Monday, July 28, 2008

Timm McIntosh Interview

What's to say? If you don't know who Timm McIntosh is... well, what the fuck are you doing with your life? He formed Trial, played briefly for Champion, toured with The Warriors and now fronts Wait In Vain. He also runs Panic Records... a label that has put out a lot of good stuff over the last 2 years. But really, the only thing that matters there is the Trial bit. One of the best bands of the last decade easily. This interview first originally appeared in my zine TheSharpendZine issue 3. It was conducted nearly 3 years ago... just before the Trial Reunion shows. If you aren't familiar with Timms projects you need to look into them. Even if it's just Trial. Seriously... I can't rave on enough about this band. Pure gold. GO!

First up, I know it' lame but so the unfarmiliar readers can get an idea of you can I just get your age and where you are from?

 I'm 24 and I've been living in Seattle for the past 11 years, so that makes me from Seattle officially.


You played guitar for legendary hardcore band Trial and while in the band released what has been hailed by many as one of the greatest hardcore records of all time in 'Are These Our Lives?'. Do you find that you are often referred to as 'the guy who was in Trial'. Does it bother you?

 I think that anyone that was in a band that was noticed by a few people, they tend to become that guy/girl from whichever band. It doesn't bother me at all. It's a part of who I am completely. I put my heart into Trial and I'm proud of the things that we accomplished as a band. Some of the best times of my life were shared with the other guys.


How old were you when you formed Trial?

 hmmmm. Age really doesn't matter does it? Too young to know, too old to care? We started in 1994 after I moved to Seattle. Greg, Derek and myself got it going together.


Being that Trial haven't been together properly for 5 years, do you find that your / others in the band views changed a great deal? I interperated 'Are These Our Lives?' as a greatly politically motivated release. Are you still motivated in the same way that you were back then?

 The ideas still remain, the feelings for those ideas will never fade. They're apart of us and are still backed. We've all become really busy in our lives with our projects that it sometimes takes a backseat. We still incorporate the ideas that we spoke about on our record into our everyday lives though. In a sense you could say that we are all politically active still.


Do you think that overall the views and opinions of others in the scene have changes a great deal? How do you think the scene has changed most?

 It's definitely a new era of hardcore that we're involved in now. The scene has changed in a way that I don't see as many print zines with essays from kids that are involved in the scene. They're mostly filled with interviews with the bands and pictures. I think the involvement of the average hardcore kid has dwindled, when it used to be a very DIY scene. Meaning that kids would take it upon themselves to do shows and zines. Nowdays, kids let someone else hand it to them, and then cry about it not being the way they wanted it. The kids that are starting bands now have a different motivation behind it. Since the popularity of Hardcore/Punk has grown, a lot of people are starting bands to become rock stars, this is the wrong reason to be involved in hardcore I feel. There are things that separate us from the mainstream bands. No rockstar attitudes, messages and heart. Bands are rarely turning my head now days as I don't feel that I can take some of them seriously.


Trial are on the verge of playing two amazing reunion shows in October. One in your hometown of Seattle and one in Hungary. What made you guys decide to get together and set these shows up? Was it any trouble getting everything organised?

 It was a lot of work to get everything going for these shows and we're actually doing three now. Seattle, London and Budapest. The Seattle show was initially going to be the only one. Greg and I had been talking about it for the past year and a half. Going back and forth on the idea of doing a reunion. Neither of us could come to an agreement of how we wanted it to be. Finally we got together and figured out a way to make it work between our busy schedules and what we wanted to do with the show. After announcing the Seattle show our friend Zoli from Budapest got in touch and explained that he was going to come to the show in Seattle. Zoli then said "I'm going to spend about $1000 for my plane ticket, a visa, food and lodging. How about I get a couple people from here that would be willing to pay for your tickets to Budapest to play a show?" This made sense to us because it's Eastern Europe and they're not as well off financially, as Western Europe or the U.S.. This would allow those in Europe to save money if they wanted to see us. It would also make it possible for those who would never be able to afford to come to the U.S., a chance to see Trial. One of the greatest shows we ever played was in Poland. I know that 99.5% of the kids there would never make it to the U.S.. Budapest is closer, and a lot easier for them to get to, so why not? We decided on London as well, we never got to play the UK and it's on the way to Budapest where we need to catch a connecting flight. Why not right?  


Do you expect alot of newer hardcore kids who may have not been around back in Trials hey day to be there?

 I think there will be a lot of new faces there that haven't had the chance to see Trial. The Lp was out for about 6 months before we called it quits. We only did a U.S. and European tour on that record. Alot of kids got into Trial after we had broken up and now they're getting the chance to see us. There's going to be a lot of old friends at these shows as well. It's more than just a reunion of Trial, but a reunion of friends. I'm thinking of it as a huge family reunion, I can't wait to see all the old friends from the past years.


Why did Trial originally exsist? Was there a specific message that the band was trying to get across? Has any of Trials motivations cahnged since back then? Will you guys still be playing with the same conviction that you did when 'Are These Our Lives?' was first released?

 Trial originally existed out of the friendship that Greg, Derek and myself shared. I was from California orginally and met Greg and Derek at an Inside Out show. We become good friends through writing each other and they helped set up a show for my band in Seattle. I decided to move to Seattle shortly after that. Greg and Derek wanted to start a band and asked if I would do it with them. That was in 1994. The motivation behind the band was to play hardcore with a political message. The motivations for the band have not changed as Greg and I still feel the same way as we did in 1994. You can bet your life that we will be playing with just as much conviction, if not more.


How excited are you personally to be able to play these shows?

