The Sound of Sleaze- With a New EP, The Erotics Wring Out Some Great Riffs and Even Greater Hooks. Interview By: Neoptolemus

Written by on November 3, 2021

What do Conan O’Brien, The Simpsons, and Mike Trash have in common?  Apparently, a band name.  The Erotics are Albany’s home-grown answer to The Andrews Sisters.  They’re not only prettier, but they play rock and roll like nobody’s business. Clever, irreverent lyrics growled over classic rock riffs, their songs are all orgasm and no foreplay.  Just when you’re really starting to groove to the music, the song is over.  But don’t worry; another naughty bit will be right up.  Just try not to overdose on the fun.

Mike Trash, the group’s imperator, sat down for an interview with RadioRadioX.  You can visit Mike and the boys at

RRX: You just dropped an EP.  Can you tell us about it?

MT: Yes, it’s called “Ride It To Death,” produced again by Don Fury, who we’ve been working with since 2010.  It’s just five solid tunes.  We didn’t want to release a full length, since we just released a 14 track album last year called “Let’s Kill Rock N Roll.” But we still wanted to put something new out.  We like to put something new out all the time, whether it’s a full album, EP, or just a single. Some of our record buying “purists” are pissed and won’t buy it because it’s not a full length. Oh well … can’t please everyone.  We’re happy with it.

RRX: Who’s in the band?

MT: Johnny Riott, our drummer, has been with us since 2004.  God bless him for putting up with me for that long!  He also does a lot of the art on our albums, and puts together the CD layouts. Our guitar player, Doug Reynolds, has been with us since 2016.  He’s a great player and also teaches guitar (shameless plug), and he’s lots of fun on the road partying.  Bass player Tony Culligan has been with us since November 2018 — a great addition to the band.  He’s a solid bass player, locks right in with Johnny on the rhythm.  His nickname is “Spicoli” cuz of his fondness for marijuana. 

RRX: Why Mike “Trash”?  Why not Mike Rock, or Mike L. Angelo?

MT: Well, back in my old band, we all had fake names, and for whatever reason, I chose Trash.  It’s been a keeper ever since.

RRX: Where does The Erotics band name come from?

MT: Funny you should ask!  Back in late 1995 when I was toying with the idea of forming this band, I was watching The Simpsons Halloween Special, and in the last scene, Homer was in a weird alternate dimension and walked into a bakery called “Erotic Cakes.” I thought it would make a cool band name, but ultimately it got shorted to just ‘“The Erotics.” [Erotics Cakes, founded circa 1995, is still a Boston institution:]

RRX: I guess you can’t have your cake and rock it, too.  You have some serious chops as a musician — you play wicked guitar, and you sing well.  The lyrics to your songs are impressive — lots of clever hooks.  Do you write all The Erotics songs?

MT: Yes, I write pretty much everything.  I usually record rough versions to send to the rest of the band, then they add their flair to it. 

RRX: Are you Albany born and bred?  Where did you go to school?

MT: Well, born in Glens Falls, but Albany bred.  Basically, my mom went into labor while visiting my grandmother, so my birth certificate says Glens Falls.  I went to Catholic School in Albany up to 7th. grade.  My parents got fed up with the nuns always calling to complain about my behavior.   It was just kids-being-kids stuff. But the way they flipped out, you’d think I crucified Christ. So it was off to public school right up until senior year, haha!

RRX: What genre would you say describes The Erotics songs — punk, metal, or just plain old rock and roll? 

MT: Well, our music is a blend of sleaze, punk, and classic rock.  It gives us an interesting sound.  Ironically, we’re too punk for the hard rock crowd, and too hard rock for the punk crowd!  I prefer to think that our music is just plain old rock ’n roll.

RRX: The Erotics music seems to be all about the fun of rock and roll. That right?

MT: Yes, absolutely!  ALL about the fun.

RRX: What music did you listen to as a youth?  Who did you want to become musically? 

MT: The first cool record I ever got was Alice Cooper Goes to Hell, back in 1977, second grade.  After that, the usual suspects most kids listened to in the 70s and 80s: Kiss, Aerosmith, AC/DC, and Motley Crue.  But also punk bands like Dead Boys, Ramones, and Misfits.  You can hear these influences in our songs.

RRX: When did you start to perform musically?

MT: Started in 7th grade.  I got a guitar for Xmas.  But I didn’t start playing live until high school, playing battle of the bands stuff. 

RRX: What is your musical guilty pleasure and what currently is on your music radar?

MT: Van Hagar is my guilty pleasure. DLR [David Lee Roth] purists scoff at that, haha, but of course there’s nothing like those first six Van Halen albums either.  Lately, I’ve been listening to 1969-77 era Alice [Cooper].,  For some reason, I’ve been drawn to that lately.  Also, the soundtrack to the 1986 movie, “Trick or Treat,” by Fastway. I saw that in the theater 35 years ago!  Every year around this time I revisit the film as well as the soundtrack.  And 1980s non-makeup KISS.

RRX: Anything you want to say to your fans?

MT: Buy the new album and get drunk!

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