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Built In A Human Era: An Exclusive Interview with TRIXTER’s PJ FARLEY

By Wendy Jasper, Black Metal Aficionado
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 6:20 PM

"I think that the title track means the most to me because it summarizes us as a band and as friends; and it summarizes our career"

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Live Photos By Larry Petro

Good music stands the test of time and fans can carry it with them from generation to generation. Those who celebrated the 80’s and early 90’s were able to party in what we can now coin a “Human Era”. That just also happens to be the title of the latest TRIXTER album. Bassist PJ Farley, vocalist Pete Loran, drummer Mark ‘Gus’ Scott and guitarist Steve Brown began a lifelong friendship that eventually became one of the strongest bands of the party rock decade.

Music media capitalized on the age of the band members because they were a tad younger than the average band on the road, and this revelation didn’t hurt their chances for fame. “Give It To Me Good” was an instant hit and was given heavy rotation on MTV and rock radio. Follow up singles like “Surrender” and “One In A Million” gained just as much popularity and garnered the band a coveted spot on WARRANT’s Blood, Sweat And Beers Tour.

TRIXTER’s self-titled debut and it’s follow up album, Hear, produced some of the finest hard rock of the era. The grunge revolution threw many good bands off course and some didn’t recover until such a huge demand for their music ensued in this decade. It is to the extreme pleasure of many fans that TRIXTER has resurfaced.

In 2012 the band released New Audio Machine and now, in 2015, Human Era, has hit the shelves and it’s a solid record.

In a time before cell phones, tablets and wireless internet, bonds were forged by spending time together in ways that didn’t involve having your head buried in an “app”. That is the story behind the new CD’s title track and it sets the tone for one of the best albums of the year.

“The song is absolutely about how the things that connect us the most can also be the very things that disconnect us from each other and what is going on around us,” Farley said. “The song is really more of an ode to, or a nod, to connection. This was an idea had been in my head for a while and when the label approached us about doing another record with them, I had the chance to share what I was thinking with the rest of the band. Steve, Pete and Mark loved the idea and the thing I thought about most was that after all this time, we are still making music together. I think we grew up in an era where you really had to be friends and you didn’t have to read between the lines like you would with text messages or emails. You had to be face to face, on the phone, in the same practice room or studio and today’s world is so very different from that. I really think human contact is part of the reason we are still together now. We started this band very young and we are all still the best of friends.”

Frontiers Records has been very supportive of the band. Their first effort for the label was well received by fans and critics alike so the label felt that it was time to pull the band back into the studio and work on new tracks. Logistically, recording the album was a bit different than when TRIXTER first entered the scene in the late 80’s because technology has improved and allowed them to work from a distance if necessary. Loran now lives and performs regularly in Arizona with his other music projects, but the rest of the band is still in their native Jersey area, which made the writing and recording process run smoothly.

“I think everything now is a step by step process with the band. Frontiers approached us to do New Audio Machine a few years back and we felt the time was right because we had been back together and doing some live shows and were to the point musically that we felt we could do a new record,” Farley said. “We were back in our comfort zone on stage and we worked on the new music and it flowed really well. At the time, we didn’t really talk about another record but the idea wasn’t off the table. Then, around the spring of year they called and asked if we were going to do another one and we said yes. The recording process for Human Era was the same as before because Pete is in Arizona but the rest of us all still live very close to each other so it made it easier for the recording of the music. Once we have all that done, Pete sends us the vocals and we finish it that way.”

While many acts of the same genre continuously tour small venues and take long road trips, TRIXTER is more apt to book weekend gigs in larger markets or at festivals because of the costs and distances required for touring. Fans have been fortunate that the band has been able to book shows in so many markets over the past few years and each show has been well attended.

“Touring is really not something that we look at as far as long term road trips. For us to get on a bus and go out on the road for a summer tour, we would have to go out on a big package or it’s not really feasible,” he said. “It has to be worth our while and a headlining tour is not an option, but we do want to play so we try to work in as many shows as we can. Many of the bands in our genre fly out for weekend shows and that is what we do as well; but if a big package wanted to take us out on something lucrative we would likely entertain it. We love to schedule shows in the larger markets and we will try to do several shows over this year.”

After so many years, the ability to put out music that has been so well reviewed is an accomplishment and some of the songs particularly stand out to Farley.

“I think that the title track means the most to me because it summarizes us as a band and as friends; and it summarizes our career,” he said. “ "Rockin’ To The Edge Of The Night” has a special place in my heart because it is one of the first songs we ever wrote when we first started the band and were playing the under-age clubs. It was always a staple in our set while we were playing as a local band but we had so many other songs that came after that it got lost in the shuffle. I’m excited that we decided to use it for this record. “Beats Me Up” is a great ballad and “Midnight In Your Eyes” is also really different for us. It’s heavier and Pete just nailed it vocally. It’s a different sounding song for us and every time I hear it I am proud of it. “Every Second Counts” also has a really good flow to it. I think overall we are very proud of this record.”

For more TRIXTER, check them out at www.Trixterrocks.com and be sure to pick up a copy of Human Era in whatever format you prefer, be it humanly tangible or digital.

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