White Trash (American band)

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White Trash
Origin Queens, New York, US
Genres funk, hard rock, soul
Years active 1985-1995, 2007-present
Labels Elektra Records
Associated acts
Website Official website
  • Dave Alvin
  • Ethan Collins
  • Aaron Collins
  • Mike Caldarella
  • Craig LeBlang
Past members
  • Eric Brodin
  • Dave Barckow

White Trash is a funk/hard rock/soul band from Queens, New York. They separate themselves from other bands in their genre with their horn section, called the Badass Brass, which gave them a very funky musical sound. They enjoyed some success in the early 90s before disbanding. White Trash was heavily influenced by Blood Sweat & Tears and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.


Friends Dave Alvin (vocals) and brothers Ethan (guitar) and Aaron Collins (Bass) formed the band in 1985 and first played together at Aaron's bar mitzvah, doing covers of popular heavy metal bands of the time. They used several different drummers until three years later, when Aaron's high school buddy Mike Caldarella joined. In 1990 they were discovered and subsequently signed to EMI Music Publishing. They signed to Elektra Records in 1991 and released their self-titled debut album that same year, which was produced by George Drakoulias and engineered by Brendan O'Brien.

The album was fairly successful, fueled by the video for "Apple Pie", which was in heavy rotation on MTV's Buzz Bin. The song reached No. 39 on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, while the album charted at No. 122 on the Billboard 200. Despite this, they decided to split up because the Collins brothers and Caldarella were not happy with the musical direction the band was headed. While the band was on hiatus, the other single from their album, The Crawl, was used as the theme song for MTV's The Jon Stewart Show in 1993.

Alvin continued White Trash with an entirely new lineup in 1994. Craig LeBlang took over guitar duties, Eric Brodin handled the bass, and Dave Barckow sat behind the drum kit. They released Si O Si, Que?, produced by Daniel Rey (Ramones, White Zombie, King Missile), which did not feature as much brass as on their debut album and it did not do as well as their first release.[citation needed] Two singles were released from the album ("Minor Happiness" and "Pig") and a tour with New Jersey band Spare Change, but by the time the album came out the music scene had changed radically due to influence of grunge rock and White Trash was viewed as too old school to be viable in the music industry.

White Trash disbanded until 2007 when the original line up got back together for a reunion show at the Crazy Donkey in Long Island. The reaction was so good that the band reformed and played several more shows. In 2008 Dave Alvin and Aaron Collins decided to write new material and get everyone back in the studio to record a brand new album.

In March 2009 White Trash released 3D Monkeys in Space through Gotham Gold Music. The band was touring again until the unexpected death of a heart attack of guitarist Ethan Collins in December 2016.

In 2015 White Trash released Suburban Purgatory.


  • Dave Alvin (vocals)
  • Ethan Collins (guitar 1985-1991, 2007–2016 died: 2016)
  • Aaron Collins (bass 1985-1991, 2007–present)
  • Mike Caldarella (drums 1988-1991, 2007–present)
  • Craig LeBlang (guitar 1991-1995, 2008–present)
  • Eric Brodin (bass 1991-1995)
  • Dave Barckow (drums 1991-1995)


  • Brendan Stiles (trumpet, first two albums)
  • Chris Arbisi (alto saxophone, debut album & 3D Monkeys in Space)
  • Terry Thomas (tenor & baritone saxophone, debut album & 3D Monkeys in Space)
  • Ed (trombone -- Si O Si Que?)
  • Benjamin Clapp (trombone, 3D Monkeys in Space)
  • Demian Rich (trumpet, 3D Monkeys in Space)



Studio albums[edit]

  • White Trash, 1991 (#122 US)
  • Minor Happiness EP 1993
  • Si O Si, Que?, 1994
  • 3-D Monkeys in Space, 2009
  • Suburban Purgatory, 2015


Year Song Mainstream
1991 "Apple Pie" 39 White Trash
"Po' White Trash"
1992 "The Crawl"
1993 "Minor Happiness" Si O Si, Que?


External links[edit]