Interview: Trickshooter Social Club
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
We’re lucky that because of our families, friends and geographical locations, music has always surrounded us and become part of who we are and ultimately what has led to the music we put back into the world. It’s also because of these things that if we were not making music, we’d still be chasing creative endeavors and putting things that we feel capture moments for all to experience.
What do you like to do when you’re not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Steve is a novelist and a playwright among other things. Larry coaches youth sports. Both of us work in the creative side of marketing. Which continues to keep our brain thinking passionately and creatively.
How long has your band been around?
Steve and Larry have been writing together for almost two decades. The core of Trickshooter Social Club has been together 6 years.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Steve grew up in Detroit, Larry in Chicago. We are now both prideful Chicagoans where on every corner there’s a different genre of music seeping into the streets. Punk, alt country, metal, folk, dirty blues-we’ve soaked it all in and that has become the soup of Trickshooter Social Club.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
We never wanted to a bunch of guys staring at their shoes. We wanted to create a community. Where there was always an open seat for any instrument or voice to contribute something to. While there are core members of Trickshooter, we have a revolving door of contributors that push and evolve us. On any given night, we have dobro players, percussionists, rappers, spoken word artists up on stage and in the studio with us. Which leads to unexpected, joyful moments we never see coming. And that means everything.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
One amazing experience we had was opening up for Pegi Young and The Survivors. Her backing band consisted of some of the legendary “Swampers” including Spooner Oldham. Being huge fans, we said hello and bought them drinks. They were wonderful folks who watched our soundcheck, sat us down, chatted, showed us their gear (even asking if we’d like to use it). Just warm, incredible humans. We don’t have any exciting train wreck stage stories or backstage antics. We’ve been fairly lucky to meet so many great bands and club workers.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
Metro in Chicago has seen everyone from Pearl Jam to Rage Against The Machine to Metallica–there’s so much storied history there and you can feel it onstage. Pianos in New York has a unique, intimate feel. There’s nothing quite like it. That said, we’d love to play the Troubadour in LA.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Wilco. Ryan Adams. Social Distortion. Pearl Jam. Steve Earle.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Write. Experiment. Find your voice, awkward as it is in the beginning. Be loud in all its forms. Find collaborators. Listen. Read. Be relentless.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Capture every moment in every way possible.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Our new single Honey I Believe. There’s just such an honest, human truth in chasing demons. And to have a woman set off in search of finding herself in the wreckage of her life and actively pursue change-it just felt empowering in a truly authentic way.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
The energy onstage when we play “Duck and Run” on stage is hard to ignore. The roots of that song come from the old blues juke joints and we channel those places in the performance. The sweat, the movement and the energy. That song moves us. And in turn, we think that organic feeling is passed on to the audience. In sharp juxtaposition, “Carry Me Home” is a more poignant moment in our set. One that tells the story of finding that light, be it a person or a place, and returning to it. It always gets us. And we get asked for that a lot.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
While Steve and Larry are the main songwriters, we fully embrace that ideas come from anywhere. A drum fill. A synth loop. An off the cuff violin run. It’s not about emailing a fully-finished demo around. To us, it’s about pieces and parts. Where you hum four bars out loud and someone sings four more. Or someone leans into two power chords. If it’s heartfelt, it moves people. And when you move people, you bring things out of them. And to us, that’s how songs get written.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
We’re not beholden to any one or two messages. We look to find moments. Honest. Real. Empowering ones. Where sometimes even the most broken characters find strength to chase or flee in search of something…else. Love. Religion. Or just to find their place under the sun.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Rarely. By this point we trust each other’s instincts and value each other’s opinion so much that it makes it easy to hear each other out and make decisions–both creatively and for the vision of the band. Also, neither one of us are too precious with any facet of the band. It’s always about serving the song and there’s never only one way to get there.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
Right now, we’re laser-focused on putting out our new single, “Honey I Believe” and the new EP, “Monte Carlo”. We have a new label, Animal Farm Music and they have been spectacular and a true partner and look forward to working with them more. We are always writing and recording. And as things start to reopen, we can’t wait to start playing all these new songs we’ve amassed live. So there’s lots to look forward to.