Throwaway Sunshine revives punk rock with a working-class heart

Summoning the gruff howl of punk legends like Leatherface and Jawbreaker, Throwaway Sunshine has no shortage of raw, open-hearted soul. The quartet may be relatively young, but their songs sound weathered by the ages: Singer/guitarist Cory Trendler, formerly of post-hardcore champs the Blackout Pact, brings the same level of passion and commitment to his new band, and fellow singer/guitarist Kevin Wickes (along with bassist Eric Epling and drummer Camden Trendler, Cory's brother) help pull Throwaway toward a bleaker, raspier punk rock that's full of aching melody and brutal honesty. With the group's debut CD, For Everything We're Not, being released this week, Cory spoke with us about the heartbeat behind the band's ragged exterior.

Westword: Your songs seem to have a strong mix of sadness and triumph. Does that reflect where you are as people?

Cory Trendler: We don't go out of our way to be sad-sounding or whatever. The things that we're singing about maybe create that feeling — things that we go through on a day-to-day basis, our experiences. When we write a song, we want it to be as honest and as pure as we can. We want our emotions and convictions to come through. There's a song called "Dreamland" on our CD, and it's basically about being poor, having five bucks in your pocket and trying to make it stretch, the struggles and frustrations that come from being part of the working class.

Do you consider yourselves a political band?

CT: We'll sing about a failed relationship, but we'll also sing about working this shitty job making minimum wage, just surviving. I think our songs definitely touch on those issues, just because it's what we go through every day. Personal politics, I guess. I've never considered myself a very political person.

At the same time, you do have a sample from Rushmore at the beginning of your CD — Bill Murray's "take dead aim at the rich boys" speech.

CT: That ties into what we're singing about. Not to rip on anybody, but I know a lot of kids who have everything handed to them. We're struggling, working-class guys. Although we have these frustrated songs, it's not like we're bitching. We try to turn it around and make it a positive.

That's basically the message we're trying to put across. Through all this frustration, there's still hope. We need to stick together. Not to sound like a hippie or anything, but loving and sharing and being true friends to each other, those are things that are most important to us.

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