Chuck Collins, Dave Batovsky, Chris Meszler, & Brian Daniloski - Trephine

September 14, 2005


Photo Credit: www.trephinemd.com

Introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about you.

Chuck: Hi, I'm Chuck. I play guitar. I'm a Libra. Dave and I have been in Trephine since we started the band in 1998 so we're coming up on eight years.

Dave: I'm Dave. Percussion in Trephine from Baltimore. I'm a Scorpio.

Brian: I'm Brian. Gemini. Bassist.

Chris: Chris, Leo, drums.

I'm a Leo too. Cool.

Chris: A lot of people are.

You guys have been around since 1998. Describe your music.

Chuck: Heavy instrumental. Math rock sort of weirdness.

Dave: Prog leanings I guess you could say.

Brian: Leaning towards prog but not really.

I was listening to the CD on the way down here. What do you mean by math exactly?

Chuck: Just playing a lot of different odd time signatures and switch it up a bit. Do a lot of algebra.

Brian: While we're playing, we whip out the pocket calculators and an abacus.

Chuck: I use an abacus myself.

I always sucked in algebra.

Band: Me too.

Who writes the songs? Do you all collaborate?

Chuck: It's pretty much a collaborative effort. Sometimes one of us will come in to the practice space with ideas. Other times we'll hash things out from jamming. Sometimes it's a really long arduous process. Sometimes they come out real quick. Our writing style is different from song to song.

Brian: We try to record as much as we can. Practices and then we listen to them and say ďhey, letís take thatĒ and create a song out of that. Itís worked several times.

Do you ever come up with something cool and listen to it again and then have a hard time redoing it?

Chuck: Yeah, thatís why taping is very important.

Dave: Yeah, weíve come up with really cool stuff and just completely forgotten it.

Chuck: We wrote the best song ever 100 times.

You just do instrumental music and donít worry about vocals.

Chuck: Nah.

Dave: I canít sing.

Brian: One less thing to worry about. Thereís so much going on musically too.

Chris: I donít even know what a singer would do.

One less mouth to feed and one less guy to pay.

Brian: Thereís nobody saying a bunch of stupid shit. At least not through a microphone while weíre playing.

Chuck: Yeah, we say lots of dumb shit all the time.

Might as well not do it on stage. When you guys compose songs, what goes through your minds? Do you ever really think about anything youíre going to do or do you just start playing?

Chuck: Like I said, itís always different. Sometimes we have little themes in our heads like big beards and a bunch of goats.

Dave: Yeah, weíll write stuff around an idea. Tell her how you call your own cell phone with riffs.

Chuck: Yeah, sometimes Iíll be at work and Iíll have a riff in my head. Iíll just call my cell phone and leave a message for myself. Try to go home and duplicate it. Sometimes I think about Steve Martin. Sometimes I think about zombie films. I donít know.

Brian: Or pets.

Or naked women on rooftops.

Chuck: That sounds pretty good. Weíll write one about that.

Thereís your next idea. It would be interesting if you guys did a video for one of your songs.

Chuck: With naked women on rooftops. We wrote a song about a friendís cat. We wrote two.

Dave: Yeah, ďMr. Wiggles Goes To HellĒ. Thatís about our friendís cat. Heís an interesting cat. I donít think heís around anymore.

Chuck: Yeah, heís a son of a bitch.

Chris: Cat fucker.

I guess he went to hell.

Dave: I think he did.

Chuck: Unfortunately.

Maybe you can write about Mr. Wiggles being resurrected from hell and turning into a zombie cat from hell.

Chuck: Thatís a good idea.

Dave: Next song idea.

Iíve got a million of them.

Chuck: Heís going to have hooks for paws.

Razor blades for claws.

Dave: Skill saw blades that spin.

How do you guys dream up titles for your songs?

Chuck: Just like this. We have a song called ďFake BeardĒ.

Dave: Sitting around being stupid. Sometimes there are flashes of inspiration.

Brian: Sometimes theyíre totally arbitrary.

Dave: If somebody says something weird, a light goes off.

