Being a drummer is tough work. Despite being the backbone of the band, drummers are scarcely seen on stage and only recognized by the most dedicated of fans. More especially when you drum in a breakdown centric hardcore band like Senses Fail. It’s not a glamorous job, but for Dan Trapp, the unsung hero of hardcore drumming, it is a passion. Before their set at Warped Tour Pomona, Dan graciously takes some time to speak with us.
What do you guys have in store for your set today at Warped Tour?
We’re playing a good mix of things. We just had a “Best Of” record come out this week, so we’re trying to play a bit of everything.
Did you re-record the songs on that record?
No, we were approached by our label with the idea of doing something like this. I want to make it clear that it is not a “Greatest Hits.” It is a “Best Of” retrospective because, let’s get real, we haven’t really had “Hits.” We’re not the Rolling Stones. We just threw together our most popular songs spanning the life of the band, which is ten years now. That’s another reason we did it.
How many tracks is it?
I believe there are 20 tracks. It’s a double disc, where the first one is 16 songs and the second is 4 brand new songs on an EP. It’s a cool way to transition into some new stuff as well.
Will be see a vinyl of this record?
Not sure yet. I would like to say so.
What else can you tell us about it?
We did a limited release with only 10,000 physical copies. We’ll probably do some reissues. Most people buy music digitally these days, anyway. These are songs that are all on other album, so you kind of have to anticipate that not everyone will be running out to get it if they already have the songs. That’s why we did the EP as well.
Does it come with any cool collectibles?
We actually did a pre-order pack. We did it with a summer fun pack. We’re usually a fall release band, for whatever reason. We bundled it with one of those shitty foam coolers, sun block, sunglasses, a beach ball and your choice of t-shirt or tank top.
That’s pretty cool. Do you have anything in mind for new content this year?
Yeah, we’re writing as we speak. The very back end of our bus is a very makeshift studio. It’s awesome, we have roll in V-drums back there, so we can play as organically as possible under the circumstances. That’s been really cool. We are looking to record around Thanksgiving time. It will be out, hopefully, by early spring.
What direction are you heading with the new album?
It’s hard to describe, especially since we’re still writing. We’re never going to change who we are because people like us for who we are. I think people misstep when they do that and alienate fans. If you want to change who you are and play a different type of music, I can’t understand that. We just want to do what we do. I think it will be a heavier record. I think there will be a lot less garbage going on. A lot more raw and… energy is the key word. We want good energy, and that doesn’t mean fast or chugging breakdowns, just good energy.
How many Warped Tours has Senses Fail played?
This is our fifth Warped Tour.
How do you see it evolving?
It’s hard to say. It’s definitely evolving. There are different bands and different types of bands are now headlining that wouldn’t have been in, say, 2003. It’s cool–-you have a lot of band like the New Found Glory’s and the Yerllowcard’s as well as The Used–all of these bands who have done the tour over the years come back and do it again. The same goes for us. It’s definitely broadened. The acoustic stage is a cool thing they are doing. It’s cool, but it’s definitely changed. It’s like anything else, the climate changes and the music changes with it.
How do you adapt to that change?
I don’t know. I think we’ve always been doing what we do. Hopefully not in a way that is stale to anybody. We aren’t the type of band that will change what we do to fit in with what is hot for the minute. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t work and you have to feel good about what you’re doing and doing the right thing for the right reasons. We have fans who have stuck with us, fans who are 40 and fans who are 13. It’s cool to see that we’ve been evolving and progressing doing what we do but not totally changing what we do or who we are.
Senses Fail, as well as with some of the other bands out there, it’s crazy to look into the crowd and see the diversity of the fans. You have 40-year olds and 14-year olds both rocking out and they are loving it on the same level.
It’s great. We do signing on our merch table everyday and we tell people to come over and say hi after our set. It’s cool. Yesterday we were in Irvine and there was an 11-year-old kid there with his dad getting an autograph and behind him was someone in his late 30s saying, “I was listening to you guy right out of college and now I have kids.” It’s cool to see that diversity in fans. Definitely cool.
Who are some of your favorite musicians out there today?
Rex Hardy Jr., he is the drummer for Mary J. Bilge and the drummer on American Idol. He did some stuff that make me immediately get online and figure out how to play what I just heard. Right now he is one of my favorite drummers.
Sounds cool. Thanks for speaking with me, Dan.