Cathartic release might mean something different to everyone. For Pittsburgh band Water Trash, it’s a return to the thrashing nature of garage rock. Their new album Pleasure Palace brings the band back to its roots after experimenting with jazz and funk. The 10-track project is part pummeling guitar, part rumbling drum, part synthy-organ all barreling towards hedonistic existence. Play it loud and get rowdy. As for what’s up with the band, we talked with Water Trash about the new album, how they’re coping stuck at home and what modern hedonism means to them.
HOW HAS THE SCENE IN PITTSBURGH INFLUENCED YOUR SOUND?
Our friends run a collective called Steel City Death Club and they have a lot of amazing bands involved like Daisy Chain, Ugly Blondes and Fortune Teller. All of those guys are great and it’s fun to try to keep up with them. When we were younger, Jackson Scott was a huge influence on us as he was the first Pittsburgher of our generation we saw achieving success that we could really identify with. Also, Pittsburgh has a lot of great dance nights like Diamond Life and Taste that have definitely changed the way we think about music.
FOR YOUR LAST RELEASE YOU FOCUSED ON JAZZ AND FUNK. WITH PLEASURE PALACE YOU’RE GETTING BACK TO YOUR ROOTS IN PSYCH ROCK. WHAT HAS THAT TRANSITION BEEN LIKE?
A lot of the ideas that led to Pleasure Palace actually date back to 2016/2017 before our first record was even out, so in some ways it’s more a case of finishing what we started. I do think this record is a better representation of us as a band though. Jazz Feet was a pretty deliberate attempt at doing something completely different. It was a happy accident that really only happened because we were gifted a bunch of studio time with local legend and friend David Granati. We really wanted to get weird with it and make something for the freaks of the world.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT OUTLOOK ON LIFE. WHAT ARE THE PITFALLS AND HIGH POINTS?
As an extrovert that rarely spends time at home other than sleeping, I just want to go places and hang with the homies real bad. However, I’ll say it has been nice to take this time and try to find something positive in the chaos. All of us have been writing every day falling back in love with making music with no expectations or goals in mind. Generally though, just trying to stay hopeful and remind myself that maximum pleasure awaits when this is all over!
HOW DO YOU ACHIEVE CLARITY IN A WORLD SURROUNDED BY MISGUIDED SHORT TERM PLEASURES?
Honest self-reflection. Healthy productivity. Doing yoga as a band. Lots of Wendy’s.
PLEASURE PALACE FEELS CATHARTIC, WHAT INFLUENCES ARE YOU BRINGING IN TO MAKE THIS CLASSIC GARAGE/PSYCH ROCK FEELING ALBUM?
Jim Morrison, The Shaggs and whiskey sours, the holy trinity of hedonism.
YOU MENTION WANTING THE ALBUM TO BE THE SOUNDTRACK FOR 21ST CENTURY HEDONISM. WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
Scrolling on Reddit and Morgantown, West Virginia.
WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT, EVERYONE FEELS A NEED FOR SOME SORT OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT. WHAT BRINGS YOU INSTANT GRATIFICATION?
Creating and sharing it with the world. Listening to Beach Boys isolated vocals. The youtube recommendation algorithm.
AND WHAT ABOUT THE DEEPER SATISFACTION, WHAT ARE YOU SEARCHING FOR AND CAN IT BE FOUND IN THIS ALBUM?
I’ve yet to figure that out, but I’m sure it’s in the album somewhere.
THIS ALBUM IS MEANT TO SET THE TRUTH FREE. WHICH TRUTHS ARE RELEASED THROUGH PLEASURE PALACE?
Death is inevitable, so just pleasure yourself.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR WATER TRASH? ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
We are hard at work on our next record(s) and can’t wait to get back to playing shows and touring when it’s safe to do so again. Other than that, read a book, write a song and stay healthy friends!
Photo by Kinsey Cheran