 I'm beyond excited. Now excuse me if this sounds cheesy, but it's truly how I feel and have always felt about Trial. Trial was an extension of who I am. It was also always about the kids that were interested in Trial. Every single person that came to Trial shows, bought our records, talked to us, they were just as much a part of Trial as I was. To know that the show is sold out here in Seattle, to know that there will be kids there that hold Trial in the regards that I hold just untouchable.


Can we ever expect any more Trial shows after the next two? Or is all over after this? never know what can happen. I know one thing for sure, we will not be getting back together. We all have new bands that we're doing. Greg is doing Between Earth And Sky and also has a movie called Flight From Death, Brian and Alexei are in a band called 3 Inches Of Blood that they are always on tour with and I'm doing a band called Wait In Vain and have also started a record label. Between all that's going on with us currently, squeezing in these three shows has been a hard time. Like I said, you never know what can happen, but these will probably be the last 3 shows we ever play.


The band has just released a split cd comprised of your previous efforts 'Through The Darkest Days' and 'Foundation'. Why did the band decide to get these out there? How can fans in Australia get their hands on the cds?

 Yea, that's actually the first release on my own label, Panic Records. We've always wanted our records to be in press for kids to get. Both records have been out of press for the past 6 years and people still ask us for copies of those records. We didn't want it released by anybody else this time around though. We hadn't had much luck with labels in the past, so DIY all the way. People in Australia can order it from Panic Records, Revelation Records, and if there's a distributor in Australia that wants to get in touch to carry the record, I'm more than willing to make that happen.


Can we ever expect a re- release of 'Are These Our Lives?' Because it is hard emough to find as it is.

 You know, I would love to have this released on any other label other than EVR. 150%. That label could give a fuck about that record. If there is one thing that I would have to choose as being proud of, it would be that record. That is my finest accomplishment, I'm very happy about that record. From the artwork to the orchestra piece. EVR shit on that record. When that record came out, they did little promotion for it. After we broke up, they discontinued pressing it, even though people were still buying the record. They kept it out of print for about 4 years and have just recentely repressed it in the news of the Trial reunions in hopes to sell more copies. I am sure they're doing just that. Buy that record if you'd like, just keep in mind that the record does not include the original art work and does not include the lyrics. EVR cut out the lyrics to save on pressing costs. I can't blame them too much as they are a business and want to make money. I've heard you can find the complete record online for download and you can get the lyrics from the Trial site. Just what I heard.


Tell us about your new band Wait In Vain. Where and why was the band formed? Whos in the band?

 We're from Seattle of course, and we formed...well I've been kicking it around for about a year now. The band is still looking for a permanent drummer but has three other solid members. Since they've all joined, I would say that the true birth of Wait In Vain was around July 2005. The line up is Chris Jacobsen - Guitar, Ryan Scott - Bass and Roger Kilburn of Love Is Red fame on Guitar.


Trial held quite an obvious political message. Does Wait In Vain have any specific message to get across to the kids? Is the bands mission anything similar to that of Trail? What specific stuff to you choose to write about?

 Wait In Vain is a social/politcal band. Meaning that we deal mainly with social issues. The way we as people identify and interact with each other. We won't be as heavy politically as Trial was, but politics will always be present. If we had a mission, I would say it would be a human rights, self awareness and self discovery. A band that is about change, political, social and personal.


Instead of filling the guitar role as you did in Trial you have chosen to get on the vocals. Any specific reasons for the switch?

 I still write for Wait In Vain musically. I don't think I'll ever move away from that part of things. Before I was in Trial, the band that I came to Seattle with, I was the guy with the microphone. I think the singing part of things came from a want to get out things that I felt deep inside but wouldn't have felt comfortable having someone else singing.


For fans not farmiliar with Wait In Vain can you give iu a run down of the bands sound / mission / meaning of existance.

 I think I covered most of this in the above question. The sound isn't that far removed from the Trial records. It's just the style of music that I write and can't really get away from it. BURN, Judge, Beyond, Cro Mags, I think that would sum up the sound...and in one word Trial, because that's what Trial was as well.


What made you decide to get the band together in the first place?

 I wanted to get a band together and play music that I loved, sing about things that I cared about. I wasn't happy with things in my life and missed the outlet that I had with my previous bands.


Do you worry at all that older fans who new you as Timm form Trial may hold an unfair biast against Wait In Vain?

  Not at all. I know that Trial and Wait In Vain are two different bands. Just like I love Orange 9mm and BURN. I can separate the two and except that. BURN is greatest hardcore band ever. No band will ever compare to BURN, but that won't stop me from loving Orange 9mm. Trial and Wait In Vain should be accepted like that, if they can't, that's ok.


Is there any Wait In Vain material avavilable taht Australian fans can get their hands on? How do we go about it?

 Right now we've only done a 4 song demo that you can order from us from our website we're currently working on songs for an Lp/Cd that we hope to get out by the new year.


What future plans do you have for the band? Any llabel deals or the like?

 Just writing songs for the Lp/CD, getting that recorded. Finding a label to work with...and then touring touring touring. This band is all that we want to do, it's all we will do.


Has there been any musical projects since the end of Trial other that Wait In Vain? What have you been doing with yourself for the last five years?

 Right after Trial broke up I played guitar in Champion for about a year and a half. Recorded Come Out Swinging and did a couple West Coast Tours. After I quit Champion I didn't do anything musically until last year when I started up Wait In Vain. Other than that, living a pretty boring life. Hanging out, getting tattoos, eating food, going to hardcore shows. The usual life stuff. Exciting right? hahahaha.


Any thanks / threats / words?

 Thanks for doing the interview. If you were ever interested in Trial and want to check out any of our new projects, you should, we'd appreciate your support.

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