DH: First, tell us something about your development as musicians. How long does Trauma Pet exist and when and how did you meet? How did you get the idea for the name of the group?
Elie: I used to be a concert pianist. I have been playing piano since the age of 3 with the idea to become professional. I took up guitar by myself as a teenager and late the flute when I was 21. During that time I also experimented with different musical genres – my first band was a punk band and then I moved on to ambient electronica before I returned to my synthpop roots. I have always loved mood and melody and Trauma Pet is the culmination of years of musical discovery.
The band name is a different story – we wanted something that would stand out but we weren’t sure what. At the time when the band was first formed I was going through quite an upheaval and it was a difficult time. I felt that emotional trauma was fast becoming part of my life. The idea for the band name stemmed from these thoughts. Fortunately I was wrong about times remaining bad indefinitely though!
Tara: I am self taught and have always been in band since I was about 14. Elie and I formed the band just over two years ago but we've been friends for nearly five. We met at a club in Southampton one night and just really hit it off. Elie came up with the name and we both loved it, we just thought it was really different.
Pete: I have never had any music training. I simply got into music by listening to other bands and realising that I have an innate need to create my own.
DH: Which roots in a musical sense do you have? Are you a synth pop or an electro band?
Elie: Our roots are strongest with synth pop primarily, but we have a lot of electro and electro rock influences. We also have other influences – I can’t deny that my classical music training has shaped how I write and conceive music. Tara:
Pete: I like very few bands, but those bands are fairly wide ranging. I’m into Bowie, NIN, Depeche Mode, Pink Floyd, The Cardigans – among a few others. Tara: My musical tastes are vast. My first love was Duran Duran when I was about five years old, I still love them now. My other passion is for a band called Anathema, I just love them, their sound and the emotion they convey in their music. I guess we are an electro band as we use many different tools to create our sound including guitars, not just synths.
DH: Your music combines pop and electro. Why did you decide to make such music? Is this something that comes deep from your mind?
Elie: We didn’t make a decision as such. The form our music takes is pretty natural and it is all about going with the flow and trying to be true to our own musical identities.
Pete: Real music isn’t planned – it just happens.
Tara: We didn't decide to combine anything, the sound is just a product of what we do, nothing is contrived it simply comes from feelings and emotions.
DH: Your new CD is called "You cannot feel this”. Is this your first release or had there been other releases before? How did you get the deal with your label Line Out Records?
Elie: We had a self produced EP for sale before the album but I doubt it really qualifies as a release, so yes this is Trauma Pet’s debut album. A Line Out Records’ rep came to one of our gigs and was very enthusiastic about our music. We had some interest from other labels as well but Line Out offered us not only full support but they also believed in us and our music. You really cannot put a price on that in a world where music has become to commercialised.
DH: A lot of songs on the CD are very dark. Is this a reflection of your lives and of the society in which you are living?
Elie: It is a reflection of both but not in a total of ways. We are not unhappy or depressed but our music is a way of venting particular feelings.
Pete: I find dark music a lot more interesting than its lighter equivalent. Happy thoughts come across a tad cliché when expressed musically I find - although a lot of ‘neutral’ music is very good too.
Tara: They're not all dark, some are very positive. Music is always influenced by your own experiences and surroundings, the best songs always come from the heart.
DH: Trauma Pet seems to me a band that likes to experiment with new sounds and noises. Am I right?
Elie: In the sense that where we want to do something we will do it regardless of whether it is unusual sounding or not!
Tara: We always have fun experimenting to see what sounds we create. That’s part of the fun of making music, some experiments work better than others. If we didn't see what we could create we would just sound like everyone else, it's good to be different.
Pete: What happens, happens – regardless of whether if it seen as experimental or not.
DH: My favourite song on your CD is "The Darkness Inside". In which circumstances did you record this song? Are there any experiences that influenced you when recording this song?
Elie: The Darkness Inside is a more recent track which we performed live for the first time only last December. I guess it is inspired by all those who are prepared to go through all the darkness and misery life has to offer for the sake of someone else.
DH: Eleanor and Tara, you are the vocals of Trauma Pet. Had it been a special challenge for you personally to record this album?
Elie: Yes. Not in the sense of actually singing or hitting the notes, but in the sense of providing the right vocal expression. These are songs that have been born of incredibly personal and emotional experiences and therefore it was of the utmost important to us to express it and present it as well as was humanly possible for us. That did provide an element of pressure, however such pressure can actually work to an advantage: the excitement and the rush can often lead towards a better performance.
Tara: I just do the backing vocals which are more fun than challenging, Elie has the hard bit.
DH: If you could change the world, what would you do? Pete: Get rid of our species’ dependence on hydrocarbons.
Tara: Instil tolerance, respect and love into the psyche of all, I think that would solve all problems. Then make it snow loads and go boarding.
DH: Do you have contact with other electro bands in your region? Are you collaborating together? Can you imagine remixing songs of other electro bands? Do you have any favourites?
Elie: Yes, we are on very good terms with quite a few bands in the UK in our particular genre. We haven’t as yet written actual songs together but a few bands such as Seize are doing some remixes for us. XP8 in Italy are also remixing ‘The Darkness Inside’ for us. As yet we haven’t remixed anything ourselves although we are going to remix a song by The Last Dance. There are quite a few up and coming bands here in the UK such as Faetal, Deathboy, Colt, Ovni and Swarf.
Pete: Scarlet Soho are definitely worth checking out. My band Faetal has already been mentioned by Elie. Tara: We are friends with lots of other bands and remixes are being done as we speak.
DH: Which further plans do you have with Trauma Pet in the near future?
Elie: Right now we are working on album promotion and a tour. After that we will probably take a break from live gigs and work on new material. We may also potentially release a remix EP, but this is not certain yet.
DH: Thank you very much for answering our questions. We wish you good luck and much success. Your final words please:
Pete: Thankyou! Our album is being released on the 17th of April and distributed worldwide. Please check out our mini site www.youcannotfeelthis.com for previews.
Interview: Andreas Ohle