ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 27, 2005
By Steve Newton
The first time you hear Heavy Trash-the new rockabilly project from the Blues Explosion’s Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray from Madder Rose and Speedball Baby-it’s easy to imagine how the Cramps might have sounded if they’d laid down tracks at Sun Records in the ’50s. This impression goes over well with Spencer when he fields a call from the Straight at his Big Apple abode.
“I take that as a compliment,” he replies. “I mean, both Matt and I love old records, we’re fans of a lot of older sounds and styles, and that certainly fuelled what we were doin’. And he’s got his own little studio on the Lower East Side, so because we had our own place and unlimited access, we could take our time and really mess around with this stuff.”
“They’ve played with Neko Case and a lot of different people,” notes Spencer of the Toronto combo, “and they’ve got their own thing goin’ on. We did a short tour with them back in June, and it went so well that we agreed then and there to try it again. And the Sadies were insistent that we take the show to northwestern Canada, so that’s what we’re doin’.”
Spencer’s geography skills may be somewhat lacking, but his previous Vancouver gigs with R.L. Burnside and the Blues Explosion have shown that, more importantly, he’s thoroughly adept at rockin’ the house. As for Heavy Trash’s other half, how can a guy named Verta-Ray not be impressive?