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Trash Boat’s Tobi Duncan: “Every Song Is Me Being As Honest As I Can Be”

Andy Biddulph
Andy Biddulph 7 June 2016 at 19.16

Trash Boat recorded their debut album with The Wonder Years' Dan 'Soupy' Campbell. We talked to frontman Tobi Duncan about the album, working with Dan and more.



SO HOW DID DAN END UP PRODUCING THE ALBUM? DID YOU GUYS HAVE HIM IN MIND FROM THE START?
Tobi Duncan [vocals]: "Not really, the guys at Hopeless asked him if he would be interested in doing some production work with a band, they knew we were writing and pitched the idea to us, as soon as we knew he was interested we obviously said yes immediately!"

WERE YOU INTIMIDATED BY HAVING DAN IN THE STUDIO AT FIRST? I’M GUESSING YOU’RE A BIG FAN OF THE WONDER YEARS...
"Of course, we all are! I wouldn’t say intimidated, but I was definitely excited to meet him, he had been the source of some of my most listened to albums ever and I was eager to absorb whatever knowledge I could. He’s an awesome dude and we got along really well."

AND WHAT DID HE BRING TO THE TABLE? IT STILL FEELS LIKE A VERY ‘TRASH BOAT’ ALBUM - DID YOU HAVE A VERY CLEAR IDEA OF WHAT THE ALBUM WAS GOING TO SOUND LIKE ALREADY?
"He was an extremely useful and honest set of ears, a trusted and respected opinion that we could utilise when we needed, we would send him songs with and without vocals and he would tell us what he thought. 'Maybe make this drum beat different, maybe go to this note at the end of that guitar sequence', we discussed vocal melodies a bunch too, it helped us to consider the songs from a different perspective. We then had a week of pre-production where he flew over and spent a week with us before the studio so we could really get them polished."

HOW DOES THE ALBUM YOU HAD GOING INTO THE STUDIO DIFFER FROM THE ALBUM THAT YOU CAME OUT WITH AT THE END?
"Short of a few lead lines and vocal melodies the songs didn’t change too drastically in the studio, they just turned from scratchy demos into massive songs, we were really happy with the production and loved listening to each layer come together."

LYRICALLY, THIS ALBUM FEELS DEEP. IS ‘NOTHING I WRITE YOU...’ ABOUT ONE EXPERIENCE IN PARTICULAR OR DOES IT HANG AROUND A CERTAIN CONCEPT? OR ARE THE LYRICS AN ASSORTMENT OF THE LAST FEW YEARS OF YOUR LIFE?
"The album is a long list of personal reflections and outward expressions, things I had never told anyone but tell myself every day, every song is me being as honest as I can be, I find it to be very cathartic."

WAS THE PLAN ALWAYS TO HAVE DAN DO GUEST VOCALS ON THE ALBUM? OR WERE YOU JUST HOPING HE’D OFFER?
"Both, we had planned for him to feature on a song from the beginning but we weren’t sure whether that would be part of it or not, we kept a few sections in songs where we thought he would smash it available just in case, then he said he had written something for 'Strangers', which was awesome."

IT MUST FEEL AMAZING TO ACTUALLY HAVE THE ALBUM DONE AND ALMOST OUT. WHAT’S THE PLAN NOW? JUST TOUR, TOUR AND TOUR AGAIN?
"Yep! After our release we want to hit up as much of the world as possible, USA, AUS, Asia, wherever we can!"

'Nothing I Write You Can Change What You've Been Through' is out on June 17 via Hopeless Records.

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