Interview with The Choo Choo Trains

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The Choo Choo Trains are Veronica Dajani (guitar, vocals, organ, piano, steel guitar) Catherine Plewa (bass, backing vocals, xylophone), Emma Rayner (drums, percussion)

Veronica: We started out as a four-piece actually, but then our fourth member left as she was busy with her other band. Since then we’ve been a three-piece.

What other bands did you work with or do you work with?

Veronica: When I lived in Norway I played in Junior Dajani & The Drug bust Kids and The Flower And The Fly. Then I started the band Vanilla Ride in London. I also used to play in Clockwork Four.

Emma: I’ve played with Candy Heart Attack and Mirror Parties.

Catherine. SeaCAndy, Happycasio!, Salaryman, Old Bamboo and The Cold Spells.

Did any of you study music?

Veronica: No. Well…I was taught  how to play the trumpet and violin when I was a kid, but I’ve forgotten everything now unfortunately.

Emma: I had drum lessons, believe it or not.

Catherine: Haha  I had piano lessons as a child but I’ve forgotten how to read music. I wish I’d stuck with it in a way but, having said that, I think being self taught encourages originality.

What and who are your influences?

Veronica – Jonathan Richman, The Velvet Underground, Johnny Thunders, Dion and the Belmonts, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Phil Spector, Lex Baxter, Martin Denny… Memories and nature also inspires me a lot.

Emma – Electrelane, Black Tambourine, Micachu, Raincoats, Pixies, Slint, Hotpants Romance, Babes in Toyland, Arthur Russell, Liliput, The Knife, Talking Heads

Catherine – I have real trouble answering this because once I start listing the music that’s important to me I find it hard to stop. I think my influences lie somewhere between Emma and Veronica’s though. I’d cite a lot of the bands they’ve listed and add Blur and The Beatles of course!

VeronicaHow could I forget Blur?!

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And who’s playing the horns on “Rabbits”?

That’s Spencer Evoy, our Canadian friend who recorded our album.

How many albums have you released and what’s the latest?

We released one album on cassette in 2012 and one 7″ EP this year.

Who take on specific angles figure, booking, driving, or pushing your merchandise?

Veronica: We all book gigs and try and sell our merchandise at gigs. It’s also available on bandcamp.

Emma: To be fair, Veronica’s the one always carrying the records around! And Catherine drives when needed, I’m the least useful member.

Catherine: That’s not true, Emma! You’re the maths brain. Emma is really good at dividing things by three!

I found a little info on the Manic Pop! Records situation. How much did the abrupt closure affect TCCT’s?

Veronica: It was just quite sad really. Mike is such as nice guy and we just wanted to thank him for what he did for us, but there’s no way of getting in touch with him. If he reads this….thanks Mike!

Emma: Yeah, thanks Mike!

Catherine: He genuinely made a dream come true for us so it’s really sad. We’re very grateful. Thanks Mike.

Have you toured? And if so, where?

Veronica: No.

Catherine: No, but we are hoping to organize a few shows in Italy thanks to some nice people we met at Indietracks.

Who did the artwork for the cassette?

Veronica: I did. 

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Who is the line leader?

Veronica: Line leader?

Emma: (I think that’s you Veronica)

What were your first albums you bought?

Veronica: Michael Jackson “Thriller”.

Emma: I think it was Americana by the Offspring

Catherine: The first music I ever bought for myself was Jason Donovan’s “Too Many Broken Hearts” on 7″ in 1989. I still have it and I still know all the words.

What can we look forward to from TCCT in the next year? Any cool festivals, side projects, other venture.

Veronica: We’re going to record our next album next week. It will out on cassette as soon as possible.

Emma: we’re also playing Indietracks!

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A Miami native who has made himself comfortable in Coconut Grove with his wife and band mate Maitejosune of Pocket of Lollipops. Together they have created a wonderland of sounds and visual treats that would confuse the everyday Sam. Tony has also released three novels and one pseudo comic. http://pocketoflollipops.com http://tonykapel.com

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