Tram - Interview

08/04/2001, par Guillaume Sautereau | Interviews |
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In 1999, very few records compared to "Heavy Black Frame", Tram's fist album. This was the first jewel of a collection that is now completed by the release of "Frequently Asked Questions". It is about time Paul Anderson told us a little bit more about the mystery of this irresistible music.

TRAM - by Joe DillworthCan you tell us a bit about Tram's history and the recording of this new album ?
I used to play in a band with Nick before Tram. It was called Binhoker and it was a thrashy punk style band. I was not the singer in this band but wrote the music. I wanted to try something new so I left the band and spent about 6 months writing songs that were to later appear on 'Heavy Black Frame'. During this period Nick and I were playing as part of the live set up in a friends band called Broken Dog. Clive and Martine from Broken Dog later became part of Tram's live band as well. I was approached by a small label called Piao! who put out our first 2 singles and later 'Heavy Black Frame' which was recorded at Broken Dog's studio during 1989.

Due to heavy workloads Tram and Broken Dog decided to concentrate wholly on their on projects. Also during this time Piao decided to fold so we had no record deal. Then we signed recording agreements with Setanta & Jetset
(U.S.) and were able to set up our own recording studio at home where we recorded and produced 'Frequently Asked Questions' during Apr-Oct 2000. We invested in a computer based recording system which we had no previous experience of so we spent a long time reading instruction manuals. This is where the inspiration for the album title came from. In an attempt to broaden Tram's sound we employed many different musicians including strings and horns all recorded in my sitting room! Hopefully with the experience gain from making this album the next one will not be quite so stressful!

You have obviously evolved since heavy black frame the sound is richer, rounder, is this all down to the difference of technology used for the recording ?
Obviously the technology helped in so much as we were able to work with more tracks simultaneously but I think being more in control of the production meant that we were able to be more adventurous in terms of arrangements. I also made a conscious effort to evolve the sound of 'FAQ compared to 'HBF'. 'HBF' was a lot more sparse and a darker feel. Whereas 'FAQ' is slightly more optimistic.

Your previous album was called " Heavy Black Frame ", on the cover of the new one we can see the heavy black frame of a dismantled aeroplane... is there a link ?
Not really. We just really liked the photograph. The colours and composition were really good. There was something about it that fitted with the contents of the album. The picture of the wind sock on the back was taken from a disused airfield in Scotland near the studio where we recorded a large part of " Heavy Black Frame ".

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