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Truth Club Interview

(Photo by Alex Montenegro)

Rapid-fire Questions

1. What have you been listening to lately?

Elise: I’ve been listening to a lot of Incubus, the Secret of Mana Original Soundtrack, and Sitting by Brian Jordan Alvarez

Travis: This album called Shrug by Exercise. Good friends of ours, bananas rock music.

Kam: Shmino, Open Mike Eagle, Lali Puna,

Yvonne: Astrology podcasts. I’ve been in a weird mood.

2. What is Shrek’s last name?

Travis: Deck

Kam: Dopnkey

3. I don’t think anyone has ever used me for one of their Blurbs on press releases. Can you use this in your next one? “Pretty Good” - Born Loser Magazine

Elise: I’m not really the one who chooses what blurbs we use :/

Travis: Elise is feigning subordination. She’s the PR tyrant of truth club. I’ll try to see what we can do about the pull quote, I think it’s spot on.

4. You think Ska will ever make a comeback?

Elise: This assumes that you think ska died? The first time I ever moshed at a show was when I saw Streetlight Manifesto in high school. My good friend Seamus has helped me to remember that ska has always been a constant.

Travis: Out of my element here

Kam: Ska’s influence is so deep in everything that I agree with elise, it never left. Truth club is kind of ska if you think about it.

5. First concert you ever attended?

Travis: Kindergarten chorus performance of that one song from Grease

Kam: John Mayer with my mom. I smelled weed for the first time at this concert.

Yvonne: The Morehead City Annual Seafood Festival.

6. If we were to start a ska project together would we be called True Loser, or Loser Club?

Elise: True Loser, for sure. It just makes sense.

Y: So true, Elise.

7. What is the worst piece of advice that you can give me?

Travis: try breatharianism

Kam: Do nothing. Don’t change. Never grow.

Yvonne: Get a masters degree in pure mathematics.

8. Last song that made you cry?

Travis: Miracles by Alex G

Kam: Vine Solita by Natalia Lafourcade

Elise: Not a song, but I cried the other night watching Gilmore Girls, when (SPOILER ALERT!!!) L****** and L*** break up.

Yvonne: The Wheel by Laura Stevenson

9. On a scale from 1-10, how much do you regret agreeing to do this interview?

Elise: I’m actually having a lot of fun. If 10 is full regret then I’m giving it a 1.

Travis: based on elise’s interpretation of the scale i’d say 3

Kam: If 1 is full of regret then im giving it a 10

Yvonne: 1 1

10. Any local bands that we should check out?

Wilt, Exercise, Saturnalias, Alli Blois, Dirty Flowers, Sweet Home, Max Gowan, Sluice, Ravine, Magic Tuber Stringband, Chell, Blood Orphans


Can you introduce yourselves for those who don’t know you?

(Photo by Alex Montenegro)

Travis: I’m Travis. I play guitar and sing in Truth Club

Elise: Elise From Truth Club. That’s my legal name.

Kam: Kam

Yvonne: My name is Yvonne (she/her).

How did Truth Club form?

Elise: Me and Travis started playing music together our junior year at NC State.

Kam: I kind of just fell in. Me and trav have been best friends and playing music together since we were 11. So it was all too natural for me to come on board.

Travis: I needed to start a rock band before i exploded

What were you doing before forming the band?

Kam: Getting a bio degree and playing in other bands I didn’t vibe

Elise: Getting better grades.

Yvonne: Helping the band write songs and have a good time.

Travis: Almost blew up

I’ve had the opportunity to interview a ton of amazing acts out of North Carolina! Indigo de Souza, Wednesday, MJ Lenderman. What was it like coming up in the Raleigh music scene?

Elise: It felt like a really cool and extensive community! I spent a couple years going to tons of local shows and getting to know people and bands that were around and were also excited about the music happening around us.

Yvonne: Yeah, I feel so lucky to have come into such a welcoming scene. I was kind of sheltered before college and truly didn’t know anything about local music when I came to Raleigh. I saw a band playing on a grass field outside of a dorm for the college radio station and was like, “Oh, snap. That’s cool.” Then I just started hanging out. And people kept inviting me to stuff. There was no, like~ snobbishness.

