3 August 2016

Interview with TRAITRS - dark post punk from Toronto!

Get this - bands are contacting me for mentions! Who knew that my blog will get this far? I was very happy to check TRAITS out and discover new music, I liked the dark post punky vibes and the straightforward singing that rings in your ear. 
So without further adieu, and make sure to check out further links at the end of the post! 

1. TRAITRS consists of 2 longtime friends, how has your friendship affected the music writing?

NOLAN: Shawn and I are always on the exact same page as far as musical direction goes so we never really argue about anything. This makes the songwriting come very natural and easy. There's an honesty and comfort level between us that can only exist between two close friends. So if a song isn't working and needs to be scrapped or a lyric is rubbish or a synth line could be better, we have no problem calling attention to it. There's never any tension or hurt feelings. 100% of the time if one of us notices something good or bad in a track eventually the other will hear it and agree. We constantly sacrifice mediocre material for something stronger. Shawn and I also have the exact same sense of humour so we can spend a ridiculous amount of time together in the studio and on the road and always have a good laugh. Honestly, this is an absolutely crucial component of Traitrs. Despite how dark and gloomy the music is, we're both a couple of silly fucks.


2. You are based in Toronto, how would you describe the music scene there (and in Canada in general)?

NOLAN: The Canadian music stereotype that immediately comes to mind is boring, vanilla, folksy, middle-of-the-road, softer than baby shit pop-rock that nobody outside of Canada would ever listen to. Mainstream Canadian music totally blows. However there are so many wicked independent bands, record labels, producers, recording studios and artists all across Canada putting out really great music right now. And they're finally starting to get some much deserved recognition abroad. You can see it in the recent critical successes of artists like Dilly Dally, Greys, Odonis Odonis, Weaves, Austra, Grimes etc. As for Toronto itself, there isn't a definitive "Toronto sound" but the Toronto music community is very eclectic and incredibly supportive of one another. What's rad is whether you're in a punk band, post-punk band, hardcore band, art rock band, metal band, electronic act or whatever-the-fuck band, there's support for you here. It's not as though one genre or style dictates the "Toronto sound". Everyone kinda does their own thing and the scene supports that.
this beautiful EP cassette is unfortunately sold out :(

3. Your EP Rites & Ritual has been compared to Bauhaus and Pornography-era The Cure. What are some other musical acts that have influenced your music?

TUCKER: Early on we were listening to a lot of The Sound, Southern Death Cult, Dead Can Dance, The Opposition, Asylum Party as well as The Cure, Bauhaus, The Smiths etc. Sean and I have always been drawn to dark, moody, cold music and knew Traitrs would follow in that direction. 

NOLAN: When I was writing the drums for Rites And Ritual, I was listening extensively to the first two Dead Can Dance albums as well as a lot of aboriginal and Native American drum circles for inspiration which explains all the tribal, tom-heavy rhythms on the record. For us, the drums and rhythms set the mood and tone for Traitrs and we build on top of that.

4. You touch on occult themes in your song lyrics; is witchcraft a significant part of your lives?

TUCKER: I think it's bigger than that. By the age of 11 I was so fully surrounded by ghosts, hauntings, Ouija boards and strange ass stuff. Some scary bad shit happened when I was young. I was always told "Don't talk about it or it will follow you" so, I don't. I've always been drawn to horror / occult after that and think in someways we all are. It's something inside us as humans, drawn to our worst fears. To me personally the content on Rites and Ritual was in someway me conjuring back memories and feelings from childhood. When writing the lyrics I was completely drugged up from an injury watching horror films with no recollection of exactly what I was putting down but now I listen and track by track it's like a messed up horror film meshed in with puzzle pieces of my childhood laced with so much suffering, sadness and the darkest of places.

5. Are there any places/ events where you would most like to play?

NOLAN: We definitely want to play Europe as soon as humanly possible. The record has been doing really well in Germany, the UK, Czech Republic, Italy and Greece. There are so many awesome festivals (both big and small) in Europe not to mention a hugely supportive scene for dark post-punk bands, we're dying to get over there. There are some tentative plans for Traitrs to tour Europe sometime in 2017. A few blogs in Japan supported the record as well so that's definitely on the wish list. Aside from that, we want to play as much as we can here in Canada and head down to the US as well. We want to push Traitrs as far as it can possibly go.

7. And lastly – after a long day’s work at his miserable job, Billy comes home and puts on TRAITRS in full volume. Where is your music taking him?

TUCKER: Dante's Inferno.


I personally liked Youth Cults and Heretic from the EP, I find there's some Indie traces in Heretic, and you know how I like things that stray from genres. I also find the vocals to be the absolute jewel of each song, and the drum patters really get you in an avalanche.

Further band updates, check out the following:
Bandcamp - merch & more!
Soundcloud - album streaming
email at: traitrstraitrstraitrs@gmail.com



  1. Thank you very much for sharing this band with us! I rarely can get enough of post punk so Traitrs are definitely an enrichment to my music library. Hopefully they reach their goals and will come to Germany!

    1. Rarely get enough post punk? Then I should write about music more!!
      I hope so too :)