Trudy and the Romance – Interview – 2016

They say you never forget your first – the first time we heard debut single ‘All My Love’ early in 2015 was the start of our love affair with Trudy and the Romance. In 2016 we finally got the chance to see the trio play at The Great Escape, and boy was it worth the wait, bringing music that is so utterly unique and shrouded in the nostalgia from a love torn youth. With a sound that takes the best of old school crooning American rock’n’roll and doo-wop as well as the scatty indie and garage rock that North West of England has championed in recent times, the Liverpool lads have crafted their own sound with help from lead singer Oliver Taylor is incredible voice which is like no other. We caught up with him to find out a bit more about Trudy and the Romance.

Where did you grow up?
Me and Brad, the drummer, grew up in Chesterfield. Some people say it’s quaint, but it’s not really. It’s near Sheffield, which is where we had a lot of nights out and went to gigs. Lewis our bassist is from Bolton.

What kind of music were you brought up on?
It’s all from my dad really. A lot of The Beatles and The Beach Boys, doo-wop and old school rock’n’roll. But it wasn’t till I was a certain age where I started liking it. It hasn’t always been good music – before that I used to like Fallout Boy and shit like that. My dad still passes me music now, showing me acts like Scott Walker and Burt Bacharach. We like to croon like a drunken pop singer because of music like this.

How did Trudy and the Romance form?
Brad was in a band called Less Obvious Side Effect who had a strong Sheffield following when he was about 16. I joined that but then went off to do my own thing which was the first incarnation of Trudy, called Trudy Sings The Blues. Things dispersed when Brad went to Liverpool and I went university in Leeds which is where I met Lewis. Leeds is where it started, we had a residency at the Fenton Pub which was a lot of fun and also got the idea of Trudy going. As university came to an end, I said to Lewis that I have this drummer in mind. I then moved to Liverpool which is when things started to come together.

Is there a story behind the name?
Trudy Sings The Blues is an album by Trudy Lynn which is where I got the name originally – don’t tell her as she might try and sue us, which has nearly happened already. We had to change the name from Trudy to Trudy and the Romance because a band came at us with lawyers. But I really like what we have changed it to. Now that we are starting to think about an album, we can start to make a world around Trudy and the Romance – Trudy against the world. When in Liverpool we felt our sound didn’t really fit the scene – almost like outsiders, nowhere boys, but that has kind of all become part of the Trudy identity.

Tell us a bit about your new singles ‘My Baby’s Gone Away’ and ‘Sandman’?
‘My Baby’s Gone Away’ takes part of a Trudy Sings The Blues track which has then evolved of time and gives it quite a nostalgic feel. ‘Sandman’ is more of an upbeat track that people can dance to. It’s about going to Liverpool and trying to get by.

Have you been thinking about the next release?
We have almost got a tracklist together for an album, but we would obviously release at least a few more single before that. Releasing an album is all we can think about, but we know in-between that and going on tours we need other releases to put out there.

I’m loving the old school vibe to your videos, where did this idea come from?
We really like old Super 8 footage – the colours and the grain. You also don’t have to be a very good an actor to act in a Super 8 film either, which is helpful. The tongue and cheek came from when we were in Leeds. I was with a group of friends who didn’t really care too much about what we did, which didn’t always bode too well in some occasions but really helped with the humour in the videos.

What has been a musical eye-opener?
When I first got into Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys. Apparently you are supposed to listen to it in a really dark room, that is what Brian Wilson said anyway. There is an Israeli garage rocker called Charlie Megira who we went to see once in Nottingham at this little art show. I can remember even seeing the sound check and thinking this was amazing.

Who would be in your ultimate supergroup?
Johnathon Richmond from back in The Modern Lovers days. Brian Wilson in his mad days. Burt Bacharach in his golden days, where it’s cheesy but not Ronan Keating cheesy. Then John Lennon to give it a bit of gruff.

What would be your perfect line-up for a concert you are putting on and where would it be?
Johnathon Richmond, Charlie Megira, King Krule, Happyness, Her’s and Pink Kink. It would have to be at a little intimate venue where we are in control of the guest list, as I wouldn’t want it jam packed in there. I may even make it seating so I could sit down and chill to watch it.

If you could work with any artist from the past or present, who would it be and what would they bring to Trudy and the Romance?
To have The Beatles as our backing band would be pretty cool.

Do you get to go to many gigs? Any that have stood out?
I saw Happyness play at this venue where all the band were really loud and the crowd were really noisy. They came onstage and could have played their heavier tracks but did all their quite numbers instead. They have a really great attitude and seem to put out what they want.

What are your future plans till the end of the year and after?
We have got our first run of headline shows coming, including Brighton this November. Then we are off to Texas next March for SXSW.