Synthesizers stacked on multi-level keyboard stands, stickered laptops, and a tangle of instrument cables running in and out of electronic gadgets create a web of chaos at the beginning of any Trasspassers show.
Watching the band set up, you wonder how in the world they remember which cable runs into which device. You start to worry about what would happen to them in case of a fire, what with all those cords running every which direction.
Once they start performing, however, those concerns evaporate and transform into the uncontrollable urge to dance.
The band is made of Greg Moore and Michael Jordan, the creative duo behind former Fayetteville band, Hosta.
The two have been performing as Trasspassers for about a year now, and recently released a four-song EP called No Dumpling via their Bandcamp page.
They’ll be at Smoke & Barrel tonight (Nov. 17) with Brooklyn-based band, Many Mansions. We caught up with them recently, and they were nice enough to answer some questions for us.
Fayetteville Flyer: What have you been listening to lately?
Trasspassers: Baths, Gold Panda, Youth Lagoon, Sbtrkt, Das Racist and Cool Kids.
FF: Where did the name come from?
Michael Jordan: A while back I was by the 112 Drive-In during the off season. On the marquee it said, “Trasspassers will be prosecuted.” It just stuck.
FF: Tell us a bit about your new songs. Where did you record them?
Greg Moore: We recorded them at Michael’s house with the dogs and clutter and his son jumping on the bed and wife walking in making comments and his other son watching TV all loud (listen close, you might hear some Adventure Time in the background). We had to take turns doing the vocals in the closet. Michael cooks some awesome food so that sustained us. Later, we took our recordings to Paul Boatright (that’s right, ‘Punkinhead’ Paul Boatright) who helped us unravel them and smooth them out. The songs came out of Paul’s studio sounding way different (also, way shorter).
FF: You guys were in Hosta before you started Trasspassers. How has your music evolved since then?
TP: Since Hosta, our music has basically become more and more electronic. Hosta was a band trying to fuse electronic music with rock(ish) type music and now we just have the electronic side. Now we are an electronic pop duo in the tradition of OMD, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure. We have always like to combine unexpected elements in our songs and that tendency continues. But these days we’ve become really heavy on the hip hop influences. Greg sounds like Ad-Rock sometimes. Michael’s got a very smooth falsetto.
FF: I’m always curious about how people write songs. Do you guys write together? Does someone bring in a song pretty well finished? Give us a glimpse into your songwriting process.
MJ: It’s really a combination of the two. Sometimes, one of us will bring in a drum track we’ve been working on and we jam around on it until we hear something we like and record it. And we’ll add layers together. That’s how 6 AM was written. The other times, Greg or I will come in with a mostly complete song. I can’t say that I’ve ever written a part specifically for Greg, or vice versa. We’ll just kind of say, “there’s something missing right here” and we’ll work on it until we find something we like.
FF: What are some other bands in Fayetteville that are doing interesting things right now?
TP: Voyageurs, Moon/Ruin, Egyptr, Wade Ogle has some cool stuff coming out, Swimming, missing some Messy Sparkles for sure.
FF: You guys have a show coming up on Thursday at Smoke & Barrel. What should people expect from a Trasspassers show?
GM: This will not be a rock show. We have beats, keyboards and lazer sounds and stuff. We like to keep the tempo up. You’ll find yourself wanting to grind with whoever’s next to you. We’re not a screamy band. We’ve got songs you’ll want to sing along with, but that’s not to say we don’t bring the noise… Michael can make his keyboard sound like a plane is crashing into the side of the building. You won’t want to miss that.