Review Fix chats with Sketchy Trench’s Ralphie Trench, who discusses the band’s new EP, “FISH,” as well as the band’s origin and goals for the future.
Sketchy Trench is:
Ralphie Trench: Vocals/Guitar (& the one answering these questions)
Sexy J: Backing Vocals/Lead Guitar
Sketchy T: Bass/Headbanging
Chia: Beatin’ Skins & Wigglin’ Shins
Review Fix: How did the band get together?
Ralphie Trench: J and I were in a band together like 15 years ago, then recently we both ended up in San Antonio, so we decided to start something up again. Early last year, once we had some songs written, we put out a demo and found T and eventually Chia. We started playing shows in April ’17 with some mixed line-ups for a month or so, until we ended up with the current line-up. (Shout out to Executioner for letting me steal their bass player, and to Paul Bouffard for sending me like a dozen drummers, including the right one.)
Review Fix: How did you get started in music?
Trench: My dad was a musician, so instead of enrolling me in sports or whatever, he was always buying me drum sets and guitars. Been playing since I was 10 or 12, I guess. The rest of the band is the same, been playing music since we were young.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Trench: Usually just start with riffs; melodies and harmonies that pop into your head, or something cool you come across while messing around with an instrument. Lyrics are kinda secondary. The focus so far has been on keeping the music interesting and trying to avoid too much repetition. Then once we have a basic structure, we play it different ways until we like it.
Review Fix: What’s your standout song on the current album? How was it written?
Trench: The band seems to agree that “Plate” is the best song on the album. Maybe because it has a lot going on? and there is a bit of everything in there? (fast parts, slow parts, dual vocals, every instrument has some highlighted moments, etc…). The song is actually one of the first ones we wrote, although it has changed dramatically. Once we decide to record something, we spend a week or two tearing it apart and putting it back together, trying to come up with our favorite version of it.
All that being said, if any song is gonna stand out at all, it might be the song “Skirt” because it’s gonna be on the next BVI Records comp (thanks, Rich!). And we made a video for it:
Review Fix: What did you learn from this last album? How did it affect your future?
Trench: One thing we learned for sure is how much of a badass Tommy Munter is over at Matador Studios here in S.A. Honestly, we’re proud of our songs, but Tommy made the E.P. sound as good as it does. We’re already scheduling our next sesh with him, so that’s one way it affected the future. But another way is that every time we record, I always listen to the final product and find things I wish I would have done differently, or things I would have liked to add or remove. So hopefully the next time, I’ll just be a little more prepared, more critical, more patient.
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2018?
Trench: #1 goal is always play shows. That’s all I ever really wanna do. But we also have plans to record some splits, one with a rad S.A. punk band called Lemmings, and another with a killer S.A. thrash band called Violent Practice. Hopefully we’ll hit up SXSW in March. Then closer to summer we are planning to tour with San Antonio’s punk rock heavy hitters Knockin’ Chucks and Destroy Orbison. After that we plan to start a new album. And then throughout the year, we’ll sprinkle in a few music videos here and there.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard you?
Trench: Musicality in a two-minute punk song. Everything loud, everything fast.
Review Fix: How do you want your music to affect people?
Trench: Hopefully it makes them wanna skate, or start their own band, or come see us live. Or at the very least, bang their heads for a second.
Review Fix: Why is this new album special?
Trench: It’s not, I guess, in the grand scheme of things. But we love it. I gotta say tho, the artwork definitely is special – shout out to Evil Dave!
If you wanna hear how not-special it is for yourself, the album is on Spotify, Google Play, iTunes, YouTube and a bunch of other streaming sites.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Trench: We’re about to tour for a week and a half with our buddies Sonic Ammunition, (kick-ass S.A. street punk band). We’re gonna take the homie D’ante Speed with us, of Mach Speed Productions, to film the whole thing, so when we get back, we’ll have some legit documentation.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Trench: Thank you to our girlfriends, wives and families for taking all the neglect. Sorry.