The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES: BANDS YOU WILL LOVE!

GET TO KNOW: THE TEENAGE CASKET COMPANY

 

 

 

MARK TALKS TO ROB LANE

 

Mark: Hi Rob, thanks again for talking to The Rockpit.

 


Rob: Hey, my pleasure! Thanks so much for wanting to hear my ramblings! :)

 


 
Mark: It’s been a while coming, but the new CD ‘Best Kept Secret’ is just about to hit. I’ve been lucky enough to have a preview from Jamsync and must admit it’s been worth the wait! Tell us what people can expect?

 


Rob: TEENAGE CASKET COMPANY have been pretty quiet for a couple of years, each of us out doing our own thing so this is our big wake up call to the world to say "Hey, we're still here! This is what you may have missed and now get set for TCC Chapter 2"

 


 
Mark: The album is a combination of the first CD and the great ‘Eat Your Heart Out’ EP with a killer new track ‘Best Friend Is My Radio’. What was the thinking behind that? Is it all about getting the US exposure with the JAMSYNC deal? We for one think those early releases were sadly under appreciated!

 


Rob: I was out playing bass for THE BULLETBOYS in the US a couple of years ago and I met up with Bill Chavis who was running the BulletBoys label at the time. We got on well and he showed some interest in TCC. After I'd returned from the tour he asked if we would be interested in re-releasing the first two TCC CDs over in the US? Whilst I thought that would be awesome I suggested why not combine the two and make something of a 'Best Of'? Get it all remastered, repackaged and throw in a new tune and bang, you've got yourselves a killer introduction to the band which I'm hoping will be a great push for us, particularly on US soil. Whilst we've been lucky enough to do two East Coast Tours over there and got great reviews, when you release your material on your own, you're always going to be limited with how far you can push it, particularly financially. JAMSYNC have been confident enough to get excited about the band and allow us to move things to the next level. For that we're incredibly grateful.

 

 

 


 
Mark: Some songs that surfaced on MySpace a few years back like the classic ‘She Said She Wouldnt’ didn’t make it on the new release are there plans for that and the other songs TCC has in reserve?

 

 

Rob: That was actually a track from SINS OF AMERICA, the band Rob Wylde (Vocals / Guitar) put together when he moved to the US during our hiatus a couple of years ago. They're a great band and, because Wylde is again the chief songwriter, there's definitely an element of the TCC sound in there. I think SINS verged more on Glam Rock stylings whereas we have more of a pop sheen to our songs. They've got their debut album all recorded and after hearing it I can tell you it's really cool stuff. I'd love to get something together and get it out through my label TrashPit (www.trashpit.co.uk) but what with everything that's happening with TCC right now and just the general financial element to everything it's tough. Maybe we can get it available for download 'cause the tunes are great. Whether any of this material will surface in TCC format only time will tell. SINS actually did their own version of 'Own Best Enemy' which was originally performed by TCC and this coming weekend we're gonna record a tune called 'Without You' which appears on their album in a stripped down acoustic format. The Casket Company version is the total flip side to that and perhaps something that will become one of our most diverse songs. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

 


 
Mark: See how bad my research is! It seems like this is the big push for the band?

 


Rob: I'm hoping so. The US market has been very important to the band. It's were the basis of our 'sound' comes from and the home to most of our favourite bands. We've been lucky enough to make a lot of friends over there and I'd love the chance to return on a full tour and spread the name further afield!

 


 
Mark: What are the plans for the next twelve months?

 


Rob: Right now the main things on our plate are to get behind this new 'Best Kept Secret' release at the end of August but to also get into the studio with some brand new material as soon as possible. Three songs are lined up to be recorded over the next couple of weeks and we'll try and coincide that with a video too. We've also got a series of live shows during the summer starting with a support slot with LA GUNS then our UK dates with GYPSY PISTOLEROS. It's definitely a transition period for the band. Anyone who's not familiar with us perhaps don't realise we were a four piece band for several years until our guitarist Jamie Delerict left recently. He's since started his own killer band called JD & The FDC's (www.jdandthefdcs.com). Jamie was a huge personality in the band so it's taken a while to adjust to this new three piece version. Whilst I love three piece bands, it does take a while to re-work everything but after our live dates back in May things really started to click and we're overjoyed with how things are shaping up!