Kam: Yeah the NC music scene has always felt warm and inviting. There’s just a lot of love around here in the scene.

Travis: It was really cool. Kam and I are from Wilmington, on the coast of NC, and were lucky enough to play some shows in Raleigh while we were still in high school. All of the DIY people were super kind to us and uplifting. Then when I started college up here, I was able to sort of integrate fully with the community. I wouldn’t have met Elise or Yvonne if it weren’t for the network of dedicated house venues all around.

You recently signed to Double Whammy back in June! What was that like?

Elise: Really exciting but also just really relieving. We spent a while trying to find a home for the record, and once things started happening with DDW, it just became SO clear to us that this was going to be a really good fit. Mike and Mallory are truly so supportive, show genuine excitement about all the music they’re putting out, and are both musicians as well, which contributes to feeling like they really understand everything we’re putting into the band and the record.

Yvonne: When I was a freshman in college (a.k.a. 2013, a.k.a. One Decade Ago) and I was just getting involved at the radio station and didn’t even really understand what a record label was (outside of the *sunglasses-wearing, cigar-toting suit behind a velvet rope at the rock club “audition”* TV stereotype). I started listening to these bands Told Slant, Florist, Frankie Cosmos, etc. and found out about Double Double Whammy. It was the first time I understood what a label was and, like~ started keeping up with their roster. And now we’re on it. It’s still crazy to me. DDW Forever n Always!

Kam: DDW FTW!!

Travis: Mallory and Mike are really cool. The first time we met them they took us out for drinks before a show. The bar had $1 oysters and I got like 10! I ended up accidentally hitting Mallory in the face with a cheesestick later that night and she still put out our record! Good sport! The oysters gave me food poisoning though :(

Congratulations on your new album, Running From The Chase. Can you talk to us about the writing/recording process?

Yvonne: Usually Travis brings an idea to practice or, like sends us a voice memo in our band group chat, and we’ll jam on it and start slowly writing additional parts together. Sometimes he comes with a demo where he’d put down ideas for multiple instruments and we all kind of weed through it together and clean it up.

Travis: basically what yvonne said, but I kind of have to beg everyone except for her to listen to them and play music with me.

What were some of the inspirations behind the album?

Did you have to do a bunch of demos while figuring out what you wanted on the album? I’m always curious as to what happens to the songs that don’t make the cut??

Elise: I think when we got really serious about booking studio time to record, we had a list of like 23 or so songs we were considering?? The list was over 30 at one point for sure. A lot of the demos are just iPhone audio recordings of us playing in Travis’s living room, but some are full demos we did as a band, some are demos Travis put together before bringing the songs to the rest of us, some are clips of just him playing a single guitar riff in his room. I feel like very few TC songs have ever really been cut, generally we just kind of defer them to maybe come back at a later time. Clover actually almost made it onto Not An Exit, but we cut it from that record and then brought it back this time.

Did you have an idea of what you wanted the album to sound like before writing, or did it kind of take shape as you went along?

Yvonne: It definitely took shape as we went along. We had that giant list of song ideas that we were whittling down, and slowly it became more clear which ones fit together, then getting to Drop of Sun with Alex Farrar, he really was able to help us bring those songs to life in a way that was so expansive. I don’t think any of us could have ever dreamed of it sounding that big, and we’re all so amazed at how it came together.

Travis: I think the only clear stipulation I set for the songs was to use little to no chorus pedal. That shit is all over Not an Exit and now I can’t stand chorus pedal.

Is it ever difficult to write about personal topics like mental health struggles? Do you feel like writing about it helps you process what you’re experiencing?

Travis: It’s difficult in the sense that it is hard to share those struggles in a way that feels artful and necessary sometimes. Writing has always been personally helpful, it has saved my life a bunch of times.

Is there a balance making the music/art you need to process what you’re going through while at the same time not feeling like you’re sharing too much?

