By Georgia Kinchington
Unbelievably Bad Contributor
Trust Punks are a five-piece inconveniently split across the Tasman – and somehow they still manage to create powerful political, cathartic, and at times catchy-as-fuck tracks. So what’s our excuse for doing nothing with our lives? Forget about it and listen to their new LP, Double Bind.
Trust Punks launch it in Sydney this Friday at Cosmo’s Rock Lounge and it’s only 10 bucks because it’s Sydney and we hate paying any more than that.
UB has a bit of a goss with Joseph Thomas (vocals and guitar) to try to find out what’s what.
First off, how do you manage being the lone member of the band on this side of the Tasman? How does the whole writing, recording and performing process come together when you have a literal sea in between members? (I pretty much lose contact with a mate if they move out of the inner-west)
I moved to Sydney in the middle of last year partially because Erin (Joe’s partner) wanted a change of pace, and because Trust Punks was entering a period of inactivity (other dudes had some academic commitments, I think?) and I had nothing else to keep me occupied in Auckland. Double Bind was pretty much finished before I left and we haven’t written any new stuff since. Not sure how that will work to be honest.
I’m keen to find out because I first heard you guys on FBI Radio, you seem to be really gaining traction. How do you feel about your potentially burgeoning popularity? Any idea how you see that working?
I’ve been sort of trying not to worry too much about it because I think that feeling like I have to make another Trust Punks album or feeling obligated to tour this one to meet some sort of demand would be a surefire way to release some shitty music and play some bad shows, haha. If more TP stuff happens then it happens!
The world really doesn’t need any more shitty music. Thanks for committing to not doing that. I read that the lyrics on your last album Discipline were largely inspired by Michel Foucault. The lyrics on Double Bind are pretty political as well, what’s been the greatest influence for the lyrics for this album? What do you want to tell people?
Honestly, the Foucault thing was played up a bit, I guess because I was a bit insecure about releasing an album that I wasn’t super happy with and needed something to make it sound more interesting, and then a couple journalists kinda ran with it. I think with this one there really isn’t any over-arching lyrical influence. Alex [Grant] and I write lyrics separately and rarely discuss them with each other. I’m a bit wary of people pegging the couple of songs I wrote as “political” because I feel like it implies that I’m pontificating on issues that I am not qualified to provide an analysis on. The impulse to write the couple of songs that deal with concrete issues derived from the fact that my thoughts and feelings on them wouldn’t stop rattling ’round my brain, and singing about them helped me process them. I would never presume to educate anyone on anything and I am not qualified at all to be an advocate for social justice!
Australia just gave voice to Pauline Hanson. I don’t think bands need a degree to talk politics, we all have opinions and I think listeners will be glad to hear yours. Speaking of your first album though, I’ve listened to both on repeat the last couple weeks, there does seem to be a lot of growth in your sound. You seem angrier, messier, and louder on this release. (Read: total approval) What do you think brought this about?
I think it’s partially due to the production. The first one turned out a lot cleaner than we expected/would have liked, to be honest. We learnt from our mistakes the second time around. But aside from that, I have been getting deeper into punk-oriented groups and sounds in the last year or two, so that probably shows as well.
All right, finally, being relatively new to Sydney yourself, who stands out to you musically? And how do you find New Zealand and Australia differ in regards to their live music scenes?
Heaps of sick Sydney bands! Low Life, Aloha Units, Ghastly Spats are among my favs. The Auckland scene I would say is a bit more stylistically diverse and because it’s so small, very different acts end up playing the same shows which creates more of a melting pot vibe and probably stops the scene from getting too socially cliquey or sonically samey. Here it is sort of more insular in a way. But it means that certain sounds can maybe get developed a bit further and really start to flourish. Synthy punk stuff, for example. That is much bigger here (post-Total-Control-lyf maybe?) and I am heaps, heaps down with it.
Trust Punks launch the Double Bind LP in several Australian cities:
July 21: The Foundry, Brisbane w/ Thigh Master, Clever, Bent
Jul 22: Cosmo’s, Sydney w/ Enderie, Tim and the Boys, WDK, Skin Prison, Pinkbatts
Jul 23: The Phoenix, Canberra w/ Wives, Harrow
Jul 24: The Tote, Melbourne w/ White Walls, Diploid, Overtime
Jul 25: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne w/ Treehouse, Bitumen, Product