Chris Carter – Bass
Camilo Torres – Drums
Eric Rich – Keyboard, Vox
James Mishka – Guitar, Vox
Trebuchet started three years ago in the basement of a friend's house. Originally intended as a thrash punk band in the vein of Propaghandi, the early incarnation of Trebuchet was anything but that. “There were seven people people [in the band]: three guitarists, two drummers, etc. It was like the collective jam project,” says drummer, Camilo Torres. With so many different people being pulled in by their own musical influences, coupled with everyone contributing a different sound, it soon lead to confusion and a positive schism within the band. “Once it got to the point that the people who were really interested were left, we really got going. At that point it wasn't 'listen to my songs and learn it,' it became 'here are some ideas, lets work with it,'” says Torres. Eventually the current incarnation of Trebuchet came to be Chris Carter beating the bass, Camilo Torres slapping the skins, Eric Rich tickling the keys and scratching his throat and finally singer/songwriter James Mishka singing and playing guitar.
Starting in the beginning of 2006, Trebuchet quickly and aggressively shot out five songs and immediately began to gig. “We didn't need to pigeonhole ourselves as a thrash punk band or anything like that [anymore]. We just started writing music, not in any particular vein,” says Carter concerning the newly democratic Trebuchet. “Originally we each had one song, not complete songs but parts we wanted to hear in our songs and we would take what we had written, rearrange, move it around, change it, per each others suggestions. The song writing process was really just us hanging out and writing riffs.”
Live, Trebuchet was an unbounded kalidescope of raw power and innumerable energy. At one show I went to, Chris charged the crowd while the fans pushed back, trying to steal the mic from him to sing their songs. “Our live shows were never boring, not even once. Our first show was fucking horrible. It was the first time I played out in a couple of years,” comments Carter. Carter, who comes from a metal background, had reservations about playing in Trebuchet because it was more complex than what he was used to playing. “We didn't play shows again for a few months until New Year's of last year . It was amazing. It was the most fun [I had] playing a show once I realized we could actually do this ... I wasn't afraid at all.”
When pressed to describe their sound, Eric Rich is quick to assert that they are anarcho-dancecore; influences range from Prince and the Rapture to Refused and At The Drive-In. But more important than the hardcore sing-a-long, shake-your-ass quality of their music is the philosophy that brought the band together and bonds them to their fans. “The strength is with the ideas, not the people,” says Rich. Philosophically, they are anti-civilization, for small communities and togetherness. “The philosophy, like our lives, is constantly changing, continually progressing,” continues Rich. “The main focus of Trebuchet is not only playing together but sharing the same ideals. If you want to have fun and play music you don't need to be ridiculously talented to do so.”
“Trebuchet is like a dysfunctional family. We love each other but everyone is really hard to work with,” says Carter. With Chris now living in Portland, James traveling out of the country and Camilo leaving Salt Lake City in a few months after the writing of this piece, Trebuchet may seem like a dead issue but the members of the band have talked about continuing the unified spirit of Trebuchet. “Members will cycle through and members will change and they [the new Trebuchet] will write one or two more new songs every once in a while but maybe it could be more of a collective issue where people are taught the songs and pick up the instruments and then go out and play under the name Trebuchet,” says Carter.
Currently the band members of Trebuchet are working on other projects in the meantime. Chris and Camilo are in a drone/doom project called Breaker of Men, Eric Rich is focusing on picking up the pieces of Trebuchet once Camilo leaves and James is a singer/songwriter in his own right. While they have only produced five songs in a two year time span, Trebuchet, as evidenced by their stellar track on this compilation, is a whirlwind to be reckoned with. “I never expected to be in a band where people would be up there sing along on-stage, stealing the mic, understanding our positive message all while having a great time,” concludes Carter. –Erik Lopez