Interview: Trixter “Gives It To Us Good” All Over Again

TrixterGrowing up in Bergen County, New Jersey, is not such a bad thing! You have easy access to New York City, all of the major malls, the finest diners, and Trixter! Trixter was a staple to the New Jersey music scene since forming in 1983 in lovely Paramus, NJ, when childhood buddies—singer Pete Loran and guitarist Steve Brown—set out for world dominance. After a year of writing songs and learning their craft in Steve Brown’s parent’s basement, they added drummer Mark “Gus” Scott to the band. Trixter would begin to play the NJ/NY club circuit building an abnormally huge fan base in the process. It wasn’t until 1988 when bassist PJ Farley would join the band to finalize the line-up that would gain them international success.

In May of 1989, Trixter landed a record deal with the now defunct MCA Records, who would release their debut self- titled CD one year later. They would receive top honors for their singles “Give It to Me Good,” “One In A Million,” and “Surrender,” giving their debut CD three Top 50 singles on the Billboard charts and three number one MTV music videos. In 1992, Trixter would release their sophomore effort, Hear. Unfortunately, in the midst of the whole grunge takeover, Hear didn’t do as well on the charts as Trixter did, and the band was dropped by MCA. That didn’t stop Trixter from recording though! In 1994, the band would record a full CD of cover songs in Steve Brown’s home studio called Undercovers, but Trixter would soon realize that their brand of pop metal had run its course. Soon after, Trixter would break up!

Now, 13 years later, Trixter has risen from the Music Cemetery of America, and are back on their “rocking horse!” Back in July, all four original members rocked the stage of Rocklahoma 2008, which is where they reunited the band for the first time, and now they’re ready to bring the show home to New Jersey! On Nov. 28, the day after Thanksgiving, Dexter’s in Riverdale, NJ, will get to play host to Trixter’s long-awaited homecoming! Also performing will be my band, Hostel Inc., which features Trixter’s former label mate, Ray West, on vocals and long time local friends, T.N.A. I got to sit down with the boys from the mighty Trixter to talk about reuniting, the homecoming, and a bunch of other crap. Here’s how it went down:

What brought on this reunion after 13 years?

Steve Brown: I think that what we’ve all been saying was that it was never a question of if we were going to do this?It was more of a question on when. I mean, after the success we had in the early ‘90s, we had a tremendous run, and the music business changed, so we all went on to do separate things. Here we are now in 2008 and Trixter is back and better than ever!

What spurred it on was two years ago, Pete and I were out at the NAMM show in Anaheim, CA, where all of the music companies do this big trade show out there, and we were just hanging out walking around as bros, having some fun and drinking some beers, no Trixter reunion in our minds yet, and all of a sudden people just kept on coming up to us going, ‘Oh, man! It’s really great to see you guys back together! When are you playing?’ And we were just looking at each other and laughing going, ‘What?’

Pete Loran: I thought that was just weird when people would stop us and just say, ‘Hey, you’re the guys from Trixter!,’ and I would think, ‘How the hell would anyone know that?’ Then 20 minutes later someone else would stop us and say the same thing. It was really bizarre!

SB: Yeah, we were just out there having some fun! I was doing some product demos for some of the companies that I’m endorsed by, and that kind of got it going. We wound up doing some interviews, and we were just cracking up! Me and Pete kind of looked at each other and were like, ‘This felt really good!’

PL: And then the wheels started turning in Steve’s head, and he called me a few days later and asked what I thought about jumping back out there and seeing what happens? We both agreed that if we did do it, the only way to do it, would have to be with everybody being the original members, which was another feat in itself!

SB: For me, that was when I kind of said, ‘You know, I think that it’s time that we do this! We’re not getting any younger, and we still want to get out there while we’re still healthy, happy, and pretty!’ (laughs)

Mark “Gus” Scott: When I first learned about it a couple of years ago, I was getting a bunch of emails asking me, ‘How come you guys aren’t playing at Rocklahoma?,’ and I was like, ‘What the fuck is a Rocklahoma?’ When I finally figured it out, I thought that a four-to-five day rock fest was unbelievable! It also came to a point where Poison asked us if we wanted to open for them on their 2008 summer tour! So, we were like, ‘Holy crap! Obviously there’s a marketplace for us to go out and do something! And there’s somewhat of a demand for it!’ So we said, ‘Sure let’s do this!’

PJ Farley: When I was first approached about this, I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive just because I wasn’t sure how we would be able to sell it. I wanted make sure that if we did do this, that it would be genuine and effortless. I thought, ‘Shit, man! It’s been so long! We’re not the same people! It’s not the same band. I don’t know if we can do that effortlessly!’ I was apprehensive to commit to doing something only to find out later that this doesn’t feel right and that it was gonna be kind of a farce! The thing that definitely softened things up was when the four of us got into a room, which was only once like a week before Rocklahoma, the chemistry went right back to normal and I saw how effortless that was. From that point on, I was just like, ‘All right, this will be a no-brainer!’