Any punk band worth their weight in bruises always has one common denominator: a batshit crazy frontman. And Trash Talk's Lee Spielman ranks up there with the best. Signed to Odd Future Records, the hardcore punk band has become infamous for their ridiculous, chaotic live shows, recently inciting conditions that drove all 300-plus pounds of Queens rapper Action Bronson to stage dive during his show at the Echoplex.
We caught up with Lee to figure out the perfect conditions for a bloody, wild show.
What's your general philosophy on chaos?
What you give is what you get. If you go on stage and look boring, they'll stand there and look at you bored. But if you hit the stage like a fucking bomb exploded then its like, oh shit this dude means what he's doing! The second someone sees me front flip off stage they're like, fuck I can do that too, you know?
Barricades. I've heard you're not a fan. Why?
If we could go without barricades forever that'd be amazing. If there's a barrier in the way, you can't really connect with people. That four feet takes half the show from under you. I don't think promoters get the fact that everyone's there to have a good time. You pay money to enjoy yourself with other people and I feel like barriers take that away.
How often are you successful at getting these removed?
Not really that often. I'll be in the fucking middle of nowhere in like Canada and some dude I've never met in my life just has this crazy vision that I'm gonna destroy everything he has. I think people think it's some sort of chaos that's not controlled but I feel like at punk shows people sort of police themselves. I think a lot of venues are just scared of us at this point.
Injuries happen. What do you do if you see someone get taken out?
Punk fans are pretty good at helping people up. As crazy as our shows are, I don't want to see anyone get hurt. I've seen shit during our shows where I'm like, fuck I don't want to ever see that shit again, but people always help each other up 'cause we're all here together.
What else helps you go wild on stage?
When we show up, I always request a super long mic cable because I get super frustrated if I can't get off stage. I always turn down everything in my monitors cause if you're on top of the crowd or in the crowd you don't really need that. It fucks up the other dudes playing, just the yelling and shit. Instead of hearing the focused music you hear the wildness.
Punk kids always seem to be either absolutely hammered or completely straight edge, do you prefer one or the other?
It depends, man. Some people just aren't right. Some people are like, I'm gonna get drunk and fucking break that dude's jaw, some people are like I'm gonna get drunk and circle pit. Its all in the person, everyone's different.
Let's talk about the circle pit, Trash Talk is certainly a fan.
If you grew up in California, circle pits come with the territory. The West Coast is all about fast, thrashy music. Circle Jerks, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, all that stuff. With our band too when we started, it was like, I just want to play fast, aggressive music where you can just spazz out. Circle pits let you do that.
Being signed with Odd Future Records has to give you guys some interesting exposure.
We're fortunate to be one of those bands that gets to step out of our comfort zone and play rap shows and indie rock shows; Coachella and stuff like that. For a lot of those people, they've never seen shit like this. If you go to a straight hip-hop show and stage dive, somebody's probably gonna get beat up.
That's gotta be rewarding.
It's been super cool. Taking kids out of their element and having them experience something completely new. I think it's cool to fucking take someone's view of what a show should be and flip it completely upside down.
Any pro tips for someone seeing Trash Talk for the first time?
Put your phone away and have a good time. Get your money's worth and make security work for the job.
Trash Talk play the Echoplex on Thursday, April 24, with the equally intense Dillinger Escape Plan.