Reigning from Canterbury in Kent, T-REX CAN’T SWIM are a band looking to make waves in the emo / grunge scene. Whinyl caught up with frontman and songwriter, Elliot Hudson-Tyler to talk influences, local scenes and future plans.
First off, what made you want to start writing lyrics?
I was raised in a family that listen to a lot of music, and I always had a lot of music around me growing up. So I got into it because my dad was a guitarist and I just wanted to start doing it all myself. It was a good outlet for everything that was going on in my life.
Were you writing with the intention of the lyrics becoming songs or just writing to vent?
I’m not really sure how it all started, I used to write poems when I was little but it was all just a natural process for me. One day I sat down with a guitar and it just came out, I was doing an acoustic thing at the time with my old band and that’s where it all began.
What bands and musicians would you say are your biggest influences?
All of us in the band listen to different stuff, Noah is very influenced by Moose Blood and Adventures, I’m really into Old Gray, Sorority Noise, Dowsing, Weezer but also some of the old stuff I was brought up on like Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis, a sort of weird mixture of things. Matt’s into everything: Paramore, Disturbed… there’s not really anything he doesn’t listen to, so we all bring our own twist to everything and I think it works well.
What’s been your proudest moment in music so far?
We’ve been asked to play on the main stage at YARP Festival and that’s pretty neat for us. We’ve had some really nice comments from people at our shows and Eric from Dowsing saying he liked our cover of Gengar! Gengar! Gengar! was a really proud moment as well, obviously it’s his song and he liked the way we’d made it our own.
How would you hope other people interpret T-REX CAN’T SWIM’s music?
I like to think people interpret it as it is and take it as they will. I write all the lyrics so I try to vary them in subject matter, so one song will be all happy and cheerful then the next could be talking about death wishes. I think it’s important for people to know that there’s serious problems going on in the world, but at the same time it’s okay to be laughing and joking even if you feel fairly crap the rest of the time. People with these problems aren’t always miserable all the time, I write music that displays my emotions and if people can relate to it that’s good. I mean obviously it’s kinda bad because at the same time I don’t want people feeling that way, but if it helps people it helps people. If it opens people’s eyes to the problems around us, it opens people’s eyes. We just want people to like us and listen to the music and enjoy it.
What are your opinions on the current music scene in Kent?
It’s weird, it’s really strange. We’ve had no issue coming up but I don’t see a lot of bands doing what we do, without sounding arrogant, we’re doing a very different thing to everything else that’s around. You’ve got bands like Moose Blood coming out of Canterbury, Canterbury has a strong scene. You’ve got a few good bands coming out of Medway area, we’ve had Native People come from down here who have gone up and done well for themselves. But I think festivals like YARP and Create Festival are a really good platform for it all. We’re good friends with the guys in Riskee and the Ridicule and The Rash, as well as Flame Pilots, Cult of Franco and The Tomcats and they’re all doing fantastic stuff, all doing really well for themselves. Riskee has just come back off tour with The King Blues and it proves that it’s not an unattainable goal for bands from this sort of area to make it. People are managing to make it from what is perceived to be quite a drab area, we’re really happy to be part of this scene.
Finally, what are the bands plans for the coming year?
We played Battle of the Bands at Archbishops School last week which went pretty well, we’re playing YARP fest in May, opening the main stage on the Saturday. We’ve got a couple of gigs in the pipelines, but we just want to play everything that comes to us and get as many opportunities as possible. I’m planning an acoustic tour with a couple of mates, just a mini tour around Folkestone in people’s gardens and front rooms, that’s going to be announced soon. We haven’t spoke of any plans about recording but I’d like to start to think about that too. I just love playing music with these guys and as long as we can keep doing that in whatever way it is, even just to 3 or 4 people in a room, I’ll do it. We just take each day as it comes and take each opportunity as it comes and just try to do as much as we can.
Catch T-REX CAN’T SWIM at YARP festival in May, and stay tuned for news on Elliot’s acoustic tour by liking the band’s Facebook page.