This week Your Favorite Trainwreck’s release their self-titled debut full-length via Revelation/Fortunate Son on vinyl and digital formats. The vinyl gatefold album is available through Rev’s website. The digital release will be available through all the usual suspects including iTunes and their Bandcamp page. The band features Jeff Caudill (ex-Gameface) who we caught up with this week in The Hotseat. Expand the post for his answers and to check out the video for ‘The Brilliance‘ from the album.
Name : Jeff Caudill
Band : Your Favorite Trainwreck
Job In Band : Vocals, Guitar, Songwriting, Making shit happen
Website Address : yourfavoritetrainwreck.com
Hometown : Los Angeles, CA
Hometown is best known for : Botox, Breast implants and crap TV.
Best venue in your hometown : The Troubadour
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : Lucero. They’ve grown into such an amazing group. Pedal steel and horn section and they still rock. Very inspiring.
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : Our best shows are out of town for sure but there’s a hole in the wall that used to be called The Scene Bar that’s always a good time. We played with Drag The River there and I may have injured myself due to intoxication.
How did the band first come to exist? Popeye and I had been talking about doing a band together for years but since we’re both singer-songwriters we thought there may be too much ego for our friendship to handle. But now that we’re old and don’t care about those types of things anymore it was perfect timing to make the record we always talked about. We split the songwriting down the middle and worked together on the whole thing. We didn’t have a set direction for the band – it just kind of turned out to be a pretty eclectic mix of all the sounds we’re into. We grabbed our drummer Robbie from my solo band and our bassist Jeff is a friend who just looks cool so he was in too.
How long has the band been going? A couple years. It’s been a slow start due to all of us being involved in other music projects. Maybe that will change now that the album is finally out.
Any particular story behind the name? We had a bunch of possible names for the band. The phrase ‘Your Favorite Trainwreck’ is something I heard from a friend. Popeye always liked it. The time while writing the material and forming the band was a tough one for him – going through a divorce and other life changes. I think that surfaces in the songs too. He just thought that phrase was fitting. I remember bouncing tons of potential names off Popeye but none of them spoke to us like that one.
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… Our self-titled debut album. We even pressed in on red vinyl with a gatefold sleeve. It’s everything we hoped it would be. It’s got a little of everything on it – punk rock, heartbreak, fist pumping anthems, drinking songs, sensitive acoustic ballads, a drunken bar fight and certainly more melody and harmony than you can handle.
OFF THE STAGE
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? I heard Jackson Browne’s ‘Running On Empty’ in the backseat of my Mom’s car when I was about 10 years old and I understood it was about a guy in a band on the road and I just knew that was the coolest thing ever. Early in high school I saw a friend’s band play the school talent show and I thought, “Fuck that, I can do it way better than that!” My first band was formed the next month.
Any particular band / album or song that you personally credit as a major influence? I usually credit the R.E.M. catalog with teaching me how to play guitar and sing. In the late 80s when I started going to shows I loved Big Drill Car, Descendents and 7 Seconds. Those were the bands that ended up being the blueprint for my first “real” band, Gameface.
Your first band name, and what style did you play? No Such Thing. I played guitar and sang lead. We started off playing punk covers and evolved into a late 80s REM/new wave sort of thing.
Most prized music related item you own? Signed copy of Elvis Costello’s ‘Punch The Clock’ LP. I met him and he signed it. That’s all I remember. That man is music royalty.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? Working my ass off. I am a graphic designer. I work in movie advertising in Hollywood. It is just as glamorous as it sounds!
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is… Finally getting in front of people that really want to hear my music and seeing friends I’ve made all over the world.
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… being away from my family.
ON THE STAGE
When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider? Chocolate.
Favourite place you’ve toured… and why? United Kingdom. I love the history. I love the people. They speak my language and they are just so much cooler than Americans. I suppose I could say the same about Australians but I have never been there.
Most memorable show you’ve played? and why? This is a tough one to pin down but I remember the tour that Gameface did with Texas is the Reason. Those shows were just kind of magical for us. We just released ‘Three To Get Ready’ and I felt like everyone was on our side – singing along and just genuinely loving us. Texas was incredible too. It was just a perfect moment. Oh the 90s….
Got a favourite song to play live? In Your Favorite Trainwreck I love playing Bounce Back. It’s fast, it’s catchy, I get to drop all kinds of obscure references.
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? Whenever Popeye and Robbie pretend to argue with each other on stage. They think it’s funny. I just cringe.
Any pre-show rituals? Stretching and breathing. And drinking.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? It’s so expensive – especially now that the stakes are higher for a band like us. We’re older and have more responsibilities that we did when we were in our 20s.
Last song you listened to? ‘Cortez The Killer’ by Neil Young on my stereo right now
Last album you acquired? OFF! Self-titled CD. Brilliant.
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? Tom Petty and The Gaslight Anthem
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go and listen to right now? I’m too old to tell you what to listen to. I suggest discovering the music that was happening around the time you were born and see where it’s gone since then.
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band? Doing some Gameface reunion shows this summer but after that it’s all about YFT playing together again.
You can pick any one album for your band to cover in full, what would it be and why? Jackson Browne’s first album. I never get tired of singing those songs.
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why? Foo Fighters. They are the only rock band I would trust with my material. Love that band. Or Ryan Adams. He could do whatever he wants with my songs. Dude is a genius.
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? Uncle Tupelo.
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? The Wiltern in Los Angeles.
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? I’d like to be Chris Shiflett for a tour, just so I can hang out with Dave Grohl.
Got any final words? Get the album on vinyl! You will not regret it. Red vinyl, gatefold sleeve. Comes with a download card that includes a digital booklet and the music video for ‘The Brilliance’. Order it at revhq.com