Friday, January 8, 2010

CrimsonFaced Interview: Rising from the Lunatic Binge

(Click the title to download this episode)

Lead singer, writer, and composer, Mike Trapp of CrimsonFaced compares himself to the likes of “Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, King Crimson, Ozzy, Sabbath, Nirvana, The Beatles, Zeppelin, Cheap Trick, Van Halen, Stone Temple Pilots, Steve Vai, Beethoven, My Chemical Romance, Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa were all thrown into a blender with some Tequila and strawberries... Then add a bong hit or two...,” Trapp said. Well, honestly, he is not that far off.

Released in March 2009, his latest album, Lunatic Binge kicks off with the fan favorite, “Pretty People”, which is a quick jolt of Trapp’s persona and barely scratches the surface of what to expect from the rest of the album, but the real fun begins with the song, “Sublime”. Here is where Trapp reduces the screams to lyrics that can be understood and the poetry of his inner Trent Rezner poet makes the appearance with his songs of pain, melancholy, and regrets that sheds with deep crimson red.

Without any help of a back-up bassist, drummer, or even guitar Trapp is a one-man band and did it all himself at his personal studio he calls, “Sober Sucks”. Trapp’s library of three albums over the course of six years under his belt was created under pure adrenaline and done for self-preservation of the soul. Preservation from the pains and trials of working in a job that paid very little with hours of daily commuting, his wife leaving him along with her embezzeling brother, and then losing his job, followed with losing his house. From this tragic fallout, Trapp went into a deep and dark place.

In much of Trapp’s music, the sounds of his troubles are an echo throughout most of his music. From this dark place, Trapp created his best work. It isn’t forced or transparent. It is true honesty in the raw and while it feels a little like ease dropping in on his thoughts, it is well worth knowing his dirty little secrets, because the combination of industrial and experimental rock rises from the depths of his personal hell to create “kicks-ass” music in Trapp form.

I had a one-on-one talk with the CrimsonFaced man, Mike E. Trapp and here was our crazy conversation:
(After seeing his library of music) Whoa! How much music do you have? Do you have time for live performances or do you spend all your time in the studio?
Well I took a lot of time off from bands, got sick off all the politics, all that music you are hearing is me and only me spending countless hours getting a lot off my chest.
I can understand how this industry could do that to you.
So, as I am listening to, "Terrified". It's sounds really close to "Head like a Hole" by Nine Inch Nails. It's different but similar. I like it....a lot. I miss that old sound NIN used to have. You sort of bring quality back. Was that your intention? To bring back that NIN style of music?
Terrified, yuppers exactly, I always wanted to add a little more of my vibe to Trent's stuff, The Fragile is in my top 10 CD's of all time. My main influences woud be Beatles, NIN, Nirvana, Yes, Steve Vai, with a crap load of others all crowded in my head.
Can you tell me a little bit about some of your music and why you wrote them?
Blameless, Crazy, Terrified, My Lover's Eyes - Are from the first CrimsonFaced CD, Captain Freak which was written and recorded between about April 2003 thru April 2004. Captain Freak was probably the darkest period of my life. I was drinking like crazy as you can hear in the song "Sober". I was angery as you can hear in "Terrified" (my inner Reznor in full force). Screaming, "I'm not that CRAZY" at my ex-wife. Looking in the mirrir and despising how bad I fucked up my life in, "Blameless". "My Lover's Eyes" though is kinda just a Beatles meets Bowie pop song that came through for some reason, not as wounded as the rest of the CD.
Meditations sounds different from most of your dark music. What was your motivation there?
Meditations is definitely about my girlfriend. You know that overwhelming feeling you get sometimes about how you could just die for someone. That's her. My favorite part is the "Day In the Life" orchestra build rip off. My AMAZING friend Paul Kurzweil who mixed all the music on The Alien Mike E.T. and Captain Freak mixed this one and just lengthened that section and said it needed something and it hit me like a fright train that part need a "Day In The Life" treatment. Unfortunately, Paul is going thru his own depression now and only mixed parts of Lunatic Binge. When I get the extra money for music I am DRAGGING his genius ass with me.
By the way, where did that name come from?
It made sense. I was drunk almost the entire recording of the CD, so my face was red a lot, so it worked for me.
Over what time period did you write those songs, that sort of thing?
Just before Captain Freak, I recorded the instrumental CD The Furious Guitar under the name The Alien Mike E.T. (same dark period) I just neeed an outlet for my anger and creativity.
What motivated you to write such great music?
Commuting to work, hating life, hating everybody and everything. But, as luck would have it, my job I commuted to was bought and sold and closed. AHMEN! The best day of my life. So, in June 2006, I was unemployed and after doing 90 hour commuting and working for 6 years, I just fucked off for 6 months and wrote a lot, but not focused enough to finish anything. Then more luck as the house went into foreclosure and our divorce was final. Then I got a job at Circuit City and they wenyt bankrupt. I went bankrupt, the house finally foreclosed (whoooo hoooo!) I was FREEEEEEEEE!
What else have you been doing this past year besides the release of Lunatic Binge?
This past FEB of 2009, I was self employedd doing music for the first time, had a fun side cover band project making some cash, writing and recording for B movies, radio spots, anything I get my hands on. SLOWLY, SLOWLY I am making some more money from music.
Do you have plans on some new music?
Actually recording a lot of soundtrack stuff, plus working on the next Alien Mike E.T. instrumental CD called, Psychobabble. It's way over the top, I need to do that once in a while or I feel stifled. Probably early next year 2011. This year will be working on newtworking and doing the Psychobablle CD.

For more of Mike Trapp and CrimsonFaced

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