The Trend are a Manchester band who first came together in the late 70's signed to Universal Music Group on the MCA label. To our delight they Reformed in 2016 recently releasing their their new album Bella Vega. Like all the good music I discover is starts with the LUCKY BAG SHOW on Target Radio. Rik & Brian are huge supporters of the band and rightly so. The Trend may have matured throughout the years but with that has come experience. Bella Vega is superbly written with colourful catchy lyrics and a power pop & punk rock vibe throughout.
As i discovered the band on the LUCKY BAG SHOW I felt it was only right to get a quote from one of the Presenters.
'In these days when so much is hype n high trousered nonsense , The Trend are one of those really time served bands who know the craft and learnt their art, the long hard road way. Crafted, careful and considered, they are a rock art lovers rock band and as such, a very, very rare beast these days.'
(Presenter - LUCKY BAG SHOW, TIP TOP POP SHOW)
The whole band collectively contribute to writing new material. How does the process start and what does each member bring to the song writing process?
Good opening question. It varies from song to song. One member may have a riff, another may have a chorus line. Having five songwriters obviously can become a bit heated when everyone is trying to put their two pence in but we find it works very well for us as a band. We are very lucky in that we have our own 24 track studios set up in the rehearsal room, so everything is recorded. One particular idea may take a couple of months before it comes to fruition but that is the beauty of our particular song writing process. Indeed, we have one song that has been lying around now for about twelve months with just the intro and first verse and chorus recorded. We then go back and re-evaluate. It is a bit Pink Floyd but as I said we are lucky in having our studio set up. We arrive at rehearsal and plug in and save everything. There are some good outtakes.
The band formed during the explosion of Punk rock in the late 70’s which was a great time for British music. What was it like to be part of the music scene at that time?
Fantastic. You know if you were lucky enough to be around during a musical and cultural revolution you are indeed in a privileged position. The atmosphere during Punk and the Post Punk years was amazing. I could go and watch a band 7 nights a week at venues ranging from the Apollo in Manchester down to The Dog and Duck in Ancoats. The whole ethos of the time was very much a D.I.Y. situation. We used to put our own gigs on at many local Town Halls and other venues and indeed promoted gigs. Every time we did this it was a sell out with sometimes 4 bands on each gig.
Great days and hopefully the younger generation will find the same appeal rather than being stuck in the iPhone age. Not only on the live front, the Record Company A & R chaps were scouring the country looking for bands to sign. There was an occasion in The Trends early days where we had EMI, A&M, and MCA records all at the same gig and all eager to look after you.
The band has had various glowing reviews since releasing the new album ‘Bella Vega’ including multiple air play on various radio stations. What has people’s reaction to the album been like for you personally?
A fantastic response. Don’t forget this is the first new material that The Trend has written since 1981. Wow. Just let that sink in folks. I think doing this album will enable the band to move forward into new directions and new horizons. Obviously having a track record and all our back catalogue there is an expectancy to sound as you previously did. This was taken into consideration in the song writing process with our usual catchy hook lines and trademark four-part harmonies, but we all feel we have now moved forward. I promise you the next one will go even further in the stretching of those creative boundaries.
You have supported the Salford Jets on more than one occasion tell me about your relationship with the band?
They are old friends and its always good fun to share the billing with old friends.
We come from the same school of thought in many ways. The Jets were doing in Salford what we were doing on East Manchester, promoting their own gigs, and garnering massive attention from the London major Record Companies.
You have appeared on the TIP TOP POP SHOW on several occasions. A YouTube channel set up to promote the best of underplayed, underappreciated music of today. Tell us about appearing and your thoughts on the show in respect to showcasing The Trend and other music?
What Brian Mitchell and Rik Bardsley are doing has to be applauded. They are fantastically supportive of our band and indeed many other bands. It's a lovely set up that they have, and we will continue to support them as they have supported us and the many other bands who have appeared on their show.
I urge your followers to give them a good looking at on their LUCKY BAG TV YouTube channel. It's ace.
