Trixter: Living the ‘American Dream’

When Trixter debuted in the early 1980s, they were brushed off as a pretty “boy” band, instead of serious musicians.

Yes, they started young, but they could back up the talk and actually perform.

I interviewed drummer Mark Scott prior to a October 1992 show in Pittsburgh.

Here is the interview that appeared in The Indiana Gazette.

Trixter

“Some people say the ‘American Dream’ is dead — that’s bull! The ‘American Dream’ is alive and well and we’re living it!” Mark “Gus” Scott, drummer for the New Jersey rock band Trixter, exclaimed emphatically during a recent telephone interview.

The Kiss/Trixter/Faster Pussycat tour will be stopping at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 16.

“Everybody has a shot to do anything. If you are determined enough, you can succeed,” he continued, elaborating on the theme for “Road of a Thousand Dreams,” the first single from Trixter’s new MCA album, “Hear.”

The album, which took Trixter only four months to record, shows the band as a force to be reckoned with — the songs on “Hear” are worlds apart from the songs on their self-titled 1990 debut album. “Road of a Thousands Dreams” is a mid-tempo rocker with smooth guitar licks and a positive message.

“As the Candle Burns” is a powerful love ballad sans drums, and “Rockin’ Horse” and “On The Road Again,” are, as Scott described them, “pedal-to-the-floor-slam-bam straight ahead rockers.”

“Road of a Thousand Dreams’ was chosen as the first single because we wanted to get away from the pop commerciality. It’s nice to be known for your looks but there’s more to us than just that,” he confesses.

“It isn’t about what you see in the magazines, it’s what you hear on the record. We wanted to say to people, ‘hear — listen to this — we can really play.’ We’ve improved as musicians and as a band.

“We’ve progressed so much lyrically and musically, and the production on this one is phenomenal. You just can’t compare the two albums. We did a lot of pre-production for ‘Hear’ while we were on the road, and when we went to the studio the demos were pretty much how the songs ended up on the final cut. We were more relaxed this time because we knew what we wanted, and how to go about getting it.

“James ‘Jimbo’ Barton (their producer) is a king in the studio! His track record (which includes Queensryche and Rush) is unbelievable. He was more interested in working with us than working against us. He would offer us suggestions rather than force changes. It was very democratic, and a lot of fun.”

Fun — that’s a key word with Trixter. The foursome, comprised of singer Peter Loran, guitarist Steve Brown, bassist P.J. Farley and drummer Scott, all in their early 20s, are energetic, thrill-seeking musicians looking more to have fun playing their music than making money.

“We’re not in this (the music business) to sell records and make money. We play the songs that we like, and we hope that everyone else will like them too. This is us and if people don’t like it, I’m sorry,” he noted.

“We don’t worry about what critics say because the critics don’t pay for the album, they get it for free! We’re concerned about the kids that spend $14 or so on a CD — we want them to get their money’s worth.”

Another subject Scott was eager to clarify was the band’s “age” issue. When Trixter first released their self-titled debut in 1990, they were heralded for being “young” rockers — a label which Scott said the band has been working to shake.

“That wasn’t started by us,” Scott recalled. “The record company thought it might be a marketable concept since P.J. was just graduating from high school at the time the album was released. Later we saw it was a detriment and now we’re working hard to get rid of it.”

Songs like “What It Takes” ought to be a step in the right direction to helping Trixter to be taken seriously. It tells a story of a fan asking a famous guitar player what it takes to make it to the top.

The guitarist tells the fan “It ain’t about the clothes you wear. It ain’t about the style of your hair. That ain’t what it takes to be a music man. It’s all about the way you play, living for the music ’till your dying day — that’s what it takes to be a music man.

“You gotta be able to deliver the goods,” Scott adds.

“You have to feel the music in your heart. In rock and roll there’s a lot of glitz, but it all comes down to the music. If you don’t have it in you, you won’t get far.”

Scott agreed that Trixter’s tour mates, the legendary shock-rock band Kiss, have what it takes.

“When I first same Gene (Simmons) and Kiss, I said “That’s who I want to be! That’s me!’ It’s inconceivable the excitement we feel inside about being on this tour with them. We’ve met them several times in the past, but we’re still starstruck about them,” he exclaimed.

Adding to the excitement on this triple bill tour, which also features Faster Pussycat, is one very special stop — The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Oct. 9.

“That’s the show of shows on this tour,” he explained. “It’s a dream come true for us to be able to play there. We’ve watched all of our heroes play on that stage — from Kiss to Van Halen. Now it’s our turn.”

Trixter is still recording and performing. Check out www.trixterrock.com for more information.

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