Travis: Yeah definitely. I see it less as a concern of sharing “too much” and more as a concern of sharing something that isn’t, I guess, helpful? When I connect with a song, it’s from a point of relating to/feeling “seen” by what that song is evoking. I imagine that’s what goes on for most people. If I’m sharing a song with someone else, it’s with the hope that it can facilitate the same dynamic. I think it’s as simple as just thinking about it like a conversation, making sure that what I’m going to say is clear and thoughtful.

Do you ever have your audience in mind when you’re writing a song? Or is it more of a personal experience that you end up sharing with the world?

Travis:Hmmm I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about that before. In that case, I guess it ends up being the latter. Songs find who they’re supposed to, I think.

What are you most proud of on this album?

(Photo by Alex Montenegro)

Elise: I’m just really proud of the way all the arrangements came together. There’s a lot of discussion (sometimes a little heated) about our own and each other’s parts, but in the end, we all care more about the final song than we do about making sure our personal flashy little thing gets in the recording.

Kam: It just feels like we really grew into our shoes with this album. It’s hard to decide a single point of pride. Everything feels super cohesive and significant throughout the whole album.

Yvonne:: I’m proud of us as a band first and foremost. I’m also proud of how much better I’ve gotten at guitar since I joined this band. I didn’t know how to play guitar with a pick before I joined this band.

Do you have any van rules for when you’re on the road?

Elise: I think the only official rule we’ve ever made is no Jimmy Johns in the van.

Kam: Apparently no tinned fish in the van.

Travis: That was back when it was my van. There’s a new van now and it’s not mine, so I have no idea what’s gonna happen.

Go to on the road snack? (I’m just hungry. I forget to eat breakfast.)

Elise: I’m a big beef jerky head. I’m sure Kam and Yvonne will talk about their fucked up snacks here.

Yvonne: Kam and I looove Buccees (not sponsored unfortunately) jarred pickled garlic. But Elise and Travis hate smelling it so we can’t bring it in the van.

Kam: Tinned fish. All of my favorite road snacks are banned in the van :/ But the perfect combo is canned fish, some bread, and a carrot. And then some dark chocolate for dessert

Elise: I’m actually pro- tinned fish. Need my protein. Just not into the pickled garlic jar, full of liquid, sloshing around in the moving vehicle.

Travis: man there is no way garlic and fish are y’all’s go to road snacks. They are lying for some reason and want to seem quirky and disgusting for this interview. I like walnuts.

Whats been your worst or weirdest onstage experience? ( This one time I interviewed a dude that passed out on stage)

Kam: Me and Trav’s old band played a show in which we were unofficially calling it “Shrimp Fest”. Trav then spent his last 60$ to buy a giant tray of fried shrimp, which we then put on a stool in front of the stage for people to eat from as we played. Trav and I ate shrimp and drank redbull during our set.

Travis: Yeah I think I thought it was funny because our friend put the fried shrimp emoji on the show poster so I was like “what if we took this joke waaaay too far”. I called up a buffet and ordered 10 lb or something and then set it out in front of us on the stage. After the show you could see all around the room where a bunch of little shrimp had gotten dropped and stepped on. There was another time Kameron and I played that same venue with our old band and this middle aged woman came up and started dancing with all of our friends/people in the front while we were playing. Then, without warning, she jumped up on stage in front of us and flashed the whole crowd. We were in high school, mind you.

I noticed that there aren’t any Texas shows on your upcoming tour. Why do you hate Texas?

Elise: Listen, we LOVE Texas. We were just there in March. We’ll be back soon enough, don’t worry.

Kam: Yeah Texas is awesome.

Yvonne: Whenever we go to Texas we have such a good time.

What can we expect to see/hear from Truth Club in the near future?

(Photo by Alex Montenegro)

Kam: More freakin music eventually.

Is there anything that you want our readers to know? (It doesn’t have to be about music)

Elise: Sitting is the opposite of standing.

Kam: I’m allergic to dust mites, so i’m super snotty and sneezy all the time cause those guys are everywhere. So if you see me with a hanky sneezing, that’s probably why.

To wrap things up, do you have any questions for me?

Elise: Are you like this in person?

Pretty much. Unless I'm sleepy.

Kam: What?

I dunno?


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