The Trade
18th October '03
THE TRADE is intensity and sweetness in one modern, workable package of an alternative blend of jazz and rock, melody and groove. Front-woman, Robin Wedlock, has an incredible voice that makes you want to hear more, more, more, but THE TRADE sound is so well crafted that it truly comes across as a perfect unit.SkidMcSkidder managed to pin down last month's FAOTM Robin AKA Jedt1 who has been busy with the rest of the band working in the studio on their latest album release....

SkidMcSkidder: Hi Robin it's great to talk to you again how's the recording of the new CD going?

Jedt1: The CD is going great! we've been really excited about it in general, and last week we mixed a version of "mercy, mercy" by Marvin Gaye, with a producer who has quite a magical touch. We're going to run all the tracks by him to put his "Midas touch" on them, as well. We're more excited than ever. It's turning into a concept album.

SkidMcSkidder: The working title for the new album is "Sex Language Violence" - can you me a little more about it?

Jedt1: Almost: "Language Sex Violence" - People always want to put the "sex" first! For good reason. But anyway - It'll be an 11-12 song CD which reflects the state of sex, language and violence from a personal standpoint of the band. There are two writers. It should be interesting.

SkidMcSkidder: Yeah it does sound intriguing! There's also talk of possibly a DVD release tied to the new album if I'm right - what form will that be in i.e. will it be a taped live gig or individual videos per track?

Jedt1: Hmmm. We're not that far, yet. Just an idea, but we are definitely considering it being a DVD. We may shoot a video with a filmmaker who'll fly in from California to shoot it.

SkidMcSkidder: You have a soft spot for video I'd guess - your last release "I MI´ LU´NASA " also contained a very cool video and commercial - were those visuals self produced?

Jedt1: Skidder - Thanks. We appreciate that. We had loads of fun shooting that video. It was self-produced and conceptualized. And, yes. I, personally, have a very soft spot for video, especially black & white.

SkidMcSkidder: Talking about "I MI´ LU´NASA ", that album has a very dark vibe to it - was it purposely written that way or just characteristic of THE TRADE's sound?

Jedt1:"Dark" is definitely characteristic of THE TRADE's sound. We're a pretty dark-minded band! Sunshine and (Laughs Out Loud) lollypops isn't our style - at least so we think. But - we aren't Satan worshipers, or anything.

SkidMcSkidder: Excellent - you'll hopefully like my new CD I'm working on - it's very dark and melancholy - I'll have to send you a copy when it's finished (I've named it Painted Cage)

Jedt1: I love that title! Yes! Send it to me ASAP. I love new music and especially music on the dark side of life. Actually, I like minor keys. My sister actually jokingly made a statement when I said to her one day about something, "Guess what?" she said, "You wrote something in a major key?" Ha!

SkidMcSkidder: (Laughs Out Loud) My favourite chord is A minor heh heh

Jedt1: Ask me what my favorite chord is.

SkidMcSkidder: What is your favourite chord Robin?

Jedt1: My favorite chord is - and try this at home, an E minor with a C bass. It is soo melancholy.

SkidMcSkidder: Will have to give that one a go 8-)

SkidMcSkidder: Going back to "I MI´ LU´NASA "...

SkidMcSkidder: Was the commercial it contained ever used on television?

Jedt1: Yes. It was aired in between jackass, the TV show and something else, during the VH-1 time slot here, several times during the new years season. A lot of people saw it and still come to me and ask about it

SkidMcSkidder: Who writes the core songs for THE TRADE?

Jedt1: Arthur O'Hell is the co-leader/writer of THE TRADE. Arthur and I write separately, and collaborate. I write on piano and Arthur writes more in a concept of a sound. I concentrate more on the melodies and vocal lines, because I sing the stuff.

SkidMcSkidder: Have you a confirmed release date for the new CD?

Jedt1: You know, since Jon Denney mixed that version of "mercy, mercy" for us - we put a due date on the back burner. Now it is set more toward spring, or even early summer. we want to take out time and investigate some areas we haven't before. It should be a complete blast!

