Updated: Dec 13, 2020
We chat with the Collateral album about the band's debut album, country music and Bon Jovi.
From his earliest days as a young rock fan to forming the Angelo Tristan Band, the Collateral frontman has always dreamed of being in a rock band. As the Kent quartet release their debut album and embark on their biggest tour yet, his dream is becoming a reality. Photogroupie caught up with Angelo to find out more About This Boy.
PG: Congratulations on releasing your debut album.
AT: Thanks a lot. We haven’t really had time to enjoy the build-up. We’ve already been writing for the second album. We are going back into the studio in April ready for the album to be released in October next year.
PG: Your debut album has been a long time in the making. What took you so long?
AT: I never had the right band. The first album obviously always takes your whole life to write and you need to make sure that it has the right people and the right atmosphere in the studio. So as soon as Todd and Ben joined, they finalised in me that this was it and it was the right time to make the album. We are just coming into our peak, we’ve still got so many other things to write about, we are really enjoying it.
PG: Merry-Go-Round was voted as Classic Rock's track of the week before the album was even released, how does that feel?
AT: It’s lovely to know that it’s appreciated and people are putting themselves out to vote for stuff like this.
PG: The band's name is taken from the old meaning of collateral. The idea of a band of brothers or musical family is clearly important to you.
AT: When I was a kid at 10 years old looking in the mirror with a guitar tennis racket in my hand pretending to be a rockstar and first heard Living On A Prayer, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I made it easy for myself in one way, I guess, but it was a mountain to climb in the other. It’s that part of the journey that makes it so fun, searching for the people and getting the opportunities and having the endless doubt of whether you’re going to make it or not. It brings the best out of you and keeps you on your toes.
PG: When you’ve made that decision early on you’ve got to go with that and be true to yourself don't you?
AT: There is nothing more magical in this world than a kid with a dream. I’m still that kid and I will never ever grow up to not be that kid. I’ve managed to surround myself with people that I really trust and who believe in what we are doing. I couldn’t have been more humbled by the people I’ve had around me. I think if you believe enough you attract those sort of people around you and if you show people respect they’ll show it back.
PG: The album really breaks away from current rock trends, why did you decide to go against the grain? - or were you just making the music you wanted to?
AT: That’s exactly it. There is a part of us and a part of me that like for the rebellious side, but it won’t be love and if it sounds good to ears then that’s what you’re going to be hearing. I find in our current circuit, which isn’t a bad thing, but a lot of bands are doing the southern rock vibe. I love that kind of music but for me when I write and play, I love to do something a bit different. It’s lucky that our stuff does branch out to be a bit different, it’s not forced it’s very much natural.
PG: In It For Love was one of the first songs that you wrote, many years ago, what made you bring back that track for the album?
AT: That song was special because when I wrote it I was about 13 and I didn’t really have any notion of what I was doing as a musician. I literally just picked up the guitar a few weeks before. It was a very innocently written song in terms of musicality, I honestly didn’t know what I was doing it just happened. I was in the studio and the producer was like “it changes time“ and I was like “yeah, so?" But that’s the magic of writing something on acoustic guitar, this is something that you really don’t hear all that much. It just goes to show you that there really are no rules. It was nice to bring back the innocence of the kid that wrote that song.
PG: You're a big Bon Jovi fan, so what was it like beating 200,000 bands to perform on the Bon Jovi cruise?
AT: To this day it’s still very much of a sigh. When people ask the question I still don’t know how it happened. It hasn’t hit me yet and I don’t think it ever will. From being that 10-year-old kid pretending to play in a band, to eventually meeting the guy himself and be on the stage supporting him and then I’m in a room shaking his hand and he is looking right at me it’s just too much. I can’t really explain the emotions that went through us at that point I don’t think I’ll ever be able to.
PG: There's a country influence to a few of the tracks, where does that come from?
AT: When I was younger my mum would be doing stuff around the house and put on a Dixie
Chicks or an Eagles album it just kind of got ingrained in me. Years later when that stuff was on the radio it just caught my ear and I started to realise that it was part of me. That’s why the album has got About This Boy, which is very influenced by my childhood. I thought that I had to give respect to where I came from musically. It’s definitely a wildcard, but one that the band might all knuckle down at me if it doesn’t do well. It was the one where I stood up to them and went "nope this is my say now I’m going to put this song in whether you like it or not." So far when we play it live, a lot of people tend to respond to that. I’m really looking forward to seeing how other people respond to the vast change in the album.
PG: Are you doing any preparation for the tour?
AT: This next upcoming tour is going to be the biggest we’ve done, I think we’re going to be away from the end of February until the end of May. It’s a dream in itself but we are being told there is things are going to have to watch out for: to give each other space and know when to help each other along. Everyone’s got a family in this band as young as we are so it’s about being mentally strong and knowing when to give a hand I want to take one. So to prep for it, I’m currently doing about two and a half hours of intense vocal stuff a day, you have to train your vocals to be constantly at a level. I’m so I’m doing that physically and mentally. You just take every moment you can with your loved ones so when you go out on tour it’s easier to handle. I think it’s all about the experience. The more we tour, the more will be ready and know what’s to come.
PG: What’s next?
AT: We’re going back out and on tour in August in the UK and Europe and then touring with a big American band in October and November in the UK. I’ve got about 20 or 30 festivals that haven’t been announced yet and there are a few we are really excited to announce to the public. We’re going to be in the studio doing the second album, to have that ready by October 2021 and be ready for a tour after that.
PG: Any advice for any budding 10-year-old rockstars out there?
AT: Just close your eyes and jump and just believe in yourself.
For tour info go to www.collateralband.com
Interview by Cathy Clark