 


 
Mark: Unfortunately here ‘down under’ we’ve not had the chance to see you guys in action but we’re told that the live show is something special! What can fans expect?

 


Rob: We've always been what I'd like to describe as an 'explosive' live band. We always aim to put on the best high energy show we can regardless of where we're playing or how many people are in the audience. Every crowd deserves the best show possible. The first couple of years the band were together we played with so many different bands from so many genres of music, you wouldn't believe! From the Glamiest of Hairspray bands right through to the rawest old school Punk Bands. Every time we'd go in 100% and win over the audiences. Doing that and playing with all those bands was invaluable to us and I'm hoping we never lose that when we play a show. When you come to a TCC gig just frickin hold on!!

 

 

 


 
Mark: As you mentioned you’ve got live shows with TCC coming up in the UK with our friends GYPSY PISTOLEROS who we met over at Rocklahoma a few years back. How well do you know Lee and Iggz?

 


Rob: I became friends with those two hooligans back in the summer of 2007 when I was out with The BulletBoys all over the UK and Europe. They're the sweetest guys but they totally roll with the whole 24/7 Rock & Roll Lifestyle. I'm sure their blood runs with alcohol! We had a great time on the road with them and Iggz paid me a sweet compliment back then by saying he thought I had come over from the US with The BulletBoys as I fit in so well. I thought that was cool of him and I'm looking forward to hanging out some more this summer.

 


 
Mark: You’ve also played with one of my favourite bands from back in the day ‘Vain’ who were just the most polite and friendly bunch of guys when I bumped into them at the old Way Ahead Records in Nottingham many years ago! How was that experience and who are the best bands you’ve toured with to date?

 


Rob: You know, VAIN were frickin' phenomenal on that tour! You always have to 'approach with caution' when a band from back in the day makes a comeback. You never know how they're gonna look and sound and you wonder if it's nothing but a cash in. VAIN delivered though on all levels, those guys had their shit sorted! They looked great, had a cool modern slant on the image and everything sounded killer. One of my favourite stories though is that Davy Vain was the first person to sign our Mailing List back then and I still have a copy of that to this day - very cool! As for other bands I'd have to think... We were lucky enough to do some shows with ROBIN BLACK around that same time and that band were on fire back then. The perfect modern day Glam Rock Band.... you couldn't touch them.

 


 
Mark: To the uninitiated how would you describe the TCC sound?

 


Rob: We have so many diverse influences within this band but the main feature is that we LOVE a 'Hook'! That's the most important thing. Everything such as the image or attitude has nothing on a great tune. Luckily we have perhaps one of the best songwriters I know for delivering that in Rob Wylde - as much as that pains me lay that much praise on him! ;) What was always cool about a TCC Gig was that people would be there singing along to EVERY word to EVERY song, there's not many bands on the underground circuit that can lay claim to that and you can call me out if I'm wrong on that statement! As for the overall sound of the band I guess it's just pop tunes with loud guitars. We have elements that are gonna appeal to all the old school Rock Fans out there who love the Bon Jovi's and Def Leppard's but I think we sit equally as comfortable with any Power Pop or Punk Pop band too.

 

 

 


 
Mark: What or who originally influenced you to get into one of the most cut throat businesses out there Rock and Roll?

 


Rob: As un-cool or cheesy as it might sound but the moment I saw Bret Michaels in a Poison video around 1990 I knew I wanted to be in a rock band. I was always a fan of the genre, played a little guitar but had never really had the buzz or urge inside me to step up and get on a stage. Once I saw that something suddenly clicked! I soon found out that I loved every aspect of the 'business' whether it be the travelling, organising, merchandise, the lot! Being on the stage has always been the best part, or I guess the pay off, but meeting so many cool people who have become such an important part of my life overshadows any negative thing that might come along.

 


 
Mark: What is your take on the industry today? Did Apple really kill it all off or is there still hope?

