Interview: Tram (Paul Anderson)
It's hard to admit when you have let something fall through the cracks. And, I have to admit, Tram was a band I had never heard of before the CD arrived at my door. With the release of their third album, Tram is a band that should be praised more than they are. They had fallen through the cracks in my life, but I'm trying to rectify that. I spent the last few weeks e-mailing Paul from the band. We talked about the album… where Tram is going, and what's out there on the horizon. If you are like me, and you have let this band slide under your radar… I suggest you find ‘A Kind Of Closure', and familiarize your self with a band you are sure to hear more about in the coming years.
I've been in bands as well, and it always seems like there is something you think about changing on a recording after it has been done for a while. Are you still completely happy with how 'A Kind of Closure' turned out?
On the whole, I am still very pleased and proud of 'A Kind Of Closure'. At the time of recording I felt that I could have spent more time on my vocals as I had to finish them in four days but people have said to me that they think sound really good. I still think if I had a little more time I could have done a better job. Again, because of time constraints, we had to mix the album in 9 days. It would have been nice to have had a little more time.
But having said that I think it is by far our best sounding album and feel really lucky to have been given the opportunity to make it.
Are you planning on 'filling' out the band, or is it going to remain you and Nick, with guests?
We are going to keep the set-up as it is for the near future. It is nice to have different people contributing to the band, it keeps the dynamic moving. Although that may change, who knows? We have been very lucky to have been able to play with such great musicians.
Does that change how you record? I mean, do you have parts planed out for people when they come in, or do you let them toss in their own ideas?
I do work out a lot of the parts and get the session musicians to play them correctly. They often add their own interpretations. As for the brass and strings they were written by Fiona Brice. I often give her an approximation which I have composed on a keyboard or we discuss it beforehand and then she writes the parts.
How do you transfer this all over to a live show?
We recently played a show at Bush Hall in London where we had 3 string players and a trumpet player which worked extremely well but because of the cost of session musicians we are normally restricted to one violin player. This works well enough though with the guitar, bass, drums and piano.
So do you prefer playing live, or being in the studio?
I think you get a much better buzz from playing live and you enjoy the moment much more, particularly if the gig is going really well. You also have that immediate feedback from the audience. However, being in a studio you have a greater opportunity to be creative and enjoy the fruits of your labor. It is a tough one but I think I would have to say playing live.
Do you plan on touring a lot for this album? And more important (well, for us Americans), do you plan on playing in the states?
We will be touring in the UK and Europe but I doubt we will be touring in the States. We would love to play in the US but our record company Jetset can't afford to bring us out... not until we sell more records anyway!
Are there any other projects, in or outside of music that you are working on right now?
I did a vocal track for a band called Piano Magic, which has appeared on their new album but apart from that I have been having a bit of a break from writing. I am thinking of what direction to take the next album so that it keeps developing our sound. I have been trying to catch up on some of the CD's that I haven't had a chance to listen to properly which will hopefully provide me with some inspiration.
Lambchop, Tindersticks, Mercury Rev, Nick Cave
I'm digging that new Tindersticks album. Are you thinking of turning your sound a little ‘bleaker'?
No not really. If anything I was thinking of making it a little brighter.
Do you ever fear that this band will get "old" to you? I mean, do ever wish you had another music out put?
I sometimes think about doing different things. Soundtracks for example are something I would love to get in to. The thing with Tram is that I get to work with different people all the time. I guess if it had been the same people al the time it might have become a bit stale.
Do you want to score a movie, or do you mean just writing songs for a movie?
It would be nice to have incidental music specifically composed for a movie. However, if someone wanted to use a song that would be cool too.
Are there bigger plans you have as far as music goes? Things beyond Tram?
To be honest I am not sure what the future holds. It would be nice to try a few different things. I am considering different options. I just know that I want to work with inspiring people in whatever form.
- Jake Haselman | 2002-07-09