Trainer performing with Shellac in São Paulo, 2008
Todd Stanford Trainer is the drummer for the band Shellac. He also performs as a solo artist under the name Brick Layer Cake. He previously played drums for the bands Breaking Circus and Rifle Sport, and he played drums with Scout Niblett in 2005.
Trainer resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, manages a warehousing and shipping company, and maintains close ties to his parents and sister Terri. His Italian greyhound, Uffizi, inspired the title of Shellac's fourth studio album, Excellent Italian Greyhound. He and his dog, along with his band Shellac, were featured in a Dogs 101 episode in 2009 centered on Italian Greyhounds.
Critics have generally favored Trainer's brutal, primitive approach to rock drumming. A New York Times review of a 2001 Shellac performance described the "stubborn crack and thud of Todd Trainer's drums", while former Pitchfork Media critic Brent DiCrescenzo wrote that "Trainer beats his drums so primally, you'd swear he's only wearing a loincloth." A Spin review of the Shellac album Terraform declared that Trainer "gracefully resurrects the lost art of the Bonham stomp", a reference to the acclaimed Led Zeppelin musician John Bonham.
Trainer in an assortment of frilly and diaphanous blouses
Brick Layer Cake is the solo project of Todd Trainer, who plays every instrument and sings in a deep, spoken word monotone. The music of Brick Layer Cake features very slow tempos and "drone-like" compositions, which Steve Albini described as follows: “Think of Nick Drake on downers fronting Black Sabbath, if Black Sabbath played only the good parts of their songs."