Trailer Trash Tracys have always walked their own path.
First gaining prominence after appearing on a No Pain In Pop compilation, the London group took their time before releasing debut album 'Ester'.
Arriving in 2012, it was a wonderful release, all shoegaze melodies, pared down electronics, and simple yet enormously poetic songwriting.
A follow up looked to be a forlorn hope, but earlier this year Trailer Trash Tracys accepted the challenge to soundtrack new film Althea.
Composing an album's worth of entirely new material, the soundtrack record 'Althea' acts as a studio album in its own right.
Clash caught up with Trailer Trash Tracys - Susanne Aztoria and Jimmy Lee - to discuss their literary influences.
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What is your favourite book and why?
Susanne: Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates is definitely up there. With its 800 + pages I found it extremely intimidating at first and never thought I would get through it, but after the first page I was hooked and struggled to put it down. It’s a piece of art in book form, masterfully written, and I really felt she was channeling the real woman behind the Marilyn Monroe mask. And, who doesn’t love a conspiratorial angle?
What other authors do you like?
Susanne: Selma Lagerlöf, Karl Ove Knausgård, Carina Rydberg.
What draws you to certain books?
Usually a recommendation or a gift, sometimes a cover and every so often the pressure of a “classic” or bestseller that just has to be read.
Have you ever discovered a real lost classic? What is it and why?
Susanne: To me Memories, Dreams and Reflections by Jung is a classic. If it’s a “lost” one I’m not sure, it’s pretty well known, but don’t think everyone would be up for reading it because of their perception of Jung and his work. Dwelling into the unconscious and the significance of dreams made me want to get into dream analysis. I am reading his collection of essays, Dreams next.
Do your literary influences have a direct impact on your songwriting?
Yes definitely. The lyrics on one of the tracks on our new album was inspired by a Oscar Wilde short story. Mostly, we read poetry when putting together our lyrics to get inspiration and to broaden our vocabulary. For us the fracing are often more important than the content as we do the melodies first and lyrics last. This gives us a nice limitation.
What are you reading at the moment?
Susanne: The Effect of Susan by Peter Høeg. A surreal realistic novel about abusing special talents like being able to get people around you to tell the truth or foreseeing the future. It’s also about motherly love and the end of civilisation as we know it where people at the top are making plans to save a fortunate few.
What is the first book you remember reading as a child?
Susanne: My parents read a lot to me growing up and my dad was the best as he acted out the characters. His best performance by far was the Grand High Witch in The Witches by Roald Dahl, his rrrrr:s were incredible. This book was so chilling in a thrilling way and it made me very suspicious of women with big nostrils.
Have you ever found a book that you simply couldn’t finish?
Susanne: Yes, a lot of them and I feel guilty every time. Two that I am especially disappointed in myself for not finishing are Wolf Hall and Crime and Punishment, both seen as “classics”. Weirdly, I liked both of them which makes it even more annoying. Wolf Hall I almost finished but got so lost in the vast web of characters that I didn’t know who was who in the end.
Would you ever re-read the same book?
Susanne: Yes I am planning to re-read Psychomagic by Alejandro Jodorowsky as this book blew my mind at the time. But, it might be a while as I have to read his ‘The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards and go to one of his tarot readings in Paris first.
Have you ever identified with a character in a book? Which one and why?
Rodion Raskolnikov was fascinating at first but after a while I found it emotionally exhausting, as I was spiralling into madness with him.
Susanne: During an European tour I read Making Tracks - The Rise of Blondie. Partly written by the band themselves it starts with their early life and follow their ascent to stardom. I find touring a very strange existence so it was comforting reading about other people doing the same thing, although our experience was a lot less legendary.
Do you read one book at a time or more than one?
Susanne: I have tried but I prefer to read one at the time. If I have two on the go I usually give up on one of them.
Is there an author / poet you would like to collaborate with?
Not really. We are pretty happy secretly collaborating with all the known and unknown poets out there that we use for inspiration. When writing the bonus tracks for our record we came across the poem Voyage by Carmen Tafolla and loved the flow and content of this piece. It talks about a ship lost at sea, by choice, making it all about a journey and not the destination. This discovery without conquest can have a lot of different meanings and we used this theme for the lyrics of our song Medovina.
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Trailer Trash Tracys new album 'Althea' is out now.