T*R*E*S* is the musical project of three extraordinary men who are unlike any ETV have encountered before. They are from The Big Cheese of Devastated Lands. Today all three members discussed how they met up, what their favorite T*R*E*S* songs are and the process they go through to come up with their unique songs.
The story of how the band formed begins on a full moon night during a Christina Aguilera concert in 2000. Vocalist Kcîrtap Ralosz met Rick Lostrapa, who is now responsible for T*R*E*S*’s strings.
Ralosz said, “I stood in the concert hall sticking hundreds of little needles into a voodoo puppet just to stop the woman from singing until I almost fell over the body of Rick Lostrapa – still lying on the floor since the night before where he had drunk himself during a KMFDM concert to unconsciousness.”
“We both had a real crush on the others music taste,” said Ralosz, referring to Lostrapa. “And so the night went on and finally we landed in a pub where we met another very drunk person.”
This very drunk person would be the third piece to T*R*E*S*, Professor Jean Avalanche, who is responsible for drums, percussion and programming.
“Yep, I was quite depressed,” Avalanche said. “We had a gig with Les Schwartzwürstel and suddenly a ball lightning hit the stage and burned my right hand. So I had to quit my job as a drummer with that famous metal band. While talking with the others, they said they had a job for me that I could do left handed. So I re-started drumming similar to that guy of that British rock band – Def Tigah or so… Yeah and that was the start of a great time.”
The band has a unique sound that cannot be labeled easily under any single genre. They go from aggressive post punk, to dark doom, to friendly synth-pop, to edgy euro dance. Together they have released two albums “T*R*E*S* Extreme” and “The Miscatonic Tapes.” The band’s recent third album “The Grey Album” has been considered a mixture of metallic songs and retro sounding electronic hits also being much more orchestral than the predecessors.
“What makes us unique; we just use real black cat hair from real black cats for the strings!” Lostrapa said. “It takes days to get enough vomited hair to form a real good bass string but I believe that is good old craftsmanship and makes the sound so different – so astonishing! We also shave our cats only in full moon nights just to make sure they’ve got the metaphysical power we need for the vibe!”
It’s good to know that T*R*E*S* goes the extra mile to creating a sound no one else can make. Ralosz said one song that means a lot to him is the track “51GN5.”
“I had been kicked in the crown jewels five times while recording – just to get my voice high pitched like this,” Ralosz said. “It was terrible, terrible pain. But it’s my most personal song because I gave it all to make it a classic. I used the occasion to record ‘The Vast’ shortly after just to use the same voice. I was also considering starting a Bronski Beat Cover Band.”
Another one of his favorites is the song “Damnation 2” that he describes as a crusty song about exaggerated political correctness.
“I growled my voice out after gargling two liters of virgin’s blood mixed with drain cleaners,” Ralosz said. “I think I’m some kind of voice method actor – so like Christian Bale in ‘Machinist.’”
Lostrapa said his personal favorite T*R*E*S* track is the Hellboy homage “Amun Rama.”
“I used that straight riff just to get a Killing Joke like mood in the chorus,” Lostrapa said. “The solo consists of ca. 500 parts that were put together in the studio! It took 3 months to get it perfect! What do you say now, Joe Walsh!”
Professor Avalanche’s favorite track is “TeeTH” because, well, he likes teeth.
When it comes to writing and recording music, Lostrapa said there’s no average time for songs to come together. Sometimes it takes one hour, sometimes it takes years.
“I’m working on the perfect song!” Lostrapa said. “The best song in the world! After Jack Black from Tenacious D failed I took the flame and continued. I already found the first note – and it was pure ecstasy! My ears bled about one hour. I hope in the next months I manage to find the second one and hopefully in ten years it’s finished.”
“I’m writing the lyrics,” said Ralosz. “It needs pounds of literature for all the little pop cultural hints. For “The best song in the world” I’ve chosen a co-songwriter named Sutter Cane. He’s commonly writing novels but he promised me to push the songwriting to a new level! We’re most of the time in contact via e-mail – he lives out of the world in a little town called Hobb’s End in New Hampshire. The most challenge in writing the lyrics is to find a word that rhymes! I normally write different rhyming words out of encyclopedias on little notepads. Throw them on my bed and sleep within. The next morning because of the sweat some of them stick on my body and voilà I’ve got it! I learned that method by an ex-speechwriter for the previous American President.”
“I’m doing the drums,” Avalanche said. “That simply goes BOING BOOM TSCHAK! Or I listen three hours in full blast to some older Cryptopsy tunes – just to get in the mood.”
The band has recently their third album “The Grey Album.” You can listen to the entire album on soundcloud here: