ALT-ROCK heroes And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead are back with their eighth album — and a call to arms to their apathetic peers.
The band, usually shortened to the less unwieldy Trail Of Dead, first burst onto the music scene from rock ‘n’ roll Austin, Texas, with their self-titled debut album back in 1998.
But while the band, known for their searing alt-rock riffs and incendiary live shows, are unafraid to mix music and politics, frontman Conrad Keely says he has noticed a marked decrease in bands with something to say.
“It’s about giving a damn I guess,” he tells the Mail. “We grew up with the punk movement and the early indie scene where it seemed a lot of people would say things with their music and try to effect a change.
“I dunno what changed but that seems to have been lost. I get the feeling this generation don’t feel they can change anything — they feel powerless.”
Keely is particularly exercised by the civil war in Syria unfolding while the world looks on, apparently unable or unwilling to intervene.
“The international community has just left them in the lurch,” he says. “They are trying to be all politic about it while people are getting massacred on a daily basis. It’s appalling.”
Closer to home, Keely also abhors the treatment dished out to Russian punk rockers Pussy Riot, jailed for staging an anti-Kremlin protest in a church.
“I’m afraid that if you’re putting people in jail for performance then it kind of opens doors for all sorts of censorship,” he says. “What next, are we going to put people in jail for writing a book? What kind of world are we living in?”
It’s not all politics though — Trail Of Dead are about to release their eighth studio album, Lost Songs, recorded in Hanover, Germany, a country where they enjoy a particularly loyal fanbase.
“One of the reasons we wanted to record it in Germany was because our fans were most receptive there so we wanted to do it for them,” says Keely, not a rock star to moan about life on the road.
“Travelling is one of my great passions.” So when the new record drops on October 22, can we expect any radical changes from their last album, last year’s Tao Of The Dead? “I don’t ever see changes in our music being drastic ever,” says Keely.
“I feel it’s an extension of the last record, although people tell me this one sounds more aggressive.” Lost Songs is released on October 22 via Superball Music and EMI.
The band play at the Scala, in London, on Wednesday and Manchester Academy on the following night. Tickets are available at www.seetickets.com