Trevor Bamford is not unknown in Goth circles. Hailing from Nottingham, England, he has been around for about 30 years playing music, running Nightbreed Records and owning Nightbreed Radio. A busy man one might say, and I, for one, am quite sure he is even busier than most would imagine.
We recently sat down with Trevor to get his views on the music scene.
Tribe: Trevor, you witnessed the peak of the Gothic scene and the downfall of it. Do you believe that the scene is rising again? In your opinion, was there even any downfall?
Trevor: I was going to say, I don’t think there has been a downfall as such, just a new perspective on things. To me the Gothic scene was at its most strongest in the 90’s as that was when the scene in the UK had a sense of its self being genuinely underground and being most clearly “Gothic” rather than “alternative” or whatever. But on reflection I think every decade has something new to add.
Tribe: Every New Dead Ghost were amongst the most unique and active Post-Punk/Gothic Rock bands since their foundation in 1986. If I am not mistaken, that was your first band. What would create the need for a youngster to form a post punk/gothic rock band in the 80s? Is there fertile ground for something like that to happen again nowadays ?
Trevor: I think there is always a reason for a young person to pick up their guitar and have another go at music. Music is passion and feeling and people are always going to want to express themselves. I see this in my day job as I teach young musicians. The passion is still there for sure.
Tribe: Till their demise in 1992 the band released three studio albums, one live album and a number of singles and EP’s. Which bands influenced Every New Dead Ghost and why did the band split?
Trevor: I think there were a mix of influences at work with ENDG. The main ones from myself that went into the mix were Killing Joke, Play Dead and Hawkwind. But I think the others liked stuff like New Model Army, Rush, The Ramones, Into A Circle etc. I am sure that all of this went into the music. As for why we split, I think that we had all given it “a good go” and we felt we had gone as far as we could and we wanted to go into different things.
Tribe: I was told that it’s like a ‘contagious bug’ when you do radio. You know, people who are doing radio shows become addicted and fall in love with it. I know you have your own show on Nightbreed Radio so I guess you know best. Is it true? How did you come up with the idea for Nightbreed Radio?
Trevor: Yeah it’s true, I think all of the dj’s feel the same. It’s also a nice thing to hear a collection of tracks you think the world should hear being given just that chance. The idea evolved out of a collection of online conversations about the idea of having a radio show for Nightbreed + then it gradually evolved into being a reality.
Tribe: How do you pick the radio hosts for Nightbreed radio? What is that special something one must possess to join the Nightbreed radio force?
Trevor: Well, usually they ask me if they can do it and we just get talking from there. I suppose the special qualities are that you should be genuinely in love with music.
Tribe: Back in 1993-94 you released your first solo CD maxi, Gothtec. I know that every new start is difficult. How was it for you and your new project, Midnight Configuration?
Trevor: Wow that is a long time ago now. Quite scary when you think about how many years have gone past. Starting MC on the back of ENDG was quite difficult and right from the off it was clear that a number of ENDG fans didn’t like what MC did, but also I gained new fans that thought that ENDG were too punky and liked the dense quality of MC. Also with the first EP, I was not really sure what I was doing and also wanted to try out some new ideas, which I did.
Tribe: Midnight Configuration are/were dealing with horror films and fetishism. How different was that project from ENDG? Not only lyrically but also musically?
Trevor: Well really, totally. ENDG had a definite set of parameters that didn’t include any of the above, and with MC, at least up until Dark Hours Of The Southern Cross that was pretty much exclusively what I talked about. ENDG were a band of their time and were essentially “rock”, which is all good. But I wanted to take things into the realm of machines, samples and darkness. Which is what I have done with MC.
Tribe: Owning Nightbreed Records gave you the chance to listen to unsigned bands. Nightbreed has a great catalogue of wonderful bands not only from England but also from other countries, too. What is the feeling of finding an unsigned band you like and saying “I will release this album cause I believe it deserves to be known to the world”?
Trevor: It is a great feeling, and it is something I was part of on a number of occasions. I felt like I was adding to the culture in my own way. If you think about it, we are born, we run around a little, and then we die. One thing I would like to think is that we all should try and add something to the mix before we ride off into the last sunset.Lol
Tribe: Which are your favourite bands, leaving aside the Nightbreed artists in order to not piss off anybody?
Trevor: My personal fav bands (except the NB bands) are: Chrome, Hawkwind, Play Dead, Killing Joke, Black Sabbath, Todd Rundgren, Neil Young, Siouxie And The Banshees,
Tribe: Since you worked in the underground during the snail mail days, what is your opinion about the internet?
Trevor: I think it is a wonderful thing and also a terrible thing. On one hand the access to information and music and the ability to communicate to large numbers of people is amazing. On the other hand the same qualities that make the internet great can be abused.
Tribe: What differences do you find between your last work “The Unquiet Void” and your debut album “Kissing Skull”?
Trevor: That’s very difficult to say as I am so close to it. I think that The Kissing Skull was of its time and I am proud of it, but at the same time the sound and production were not totally what I had in my mind. Whereas with The Unquiet Void and for the last few albums, I have had total control, better equipment and better technical skills. So that I think is the main difference. That and the fact that in some respects the sound of the new album is closer in tone to ENDG as I have been using more guitars + writing songs that have more guitar parts in them.
Tribe: I still must have a flyer of the Carnival of Souls somewhere around here but that is old news now. What does the future hold for Midnight Configuration? Can you please tell us the line up.
Trevor: If you have any old fliers please scan them for me and send the scans. As I have lost a lot of old NB history and I am currently building an online visual history.
As for MC, I am actually going to take a break with the band for a little while to concentrate on a new musical idea/potential project that I have in mind, but more of that once things are more sorted. The current line up of MC is myself on vocals, samples, keys, guitars. Nick Hokinson on guitar and backing vocals with occasional live assistance from Estelle Silver on keys , + Piers Edmundson on backing vocals.
Tribe: Yep, I will look for the flyer. I know it is difficult to be the artist and the label owner since things are running in different ways, but I have to ask this question: What is Nightbreed Records planning for the future?
Trevor: Well, things here at NB are in a state of flux. It is fair to say that Nightbreed is now much more than a company that existed in the 90’s and I am not currently sure which way we will go. I expect that part of the expansion will include Nightbreed Radio, but I have an idea for an event that I might put into play.
Tribe: Please add whatever you might like to say that I may have forgotten to ask, or maybe I just don’t know about yet.
Trevor:. BTW if anyone is interested in joining up to the new Nightbreed online presence then please go to http://www.nightbreedrecordings.org/
Thank you for your interview.
Tribe: Thank you very much for this interview, Trevor, and we send you our wishes for continued success in all you strive to achieve. We appreciate all your efforts to keep the music alive and to bring the unknown into the known.
You can always check YouTube for more Every New Dead Ghost and Midnight Configuration.