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Interview with The Tricks

Interview to The Tricks Photos by Oscar Tornincasa for

Joel Hodge (lead vocals/bass), Ash Hodge (drums), John Bisset (guitar) and Eliot Crabtree (guitar) are the members of a London based Indie band born 4 years ago that goes under the name of The Tricks. Their latest EP, “In The Doghouse”, was out on October 28 and showcased on October 30th with a successful live show at the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen in London. The first single from the EP, “Better”, brings a fresh pop flavour to the indie rock scene that makes The Tricks the perfect candidates for a well deserved big break in the very near future.

I met the guys in East London for a chat and found out that the lads are funny, easy going and willing to rock the crowds for a long time ahead… 

Q: How did you guys meet and why did you start making music?
Joel: We met at school, me and John met at primary school when we were like 4 years old, then a couple of years later Ash was born, he’s my brother, that’s how I met him. We met El in the neighbourhood in secondary school, when we were 11, so we’ve known each other for far too long (laughs).

John: Well we were just listening to a lot of bands at school, we played a couple of songs, Eliot was in another band, they were friends of us, so we both were in other bands with other people, and then both bands collapsed and we started playing together four years ago.

Joel: That wasn’t really a band, they were just making music together.

Eliot: We tried out a few people, we tried with one of our good friend, but he wasn’t that right.

Q: What’s the idea behind the name? Why The Tricks?
Joel: It wasn’t really anything behind it.

John: We played in the same football team when we were younger and we would really get into football …. so that’s where it comes from.

Q: Which artists inspire you? Your idol, your music influences?

Joel: Collectively we listen to lots of music… Timblerlake (laughs), no wait, Timbaland (laughs). There’s lots of bands we share, like The Clash, The Stripes, Costello. But then individually we like different things, me as a singer I got inspired by Bruce Springsteen, Syd Barrett, like early Pink Floyd, he doesn’t really influence us directly but I just love him. And also Television and Blur.

Q: What’s the thing you love most in making music?
John: For me having time to create a song, something that is in theory, when you start playing, bringing up elements and see it become this thing that you expected to be.

Eliot: You could say sowing a seed and watching it soar.

Joel: One of my favourite aspects of making music is when you actually get to recording it. You can do a demo, we’d write some cool demos at John’s, that’s how it kinda starts, the ideas we have so John would come up with an idea and than we’d all come in eventually and add our parts and develop them. But then the actual recording process when you go from the demo when you’re actually going to a proper studio and record it, it’s the part that I enjoy the most. It’s very hard to envisage, especially when you’re playing songs live and stuff it’s hard to envisage what it would then become once you’ve recorded it professionally, being able to develop the ideas that you already have. It’s my favourite part.

Q: What do you want to achieve s a band? 
John: Have our song and music in Eastenders (laughs). You know what I mean, in the background or like in loose place or neighbourhood.

Joel: When it really comes to ambition… I mean every band wants to be internationally acclaimed, but then that’s a massive ambition, so I don’t think, I don’t know… I’d just like to have a career around it as the basic level, but then I’d like to be big as well, whether it’s likely or not it’s debatable. My ambition is being as big as Elvis, like physically… (laughs).

Q: Who would you love to do a collaboration with? Like maybe going on tour together?
John: We like lots of work by Hans Zimmer… we listen to a lot of movie soundtracks (laughs).
I don’t know there’s lots of bands I’d like to tour with. The Strokes are amazing. Phoenix, they’re like a band similar to us, quite into that pop sensibility. Arcade Fire as well, the new Reflektor sounds, it’s a big open up for them though.

Q: Who writes the songs?
Eliot: We write individually, and then we combine.

Joel: In most cases the idea of a song comes from one member of the band, but then it develops.

John: Then what’s the song is the chords and melody…

Eliot: The seed comes from one but then it’s up to all the members of the band to water and nurture it.

Q: You presented your new EP on october 30th. How was working on it? What do you expect from it?
Joel: The EP is called In The Doghouse, it was recorded in january and they’re special songs for us. We wanted to develop our sound more with this release, last year we released 49 Mercury, the songs on there were more dark.  It’s just more developed musically I think. Especially the second track was probably the darkest thing we’ve done, both musically and lyrically.

John: Having said that, it’s more a MAXI Single then an EP as there are only 2 songs on it and there’s an acoustic version of “Better”.

Q: Are you working on more songs or planning a new album?
Joel: We recorded new songs already, we did last year and we got signed quite early we went out to America, we had a bunch of songs at that point so we have got foundation for an album already. We recorded in january, there are some songs which we’d like to record at some point, preferably, hopefully for the release of the first album, if not that’d make a base for a second album. I think that modern music industry is, the fact is that people want more, they want things quickly, they want as much access to the band they can. We can, creatively we can just write enough songs but feeding people with tracks and make people become more involved in the band , that’s our intention really.

Q: So how about a tour? Are you touring in the next months?
Joel: We did a tour in March and May, we got the London show at the end of October which is a showcase for the EP release. We don’t do a tour at the moment but it’s the next thing we want to do, it’s what we enjoy the most.

John: We’re just setting down, I think writing more music, we’re trying to write more.

Gessica Puglielli
Visual/Web Designer, Digital Marketing Strategist born in Lecce (Italy), I currently live in London. Between 1998 and 2005 I collaborated with Michael Jackson’s staff and in 2000 I had a meeting with the man himself. I founded Rebel Rebel in 2013 and so far it has been an exciting journey. Some of my favourite artists include Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Skunk Anansie, Depeche Mode, Pink Floyd, Archive, Kraftwerk, Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Anthony & The Johnsons, Gazpacho, The Maccabees, Led Zeppelin, Brian Eno, Beethoven, Bjork, Steve Wonder and many others. I feel a deep connection to animals and Mother Nature, which led me to choose a vegan lifestyle. I like playing electric guitar, photography, cinema, art, entertainment, travelling, playing tennis and browsing London.