Photo By Caitlin McLafferty
Feeling lonely and being alone are very distinct and different experiences a person can have. One can often seem isolating and debilitating, a hard thing to escape; while the other can be foundational and gives a person inner strength. On Frigs' new dark and dense grungy track "Trashyard" that latter feeling of discovering one's own strength is explored. The self-proclaimed swamp rock group released this new digital seven-inch via Arts & Crafts only a handful of months after their summer release of the excellent Slush EP. The bass intro on Toronto band's new song sets the tone before vocalist Bria Salmela's evocative and low groans come through. It's a tense, immersive song that builds over seven minutes, which harkens back to an earlier rock move to create more of a sonic and visceral experience for a listener. Salmela's vocals, along with the steady, palatable guitar riffs, bring a necessary focus to how the subject matter (personal power) is translated and created atmospherically with sound.
Read our interview with Salmela about the song and see where you can catch them on the road this fall. Listen to the track below:
Noisey: "Trashyard" appears on the same 7" with the song, "Chest," which is about the 'Brock Turner' case. What was the inspiration behind it?
Bria Salmela: There isn't a real theme relating "Chest" and "Trashyard" other than sonically they accompany the other. "Chest" came out of a very specific feeling and time, whereas "Trashyard" is one of those songs that has constantly been changing. "Trashyard" was written a couple years ago now and really grew out of playing with rhythm and noise to create an atmosphere. We like to play with tension a lot and this might be our strongest song in regards to that. Whenever I would write or re-write lyrics for this song, for some reason I always envisioned some sort of post-apocalyptic desert with nothing around for miles. I guess the lyrics are about being in that emptiness and trying to remember what anything and everything feels like: the power and the strength that can grow out of solitude and the uncertainty you feel when left alone with yourself.
It's a seven minute plus minute song, which sometimes feels unfamiliar in a sonic landscape that has tight three-and-a-half minute and under songs. What influenced the length of the track?
The song has always been long. Like a lot of our material does, "Trashyard" came out of a "jam" during rehearsal—we never really tried to force it into any time constraints, because its length is a huge part of what it is. We keep it loose and unpracticed. When we play it live, it can fly off the hinges at any moment depending on the vibe and it only made sense to do our best to keep that intact when we recorded it.
Your vocals go from steady to literal frenzy featuring howls that register at a very low point in your vocal range. Did the subject matter influence how you would approach this song vocally?
In a lot of ways, this song is kind of creatively intense for everyone. There are a lot of dynamic shifts and we're always playing off each other. Same goes for the vocals—everything is pushing and pulling against each other, building and releasing tension. This is where I think most of the inspiration for the lyrics came from, this tension. The vocal style is how I deal with the energy of the song, how I interact with the instrumentation and the audience. The audience plays a big part in what form this song takes, how long it goes and the intensity we allow it to have.
Look out for these upcoming tour dates:
Nov 17 - Montreal QC - Cafe Cleopatra (M for Montreal)
Nov 18 - Montreal QC - Savoy du Metropolis (M for Montreal)
Nov 21 - Boston MA - Zuzu
Nov 22 - Brooklyn NY - Silent Barn
Nov 23 - New York NY - Elvis Guesthouse
Nov 27 - Baltimore MD - The Crown
Nov 28 - Athens OH - House Show
Nov 29 - Cincinnati OH - Northside Yacht Club
Nov 30 - Chicago IL - The Hideout
Dec 2 - Hamilton ON - This Ain't Hollywood
Dec 3 - Guelph ON - Van Gogh's Ear
Dec 7 - Toronto ON - Horseshoe Tavern
Sarah MacDonald is a staff writer at Noisey Canada. Follow her on Twitter.