We were lucky enough to meet Traams at Brighton’s Great Escape festival just the other week. They took us to a nearby pub via an alleyway which, they informed us, is the spot where Phil Daniels and Leslie Ash had the world’s shortest onscreen shag in Quadrophenia. The Chichester trio, who make scrappy, thrilling Krautrock-inspired punk, recently signed with Fat Cat, and have been recording with former Test Icicles man/producer Rory Atwell and MJ from Hookworms. Here is what they had to say for themselves.
Hello Traams. How did you fellas first meet?
Stuart (vocals/guitar): I used to put on a night called Goo in Bognor Regis, because there was nothing to do there – Chichester’s where we live now and have done for years, but Bognor’s where we’re originally from. I just got really bored. So I put it on and that’s how we met. I booked their old band. I said if you ever need a guitarist, let me know. And they never asked me. But they asked my mate to sing, and I was really hacked off.
But you hooked up in the end! In fact it was Adam and Stuart who started Traams, and Leigh joined shortly after that. But what’s your name about?
Stuart: It’s a flying term, ‘Time Reference Angle of Arrival Measurement System’. We liked the the way it tied in with the music, of things being linear, directional, [and having this] forward momentum.
Adam (drummer): When it was the two of us we were really into the idea of doing guitar stuff that was based around grooves, we were listening to a lot of Krautrock at the time.
How did Leigh coming in change the dynamic of the group?
Stuart: It freed me up, because I was playing guitar and Adam was on drums, then as soon as Leigh joined us the rhythm section was, they could do their thing and I could do mine, I didn’t have to sit on the bottom notes and treble up. I could make a racket!
Leigh (bassist): Widdle.
Stuart: Yeah, I could widdle. It just freed me up to be really loose, which wouldn’t have worked when we were a two-piece. But we’ve kind of ended up writing pop music really.
That’s how you’d describe it?
Yeah. I dunno, how would you describe it?
Er! Anything but that? Do you have a lot of common ground in terms of the music you’re into?
Leigh: There’s a lot of crossover, yeah. Stuff like Women, Television, Wire, Kraftwerk…
Any stuff you disagree on?
Stuart: Leigh likes prog and I really don’t like that.
Which prog bands?
Leigh: Camel, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Yes…
OK! The stuff that people hate, then?
Leigh: I think when we first started playing people would say it sounded like this or that band, we had so many bands. And it’s weird because we could hear bits of everything, things like Can, Pavement, TV On The Radio, Neu!, Shellac. Loads of things, and it was always like, cool man, they can hear a bit of that.
So how did you start recording?
Stuart: We did a load of recordings on our phone, and just emailed them to Rory Atwell, I was just a big fan of stuff he was recording at the time, stuff like Cold Pumas and Thee Oh Sees. And we went up to London to do a session with him, we spent two days up there and we’ve been back to work with him a few times since.
‘Klaus’, I think, is the first track you posted online – but to which Klaus do you refer? [Neu! bandmember] Klaus Dinger? [mad actor] Klaus Kinski?
Leigh: Er, I think it’s just because we like the name. I mean, obviously there’s The Dinger. But we just like naming songs after people’s names. And it just suited the music really, like a punk band doing Krautrock. Not that we set out to write things that way, it just finds its way in.
Adam: Like when I lifted that drum beat from pretty much every Neu! song.
How did you end up signing with Fat Cat?
After we did the second session with Rory, a friend of ours asked us to play a birthday party, and somebody came to that and said could we do another birthday party in Brighton. And we didn’t know the guy we were playing for was the A&R for Fat Cat. Apparently he’d seen us at the first one and thought it was cool, so his mates had just gone, ‘Shall we get that band to play for his party as well?’ And then it just sort of went from there really, he asked to listen to more songs and we ended up signing.
Right then, enough of the small talk. Adam, you’re a pilot! That must be sexy.
I’m not a proper pilot, just a private pilot. It’s just light aircraft.
Leigh, Stuart – have you been in a plane with him before?
Leigh: No I don’t like flying, and I don’t especially like rickety planes.
Stuart: It’s great though isn’t it. He’s like Bruce Dickinson!
Yeah. I’m pretty sure he was the pilot for Iron Maiden’s jumbo jet though, wasn’t he?
Maybe you could have a band transglider?
The ‘Ladders’ EP is out now on Fat Cat