Interview with Little Triggers
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I went to see a Beatles tribute band at a local festival in Whitehaven when I was about eleven and just loved the music, especially the earlier rockier stuff written by others. I did some research and discovered Chess Records and Chicago Blues. If not as a musician then pulling pints behind a bar which I have done on occasion! I was quite into art and stuff when I was at school so maybe something to do with design.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I play FIFA to relax and I'm always Arsenal! I like to read and particularly modern classics like George Orwell. I'm also into biographies of musicians. I'm really not too sure how much these things influence my creative thought. I've certainly never written a song about football!
How long has your band been around?
Little Triggers got together around five years ago as a four piece that included two brothers, Chris and Lowell. We went down to a two piece for a couple of years but I wanted to have a more expansive sound again so we are back to a four piece with Chris back in the band along with Alan and Sam. We've got our first gig with the new line-up in Brighton on 10 December.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based in Liverpool. I fell in love with the Beatles and used to pester my Dad to drive down from Carlisle, where we were living, to go to the Beatles museum and The Cavern. I don't think we sound at all like the Beatles but as a musician I don't think you can avoid being influenced by the biggest band ever, especially when you constantly experience their legacy in things like place names such as Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and of course The Cavern where I've played a sole show many times.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
I was in a teen band called The 45s which broke up through pressure from school and parents. I came to Liverpool to study at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and the Liverpool Media Academy. I immediately formed a new band and we continued to get gigs as The 45s. But, it was a very different band and we felt we had to change the name. It's actually really hard coming up with a name that no one has used before and we went through loads only to find an obscure band in Nevada or somewhere was using the name. In desperation I began flicking through the old vinyl collection my Dad had given me and I picked up the Elvis Costello and the Attractions album - This Year's Model. Track five is titled Little Triggers. It just seemed a great name for a bunch of young rockers, and Elvis was from Liverpool! We checked and only a band from Yorkshire had used the name but they'd split up a few years before. So, Little Triggers we became.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
As a four piece it must be a festival in France near Poitiers. We went on just as the sun went down and the crowd went crazy. We had stage invasions, girls dancing behind us, guys stage diving, just brilliant. Our first gig as a two piece was in Bristol and we hadn't told the promoter about the change in line-up. They weren't impressed seeing just two guys on stage for the soundcheck. We played one song and they just beamed. We'd done it! The crowd loved us too and we've been back since. We'll go again as a four piece.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
The Lanes in Bristol is cool. It's a nice high stage but the audience is up close and they like to boogie along which is great. Its bonus feature is that afterwards you can play ten pin bowling in the venue. I would have loved to have played the Rainbow in London but it's no longer a Rock venue, it's a church. There are too many places we'd like to play that we haven't yet but we are hoping to play the Troubadour in West Hollywood next year. We are just waiting for the dates to be confirmed.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
If we can pick those no longer with us then Hendrix and the MC5. Of today's bands, The Hives and the Arctic Monkeys.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
That's a hard one. It isn't easy trying to make your way as a Rock musician these days. The smart message to a youngster today should probably be don't touch Rock music with a bargepole! But I know how passionate I was as a young teenager, and still am! So, if your heart and soul are telling you to do it then go for it. I'd tell myself not to believe the hype people throw at you. I was told by one industry 'player' that I'd be a millionaire by the time I was 21!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Stick at it and enjoy every minute as you never know when it's all going to end.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
It's always the newest one. I think our new single Personality Crisis really gets what we are trying to say as a band. It punches you in the face musically and, hopefully, people can relate to the lyrics.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
So Fine is very popular with both the band and audiences to play. It's a tune that I get the crowd to sing along to. A ballad called Silly Cigarettes gets a regular shout-out but it currently isn't in our set. We may play it sometime if the crowd shout loud enough.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I'm the songwriter and these days I'll mull over a riff for quite a while and then develop it into a fully- fledged tune. It's at that point I'll add basic lyrics which often get changed and improved upon. I might do a rough home demo and then play it to the band. If we decide to record a tune I work closely with our producer, Al Groves at the Motor Museum studios in Liverpool, and together we often further develop the tune and add further lyrics at that point.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
We're not an overtly political band and a lot of the stuff I write is about good love gone bad and occasionally about more positive relationships! But, the pandemic got to me and I wrote and recorded a song called Feed Me which was about the obscenity of people having to go to Food banks for their basic needs. We donated all the earnings from the song to local food banks. I then was deeply angry at the people who used their connections with politicians to make millions out of the pandemic. Private Eye magazine has been detailing this for some time, so I wrote a song called Yeah Man which called them out. While I was in the recording studio the TV had scenes of Trump supporters storming the Capitol building in Washington and at the last minute inserted the phrase "storm the gates, generate fake hate" to reflect what I was feeling.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
A band can never be a democracy. I've tried that and it simply doesn't work. I'll always try and convince the others that this is the right decision and I do listen and take advice, but ultimately I'm the leader.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We are waiting to hear about the trip to the States next year and we hope to tour the US East Coast sometime next year too. More immediately, it's promoting the new single with some gigs. We headline the Green Door store in Brighton on 10 December. I've been writing some new tunes and we are thinking about releasing some on an EP early in 2023.