I'm not one to get excited about many things but the return to the Hard Rock scene of some of my all time favourite bands as of late has been awesome. First we had the David Lee Roth reunion with Van Halen, then we hear that Extreme are back together and all set for a new album and world tour, then we find out that perhaps one of the most underated pop rock bands from the genre are all set to rock again! New Jersey's Trixter released what I consider to be one of the most essential Hard Rock albums ever in the form of 1992's 'Hear!'. The record still stands up to this day (16 years later!!) and the overall sound is massive! TrashPit has spoken many times over the years to guitarist Steve Brown but we recently got the chance to catch up with vocalist Pete Loran to speak about what's been happening since the band hit back!
How does it feel to be on the brink of the Trixter Reunion? Must be kinda surreal?
It really is and I'm probably gonna feel it even more so when we get out there for the first show! Right now I'm kinda anticipating what it's gonna feel like - is it gonna feel the same or different? It's really gonna be interesting!
I read things started to come together when you visited the NAMM Convention. Can you tell us a little about that?
I met up with Steve out there and we were walking around checking out all the different gear and every once in a while people would come up and be like 'Hey, you're the guys from Trixter!' We were like 'Wow, this is really unexpected', we couldn't believe people would remember us well enough just to come up after all this time and sure enough it kept happening whilst we were there. So from there the wheels started turning. The type of music Trixter did, and the genre we were in, is doing really well over here right now, especially for live shows, so we started talking about going out there again and making some noise.
How has the response been to the announcement of the reunion?
For a long time I've been getting emails saying we should go out and play again and in the last couple of years I've been really bombarded by fans and booking agents which has been great. Young people too - it's really strange and hard too for me to understand when I get emails from people in their late teens or early twenties saying they're big fans! I'm like how the hell are you a fan of what I was doing back in 1990?!
Rocklahoma is one great stage to return to!
Yeah, I'm a little worried about that! As of right now Rocklahoma is gonna be the first gig but there's been talk of some other stuff maybe before then but nothing's set in stone. Right before last years festival I was getting people asking why we weren't doing it and I had no idea what it was. Then I hear what a big success it was and I hope it does just as great or even better this year. You know, I'm just looking forward to the whole thing going on there and I just wanna be relaxed enough to be able to take it all in without it rushing past me real fast but I'll be so pumped up I won't remember any of it! We gotta document it so I can go back and see what I did!
The 'Hear!' album is by far one of my favourite all time records which still sounds great to this day. The sound always had a great pop edge which I think seperated you from other bands in the genre. Do you think you could have maybe ridden things out and channelled a similar to path to that which Butch Walker did with Marvelous 3?
It's hard to say but it was definately a possibility. I'm not totally sure where we would have gone to next from the 'Hear!' record but there's a pretty big difference between the first and second album as far as the growth within the individuals and of course the songs so there would probably have been even more so on a follow up.
Before the bands split was there any temptation to change the bands sound to match the musical climate? You were all young enough to perhaps absorb what was around you with a genuine approach.
It wasn't 'cause I think if you change like that your original fan base probably wouldn't buy into it and a newer fan base of whatever's popular at the time won't buy into it either so you don't see many people getting away with stuff like that.
You released a solo record 'Be Of This Time' back in 1999 and worked on the Liberty & Justice CDs. Did you have anything in the pipeline when the Trixter reunion came in?
Whenever I get the urge I'll sit down and work on some new stuff. I've got something I've been working on for maybe two years now and that's just my pace. It takes a lot of effort for me and whenever you force something it very rarely works out. The solo record I did was something that just kinda came to me and got put out and the Liberty & Justice stuff is something I'll hopefully stay involved in for a while to come. They've got some more things coming out so we'll see what happens.
Have you missed playing in a band or did you find it refreshing to move onto other projects?
It kinda was refreshing. I did some solo shows and put together a bunch of different guys in a band. My solo stuff was so different from Trixter, much more laid back and created a different atmosphere for me all together. Trixter's music was predominantly written by Steve and anything co-written by the both of us was mainly made up of lyrics from me and that's easy. My solo stuff was myself and a few friends and it's more what I'm really about. The Trixter stuff is great but it takes a lot of effort vocally because of the range. It's something I can do but it's not really that natural. When we were just forming in the late eighties we were just trying to be like our heroes in Van Halen and KISS so we were mimicking what we loved and that was the style of the time.
Trixter came from New Jersey on the East Coast of the USA - how'd you end up in Arizona?
Because of being in the band I got to travel a lot and see a bunch of places in the States several times over. New Jersey is right outsideof New York City and I just kinda got fed up with the area and some of the people who had rotten attitudes. I just needed a change of pace and I always thought Arizona was kinda cool. Doesn't snow here but get's real hot which I guess is the trade off. I tried it and been here for ten years!
Have you had to do much homework on the old records?
I'm visiting those records every day!! I'm really taking my time getting my voice into shape so I don't burn myself out. It's gonna take a while. One of the first things I wanted to do was get a mock set list together so I could run through it and get my chops, breathing and stamina up! I've always sang but the stuff I've been doing the last few years has been easy for me, it's not like singing 'Rockin Horse' or something like that! I've gotta be careful how I approach that now, I can't just wake up and do it or I'll end up with nothing coming out at all!
How can we persuade you guys to finally come over and play shows in the UK?! There was talk of a Bon Jovi support back in the day - that would have been awesome!
I don't know what happened back then. We made it to Japan and I think all the other stuff was getting ready to happen just before it all kinda fell apart. I know so many people who've been over there who didn't do as well as Trixter so we kinda missed out. We'd love to get over there and there has been some talks about it already so we're kinda feeling it out right now. I'd love to get over there, I've never been and that's the real dissapointment.