Thanks to MTV, White Trash taking short road to success


To see the New York band White Trash and its infectious MTV video for "Apple Pie," you'd think the brass-laden boys have hit the big time.

Tours. Money. Girls. More videos. Fancy hotel rooms.

But really, none of that has happened to the band yet. White Trash has been in the borough of Queens much of the time waiting for the "go" sign from their booking agent and record company.

"We haven't been any farther south than Baltimore and no more west than Buffalo," said singer Dave Alvin, who along with Aaron and Ethan Collins (bass and guitar), Mike Caldarella (drums) and a three-piece horn section will return to Hammerjacks tomorrow night after a highly successful date there six weeks ago. "We haven't been on a tour across the country yet. We're waiting to see if we can get an opening spot on a big tour. There's really no hurry."

So far the band's stay-at-home attitude seems to have paid off.

Not only is "Apple Pie" among the most distinct and unusual songs on rock radio these days -- a groovy rap, big horns and Alvin's tenor rock 'n' roll wail -- it's also a most requested tune on almighty MTV.

"When we first took them the song in June, they didn't want to look at it," Alvin said. "In fact, a lot of radio stations had stopped playing it before [MTV] picked it up. But, apparently, someone at MTV got into and started playing it and someone there must like it now.

"I mean we can't fool ourselves," Alvin said. "They are responsible for what's going on."

So far the band's self-titled debut has sold more than 100,000 copies and continues to fly off the shelves at a phenomenally fast pace for a band that is not supporting itself with a lot of live shows.

But once the band does get out on a major tour, Alvin said, it will be the horn section of Chris Arbisi (alto sax), Brendan Stiles (trumpet) and Terry Thomas (tenor sax) that will sell tickets.

"I guess it works just because it's different for a rock band with our kind of sound," Alvin said. "We wanted to try something new and [the brass section] came out and played a few shows with us and it worked. Some people thought it was strange but plenty of bands have used horns on studio music. Aerosmith did it a lot.

"It's just that nobody would take them out on the road," Alvin said. "I always thought it was kind of cheesy when bands sample horns during a live show. It doesn't work. It doesn't sound the same. You go to see some band live and you hear sounds coming from the stage and you know nobody is playing the instruments. You leave feeling cheated."

That won't be the case tomorrow at Hammerjacks.


The concert calendar:

Also coming to Hammerjacks, Blushing Brides (Oct. 11), L.A. Guns (Oct. 12), The Ramones (Oct. 18), Armored Saint and Wratchild America (Oct. 19) and Bret Michaels of Poison (Nov. 5).

Max's On Broadway will host David Cassidy and Danny Bonaduce (Monday), The Brand New Heavies (Oct. 24), Trip Shakespeare (Oct. 27) and Lowen and Navarro (Nov. 5).

The Capital Centre welcomes Van Halen and Alice In Chains (Oct. 17), George Michael (Oct. 31), The Jerry Garcia Band (Nov. 6 and 7) and Paula Abdul (Nov. 17).

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