can do that pretty well also. The future is in the hands of the young.
What’s your writing process? Walk us through how a Trash Candy song comes together.
We do it in two different ways. Either we start with a riff one gets stuck in his head or a band member brings in a much broader idea with vocals already included. Then we arrange it based on how we feel that day. On the next practice session we usually destroy everything we did before and change the song entirely, but the end product is often a combination of ideas that work together organically. Most important of all, it has to work with the vocals.
You have recently released a new song called “Useless”. Can you explain the significance behind the song? What inspired it?
As said, we have never experienced sexism on our own, but the stories we hear are crazy. And this is exactly what “Useless” is all about. Stand up for yourself, don’t tolerate violence, hatred, sexism of any sort. Our official logo is a striked-through letter “H”, which basically means that we are “against hatred”.
Who has inspired you as you have grown in your sound? Who would you compare yourself to musically?
The variety of music we listen to is really broad these days—from progressive metal to pop and even jazz. But we were always opened to different genres, even though we mostly listened to punk rock. We think that listening to all kinds of music helps you grow musically more than just sticking to a specific one.
We don’t like to compare ourselves with anyone, even though we usually get a Paramore reference. But as they move further away from distorted guitars, we do the opposite.
Bands we like [at the moment] are: Lower than Atlantis, The Marmozets, The Wonder Years, Vukovi, Jennifer Rostock, PVRIS, The Gaslight Anthem, Melanie Martinez etc…
Outside of the music world, what have been each of your individual influences? What makes you all unique?
We are inspired by a lot of different things. Shana, for example, is really into gaming while our drummer Tomas is a soccer superfan. We like to travel a lot and spend time together. But music is everything to us, so we are mostly inspired by anything music-related.
Where do you see yourself as a band in ten years?
We rather do things step-by-step. In times when music business is changing rapidly, we think this is the only logical way to do it. And you don’t get disappointed that much if something doesn’t work out as you planned.
Advice to younger musicians?
Be different and do your own thing. Stand out from the crowd. But most important thing of all – be active. Band is a 24/7 thing. Nowadays is not just about the music anymore, it’s about people getting to know you and relate to you. Oh, and, yeah, vinyl is growing rapidly and it once again became a thing, not just something hipsters buy.