SkidMcSkidder: Cool. You're signed to Jetdog Records - that your own label or a local one?

Jedt1: Jedtdog Records is our own label and publishing company. We recently added Dave Brooks to our roster. He has two releases out, as well. He was the lead singer for a band called "Slammin' Gladys" in the 80's. He's very, very good.

SkidMcSkidder: Very cool! So apart from your duties as lead singer for the band you work in music publishing too! You lucky, lucky gal! (Laughs Out Loud)

Jedt1: Well - It takes a lot of work. THE TRADE is really focusing on TV and film this year and for the next release. SEX LANGUAGE VIOLENCE is totally geared for airplay,TV, and film. Last year, our song, "walk behind me" from i mi´lunasa got picked up for the show WITCHBLADE, but the show was cancelled. We were so excited.

SkidMcSkidder: Talking of publishing...

SkidMcSkidder: You signed with the New York publisher Hacate back in February - what was that about?

Jedt1: Hacate, out of NY has several artists and is very eclectic in nature. We are allowing them to shop our music to whomever they see fit.
SkidMcSkidder: So basically they're a music reseller to the industry?

Jedt1: well -- They find a 'home' for music, as is a publisher's job.

Jedt1: THE TRADE acts as its own publisher, so as to acquire 100% of royalties that come to it.

SkidMcSkidder: All good stuff! Any plans for touring to promote the new album?

Jedt1: As to touring and promotion - we are planning that, as well. We'll hit major cities regionally - NYC, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Chicago, etc. and really push airplay.

SkidMcSkidder: If I remember Robin, last October you played at the Rock and Roll hall of fame in support of Cleveland's Breastfest 2002 festival - how was that as an experience?

Jedt1: Skidder, it was very, very cool to play the ROCK HALL of FAME. Just walking around and seeing all the exhibits, and especially, the one that was up when I was there: JOHN LENNON, was so inspiring and i felt very honored to be there.

Jedt1: They had John's glasses and clothing there that he was wearing when he was shot. Talk about eeeeeeerie. The clothing was contained in a yellow plastic bag thing, but his glasses were in plain view.

SkidMcSkidder: You talk about pushing airplay which leads me onto the question: THE TRADE always does really well on the college radio circuit (usually in the top 10-15). The college system is completely different over here in the UK so can you tell us a little about US college radio and how important it is for independent bands?

Jedt1: Boy - you do your homework, dude! That's great! As to college radio - college radio in the U.S can make or break an act. Unlike commercial radio, college radio can offer itself to smaller groups of people, but important groups of people. Huge colleges, etc. THE TRADE is probably more heard of actually in the mid-West and southwestern U.S., than it is in Ohio, due to lots & lots of airplay out there. They really like us out there, but we haven't made it out there, yet.

Jedt1: School kids/college radio creates a following and that's what entices record labels and distributors. It's good to sell to the college crowd and if you can sell around 20,000 units or so, a major label may start looking at you (so I hear!).

SkidMcSkidder: So how's it work? The colleges have their own radio stations which broadcast on campus? Is it purely broadcast within the college walls or like frat houses, etc or actual on the airwaves within say a few miles radius?

Jedt1: Actually, it depends on how much money the colleges have to sink into their transmitters. I'm going to plug a U.S. HIGHSCHOOL station right now - WSTB, 88.9. They broadcast into several different cities and have helped a lot of bands out. However - THE TRADE really isn't their cup-o-tea! That's o.k. Many colleges can transmit quite far. Also, the term "college radio" can go beyond the physicality of actually being broadcast from a station.
Jedt1: They can play on, say for example, the "five-o-clock drive time" rush hour time, bands that normally, may not be added into regular rotation.

SkidMcSkidder: Okay - Thanks Robin - I got a clearer idea of the scene now - it's one of those culture things that being a Brit you never fully get a handle on!

Jedt1: Well - Come over and see us, skidder! We'd love it!

