Like The Wicker Man, Black Widow and Sauron, Trogons sit out in the darker reaches of psyche-rock. If you want to know where that is, imagine Love and Jefferson Airplane (when you really listen to what they’re on about) with another lick of black paint added. They’re Hammond organ meets Hammer Horror.
Made from the spare parts of several defunct Hackney bands – bassist Gemma Fleet was once a member of goth-pop outfit KASMs whilst Andrew Doig and Dean Hinks are both in Spin Spin the Dogs – this quartet are basically what you get if you left your inner nerd to its own devices. The result has been a band who are unafraid to write songs about themes as diverse as Star Trek, comic books and all sorts of intergalatic weirdness.
However, the most refreshing thing about Trogons is that they are probably the only band in East London who genuinely couldn’t care less about being or looking cool. A breath of fresh air through a scene that can take itself way to seriously at times, it’s almost as if they’ve been sent for the sole purpose of counter-balancing all that woozy, sun-dazed psychedelia that everyone’s been banging on about recently.
Wanting to find out more, I journeyed to a galaxy far, far away to meet guitarists Andrew and Helen, and bassist/vocalist Gemma.
You’ve been called gothic psychedelia, but you sound more fun than that…
Andrew: People often say we sound like things that we don’t think we sound like. Obviously they are influences, you listen to a lot of different stuff… but we seem to end up being called goths a lot.
Gemma: We sound like Trogons, no one has said that we sound like goths [laughs]…
Andrew: Yeah, but they DO say that!
Helen: I don’t think I’d agree with the goth idea. The people listening might be goths but I think we all bring different things to it.
G: I think people who make really cheery music are way more sinister than us. In my old band, it was always, “she sounds like Siouxsie Sioux”, as if from that reference point you can explain everything.
You definitely make me think of the darker end of ‘60s psychedelia…
A: We don’t set out and try to make dark music. I really like Fleetwood Mac, but no one has mentioned that!
OK, but you have to admit that there is a strong narrative theme to each of your songs, even if it isn’t pantomime like black metal…
G: The songs are all about something, like an important central idea.
A: We reference things we like… we like sci-fi.
G. We have a whole song about Zera from Planet of the Apes! Our songs aren’t necessarily very deep.
A: We’re the surface, not looking to answer the big questions. We like to have a good time vibe.
H: We like it when something is striking, regardless of genre. We just write what feels good.
As sci-fi nerds who was better: Arthur C Clarke or HG Wells?
G: Well I’m more of an Isaac Asimov fan. Kurt Vonnegut did some really interesting stuff…
A: HG Wells! He’s a whimsical guy. Less technical, more fun.
G: We like retro-futurism! We want to be a band that plays in a proto-Vulcan civilsation! I’d like to think we could be a band that played in the original series of Star Trek, which was the ‘60s!
So what is Trogons’ central message?
G: Let people do what they want! Let ‘em enjoy themselves.
A: Yeah, let them do what they want.
H: But tell them to come and see us. And bring their friends!
Trogons will be playing Power Lunches Arts Café tonight with Covergirl and Saturday 5th November with Hookworms and Early Man.
This post originally appeared on Spoonfed on 28 October 2011