PHOTO CREDIT: Low Key Collective
THE charming and funny lads of Bare Traps…
have been celebrated and championed by BBC Introducing and Radio X. The guys, in an attempt to avoid real work, formed the band – they have been on a noble quest since then. All in You is the new song and one the guys are really pumped about. Small wonder once you hear it: your heart and brain will be hooked and seduced. Waiting Outside is the B-side and, whilst not as immediate as All in You, it is a song that shows Bare Traps have plenty of confidence. I ask how influential London is to them and whether it drives creativity; which new acts of the minute they’d single out for success. I was curious to know whether we could expect any new material later in the year: this is reveal alongside plenty of witty quotes and humorous filthy. Few acts really stand out in the mind but with Bare Traps you get bags of personality and chest-loads of brilliant music. One of the most impressive propositions currently working in London; sit down and get inside the world of the always-brilliant Bare Traps.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Busy, busy, busy! We just had our release show at The Victoria in Dalston on Friday – so we’d spent a lot of time getting ready for that. We really wanted to put on a good show rather than just play a bunch of songs. We’ve been practising our scissor-kicks, knee-slides and stick twirling. Fortunately, once we got on stage we remembered we’re an Indie band and not AC/DC – so stage tricks were kept to a minimum. There was definitely some guitar-shredding, though. We filmed our first-ever music video a couple of days later and that was really fun!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
We’re four young men that met through a shared love of making noise and delinquent behaviour. We do our best to be well-behaved these days, though – honest mum! Originally, we’re from various parts of England, but we all call London home; the typical non-London Londoners. For the most part, we make good-vibes guitar music that sounds like summer. It’s all about hooks and danceability for us.
I am intrigued by your band name, ‘Bare Traps’. Not just because of its homonymic qualities but the images it compels. What is the reasoning behind that name?
Well, we like to attempt to be really deep and tell people it’s a play on words that refers to the kind of potentially damaging situations we allow ourselves to get into in life; when you get yourself involved with something that you know is going to eventually bite you in the arse – but you do it anyway. That’s a bare, exposed trap. But, really, that’s horsesh*t and we thought it was more identifiable than ‘bear trap’. If you really want a laugh then type ‘bear trap’ into Urban Dictionary as we did recently. You’ll never look at us the same again…
Can you tell me how you all got together in the first place?
We met on Tinder Socials. Did you know that thing’s for orgies? We were shocked – we’re all so innocent. After some consideration, we opted to just make music together rather than bang. That’s probably not a true story but we’ve told it so many times we’ve confused ourselves.
All in You is the new single. What can you tell me about the concept and meaning of the track?
All in You was written from start-to-finish in about an hour – which is, by far, the quickest we’ve ever written a song. It stemmed from the main guitar hook which just inspired us to go all out sun-drenched tropicalness.
So, we threw in some Caribbean steel drums for good measure. It’s about falling in love (yawn!), but really, we wanted to try and sonically replicate the feelings you get when you first fall for someone: sunshine, happiness and all that nonsense. We’re all influenced by Math-Rock so pretty stoked that we squeezed a time-signature change and tempo change into the middle of the song. It still managed to keep it sounding like a Pop song.
You have a B-side, Waiting Outside. It is quite rare bands putting out B-sides these days. Why did you feel motivated to do so? Do you think more artists should keep the tradition alive?
We don’t feel that Waiting Outside is quite as immediate as All in You but still feel that it’s a strong track. It sits really well with the single and actually creates a bit of a story arc in terms of narrative. All in You tells of a blossoming romance whereas Waiting Outside describes a relationship that has matured. We do think that it’s a shame that the death of physical record formats has led to standalone tracks becoming the industry standard now. Releasing more than one track at a time gives the listener that bit more entertainment and allows artists the means to express themselves to a higher degree. We should try and keep some of those traditions alive.
BBC Radio 6 Music and other huge stations have featured your music and helped you reached new fans. How important has that airplay been to you and how do things like social media help get the Bare Traps sound to the masses?
The support we’ve received from BBC Introducing has been amazing. A benefit of us being from all around the country means that loads of different BBC regional stations, as well as BBC Radio 6, have played us.
We’re trying to collect the full set. Come on Radio One – catch on! Social media is our main means of spreading our brand and has been since the band’s inception. We’ve all played countless shows in other bands and fallen victim to crooked promoters and sh*t deals in which we’ve basically ended up paying to play. In Bare Traps, we said from day one that we wouldn’t be willing to do that – so we’ve used social media as our primary means of building a fan-base. It’s worked because, now, plenty of people come to every one of our gigs and we get paid like we should! Well, most of the time.
I think you have said All in You is the best thing you have come up with. It is sunny and filled with imagination. When did you realise the song hit those heights and will future songs contain the same sort of elements?