Jedt1: By the way, I want to hear from everyone who hits your site. email me at: [email protected]

SkidMcSkidder: I'd love it! Heh Heh - I was in the U.S. 4 ½ years ago - did LA, was married in Vegas and ended up in San Francisco - it was great.

Jedt1: OH MY GOD. Wow. What a ... weekend ??

SkidMcSkidder: No! (Laughs Out Loud) it was like 2 weeks. Still wasn't long enough though.

Jedt1: Well -- that's a little more tolerable, eh?? How did you like all those places?

SkidMcSkidder: I though Venice beach was cool - some great street entertainers and Vegas was so over the top.

Jedt1: I've been to New York, Indiana, Maryland, Virginia, South & North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Arizona, California, Missouri... lots of places here - but NEVER over there. I really want to get there - oh wow. I've always wanted to go to venice, CA!

SkidMcSkidder: I'll be back one day - I've had so many invites from SkidMark listed artists - I'd be a virtual celebrity! (Laughs Out Loud)

Jedt1: Just let us know when you're coming. We'll have a place for you to stay. But, it may be infested with ladybugs !!! Ha

SkidMcSkidder: Okay..

SkidMcSkidder: I haven't asked you any questions about the band so...

SkidMcSkidder: How long have you and the band been together?

Jedt1: About 7 years. Which is virtually incredible for a rock band!

SkidMcSkidder: Oh yeah! I've had bands join SkidMark and then split after less than a month! So, how did you all meet?

Jedt1: Well - arthur and I met years ago and Doug and Mike met us through being in Akron and Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. They knew we were looking for people. Arthur and I had played together with a home studio, but came to the conclusion that we needed other people, so we put the word out.

SkidMcSkidder: How did the band settle on the name "THE TRADE" and does it signify anything?

Jedt1: Arthur was in a band years ago called "Dave Marko and THE TRADE". Arthur and I wanted to keep THE TRADE part of it because of its ambiguity. I hate the thought of a band being marked on the spot because of its name.

Jedt1: ...You know - like MEGADEATH. It kind of tells you up front, and you don't have the opportunity to make a decision yourself, about what kind of a band you are listening to.

SkidMcSkidder: Gotcha

SkidMcSkidder: It's a problem I have with my alter ego - Incubus Lovechild

Jedt1: What problem is it that you have?

SkidMcSkidder: People expect some kind of thrash metal monkey whereas when put on the spot for a name playing live for the first time I was working on a intellectually humourous theme-

SkidMcSkidder: An Incubus being a mythological demon that impregnates virgins in their dreams -

SkidMcSkidder: The Lovechild being me - the product of the visitation! (strange sense of humour!!)

Jedt1: I love the name incubus lovechild. It has a great 'ring' to it! It's a really cool idea, too.

Jedt1: Speaking of band names, be watching for THE TRADE's side project I'm thinking about called RADIOTRACER.

SkidMcSkidder: Thank you :-) going onto a web site question...

SkidMcSkidder: Who designed your enigmatically artful website?

Jedt1: designed our website. Isn't it cool? I work with Ron Higgins a lot. he has a very good eye and a talent for creating personal themes for people and projects.

SkidMcSkidder: Have you found the internet has introduced THE TRADE's scene to a much bigger audience?

Jedt1: YES YES YES YES YES. To you, to Romania, to Ireland and Scotland, to all over America. I LOVE THE INTERNET.

Jedt1: Seriously - our music has been played in Romania, isn't that cool?

SkidMcSkidder: Yes, it's given independent artists a fast track straight to an appreciative audience - Romania huh? Very cool!

SkidMcSkidder: Are there any specific avenues of self promotion that the internet has proved especially useful in getting THE TRADE "out there"?

Jedt1: Giving people the opportunity to listen to our stuff and talk to us from all over the world. I don't even care if I sell a lot of CDs - just the fact that someone in another country has our CD is wonderful to me. I've had people take home CDs to Germany and other places. It's wonderful.

