Trash Talk brings the fury of hardcore to places it’s never been. Their tie-dye thrash vibe is exactly what you didn’t know you needed.
Yeah, that’s Action Bronson, everyone’s favorite rapper/slab of beef acting as guardian of a mosh pit on the rooftop of Vice’s Brooklyn headquarters. Ty Dolla $ign is watching on with delight. The four gentlemen orchestrating the uproar are Trash Talk.
Their set was quite the sight to behold – even by the already absurd standards of Viceland’s Untitled Action Bronson Show, the rapper’s anything-goes variety show that featured Trash Talk’s rooftop performance. For Trash Talk, however, the show was mostly par for the course.
The L.A-based hardcore punks are no strangers to chaos. In fact, they’ve spent the last decade or so creating and distributing it via five full-length albums, a handful of EPs, and relentless tours full of rampageous and occasionally riot-inciting shows around the world.
As it turns out, Trash Talk are also no strangers to late-night television. They graced the stage of Adult Swim’s similarly disorienting Eric Andre Show in 2014 wearing volume-sensitive shock collars. It was really something:
Trash Talk & Hip Hop: A (Not So) Unlikely Combination
If you were to pay a visit to Trash Talk’s Spotify page, some of their related artists wouldn’t surprise you: Ceremony, Cruel Hand, Trapped Under Ice, and Blacklisted. All hardcore heavyweights whose sounds and styles are fairly comparable: fast, ferociously loud, and pretty pissed off.
Trash Talk is not only active in the world of heavy music. They also seem to exist in spaces where their contemporaries would never find themselves, particularly in the circles surrounding underground rap and hip-hop. This extends their fanbase from chest-pounding heavy music fans to audiences that ordinarily wouldn’t jump off of ceilings or start circle pits.
Examples are plentiful:
December saw them finishing up a run of U.S. shows alongside Meyhem Lauren, Denzel Curry, and the aforementioned Action Bronson.
“If we wanna tour with a rapper, we can tour with a rapper. We can do whatever the fuck we want. It’s our shit.” – Trash Talk vocalist Lee Spielman
U.K-based crooner King Krule lent his otherworldly voice to a bonus track from No Peace, Trash Talk’s most recent full-length release. He also recently debuted a capsule apparel collection at Babylon L.A, the storefront/skate spot/creative sanctuary of Trash Talk Collective, the record label the group formed for themselves.
Trash Talk: Odd Future’s Favorite Band
Perhaps the most well-documented and fruitful of the band’s collaborations is with Odd Future. Fans of Tyler, the Creator might recognize Spielman’s tortured screeches on “Trashwang”, the cacophonous closing track on Tyler’s album Wolf.
The Odd Future / Trash Talk story goes like this: The groups met at SXSW in 2011 after seeing each other’s shows. Hodgy Beats leapt off the roof into the crowd, a stunt fairly commonplace in hardcore music, but rare at your average hip-hop concert. Shortly thereafter, worlds collided.
In addition to the resulting friendships, the two groups have gone on to share stages on numerous occasions. Trash Talk even released two of their albums, 2012’s 119 and 2014’s No Peace (which features production from the one and only Alchemist) with help from Odd Future Records.
The relationship seems unlikely on the surface, but a closer look reveals a shared youthful energy and unflinching commitment to doing precisely whatever the hell they want (see: both groups forming their own record labels) that sees past any differences in their sound. In an interview with Pitchfork, frontman Lee Spielman explained:
“We’re like-minded people. I think a lot of artists don’t really give 100% live – it’s fucking boring to see bands stand still and rock back and forth and expect it to be fucking entertaining and shit. And we’re all kind of in the same place as far as how we like to operate, too. Trash Talk Collective is something we built on our own; we take pride in that. And Odd Future Records is something they built on their own, and they take pride in it, too.”
Check out the video below of Trash Talk at Camp Flog Gnaw 2015, the annual festival presented by Odd Future. Skip to 2:30 for the fun.
More than just anything, Trash Talk are known for their intense live shows, which regularly result in blood loss, broken equipment, and disgruntled venue staff. So it goes. It seems there’s a standard to uphold when the mayor of New York City comes to your show and a member of one of the more infamous metal bands on earth gives you props. Even comedian Katt fucking Williams has love for the fury of Trash Talk.
A quick Google search of “trash talk live” brings forth endless stage diving, circle pitting, hate-moshing, and some police intervention here and there. It’s a fitting, if less than inclusive, environment for music written largely from the band’s gritty headquarters in Los Angeles, just blocks away from one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. Despite this, the world Trash Talk has created for themselves and their collective attracts admirers far removed from your average hardcore bro in a Rotting Out hoodie (no offense to the bros).
Simply by existing on their own terms, Trash Talk have brought one of the harshest forms of music to the fringes of the mainstream. A 90-second disaster of a hardcore song becomes digestible when emblazoned with the band’s upside-down peace sign logo. If we’ve anything to learn from four California punks who’ve toured the world and played alongside some of the biggest acts in the world, it’s summed up in five words Spielman utters in this brief video from The FADER. The sentence slips from his mouth nonchalantly in his trademark road-hardened rasp, as if it were his order at Taco Bell: “Do better. Make shit tight.”