In 1991, the hair metal band Trixter were at the top of their game. The New Jersey quartet’s gold-status attaining debut album had been released the previous year. Soon after, the band was touring the world with the likes of rock and roll heavyweights such as the Scorpions, Poison, and KISS.
Fast forward 23 years to the present, and the original lineup of Trixter is once again going strong. Trixter is Peter Loran (lead vocals/rhythm guitar,) Steve Brown (lead guitar/ backing vocals,) P. J. Farley (bass guitar/backing vocals,) and Mark “Gus” Scott (drums/ backing vocals.)
The bands’ latest album, Human Era, was released on June 6 via Frontiers Records. Trixter has also announced an upcoming tour of the nation starting in July 2015.
When asked to describe Human Era, Brown had this to say: “Well I think it’s a combination of everything Trixter was 20-25 years ago when we made our debut. It’s everything that Trixter was in the past and it’s everything that we are now. It represents a band that is at its best now, I think. It’s had a great response and our fans are loving it all around the world. We’re extremely happy with it, and I think it’s the best record that we’ve ever made. It’s the most cohesive…it’s just 100% Trixter. We don’t try to be anything but what Trixter is. We’re not trying to jump onto any kind of trend. We’re just trying to be the best band that we are and I think this CD shows that.”
The members of Trixter have experienced the recording process from the late 80’s to the present. Brown described some of the changes they’ve seen in the recording process. “I mean obviously we’ve gotten better and we’ve gotten smarter. When it comes to making records, we have a great system now. Human Era is our second release in the last five years now. We had a record that came out in 2012 called New Audio Machine. At the time I thought that was our best record so far and I thought we would never be able to top that, but we did that now with Human Era! We record all the records in my studio here and “Gus,” the drummer, and PJ Farley, the bass player… they live local so we’re able to do all the basic tracks here. Then Pete, our singer, lives out in Arizona. So he does all the vocals from his studio there and then sends them to me via Dropbox. We have a great system! We’re very smart. We know how to do things. We’ve been together for so long that our sound and our style and our music is ingrained in our DNA at this point. Even though Pete isn’t in the room with us while we’re recording… when he puts the vocals on it sounds like he’s in the room because we’ve been together for so long,” explained Brown. “The great part is that after all these years, I can honestly say that the band gets along just as well, if not better than we used to. Just because we’re so much more appreciative that we’re all still here after all these years, it’s the original guys, and we get to tour all around the world and make records, do interviews like this and we’re still supporting a dream we had 30 years ago. We’re still here doing it, so that means something. That has a lot to do with the lyrical content on Human Era, especially the title track, Human Era, that was written by myself and PJ. There’s a line in there ‘Is it any wonder we’re still together/we built this in a human era.’ We all built this back in the early 80’s and here we are, still celebrating it.”
Despite a few periods of hiatus for Trixter over the years, the band has shown an unwavering commitment to their music. And while many bands will go through numerous lineup changes over such a lengthy period of time, the original lineup of Trixter has prevailed. Brown opened up about his relationship with his bandmates. “I think more than anything is the fact that we’ve known each other since before we were a band. I’ve known them since I was probably about nine years old. So it’s coming on 30 years, and that’s a long time. What I tell people all the time is that Trixter, to me, isn’t just a rock band. Those guys are my brothers and we’re family. I’m pretty much closer to them than anybody in the world. We know everything about each other. And that’s kind of the way it is because we were so young together and we experienced so many firsts together and that just makes it all that more special. That’s what makes us so unique and the fact that we’ve been able to take this band together. We just generally have a great time together,” Brown swelled.
According to Brown, Human Era is about more than just great music. Brown said that the album and title track both have a greater underlying message for the fans. “PJ, our bass player, came up with the story behind it. The story behind it is kind of telling a story about the band, but it’s also kind of a universal theme when you spend a lot of time with people, there will be a lot of ups and downs and there will be a lot of problems that you have to overcome. What the song talks about is communication and talking with people face-to-face. In this world of internet and social media, text messaging where people voice their problems and fight with a friend over text messaging or email. It’s all very impersonal. We love that when we first built this band together, we did it together sitting in a room. We didn’t have all that sort of stuff–we did it the old way. The way Def Leppard did it, the way Bon Jovi did it, the way Van Halen did it. We were four guys that loved music and had a vision. We started in my parents’ basement and really we were so lucky to be able to do it. And look at what we’ve done. [laughs] It’s pretty incredible! We never took that for granted,” explained Brown.
From the very beginning of their career, Trixter has toured with some pretty successful bands. Brown described what some of those tours were like for the band. “They were all wonderful, incredible experiences. Every band that we’ve ever toured with has been great to us. From our first tour with Stryper in September of 1990 to our tour with KISS, which was our ultimate dream. But I would say, for me, the biggest highlight was Scorpions tour in February of 1991. That was five months of touring. What was so special about that was that was our first real tour across North America doing all the U.S. arenas and Canada. And what was great about it was that we actually meant something to the tour. That was when we were on our second number one video, One in a Million, and Give it to Me Good, which came out in September of 1990. That was number one on MTV for 13 weeks and then One in a Million came right as we were starting that tour. So what was great about that was that we were not only playing arenas, but we were selling out arenas. It was mind-blowing to have that and the number one video on MTV. We weren’t just the opening band, we were helping move tickets and that really meant something. At the time I didn’t realize it… but looking back at it, yeah! That was the first time that we would wind up playing many times over as times went on. It was a huge impact on us,” said Brown.
If you’re feeling unsure on which of the 11 tracks on Human Era you should check out first, Brown offered a suggestion. “For me, I would say listen to the song For You, because it’s unique for Trixter in that we’ve never had a song with the double bass drums and guitar hysteria that this one has. It’s very Van Halen and it’s a very powerful musicianship song and I don’t think our band ever gets credit for being great musicians and I think that song really showcases that. Lyrically, it’s for our fans and for our friends. We’re talking about how lucky we are to still be able to do this. The lyrics are ‘We’re gonna scream louder for you/we’re gonna play harder for you/we’re gonna live larger.’ It’s a celebration, so to speak!”
Trixter will be touring across the nation starting early July. The list of current tour dates can be found on the band’s website, so keep an eye on that list! And while you wait for Trixter to arrive in your neck of the woods, here’s Rockin’ to the Edge of the Night to hold you over: