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Getting To Know: TRUNKS

In the heart of South East London, alt-rock artist TRUNKS is making waves with a sound that's as unique as it is captivating. Merging the guitar stylings reminiscent of The Strokes and Tame Impala with pulsing beats and vulnerable lyrics, TRUNKS crafts a hybrid of organic and synthetic sounds that spit poppy hooks while maintaining a raw edge. This distinctive blend is further highlighted by lead vocals that seamlessly integrate into the musical mix, occasionally soaring into delicate falsetto sections.

TRUNKS has already garnered notable attention, receiving plays from BBC Introducing South East and Amazing Radio with Shell Zenner. The artist has also sold out two London shows and featured live on BBC Introducing, setting the stage for an exciting summer ahead.

TRUNKS' journey began at the age of 15, finding solace and passion in music during school breaks with friends. This early love for music has led to performances across the UK with various bands, and now, under the moniker TRUNKS, the artist is poised to take the music scene by storm. Join us as we delve into the story behind TRUNKS, exploring the inspirations, challenges, and future plans of this emerging alt-rock sensation.

1. Your debut EP "Plaything" has just been released. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind the lead single and the themes it explores?

"Plaything" was the first song I co-wrote during lockdown after a long period of writer's block. When the world shut down, I realised how much inspiration I take from being outside and seeing friends, as my ideas felt like they'd completely dried up when we were all told we had to stay inside. It had me really worried for a while, I took some time off from writing music as it was starting to stress me out.

After a few months of nothing, my friend sent me this bass line idea from the song out of the blue.  It grabbed me as soon as I heard it. Immediately I jumped behind my mic and got straight to work. Just from the weighty feeling of the bass delivery, I knew that the song was going to be something with a lot of attitude and with a really punchy message.the chorus was the first thing that came, with the vocal hook “I’m not your plaything”. Everything else grew from there. 

The lyrics explore the idea of being tied up (figuratively...) by a manipulator, and finding a way to break free of their lies. To me, it's a song that represents my easy-going, laid-back side that people have tried to take advantage of in the past; and is a big "fuck off" to whoever oversteps the mark (in a true Logan Roy fashion - for the all the success on fans out there). 


This song means a lot to me as it was the first song that I’d written in months before more ideas starting flooding in. It really felt like the boost I needed at the time to get back behind the mic and recording again. And the songs on the EP are a direct result of that. 


2. Your music is described as a hybrid of organic and synthetic sounds, blending influences from The Strokes and Tame Impala. How do you approach creating this unique sound in your songwriting and production process?

Songwriting for me is very much just led by feeling. I don't go in with much of a plan at the start of a session, but i do find myself going back to the same tools to produce songs. The fundamentals of the song are the number one thing I like to think about at the beginning: does it have a good hook? Does the music feel like it carries the message well? And is the message a good one? When I know those parts are feeling good when it's just me playing a guitar and singing the melodies, then I take it to the home studio where all of the processed beats, bass sounds and manipulated vocals harmonies then get stacked on top to flesh it out. When I'm writing electronic parts, I always like to add some organic feeling to some of the instrumentation to keep the song grounded to its original form. I think it's also quite a useful way for me to finish writing them too, as I can always strip the song back to its core parts - the chords and melody - if I need to find a way to the next section. If I was just relying on the electronic parts, I could easily go down a rabbit hole of endlessly adding elements that may not actually serve the song itself. 

When it comes to recording the final version of the song, there's always a few hours we save for 'toys'. Usually these are just the fun extra instruments we find in the studio that will inevitably find their way into every song. For "Plaything", I distinctly remember there being a vocoder buried in the vocal mix. 

3. You've gained notable recognition from BBC Introducing South East and Amazing Radio, and sold out two London shows. How has this early success impacted your career and what can fans expect from your upcoming performances?

Having support from the BBC and Amazing has been so great for me. When you spend so long creating these songs, you can lose perspective now and then and find yourself wondering if they're any good haha. So it's really reassuring to have them played on radio for my own ego - and also a really great way to find new fans and other great musicians. The new music I hear coming out from my hometown on BBC is incredible! 

The two London shows were amazing too! I had such a buzz playing those gigs and it's so reassuring to see people singing the songs back to me, despite having worked on this project for such a short time. In terms of upcoming shows, I’m working on bringing some brand new songs to the set and making our gigs something to remember. Nothing is booked at the moment, but watch this space!

4. You started your musical journey at 15, sneaking into your school’s music department to practice. How have those early experiences shaped you as an artist today, and what advice would you give to young musicians starting out?

Music has been one of the biggest motivational drivers of my life. Having started at a young age at school, and as someone who didn't particularly stand out from the crowd in terms of my academic ability, it was a way for me to express myself in a way that feels authentic. Wanting to be in a successful band made me learn how to stay self-motivated and independent - I learned how to write and record music of course, but I also had to learn to make posters, merchandise & videos, learn how to promote my own shows, book my own tours ... and so much more. And I would have never had a reason to learn all those skills without having the aspiration of being in a successful band. It's so much of who I am today, and I keep on doing it as it makes me feel fulfilled. 

To anyone just starting out, I'd say go out there and play your heart out at open mics, gigs and put your own shows on. Listen to other peoples advice in the industry - but also learn to trust your instincts. If you want to get somewhere with your music, then be creative and do something that no one else has done. Because that's the way you'll stand out. 

5. The EP "Plaything" features a mix of new songs and previously released singles. How do these tracks reflect your evolution as an artist, and what message do you hope listeners take away from this collection?

The EP feels like a real mix of my inspirations as an artist, and represents an interesting stretch of time in my life. With "Plaything" being the very first song that was written in a way that was new to me - exclusively remotely - me and my friend, Jeremy, would send the project back and forth between us to write new sections of the song during lockdown.

“Something Sinister" was then a different song which I wrote in complete isolation after my housemates all caught covid and I was bound to the living room with just my mic for 2 weeks. That was a good moment in time for me as I had no choice but to sit and focus on writing that song! 

"Again, Tonight", "Way Way Out" & "I'll Start" really represent the latest version of my musical interests, as these were all written much later when life had returned to normal and I found myself leaning towards a heavier, slightly rockier sound. As I got back into my groove of writing, these songs cut closer to the core and feel a lot more personal to me as they reflect parts of my personal life that I'm not usually too fond of sharing in my music. 


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