 


Rob: Wish I knew the way forward but I don't think anyone really does do they? Me and some friends have spoken about this on numerous occasions about how to get people out to shows and how to shift units, especially when you're on the underground circuit. I'm from a very old school, hard work ethic of promotion through posters and flyers and trying to cause some kind of buzz but it's becoming harder and harder. Being in a band doesn't impress anyone these days, everybody knows someone in a band so it's no big deal anymore which is a shame. For me I try to hold onto old school values but appreciate you've got to look forward and grasp modern methods or you're just gonna fall behind and you sure ain't gonna catch up!

 


 
Mark: Outside TCC you seem to keep yourself pretty busy! How about TrashPit Records anything exciting coming up not related to TCC?

 


Rob: TrashPit Records was started as a vehicle to put out the first TCC album back in 2005. From there it's just grown and grown. I'm totally NOT business savvy though and simply release music from bands I love who I think I could add something to their persona and the way they're perceived. I'm in no position to make comments about their actual music, I have to put that amount of trust in them the same way they have to trust me to do a good job with the product once they hand over their recordings. I'm really proud to have released albums by the likes of ACEY SLADE, THE BLACK MOLLYS and THE EROTICS - great, great bands.

 


 
Rob: Like we spoke earlier though, it's getting tough to shift records or CDs in today's market. Kids certainly don't give a crap about buying albums but I'm stubborn... I'm like, 'How do we get them to buy them?!!'. I would love to give them the buzz I had when buying a new album - it was a big deal for me then and still is! Shit, I even bunked off college so I could go buy a new Def Leppard album and slapped that sucker in a walkman as I ran home!

 

 

Rob: What comes next is kinda grey at the moment. Like TCC it's kind of in a transition period. I'm working with ACEY SLADE & THE DARK PARTY to put out a cool live album they've got in the can and I really wanna do another Compilation CD. I've got some cool ideas for that and already have some great names who have shown interest in being part of it so fingers crossed that will all happen. Watch this space and in the meantime check out all the other releases over at www.trashpit.co.uk

 

 

 


 
Rob: For anyone out there who likes good pop tunes I've also been playing bass for a band in the UK called LET LOOSE. These guys had some big hits in the UK charts in the mid nineties and I was a fan back in the day so to be playing in the band means a lot to me. We did a sold out London show back in March and we're currently out all over the UK doing festivals and have a headline show in Manchester later this month. Love to know what Rockpit Readers make of it.... www.letloosemusic.com

 


 
Mark: You have The Erotics on your label who have to be one of my favourite bands at the moment tell us a little about the guys!

 


Rob: That's awesome you're a fan! Before I began the label, TrashPit was a Fanzine for several years and Mike Trash from The Erotics got in touch about reviewing their album. As soon as their Promo Pack arrived I knew these guys were the real deal and the music proved that. Killer tunes and just oozing with attitude. This was 'No Bullshit Rock & Roll' - Mike Trash meant fuckin' business and I loved that! Anyway, they were toying with the idea of working out some UK shows and I said why not hook up with TCC and see what we can do. The rest is history, we went on to do something like four or five UK Tours together and two US East Coast Tours, the second alongside VAINS OF JENNA and STEVIE RACHELLE from TUFF. Another big deal for me 'cause TUFF were always one of my favourite bands and Stevie has been a big influence on me with his great promotional skills and he was a really cool guy. When it came time for THE EROTICS to put out a new CD a few years ago Mike asked if I would be interested in doing it through TrashPit and it just made perfect sense. They've gone on to generate a cool fan base over here and come over on their own steam these days and do their own shows - it's great to see and I consider them some of my dearest friends.

 

 

Mark: Stevie is a cool guy, he hooked us up with Vains of Jenna a few years back at the Whiskey in LA: he does a great job. We had a great night there with Nicki from Vains and the Gypsy Pistoleros, who we'd met at Rocklahoma a few days before, closed out the night! I'd love to se The Erotics live sometime soon too!

 


 
Mark: What is the most memorable show you’ve ever played?

