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The High Times Interview: Trash Talk

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California’s Trash Talk have been thrashing stages and inciting mosh pit riots across the world for the past decade. The three-piece have been accompanied by different drummers, but the core trio has remained the same, creating a raucous sound that transcends punk rock and hardcore. Their last two albums have been released on Odd Future records, home to the rap group of the same name—yielding some notable tracks and collaborations. Beyond their menacing sound, Trash Talk are known for bringing a serious amount of stage presence whenever they play. Read on for an interview with vocalist Lee Spielman, guitarist Garrett Stevenson, and bassist Spencer Pollard.

Do you guys feel like you’ve been together for 10 years?

Lee: Sometimes it feels like we’ve been a band for an hour and sometimes it feels like we’ve been a band for 10 years. It’s weird being in a city that’s on the other side of the country and knowing where to go.

Was it easy for you guys to get accustomed to exploring different parts of the country while on tour?

Spencer: Throughout our time as a band there have been several times where we just kind of end a tour and stay there and go live somewhere else for a while. We lived in Philly and learned that city pretty well, and that extended to other parts of the East Coast. Then we moved out West and lived together in Seattle, Sacramento after that, the Bay, and now we’re in L.A.

Are you guys all smokers?

Lee: Hell yeah!

Was smoking cannabis something that you guys bonded over early on?

Garrett: No.
Lee: Didn’t you not even smoke when we started?
Garrett: I don’t know if I smoked. We were kind of in different places, you know what I mean? Weed, personally, I don’t think it’s so much of a bonding experience as just something that we do. It’s something that’s pretty much going on all the time.

Does cannabis serve as a creative tool for your music?

Garrett: Definitely, for me. I’m at my most creative when I’m smoking, and I’m in my comfort zone. I’m more about being comfortable. And I think that weed is the place that we all feel comfortable. I’m very connected to the music more so than if I’m sober.

It’s interesting to think about getting stoned before going to scream onstage.

Lee: I’m telling you, though, the other day I came onto the bus, and Garrett ate some weird weed fortune cookie. He did not look awake and he was stumbling around laughing. Then he just snapped into it.

Do you ever get too high to get up there and go crazy?

Garrett: There’s no such thing as that, really, anymore. I appreciate the set more when I’m pretty much maxed out, as far as that goes. It slows things down for me a lot and I’m able to appreciate playing and be more in tune with the music. If I’m drinking or another substance, it makes me give a fuck less. But when I’m stoned, I actually care about what I’m doing. I hear every single note.
Spencer: There’s also so much going on when you’re just drinking or stone sober. It’s not distractions, there’s just a lot of shit going on and your head is somewhere else.

What are you hoping the next few years of Trash Talk will bring?

Garrett: We’re supposed to go and record this summer and we have a bunch of projects that we’re working on.

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