- Josh Crowe
From Swansea to Hornsey: An interview with Trampolene.
Trampolene are a Welsh alternative rock band hailing from Swansea, now based in London.They are made of Jack Jones (vocals, guitar, spoken word), Wayne Thomas (bass, vocals) and Rob Steele (drums, vocals). Since forming as a band they moved to a flat in London with the idea of it being a 24/7 creative work factory, like Andy Warhol's Factory, where no internet was allowed, they invited artists to come round and share ideas and talk about songwriting, poetry, painting and society in general. The result has been several successful tours and releases, having support from the likes of Liam Gallagher, The Libertines and John Cooper Clarke.
On what felt like the hottest day of the year we met the Swansea natives at Brudenell social club, upon arrival Jack welcomed us with a warm can of Tesco value dry cider and a hug. What followed was an honest conversation about the journey Trampolene have been on and the exciting times that lie ahead…
How’s the Tour been so far?
Jack: It’s been amazing, it’s felt biblical. We played at Eebie Jeebies in Liverpool last night. The ceiling was really small which meant we were touching the ceiling with our feet for half of the gig. The crowd were unbelievable.
Wayne: It’s been the best crowd’s we’ve had in years. People have been singing songs back to us and everything. At previous gigs it was usually people just moshing to our stuff, since the albums come out it’s been great though.
How did it feel once you’d finished the album?
Jack: I can’t lie it was really emotional. It felt like a mixture of relief and pride. It was done in intervals of recording, we jumped in the studio whenever we could. We got the call up and just jumped at it. Josh Green helped us out big time with getting studio time, and of course produced this album.
Would it have been different if you’d have just done the album all in one go?
Jack: It’s impossible to say, because of the people we are and the way we grew up. The nature of the band and our nature as civilians dictates how we sound and also dictates how we record.
How did you end up meeting Himalayas, who are supporting you tonight?
Wayne: They got in touch with us, we did our best to help them out. We get on really well with them other than when the football is on.
Do you have any other Welsh bands are you into?
Wayne: There is a band called Estrons I really like.
Above: Pretty Vicious
Would you like to support more welsh bands and get them on the same line-ups as you?
Jack: We aren’t to tribal about it all, we love it all, whatever. Whoever is good and knocks the door willing to work hard we welcome on board.
When playing live what tends to get more recognition, the music or the spoken word?
Jack: At first it was the music, then the spoken word began to take hold abit. Since the album has come out it has felt like things have balanced themselves out again. Now when we do songs like 'Gangway' people sing along to them just as much as they would to a poem. People definitely understand what the bands about a lot more now. We aren’t an easy thing to grasp, I really feel like we’ve got something original going on.
How do audiences react at festivals?
Jack: We’ve deffo had shows where you can tell people are thinking what the fuck? But after that initial feeling it grows on people.
Wayne: We’ve been playing half hour sets and trying to cram every single song in that show, we haven’t perfected that quite yet.
Jack(Jokingly): We are moving up in the world now boys, we’ve got 45 minute sets and an encore if they’ve got it in them. When we did the Liam shows we started with a poem, the look on everyones face was hilarious. They didn’t have a fucking clue what was going on, but still liked it. Have you ever watched Donny Darco? Bet you didn’t have a fucking clue what was going on but you still loved it.
Who are your favourite poets?
Jack: Dylan Tomas. When I was a kid I thought I was gonna be better than him, but I’m not yet and I’m madly jealous. Every is a poet really, you meet anyone and they’ve got something to say. I like our mate Ollie Ward, he did a slot for us before we played in Cardiff. He has got some poems around Swansea, he has a really cool one about chewing gum, you should listen to it. I’ve read em all though, love John Cooper Clarke. He talked about our poems calling em funny and depressing.
Does supporting bigger bands influence you guys in anyway?
Jack: I’d love to be able to do those shows man, life of fucking luxury. We are living off couscous and beans right now. Everything you do is a bit different, there is only so much you can do in a practice room.
Rob: I found the shows very different, we are used to playing such small venues. A lot of the shows we usually play the fans are jumping all over and we get them on stage.
Is that your preference for venues?
Jack: We really feel like we play best at small venues.
Who did you listen to when you were younger?
Jack: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Bad Religions, some old punk stuff. Rancid, fucking everything man. I like a lot of Van Morrison Astro Wheats album. My Mum used to show us a load of stuff, loads of melodic pop, early stereophonics. Just everything man, we used to love listening to grimes as well.
Wayne: I listen to like Indian harmonioc music.
Jack: That’s not even him trying to sound like a ponce. We listened to the blade runner original soundtrack that is unreal.
Rob: It fucking blows your mind after a night out that one.
Where do you guys wanna be in the future?
Jack: Alive. We need some cash man. If we are alive we will still be going, . If we are making our own living off the band that will be unreal. We truly want to become the best band in the world, but are very pragmatic.
Jack:Clwb Ifor Bach , Hope and Ruin in Brighton we’ve played about 20,000 shows. Leadmill, Belgrave music hall. They have great pizza, I put a bunch of chilli sauce on. My arse was burning for weeks.
How would guys like to be remembered?
Jack: Band of the people. But also we had a chance with our one life and everyone came along for the ride and they connected to us. We aren’t pretending to be mozart we are just singing about our lives.