Us Wayfarers were invited to Trapdoor’s very first gig. What were we to expect? They were the opening band to a sold out crowd. We arrived early for a brief chat with the boys. Twenty minutes later and they’re on stage blowing minds. We have a moshpit rocking out one song deep, a cabaret of fans, new and old, and chicks’ panties flying left right and centre. Okay, the last one may have been exaggerated, but the rest was aweinspiring. If you could play a first gig then you’d want it to go exactly like that night.
You wouldn’t quite call Trapdoor’s sound a grungy blues, but its more of a cacophony of flowing rock riffs, powerful vocals, and a foot tapping beat that makes you want it to be.
Now, we’re not saying that this is the next biggest band from the Goldy, but do you honestly remember the name of the last no-name band you saw? In all aspects of gigging considered, this crew can hold an audience and jam a few songs, even though their tunes mighten be the loose type of improvsied solos like Hendrix used to whip out, we can’t help but ask when the last time you ever heard a group of twenty-two year olds remind you of someone of that stature?
Okay, okay. Settling down. We managed to find Trapdoor among the crowds after their performance and rounded them up like cows for slaughter as we hearded them in to the nearest driveway, sitting them down in a line while throwing recorders at their feet. Thankfully for us we managed to capture most of their post-show high, giving you the best kind of insight to a group of mates who want nothing more than to rock on, smilin’ all the way.
Enter stage, Trapdoor.
What is the history of the band? Who is Trapdoor?
Dan: I’ll answer this one, boys…
Rhys: There’s kinda of a few histories. Because I joined the band about mid-way through their starting, so ah – it all started at Tim’s house. And Tim, Paps (Dan), and Tallis started coming up with stuff and then after about two weeks they realised they needed a bass player. They asked me, and I’d never played bass before, so I just bought a bass and jumped in
Dan: Me and Talis were always jamming together ever since, like grade… nine?
Dan: Wait, and Rhys as well.
So you guys went to school together?
Trapdoor: Yeah, yeah.
So you’re like a friendship band?
Dan: We’re a friendly band. The friendly band.
Where do you jam?
Baidon: We have been jamming at my dad’s factory. That’s in Varsity.
Rhys: And we don’t have to pay for it, so it’s sick. We get like free barbeques. It’s great.
Born and bred Gold Coasters?
Dan: BORN AND BRED!
Tonight was your first gig?
How’d you think it went?
Tim: We had a good turn out.
Baidon: I was actually surprised with the feedback we got from the audience.
Dan: You know it’s a good gig when you can hear people screaming. Even though it was just our mums and stuff
What’s the process to writing your music?
Dan: It’s pretty much one person comes up with a little ditty (hand gesture) on their guitar and we just progress. Add bass. Add drums. It’s kinda like a snowball. Some songs are really easy to write and some aren’t. So we’re either gonna jam until we write a song really fast like Water, or it’ll be real slow, like Witches.
Is it more of a jamming process?
Rhys: Definitely a jamming process. We all come up with our own parts for the songs, so we’ll just jam it out until we get the right sound from our individual instruments.
What song, of the nine you performed, stood out for you tonight?
Baidon: I personally believe Black Swamp. And that’s just my opinion because that was the first song I ever played with the boys.
Tim: That song is the one we’ve had the longest.
I was talking to Dan earlier and he mentioned you guys have been playing together a really long time. Is that song one you have really nailed?
Rhys: Yeah, well that set we just played we’ve been practicing for about a year
It shows, because you really blew us away.
Talis: I just think we didn’t want to embarrass ourselves. We really just honed in on all our songs.
Tim: It really made us confident in our ability to perform tonight.
Are there any bands that you draw inspiration from?
Dan: Yeah, I think the Doors? The Doors.
Baidon: Funnilly enough, my inspiration for the drums comes from Bon Jovi.
Talis: We’ve got a real mixture.
I definitely sensed a bit of Doorsy
Trapdoor: We’re all fans of the Doors here
So what’s next for you guys?
Tim: Black Swamp, the last song we played, we actually have a video come soon and a release of the recording.
So do you have recordings?
Dan: They’re in the process
Rhys: We’ve just recorded two songs, and they’re just getting mixed at the moment.
Trapdoor: Hopefully. We’ll see how it goes down the line.
Tonight’s performance summed up in a word. Go.
Baidon: I feel amazed, though, from the gig tonight. To know that we got a turn out like that and a reception that lasted the entire set was pretty amazing.
Talis: I think the night was just really rewarding.
Tim: Mmm rewarding, definitely.
Dan: It feels… good.
So can we find you boys online anywhere? Facebook? Website?
Rhys: Yeah. We have a facebook. You’ll just have to search thetrapdoorband, there wasn’t anything else.
There wasn’t just Trapdoor?
Tim: Nah. Trapdoor brought up a lot of weird facebook pages.
Rhys: We also have instagram and soundcloud.
Tim: Facebook would be the best to find anything though, we’ve got links to everything up on there.
Anything you want people to know?
Dan: Well… we have an organ. It wasn’t there tonight, so look out.
Any gigs planned next?
Rhys: Not yet, but I think we may have a festival opportunity coming up, but we’ll see.
Are you self managing all this?
Trapdoor: No, we actually have a really awesome manager.
Dan: There she is, wait, she’s death staring us.
Rhys: There she is.
Come over here
Manager: I’ll just say these guys are so unique. And their individuality brings together something that Australia doesn’t have, and I believe it’s what it needs. I really do. I think they’re going to go a long, long way.
And I guess that’s what makes you guys unique. You’re all still individuals and together you’re Trapdoor. You even all said a different style of band where your inspirations come from, and you put it all together to create something that hasn’t been heard.
You’re hard to put a genre to. You’re like a weird mesh of surf-jazz- blues-grunge rock.
Dan: Yeah, we have a strong influence from across a range of genres, for sure.
In hindsight is there anything you wish you could have done better tonight?
Rhys: I guess a bit more visuals. Like put a backdrop or a skin on the drums, things like that.
Talis: Dan is a great artist and we want to incorporate that art into our music.
I think it was around the fourth song in, and you busted out this track that was heavy as. That was sick, more stuff like that would be awesome.
Tim: Yeah, that might have been Witches, but we are more on that side when it comes to genre
Rhys: Not really any slow songs.
Dan: But we do like to mix it up a bit. But I think what I was struggling with tonight was trying to know what type of songs people were going to dig. So after tonight I think we have a better idea of what to play.
Tim: It’s hard to detach yourself and become a viewer, we know the songs so we have to learn what people like.
Talis: And then you get good feedback and it’s rewarding, because you know you’re on the right target, you know?
So what are you going to do now?
Talis: Well I think we will still work on the songs we have. I mean, we have a few tracks that we’re working on and I guess we’ll just practice to make them tight. We don’t want to play the same set list at every gig.
Rhys: That’s what we do, we practice so we know them back-to-front. At practice, if we fuck up we start again until we get it right.
Nothing really went wrong tonight.
Rhys: My bass strap fell off.
Tim: And then that guy came from the crowd out of nowhere to re-strap
You’ve got support out there.