 


Rob: Wow, that's a tough one! I have a lot of favourite shows from the various bands I've been lucky enough to be part of. I think some of the best shows TCC did were at a venue in Nottingham called Junktion7. That place held a lot of special memories for a lot of people in our area. So many great bands passed through those doors before it closed recently. We played our very first show there back in 2004 and we got to perform at the TrashStock Festival which was held there each year... I think we played it like three times and every time it was incredible with people hanging over the barriers singing every word and making us feel untouchable. So I guess right now I'd pick those shows.

 


 
Mark: If you could support any band who would it be?

 


Rob: I have a shortlist of this for various reasons!! My all time favourite band is VAN HALEN so that would be just killer! Which line up? I'm not picky but I'd love for it to be one with Michael Anthony back on bass - that guy is just the greatest!! Then if I was to put my 'business head' on, which to be honest doesn't exist, I think the best bands for TCC to support in terms of matching up musically would be either THE GOO GOO DOLLS or BOWLING FOR SOUP - to share a stage with either of those bands would really be a dream come true and unless I'm a total idiot I 'think' we'd go down great with their crowds. Fingers crossed!

 


 
Mark: I'm looking forward to Van Halen when they play downunder later in the year - it should be a cool show! Never saw them with Dave so it's first for me!

 

 

Mark: Any strange stories from the road?

 


Rob: I'll be honest and say I'm the worst person to ask this question to! I'm pretty crap at telling stories and most of the time I miss all the good shit!! I try and keep diaries from the road when we go on long hauls which you can read in the Blog Section over at my website www.laney74.co.uk so there's some gossip hidden in those somewhere. For some reason one story that pops into my head is when we were out with THE DANGERFIELDS back in 2006. We had some hours to kill so went and caught a movie. Our drummer Spike, always carries a silver box with him. I think to this day we don't know what was or is in it... maybe a frickin severed head like in SE7EN, who knows? But anyway he went to take this box into the movie and when they asked to look in it he was seriously pissed! I mean you're taking a box which looks like a camera case into a cinema! It's not gonna happen. Sorry Spike!

 


 
Mark: What keeps you going against the odds?

 


Rob: No matter how much crap you go through, no matter how many times you maybe think "That's it, I'm done" - you'll suddenly play an awesome gig and the fire is back. There's always something that keeps you going. Or perhaps someone might say something to you, like I was talking to someone about the three piece version of TCC a few weeks ago. They told me they were dubious about whether or not they wanted to see the band or if they'd be able to accept it because the original line up and the gigs we did meant so much to them... not just the music but what the whole 'time' captured, we were an important part of their lives for moment - their words not mine! That's pretty heavy shit when you analyse it. I can't begin to imagine what it's like for a huge band - that's some shoulder weight right there!! But on a positive spin, it makes you feel good that, hey, we did something right and that makes you wanna keep forging forward to be the best you can be and hopefully others will enjoy it!

 

 

 


 
Mark: What’s the best way to keep up with all things TCC?

 


Rob: All the usuals...

 


Facebook www.facebook.com/teenagecasketco
MySpace www.myspace.com/teenagecasketcompany
Twitter www.twitter.com/teenagecasketco
Reverbnation www.reverbnation.com/teenagecasketcompany
The TCC Website will be revamped in time for the new CD release over at www.teenagecasketcompany.com
And our label JAMSYNC has a killer site over at www.jamsyncmusic.com

 


 
Mark: If you could have been involved in the creation of one album or piece of music in the history of rock what would it have been and why?

 


Rob: If I could go back and see the process involved in recording any of the early VAN HALEN Albums that would be really amazing. That really was bottled dynamite and something that I don't think will ever be equalled by any band in today's industry.

 


 
Mark: And the easy one we ask everyone: ‘What is the meaning of life?’

 


Rob: Easy? You save the tough ones till the end! I don't know... I guess be yourself, treat people how you'd expect or want to be treated. Don't listen to potential bullshit, make up your own mind about people and above all trust your gut!

 

Mark: Cheers Rob, all the best with the new album and be sure to keep us up to date with all things TCC! Next time I'm back in my hometown I'll look you up! Keep the beer cold!

 


 
www.laney74.co.uk


www.facebook.com/laney74


www.myspace.com/roblane

www.twitter.com/laney74

 

 

 

 

Rob Lane spoke to Mark Diggins June 2011