When Frank Reader was told that having a Web site “would absolutely be the way for bands to go,” the Trashcan Sinatras singer was a bit skeptical, just like the other members of his Scottish rock group.
“We just thought it was going to be another thing we’d have to deal with,” he recalls, “and another thing we would need to talk to the record company about.”
As it turns out, shortly after the Trashcan Sinatras first went online — way back in 1996 — they lost their record label deal. So very quickly, the Web became the primary way the band communicated with its fans.
Not much has changed for Reader and company. They continue to inform as well as involve their followers via the Internet — lately, they’ve asked fans to submit set lists for their current U.S. tour and announced an open call for guest horn players to join the band onstage.
Reader credits guitarist John Douglas with the idea to conduct online fan auditions for trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn players to appear at select shows to perform “I’ve Seen Everything,” the title track to the second Trashcan Sinatras album.
“As long as they don’t climb in the van with us after the gig, I think it will be great,” Reader says with a laugh.
Throughout March, the Trashcan Sinatras will be performing at radio and TV stations, house parties and small public venues across the United States in acoustic fashion, something the band prefers. (Brel, the latest Trashcan Sinatras release, is a 17-track live acoustic album that was recorded in Scotland and features renditions of nearly every song that’s on In the Music, the most recent TS studio effort.)
“For us, it’s a much easier affair,” Reader says about acoustic gigs. “We really don’t have the same pressure on us to blow everybody’s socks off.
“We were never really comfortable being a big rock band,” he adds. “And the funny thing, the louder you are, the more people talk during your quiet songs, so your quiet songs are really at risk. People seem to instinctively respect that when you’re quiet, they should be quiet. That gives us a good starting point.”
— By Chris M. Junior
Trashcan Sinatras on tour (schedule subject to change):
* March 8: Casbah/Tremont Music Hall — Charlotte, N.C.
* March 9: Local 506 — Chapel Hill, N.C.
* March 10: WNRN-FM — Charlottesville, Va. (in-studio session for future broadcast)
* March 11: House party — Annapolis, Md.
* March 12: House party — Philadelphia
* March 13: Joe’s Pub — New York
* March 14: WRSI-FM — Northampton, Mass. (in-studio session for future broadcast)
* March 14: Iron Horse Music Hall — Northampton, Mass.
* March 16: Club Passim — Boston
* March 17: WBER-FM — Rochester, N.Y. (in-studio session)
* March 17: The Lovin’ Cup — Rochester, N.Y.
* March 18: Winchester Music Hall — Cleveland
* March 20: Space — Evanston, Ill.
* March 22: Fearless Radio — Chicago (in-studio session)
* March 23: Canal Street Tavern — Dayton, Ohio
* March 24: KDHX-FM — St. Louis (in-studio session)
* March 24: KPLR-TV — St. Louis (in-studio performance)
* March 24: Firebird — St. Louis
* March 25: Daytrotter — Rock Island, Ill.
* March 25: KFMG-FM — Des Moines, Iowa (in-studio session for future broadcast)
* March 26: Cedar Culture Center — Minneapolis
* March 27: Knuckleheads — Kansas City, Mo.
* March 28: Walnut Room — Denver
* March 29: State Room — Salt Lake City
* March 30: Park City TV — Park City, Utah (in-studio session)