SkidMcSkidder: You can add New Zealand to the list now - one of September's competition winners lives in Christchurch NZ & I sent them a copy of your CD today!

Jedt1: GREAT! Thanks. I hope they like it and I hope they email me. I'm the world's biggest fan of pen-palling.

Jedt1: THE TRADE really appreciates being hooked up with SkidMark.

SkidMcSkidder: Thanks, I appreciate your support Robin 8-)

SkidMcSkidder: Have you ever performed on a webcast radio show?

Jedt1: No problem. I'm trying to hook everyone up with you. We haven't performed on a webcast show, yet, but we're looking at doing it in New York. I've been interviewed though, on a webcast. I talked to a girl in Italy. that was awesome.

SkidMcSkidder: As you may have noticed from the SkidMark homepage this month - we've got firm ties with based out of New Jersey which broadcasts 100% independent music 24/7 - I love it! In fact I'm listening to Jerry's show right as I'm interviewing you!

SkidMcSkidder: You oughta hook up with him and do one of his "live in the living room" shows he does on a Sunday afternoon / evening

Jedt1: I think he may be the person we want to meet, actually. Because a close associate, Dan Kidney, of the Crash Daddies, lives in Jersey. He's got to be the one. You know - the web is just great. Yes! That it is guy. The living room show. We'd love to do that. I have to get back in touch with him.

SkidMcSkidder: I've played on the show a couple of times over the 'phone was great fun

Jedt1: You played on the phone??? Hilarious! That sounds awesome. I'd love to do that. we could call from our practice room.

SkidMcSkidder: A favourite question of mine: What's the most bizarre thing to have happened at a TT gig?

Jedt1: Hmmm. Off hand, I'll have to say that I turned around after a guitar solo to face the crowd and there was a huge guy right in my face trying to grope me ! Yikes! And before i knew it, the sound man doubled as a bouncer, came up and at the speed of light put the guy in a headlock and got him out the back door before you could say "skidmark". Not too exciting, but it's hard to remember stuff, you know?

SkidMcSkidder: Heh heh made me laugh!

Jedt1: Actually, I think the most bizarre thing ever was driving up the parking deck ramp to the Mitch Albom show in Chicago. It was about 1" wider on each side than our van. We had to close our mirrors down and pray to God that we'd make it up. At the top of each ramp was a giant window that we could have easily crashed right through. It was AWFUL!

SkidMcSkidder: Finally, what does the rest of 2003 hold in store for THE TRADE?

Jedt1: The rest of 2003 holds for THE TRADE lots & lots & lots of more hard work on our upcoming release, planning our video/DVD, possibly and lots of holiday parties! We've rocked out hard and heavy for the last 5 years and are really taking a break to work with other musicians, plan an incredible project, and relax for a bit. Watch out for 2004, though!

SkidMcSkidder: Well it's been absolutely AWESOME hanging with you Robin and many thanks for taking the time to talk to me and here's wishing you the very best of luck with the new CD - I hope it breaks the scene for ya!

Jedt1: Skidder, it's been great talking to you. I really enjoyed talking to you in person, too. Give my regards to your wife and good luck with the new baby and all. You're in my thoughts for a healthy little one to come to you. Take care and thanks again. I'll be in touch about more stuff. I sing at the "race for the cure" in Cleveland this weekend with a reporter from channel 3, which is always a blast. We wrote a song together.

Jedt1: Hopefully, this song will be the national song picked up by the headquarters for THE RACE. A woman actually petitioned to have HER song picked up and not ours, so - there's a controversy, which is always a good thing!

SkidMcSkidder: Have a great gig and I look forward to hooking up in the flesh one day - I gotta catch THE TRADE live sometime 8-)

SkidMcSkidder: Thanks again Robin - Take it easy !

Jedt1: Okay & peace to ya.

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Virtual Interview conducted using AOL instant messenger 08-10-2003
SkidMark Multimedia Productions MMIII