Tell me about your relationship with BBC Radio presenter Mike Sweeney who is a huge fan I am told?
Mike Sweeney is very much like Marmite.
Some love him as his tens of thousands of listeners are a testament to, others find him a bit arrogant and self-promotional.
I have known Sweeney for many years now and he's never been any different. I have always taken him at face value and to be fair he has done a lot for Manchester.
As I said though, Marmite.
Mark, there are clear references in your voice to the people who influence your sound vocally, one that comes to my mind for me is David Bowie. Tell me more about some of the music or artists that influence you?
Very kind and very astute of you to notice. I do like to wear my musical influences on my sleeve, and they don't get much better than Mr B.
He was a massive influence on me in my musical upbringing as were Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and countless others. Bowie himself always said he was a musical chameleon, changing and taking his influences from whatever surroundings he found himself in.
If I'm considered to be in that company, I'll settle for that. Thanks.
I always like to learn the story behind the music and lyrics, pick any three songs from the New album and tell me about them?
This started off as an idea that Jake the bands lead guitarist sent to me. We then got together and did not have any lyrics which were ready or appropriate. Scotty the bands bassist had an idea from a whole load of songs that he had written the lyrics after The Trend with his band Suburban Daze. So, we decided to write the whole thing around his old lyrics and song titles.
The song is dedicated to his old song writing partner John Done who sadly died a few years back.
Vote For Me.
Charlie the bands rhythm guitarist had this riff which he was playing more like a punky Motorhead style. We started chucking ideas around and it just wasn't working at all. John the bands drummer came up with the idea of playing his parts at half tempo style which completely turned the song on its head.
Another example of how the song writing process works so very well within this band.
Tune Me In.
This song was one of the last songs written back in 1981.
Charlie and I had come up with a melody and Scotty and myself worked on the lyric.
Fast forward to this album and we could not remember certain parts of the old song so just came with a new collaboration. Again, the beauty of working with five exceptionally talented individuals.
The band unfortunately split in 1981, who knows what could have been? Tell us the story behind the band reforming again in 2016 and why the split and for so long?
The split was the usual stuff that bands did back then, and this is now.
We were approached in 2016 by a major promoter Tony Mercer, Tony is now a World-famous promoter with his incredibly famous Imperial Ice Stars and puts on Ice extravaganzas all over the World. His two favourite bands when he first started off as a young roadie back in the day were The Trend and The Salford Jets.
Tony approached me on Facebook with the idea of he would love to see us back playing a gig together in Manchester.
I then contacted the band and we all just totally gelled when we started playing together again.
Since 2017 when we did the gig with Tony The Trend have put out two albums, an EP and have been featured on two compilation albums most notably Harmony In My Head ( The best of New Wave 77 to 81) where we were alongside the likes of Costello, Buzzcocks, Nick Lowe and Squeeze to name a few.
So yes, it’s been busy.
How has the music landscape changed for you personally and the band over the years?
Massively and not for the good of music.
I really hope that a new generation of budding singers and musicians get playing and writing. The proliferation of the Simon Cowell / Louis Walsh hogwash that we must put up with is dire.
Nobody wants to learn the ropes anymore. Playing dingy little pubs to twenty people then rocking out to a thousand at a University gig unfortunately seems to be a thing of the past. This is how you learnt your craft. It was and still is an apprenticeship where you honed your craft as an entertainer and artist. Sadly, a lot of this year’s model want to appear on a TV show when they have only done two karaoke gigs before that. It will change, it always does, and it will be for the better.
Is there anything you have coming up or anything we can look forward to once lockdown restrictions have been lifted?
God you've saved the hardest till last.
Who knows? Very sad times but as a band The Trend are straight away working on the follow up to Bella Vega, which we hope will be bigger and better.
Get the album bought folks. Its a cracker.
Thanks very much for the interview from myself and the rest of the band.
Mark Revell: Lead Vocals/Front-man
Charlie Vincent: Rhythm Guitar
Jake Higgs: Lead Guitar
Steve Scott: Bass Guitar
John Woodruff: Drums & Music Producer
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