Dropping today is Fat Trout Trailer Park’s self-titled EP, a six track collection from Sean Raab made up of post-punk anarchy and innovative rock ‘n’ roll. Mix up a bit of noughties rock, with Tame Impala-inspired psychedelics, and a sprinkle of experimental electronica, and you’re getting close to the vibrant sound of Fat Trout Trailer Park. Described as “a post-punk interpretation of how people in the future would think the past sounds like”, we meet the mind behind Fat Trout Trailer Park and hear, track-by-track, just how his debut EP came about…
Backseat was written in the dead heat of summer, which made the cold sweat even more worrying. I was at a crossroads in my life and looking back on a spell of hedonism, intoxicated by anxiety questioning the future. I needed a song that felt like a whirlwind to relieve me of all that tension. Fuzzy guitars and heavy drums were still lingering in my ear tunnels after having seen Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall and Death Grips among others perform at festivals that summer. There are two versions of this song. The single edit is shorter and doesn’t ever step on the brakes. It’s full throttle straight to the end, whereas the “freestyle” edit has a more experimental breakdown and is more of a journey. I love both dearly, that’s why we put them on the EP with the “freestyle” edit as a bonus track.
This was my version of a mid 2000s indie rock song I had grown up with as a teenager. A sort of homage to those tight grooves and high energy tracks I learned to play guitar to. A lot of my songs go through different sonic realms in a single track, often without much repetition of the parts. I like going wherever the song takes me, I’m not always bothered by structures. But for ‘Dirty Hands’ the classic verse-chorus structure hit the spot and felt right. This track was actually the last one to be written for the EP.
I was working a part-time job at a prestigious auction house, but would come home to a literal freezing loft. The city had cut the gas for the entire building in the middle of February due to the landlords stealing gas from the building. I had to shower with hot buckets of water that we boiled on an electric cooker. It was insanity. That made going to wealthy Manhattan apartments for my job so much more enraging. Being confronted with that jarring divide in wealth was the source for the lyrics to ‘Gold’. There’s a lot going on in this song, I wanted to blend that rage with critique but on a surrealist backdrop. The outro is one of my favorite parts of the entire EP.
I saw an article pass by with the headline ‘Fatberg larger than a jumbo jet found under seaside town’. How can you not write a song about that? The fact that we don’t know what goes on underneath the concrete was so interesting to me and illustrative of our modern society that we’ve been forced into by late capitalism. NYC has so many levels, it’s such a vertical city that I wanted the guitars and drums to sound like they were playing in a different measure to recreate that layered chaos. Structure wise it’s an unusual track, with only the chorus making an encore. ‘Fatberg’ really encapsulates many of the sonics and lyrical content that makes up the EP. We thought it would be a good introduction to the FTTP world and chose it as debut single for the project.
This song is very much about my conservative religious upbringing and the qualms of living a so-called double life. I tried to recall what I was feeling growing up in that environment. Internal struggles, insecurities and fear of disappointment litter the song through metaphors. Sonically I wanted to recreate a dark alleyway, possibly purgatory. The accompanying video really takes it to the next level. Jill Verhaeghe shot the video at a brothel in Brussels coincidentally called Fifth Avenue. Apparently Jacques Brel spent a lot of time there, you didn’t hear it from me.
The song is an interpretation of a Jekyll & Hyde narrative, a reflection on bipolarity. The feelings of disbelief, guilt, regret and relief after an episode and the urge to conform to one or the other for good. It was the very first song to be written for this project. It’s also the most personal song and less explicitly about societal problematics even though it’s chicken and egg. The contrast in the song from the first half and the second half act as polar opposites and is something I like doing, touching on ambiguity and negative capability. We amplified that even more in the video where it starts off as a regular clean looking acoustic video and transforms into a stop motion Street Fighter sequence.