We felt that All in You was a banger from the moment the first guitar riff was played in practice. We were supposed to be rehearsing for a gig but we just jammed on this idea instead because we were all so into it. It was one of those instances of the songwriting itself – it was just so intuitive and natural. I think that’s the main reason we knew we were on to something special with this one. It just made us all feel great and we hope it does the same for other people. We’ve already written a whole bunch of stuff with similar elements which we’re aiming to record very soon.
Does this mean we can expect to see an E.P. or album anytime soon?
Despite what we said earlier about releasing more than one track at time, we don’t see ourselves releasing any extended-plays in the near-future. As an independent band, it’s not really cost-effective to do so and that’s all it boils down to really. Sh*t, we’d love to release an album – we’ve certainly got enough material but reality’s a bitch and we don’t have a record deal to fund it. Unfortunately, with the way the music industry is now, you generally have to start off with a shed-load of cash to be a success which doesn’t make a great deal of sense, but, whatever. We don’t have rich mummies and daddies to help us out but, hey, don’t hate the player, hate the game, right? We’re not bitter, honest.
Are there any musicians or albums you listening to growing up that has helped shape and define the band’s direction/music?
We’ve been compared to Foals a number of times – and we’re certainly all fans of that band – so we enjoy that comparison. The angular-guitar-style and dance-music-style beats from their first two albums have definitely influenced our sound.
Bloc Party are probably the biggest one for us, though. It’s safe to say that without Bloc Party there would be no Bare Traps. Silent Alarm is a seminal album, in our eyes.
It introduced a very Math-Rock-type sound to an Indie audience and it’s probably safe to say that every Indie band since has been influenced by those guys. We’re really into Dance music too and that definitely shows in our sound. We have our heavier moments, but – at the risk of sounding like a naff D.J. at a wedding – we’re more about grooving and getting people to get on down.
In the coming weeks, you are playing a few gigs – London and Birmingham included. Any you are particularly looking forward to and what can we expect from a Bare Traps live show?
We’re definitely looking forward to the Birmingham show – as it’s our first show as a band in that town. The Actress & Bishop is a cool venue and we know we’ve got a fair few fans in the Midlands – so we’re hoping it should get pretty lively.
The band is based in London. How influential is the city to your music and what does London provide that nowhere else does?
We’re a pretty London-centric band in terms of our identity but we don’t really feel that it’s reflected in our sound. Being ‘London’ has become synonymous with being cool and we’re under no illusions: we’re not very cool. We just make music to please ourselves and we’re all suckers for catchy Pop music, so that’s what we write. It’s been said that our sound isn’t current and we’re not exactly what radio is looking for at the moment. But we give a grand total of zero-fu*ks about that. Yeah sure, we’d be lying if we said we don’t want people to like our music but we’re not going to change our sound because of what some people think.
London can be quite an oppressive environment in that respect (well, in many respects) but Bare Traps is about giving London the middle-finger and just getting on with it.
London is a fickle mistress – one we can’t live with and one we can’t live without. It’s tough living in London and Bare Traps provides us with enough good vibes to keep afloat.
If you had to select an album each that have meant the most to you; what would they be and why?
Sam: Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here. I had heard the single but I found the album a few years ago on vinyl and couldn’t believe how good each song is.
Luke: This is a ludicrously tough question to answer as there are just so many albums I love. I’ve got a lot of memories that are sound-tracked by Bloc Party – Intimacy, though. I feel like I came of age to that record, and I kind of feel that band really found their sound on that album too – so it coincided nicely.
Liam: Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way. Along with Californication, this is one of the first albums I can remember listening too. My dad was obsessed with the band and that this album was on constantly in the car.
Scott: Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. It came out around the time I first began to learn drums and really influenced my playing. So much so that I sacked-off my drum tutor and just taught myself to play by playing along to that record.
Who are the new artists you recommend we investigate?
One of our best mates, Poté. He’ll blow your balls and/or tits off! He’s receiving loads of love from Annie Mac at Radio One at the mo. He’s super-original and there’s so much soul in his production and writing. The guy’s going to be huge. Our drummer, Scott, also drums for him when he does his live show. Watch this space!
Have you any advice for songwriters coming through at the moment?
Errrm, no. But, if anyone has any advice for us that would be great. Actually, stay true to yourself (is probably the best advice we can give). Don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll be happy if you just get that record deal – not that we’d know, but anyway, sack that! Just make music that makes you happy; maybe your mum. It’s nice when your mum genuinely likes your music.
Finally, and for being good sports, you can each select any song you like and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Sam: Homeshake – Call Me Up
Luke: Will Joseph Cook – Take Me Dancing
Scott: Palace – Live Well
Liam: Clean Cut Kid – Leaving You Behind
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