Is there a lot of drinking involved?

Dave: As much as anybody else. Weíre not alkies. We like drinking though.

Brian: Weíre alcoholics.

Chuck: No, alcoholics go to meetings. Weíre just drunks.

There arenít too many of those running around. Thereís a screaming, yelling guy who sounds like heís having an enema downstairs. How long have you guys been out on the road?

Chuck: A week and a half now. We still have another four and a half weeks.

How has the tour been going?

Chuck: Itís been going great.

Dave: I think thatís the first band going on.

Chuck: It hurts. Whatever it is, it hurts.

Dave: Itís been going well. In my opinion.

Do you guys have a large following back home?

Dave: Medium sized.

Brian: Itís not huge. There are a lot of bands in Baltimore. Thereís a huge music scene there.

Are there a lot of bands that do your style of music or are you a bit unique?

Chris: I guess weíre kind of unique in what we do.

Dave: There are bands that we fit well with. We donít sound like any of them and they donít sound like us.

Chris: The Baltimore scene is definitely growing into itís own.

Brian: A lot of good heavy music coming out of Baltimore for sure.

Are you touring with other bands or touring by yourselves?

Band: Touring by ourselves.

Brian: We hook up with different bands from different regions that weíre friends with across the country.

Chuck: Weíre doing maybe almost a week with Mouth Of The Architect. Other than that, thatís probably about it as far as touring with other bands.

Are you guys having good sized crowds at the shows?

Chuck: Yeah, some nights weíve been doing really well.

This club is a pretty cool place to play.

Chuck: The band room is pretty cool.

Itís open air.

Dave: Itís pretty divey but weíre divey kind of guys. If we walk into some place too clean we feel weird. We donít belong in here.

Especially if you havenít had a shower in a week.

Dave: Weíve been pretty lucky. A lot of people have been putting us up. Pretty frequent showers. People have been very friendly.

Tell me about the CD. How long has it been out?

Dave: Since our inception.

Chuck: Some of the songs on the album have been around since Ď99. We recorded two EPs that were self-released and our friend J.R. started the label called Public Guilt when we were about a year into recording this album. We went through three drummers, a keyboard player, and another guitar player in the time that we recorded the record. Our engineer had two kids.

Dave: I guess it was nearly two years on the one that you have. I think almost two years. Not solid of course. Lots of little breaks here and there. It probably would have taken six months if we could have just worked on it straight through.

Chuck: The lineup changes definitely held us back quite a bit.

Dave: That and upgrades to equipment. Either ours or Johnís, our engineer. Heíd always tell us heís got a new thing now or heíd upgrade his equipment and be like ďwell, Iím going to start over now.Ē It would sound like us now and not us then. It makes more sense. So there was a little bit of that too.

Itís a long time in coming and a well crafted project.

Chuck: Oh yeah, weíre proud of this one.

Is this the first release or just the two EPs before this?

Chuck: We have the two self-released EPs. We did a song for a compilation that came out with a magazine. Expose Magazine out of California. It was a Whatís New In Baltimore compilation.

Dave: We also did a song for another compilation that never came out. Has yet to come out.

Chuck: Yeah, we donít know what the status of that one is right now. Itís supposed to be coming out with a book. He wanted to put out a compilation of music with it. I donít even remember what song we gave him. Honestly.

Dave: You know, I donít either.

Chuck: Itís been that long.

Maybe he ran into snags while he was writing.

Chuck: Possibly. We havenít heard from him in a while.

Are you guys working on any new material?

Dave: Weíve got a couple of new songs ready to go.

Chuck: Weíll do an EP in January I guess.

Dave: It might be a pretty lengthy EP.

Chuck: Yeah, it could turn into an album.

Any other thoughts or comments?

Chuck: Chris?

Chris: Itís good to be in Dallas.

Youíre too quiet. Youíre a Leo and should be more forceful.

Chris: Iím a drummer though.

Even more reason to be forceful. You beat up on things.

Brian: Heís totally shy. Weíre going to bring him out of his shell.

Trephine