Trust Fund’s debut album recently got a perfect 10 / 10 review on these very pages a week ago, something which doesn’t happen very often. So we decided it probably made sense to talk the whole band about this feat. Or about the album. Or about things loosely related. Or not related at all. Anyway, being a band of team players it seemed logical to give them all a chance to reply, ergo some questions were swiftly formulated and sent their way. Trust Fund, in turn, responded with some quite dazzling answers which we’ve printed in all their FULL and UNEXPURGATED glory below – and which you’re encouraged to check out. After, that is, a bit of garbled nonsense from me which you’re not encouraged to check out but you can if you want.
If the world was the sort of place where good things happened to good people who made good things and who therefore deserved to have good things happen to them, you’d all know about Trust Fund already. He says, jumping straight in with the clearly sign-posted “garbled nonsense” mentioned above. As it is though, the world is far from being that sort of place, so it might take a bit longer for them, and more importantly their music (because music is greater than all of us, right?) to enter the world’s consciousness in general and (possibly) yours in particular. Which is why it gives us an inordinate amount of pleasure to play a little part in speeding the world’s consciousness towards that end via that review the other day and this feature here today.
Rewinding a bit for those of you who don’t already know, Trust Fund are, loosely, a collective of musicians based in Bristol rallying behind one Ellis Jones. They’re also, very simply, kind of like your favourite indie band meets your favourite grunge band. Their music is stripped back but so drenched in powerful emotions (which make your own jauntily run the gamut from a little bit sad right through to the heart-pumpingly happy) that they’ll probably make you go a bit goosebumpily when you listen to them properly. (Sidetracking – huge props to me for a sentence with both the words “heart-pumpingly” and “goose-bumpily” in it!) Which is what we encourage you all to do if you hadn’t figured that out already.
The fact that we gave them a 10 / 10 review (and yes, I am going for the world record in how many times one person can link to a review in one blog) alone should alert you to the fact that they’re a bit special, although at this point I’m minded to balance that with a response someone made on twitter when we tweeted the link out … “It’s a bloody good record, but 10 / 10? Really?” In other words, don’t take our word for it – go listen to them. Something we’ve made possible by embedding a YouTube video and a Bandcamp widget in this page.
Anyway, we’d seen a lot of Trust Fund related stuff on the internet(s) which just featured Ellis so we had the brilliant idea (ahem) to do a team interview, and via the power invested in the ole google docs, that’s exactly what we did. With each member contributing in fact, something of a record for this sort of thing in my experience.
So that’s below, but before you jump in, here’s the video for the track Cut Me Out which features an awful lot of dogs but isn’t about any of the dogs in the video or any other dogs for that matter. It’s about those emotions mentioned above, and new relationships and stuff. When it’s finished there’s also a stream of the album below too.
A wise person, (props to Alex from Pariso) once said “No one is ever specific enough about their roles in bands for my liking…” so who is everyone and what does everyone do I guess?
Roxy: I play bass and sing sometimes. I am in most of the line-ups, unless Ellis is playing solo which led my friend Steve to describe me as the Alan Davies to Ellis’ Stephen Fry. I feel so good about that.
Dan: I play drums some of the time.
Ellis: I sing and play the guitar.
Stefano: If you ever go and see Trust Fund and there is a prick using a wah pedal, that’s me.
Grace: I play drums when Dan can’t play drums, and I sing and get enthusiastic.
Rosie: I play guitar and worry.
I guess the next logical question is how came you all together…
Roxy: Ellis and I were in a particularly shit band together when we were 16. Then we didn’t really talk for 6 years. Then we lived together and he let me sing on his songs I think. The rest is history. The story of how we know everyone else is just as long winded and boring. We should just say we all met in anger management class right?
Daniel: The first time I met Ellis he made me play some tiny drumpads that looked like an electric hotplate for three years.
Grace: The first time I met Ellis I knew I was in the presence of greatness.
What is everyone’s most fun *thing* about being in the band Trust Fund? Apart from making videos with dogs in it, obvs. Or it can be that if you want I guess. But not everybody’s. Or it can be everybody’s if you want. In which case what was your most fun thing about making the video with dogs in? A question with options.
Roxy: We have a new song where I play the same note for 2 minutes. That’s the most fun – a real dream come true.
Dan: Doing mean impressions of Ellis on stage during bits where I don’t play.
Grace: Oh yeah, definitely that and only that.
Rosie: Aside from playing the shows, it’d be driving the mafia car on the Los Camps tour.
How came the relationship with Turnstile? Has it been a good one?
Roxy: I don’t know much about this. Ellis? Everyone at Turnstile seem like total legends.
Ellis: Hiya, yeah they’re really nice and so far I do not have a bad word to say about them. I like them.
Grace: They’ve been very good to us. Although tbh I just wana hang out with Cate le Bon and Mike Hadreas. And on that front they’re not doing great. But I’ll give them a lil while before I quit the band.
