Brief Discourse: Tram Cops

What’s brief discourse? A quick chat with an act that features in the CBB Best playlist. coming to you weekly, with plenty of locals!

This week it’s Melbourne lofi legends Tram Cops. They’ve just dropped an album and are playing a bunch of festivals and shows over the coming weeks. What a treat!

The new record, even in my dreams is out now. Can you tell us a little bit about what it touches on and how it all came together?

Hey, hi hello. It’s a pop album! It’s a pop album about life, and love, and MDMA and Jesus Christ and the Hebrew prophet Jonah being swallowed by a giant fish and colonialism and Instagram, among other things. I recorded it with my 8 track in my bedroom last year. I think it’s a reflection of where I was at in my head. I was really sad! And then manically happy. And then really sad, lol. Life, my dudes.

Anyway, around October I had a moment where I decided to stop being insecure about my music and just be a musician. For real, ya know? Starting with finishing all these demos I had laying about and forming a bigger and bolder band. Couldn’t have done either without the help of my beautiful and talented friends. Luv ya, guys. So, like, yeah, I guess, like, there’s like, a wry, like, humor to every, like, track on the record.

Your tracks are largely kept to durations of 1-2 minutes. Do you write with an aim to keep things short and sharp, or does this naturally come about?

Short sharp and sweet, my dude. You’d be pleased to know my second album is full to the BRIM of 3 minute songs. TO THE BRIM. I want to write catchy music. I don’t know If I can do that yet. It’s hard. I feel like short songs are catchier though. My housemate and guitarist Eddy Dillon writes jingles. Good work Eddy Dillon. Jingles are where the money’s at. Jingles are interesting. You have less than 3 seconds to create enough melodic value that it embeds itself in your listeners brain forever. Here’s a link to some jingles you might be familiar with.

When you look through the credits of the record, you see heaps of different artists who’ve all lended their time. While you’re the main songwriter, would you consider Tram Cops as more of a community?

Absolutely. The songs would be bland and boring without my friends’ influence. Or without people who listen to the songs. If a tree falls in a forest, ya know? Or without people who come to shows and support us. We are really lucky to be a part of a really lovely lil community in the melbs music ~scene ~ where we all know each other, and we all take care of each other. Community is important, I value it so highly. Music is the great social connector, and it’s so important to establish valuable connections as a young person in a big city. please follow me on twitter @tramcopsfuk

The visuals that accompany the album elicit a peaceful vibe. Film shots of yourself, a forest and a lake. Why was this the right ‘image’ for the record?

Peace in the world, now and forever. These shots were taken by my friend Danger Doug at the Merri creek. It’s a beautiful, albeit overtly polluted little pocket of nature. I wanted Danger Doug to do the album art and he took some real cool looking snaps. Thanks Danger Doug. Here’s a link to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.

Why is the DIY ethos so important to you?

I have no money lol.

But also train police has never really been full DIY. My friends always help me out. but yeah, if you can DIY, then DIY fo sho.

Tramfest is on next week. How do you go about curating the event?

Yeah! Tramfest! It’s a night full of some really great bands and artists. Sat 14 at the Evelyn, my dude. Curating the event is easy as pie, I just send a whole heap of messages to bands and artists I really admire. That’s all there is to it! The morning of the fest you can cash me ousside the Evelyn sticky taping balloons to poles and stuff.

All proceeds are donated to the ASRC. Why do you feel it’s important to pass profit on to charity?

More than ever this year I’ve realised the importance of giving back. Be good to others, get involved in your community. The melbs music scene is so special. It is a community that is welcoming and empathetic. We’ve chosen to donate to the ASRC foodbank two years in a row because they represent and reflect that same attitude in the work that they do to assist marginalized people in Melbourne. They’re invaluable! I am wary of saying that too much so that it becomes a cliche, but really, the work they do truly is invaluable. I have a fundamental problem, too, with the policies and attitudes of people in positions of power in this country towards refugees and healthy immigration. It is shameful.

What’s next for Tram Cops?

World domination. I aint ever gonna quit. New album, or maybe even 2 this year. Some cool shows. Come on down and see one. We’ll have a beer together. Thanks for reading this far. Hope you have a great day. Thanks. Bye. Hooroo, thanks again, bye now. bye.

Tram Cops play By The Meadow this weekend and Tramfest II the weekend after. Even In My Dreams is out now.

1 Comment

  1. WHY WHY WHY aren’t stations such as Triple J picking up and playing this talent???? Most original sounds in Australian music for at least 15 years!

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