Interview

Trust Punks

Trust Punks

By Courtney Sanders

Friday, 5th July 2013 8:44AM

Trust Punks are a precociously talented Auckland five-piece formed by ex-members of Nevernudes, Cool Cult and Grass Cannons. They're releasing a new single, 'Karl Marx Real Doll' tomorrow, and UnderTheRadar caught up with the band to chat about the single, their influences, and what they hope to achieve over the next year.

Trust Punks are an amalgamation of a couple other bands: tell us about the members and how you all came together.

Lliam and Maté played together in a band called Cool Cult. Joseph and Paul played together in a band called Grass Cannons. Alex played in both. Around the start of this year we were all getting really jaded in those bands and decided that coming together as a five-piece under a new name with better songs would be refreshing and a good way to get us all excited about playing music again.

How did you develop your sound? Did you have a definitive idea of what you wanted to do going into Trust Punks, or was it more organic than that?

We discussed the shared attitude we would have with regard to creating the music more than what the music was going to definitively sound like. Being somewhat tired of our old bands, we wanted to write songs that had some immediacy and impact to them that were also a bit adventurous in the way they were arranged and would allow us to experiment with lots of different ideas in each song, and we wanted the process to basically be a collaborative one. We don't necessarily use every idea we come up with, but we try and give every sound or weird structure a shot and see what happens.

For people who haven't heard you, how would you describe your sound?

I usually just ask them if they've heard Wire and if they haven't then I give up.

Are there any particular inspirations - sonically or otherwise - that you would cite as major influences on your sound?

I think a lot of the stuff that had a profound musical influence on me are the bands I saw locally when I first started playing shows; Sharpie Crows, Wilberforces, The Mint Chicks etc. We all listen to bands like Deerhunter, Women and Liars a lot and I imagine you can tell from listening to us that we were raised on a typical diet of Sonic Youth/Nirvana/My Bloody Valentine/Fugazi etc etc. But between the five of us we are pretty much all over the place with our respective tastes. I think we all find guitar-rock bands that exclusively listen to other guitar-rock bands to be criminally boring. In regard to things outside of music, that would vary between each of us and would probably be slightly different every day depending on whether we've read a particular news article that resonated with us or whatever. It could be literally anything that winds up having an "influence".

You've just release new single 'Karl Max Real Doll': tell us about writing and recording that one.

We recorded it at Whammy with a guy called Steven Huf, who then gave it to another guy, Jackson Hobbs to mix. Both of them were great and patient and helpful as. I (Joe) wrote the words and the basic structure of the song and everyone else came up with most of what they play on it.

The title and some of the lyrical content suggest some pretty intense themes, care to elaborate?

We just try to talk about things that don't necessarily occur within the confines of our personal lives (which in the grand scheme of things are truly uninteresting) but still have the subjects rooted in the real world (which in the grand scheme of things is extremely fucked).

'Karl Marx Real Doll' specifically is about... politics? I was just thinking about the different ways people form their particular ideologies and how those ideologies influence their perspective in a way that they might not realise or admit to. Everyone likes to think that the decisions they make are merely a reaction to the facts they have in front of them but I doubt that that is ever true, and I find it a bit strange and alarming when people don't realise that certain policy decisions or laws that are made are often predicated on a very specific way of looking at the world.

What are you working on at the moment?

Two more songs that will be released as singles, hopefully within a smaller space of time than the one between 'Amphetamine Psychosis' and 'Karl Marx Real Doll'. Then we will begin working on a 5 song EP.

You've all been kicking around in the Auckland music scene for a while now: how do you think it's doing at the moment and how do you think it's changed since you started out?

I wouldn't say it's totally thriving and everything is really amazing or anything, but there are a few really great bands and a couple of really supportive venues around. I think it's important not to take those things for granted, which I think a lot of people, including myself, are guilty of. All of us "started out" playing shows really young and were probably way too stoked just to be playing shows in the first place (better times) to give an objective viewpoint on how anything has changed. Part of me does feel like it's gotten worse but that could also just be because I am more jaded and cynical now than I was when I was 16.

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