CVLT Nation Interviews Troller
Troller’s released a chic pop dirge with Graphic. Troller are Amber and Justin Goers, with Adam Jones. The trio’s grown past their Troller cult status off their own Austin-based label, HoloDeck Records. All that leather that graced Graphic’s cover and the “Not Here” music videos coaxed Crucial Blast to venture a CD re-release.
Crucial Blast’s releases consist of Ramleh’s Circular Time and Gnaw Their Tongues’ Abyss of Longing Throats. Power electronics legends turned Hawkwindian noise-rockers and prolific blackened noise – Crucial Blast’s underground roster heaves against its obscurity.
Crucial Blast’s Graphic is re-done with more grit. The new cover shows a high-heeled gimp with legs belted against their back. But Troller’s heavy darkwave carries a softer vibe than their feedback-laden label mates that Crucial Blast sells as harking back to Siouxsie Sioux and Kate Bush.
CVLT Nation needed to know more. Below, Troller relate their origin, growing cast and future with HoloDeck.
CVLT Nation Interviews TROLLER
Where did the members of Troller meet? Are you all natives of Austin?
We met in college 10 years ago in a small town 30 miles south of Austin. None of us are from Austin originally.
We wanted to start a pop band with elements of heavy music. We’ve always been fascinated by bands that mix darkness with the accessibility of pop. Troller is our own take on that dynamic.
Why did you decide on the name Troller?
The name Troller should be credited to Austin Youngblood from the band Pure X. They were formally known as “Pure Ecstasy,” but were legally forced to change their name right around the same time that Troller formed but was still nameless. We were all hanging out trying to brainstorm band names, and Austin just blurted out “Troller.” It didn’t fit the vibe of Pure X, but it fit our vibe very well. Austin agreed to let us have it. It had just the right amount of creepiness we were looking for.
Were any of you involved in past projects together?
We’ve been playing music together for over 10 years in various projects. Today, we all run Holodeck Records along with a small team in Austin, and continue to collaborate in various other musical projects together.
Are the three of you involved in any other projects at this time?
Troller shares members with Thousand Foot Whale Claw and S U R V I V E.
On Facebook, Troller is described as “darkwave, doom, metal, synth, drive-by music.” How did Troller come to these sounds?
Darkwave, doom, metal and synth music heavily influence our personal style of composition and musical taste. “Drive-by” is sort of the tongue-and-cheek name that we coined to describe our “genre,” because we did not know what else to tell people when they ask us to define it.
For us, “drive-by” music is a reference to the sort of horror/visceral nature of our aesthetic. We’re always trying to find ways to get heavier and more ominous. We want to scare people a little bit, and that term seemed to fit.
What instruments does Troller specifically play? I ask this because, Adam, you’re a part of the Austin synth nerd scene, right? Has the band’s setup changed since the first album?
Part of being involved in the “synth nerd scene” is that you regularly buy new gear, so we are absolutely using different synthesizers on the new record. In fact, we are using different synthesizers in our live act right now that were acquired after we finished Graphic. We’ve always had synths, drum machine, bass and vocals as the basis of our arrangement, and we have recently added a guitar player to our line up.
What made you decide to bring on a guitarist? Are they already affiliated with the Holodeck label?
Justin has been a part of the Holodeck crew since the start. We have played with Justin in other projects for a very long time, and although he does many other things in the studio, we thought the guitar was the perfect extra layer to be sandwiched in with the bass and synths. He came in half way through the recording process of Graphic after our former synth player Rosemary amicably left the band.
Is there a firm concept to Graphic or are these a collection of songs?
Graphic is a collection of songs that we wrote at home and perfected on the stage. We knew from the beginning we were going to call the record Graphic, but overall, each song was written as its own piece. The four instrumental interludes on the record were composed last as we were piecing everything together and really helped everything fall into place. The idea is that you could listen to this record as singles or from start to finish and enjoy it either way.
Would you agree Troller’s aesthetic has changed since the first album? You ditched the leather clad axe wielder for a lot of bondage. Why the bondage?
Overall, we think our aesthetic is fairly similar for this record. In general, we like things that are sci-fi, horror, erotic, and dark, so it seemed like a natural progression from the leather clad axe wielder to bondage.
How did Graphic’s re-release on Crucial Blast come about?
Crucial Blast reached out to us years ago after the release of our debut record about working with us in the future. Once we were ready to release Graphic, Crucial Blast was stoked to come aboard. We’re really happy with the collaboration.
The label releases some pretty bleak artistry, which Troller at times reflects but Graphic also sounds on “Storm Maker” like Beach House and darker Cocteau Twins – do you find your audience to run the gamut?
Definitely. One of the main themes of our band is to have the potential for a widely ranged audience. We’ve played on bills with metal bands, noise bands, synth bands, punk bands, pop bands, etc. Our sound seems to resonate with all types of audiences, including lovers of the dreamy pop sounds of the aforementioned bands.
What’ the status of Holodeck in 2016?
We’ve got several upcoming LP and cassette releases that we are very close to announcing. There are also lots of music videos and tours in the works for Troller, Samantha Glass, and several others. We’re definitely loaded up for the rest of the year.
What does the future look like for Troller?
We have a busy future planned. We’re making music videos for every song on Graphic (we’ve released 4 so far), planning extensive US (and hopefully international) tours, working on the next record, and grinding away at the Holodeck headquarters everyday. Steady grinding. x