09 Dec
Interview with TRENCHES


We had a conversation with Thrashghoul (drums/vocals). Enjoy!

Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
Hi! it’s great to be on the Filthy Dog.

Tell us a few things about TRENCHES (Members, Starting Year etc).
TRENCHES started out as a bit of an experiment. We’ve all been in various bands for years, mostly on the Death Metal side of things, but I wanted to try and create something more along the lines of the shit that got me really excited at the time. I was listening to a lot of Black Metal and Heavy Metal/Rock, so I wanted to try and combine those sounds; Heavy Metal and Rock ‘n’ Roll played in the spirit of Black Metal. In that sense, Trenches was (and is) a bit of a passion project. We haven’t played live, and generally the writing is a pretty slow burn – especially given that a lot is done by me, and I don’t play guitar, so it can take some time, haha! The current line-up is Thrashghoul (me) on drums, Hellwitch on vocals, Sinblasphemer on bass, and Cockgoblin on guitars.

You have recently released your album ''Trenches II''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
We did! Perhaps not the most imaginative title, but I suppose we wanted this album to be very much connected to the self-titled release. Together, they present a solid statement of intent for the band. And the release went really well! It can be a bit hard to gauge audience reactions without playing live, but since we released the album we’ve had a lot of positive feedback and some really flattering reviews! People really seem to get ethos of the band, which is super exciting. One comment I particularly liked: “When [Trenches] want to sound evil and aggressive, they do. When they want to sound evil and ominous, they do. When they want to sound like evil is throwing a party at the moontower and everyone’s invited, they do” – That’s from Last Rites. See ya at the moontower!

Label or DIY and why?
Both definitely have their benefits. I’ve always had an attraction to DIY, being involved in the Melbourne punk/grind scene a while back I got to see so many bands putting out stuff completely on their own steam. I know it’s a little cliché, but there’s a real sense of community and being a part of something with DIY scenes. Not just for musicians, but anyone who wants to get involved; from homemade merch to tapes or even just volunteering your house for a show. That said though, labels obviously present a lot more opportunity for reaching audiences. They’ve also become a lot more DIY anyway, the sheer amount of bedroom labels putting out small cassette runs or other merch is pretty staggering! And they communicate with one another too, so there’s that sense of community and sharing music around.

Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
I’m a sucker for vinyl. I’m not going to spout some hipster shit about the minutia of sound quality or whatever, Mp3’s are great, for me it’s the presentation. Cover art, liner notes, pictures, inserts etc. It always feels like the most authentic version of an album. We’d love to release one.

Your music style is Black/Death Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
Darkthrone for sure, I think that’s pretty obvious from some tracks like ‘From the Lights to the Blaze’ off Trenches I. Also Bathory, particularly their slower stuff. Aura Noir was a big one starting out, they’ve always nailed that ugly mix of black metal, thrash and rock; one of their tracks is our namesake, actually. There’s also the usuals: Motorhead, Slayer, Discharge etc. Also little bits of influence from Code, Marduk & Gorgoroth. There’s a little Death Metal in there, that’s our background as musicians, but it’s certainly not a main focus of Trenches at all. A lot of focus gets placed on influences, particularly in the metal scene. To the point that sometimes it seems like a band can sell themselves just on who they sound like. We make the music we’d like to hear, but we’re not interested in reproducing the shit we like.

Which things, do you think, a Band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future of your Band?
Time and money, but that’s the same for just about any passion, right? I’m definitely not in the position to offer advice on ‘success’ haha, but I’ve been playing in bands for a long time and one thing you learn early on is that it’s not always going to be fun. Sometimes it’s fucking great, other times it just feels like work. Because it is, really. And like a lot of work; it pays less than you’d like, it’s draining, and you have to love it to get through the hard days.

Describe your ideal live show as a performance Band. Have you already experienced that?
Like I mentioned, we haven’t played live yet. That’s not due to any kind of ‘refusal’ to do so, it’s more of a logistical thing. We all play in other bands, so we’re usually pretty busy playing gigs or rehearsing. It would just be kind of difficult to find the space for Trenches, particularly at the moment with Melbourne only recently coming out of lockdown. Gigs are starting up again and it’s going to get pretty crazy soon. Having said that, I’m certainly keen to get Trenches up to speed as a live band, it’s just a matter of finding the time!

Which attributes, do you think, that a new Black Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
That’s tricky. I think it’s important not to take yourself too seriously. Black Metal has a real problem with that, haha. I can understand why; the infamous Norwegian scene in the 90’s created a blueprint for what it is to be ‘Black Metal’, and the music fucking rules, but at the end of the day none of those guys were anywhere near as ‘evil’ as they (and the media) might have liked to believe. They were a bunch of bored teenagers who, in a couple of cases, took things way too far and paid a big fucking price for it. But bands still try to give that impression of themselves, right now it’s the ‘one tortured man in his necro-shed’ vibe. It just seems, at best, a bit ingenuine; and at worst, completely fucking embarrassing. Let the music do the talking, have fun with it. Don’t get too bogged down in creating an image and ‘mythos’ for yourself. And lastly, I know Black Metal has had a tricky past with politics, it comes with the territory, but the world doesn’t need any more goddamn Nazi bands, I have no time for that stupid shit. Grow the fuck up. 

Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new Black Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a Band to promote its work?
We use Bandcamp, and I still think it’s one of the best services for bands to reach their audiences directly, and see some income from sales etc. But in my experience not a lot of people outside of bands use it. Spotify is obviously the biggest, and we’ll be getting on there pretty soon ourselves. Youtube shouldn’t be ignored, either. There’s channels out there with loads of subscribers for almost any genre of music under the sun, I’ve found heaps of great bands just scrolling through my suggestions.

Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Australia (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
Melbourne has an incredible underground scene, particularly for grind/death/black metal. So many great bands; Internal Rot, Faceless Burial, Contaminated, Vile Apparition. I also play in a band called Carcinoid who gig around Melbourne a lot. If you go out to any of the heavy venues around Collingwood or the other inner suburbs on any given weekend you’ll definitely find something good!

Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
Not really, no! Naer Mataron, Septic Flesh and Rotting Christ. I’m sure that there’s heaps of great underground bands, and I just read that Greece has a big Stoner Metal scene – i’ll check it out!

What are your future plans?
We’re working on our next release at the moment. It’ll probably be a little while before it’s out, but I’m very excited to get into it. It’ll be a little less Black ‘n’ Roll and more straight down the line wretched, lustful, CHRISTFUCKING Black Metal. OUGH!

Thank you very much for your time & Keep up the good work! The closure is yours.

By Steve the Filthy Dog.





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