And I imagine it’s unlikely but is there anything not fun about being in Trust Fund?
Roxy: Sometimes in band practice Ellis gets very aggressive and Dan has a tendency to cry. That can be rough, but tbh it’s still fun in a way.
Stefano: Everyone in the “DIY music scene” is super tactile and there is a focus on hugging relative strangers that I think is unreasonable to expect people to be comfortable with.
Dan: Once I did something unspeakable to Stefano in Nottingham and we still don’t really talk.
Grace: Maybe the intense and unspoken power struggles?
Did you manage to find a car for the tour? What’s touring with Trust Fund like? Assuming you’ve toured together before. Apologies for evident lack of research. Pretty sure you have though.
Roxy: We’re using my mum’s car!!! Before the Los Campesinos tour all our tours were on trains / buses, which was fun but tiring. Touring with The Jelas was the all time greatest experience of my life. They are my favourite band.
Grace: It is something akin to, as they say, “the most fun”.
List some landmark events in the history of Trust Fund. That EP with Jo Grue was one for me. But I’m meant to be asking the questions not answering them. So we’ll pretend I didn’t say that.
Roxy: I think a landmark event in the history of Trust Fund was definitely me and Ellis playing in Durham for the first time in 2012. The lads from T-shirt Weather put it on and there were maybe 6 people there and we drank beer in a very dark cellar. I think that was the beginning of everything that Trust Fund became for me.
Dan: Me and Ellis supporting Deerhoof once! And seeing the other Trust Fund lineup for the first time at Village Underground and being embarrassed because they were so good.
Grace: I really liked shouting and bouncing along in Manchester at Carefully Planned Festival 2014, and getting to be on stage with Dan for (I think?) the first time.
I should probably ask something about the new album. Tell us one interesting thing about the new album each. Or just one thing about the new album you think we should know. Doesn’t need to be interesting in other words.
Roxy: The song Westfield (derby) features a shopping centre with those really good Dyson Airblade hand dryers. I guess the album is mostly about hand dryers. That’s why it provokes so many emotions for so many people.
Dan: Many people have misheard the lyrics from the song “Cut Me Out”, hearing “fragile alien” and “grown man trying”. the true words for this part are “fragile idiot” and “go-go giant”. (Oooh, ooooh – I heard fragile alien – enlightened ed., who’s now super stoked he asked this question.)
Grace: I still have not listened to said album, and do not intend to.
Rosie: It is great for stabilising wonky tables.
Famous person Johnny Depp (an actor) recently said “…actors who start bands ‘make me sick’”. If famous person Johnny Depp (an actor) changed his mind and decided he wanted to “start a band” with Trust Fund who’d be up for it, who not and give us one good reason for that answer please. Or not.
Roxy: I wouldn’t – I am trying to be in less bands with men (I am currently in 4). If Helena Bonham Carter wants to start a band tho, I am ready.
Stefano: I was extremely moved by Johnald Depp referring to his performance as Tonto in The Lone Ranger (2013) as “my salute … to salute [Native American people] and say thank you for all that they’ve had to deal with” so I would be delighted to form a band with him. Our songs would all be about common sense observations about differences between The Races that you can’t say anymore because it’s not PC.
Dan: I couldn’t play drums through all the vomit and hypocrisy.
Another famous person, Steve Albini, once said “the major label dominated system had been dismantled by the internet.” I’m paraphrasing (again – I clearly do that a lot) there I think. Do we agree and overall do we think the internet has been a good thing for musicians? (I think they call that a sucker punch – soften you up with a really stupid question then go in with a heavy duty one! It was purely by accident, I promise. Or maybe “sucker punch” isn’t exactly what that is. Oh well – let’s get on with it anyway…)
Stefano: Sucker Punch (Japanese: ふいうち Surprise Attack) is a damage-dealing dark type physical move introduced in Generation IV. 80 Power, 100 Accuracy, 5 PP, +1 Priority. This move will fail if the opposing Pokémon does not use a damage-dealing move in the same round.
Roxy: This is literally Ellis’ PhD so he can answer that I guess. Also see Stefano’s answer above. Bunch of nerds smh.
Ellis: Hmm i get scared to talk about this stuff. However, I think its always a pretty safe bet to say that Steve Albini is wrong.
Grace: I think by and large I would rather be Taylor Swift on Tumblr than any Man in the history of music.
Rosie: I like Steve, he’s said some great things about colourful vegan snack items (and cats right? -Ed). I think the internet’s great too.
How do you find out about new bands guys? Illustrate with examples of bands you’ve “found” recently please. Or just bands you think we should check out if you’ve forgotten how you found out about them.
Roxy: I find out about bands at gigs mostly cos I am bad at listening to stuff at home. My recent new fav bands are: Big Joanie, Slum of Legs, Hundredth Anniversary. Also I love music my friends make which is handy cos all my friends make music. Squeakeasy is the best new band rn.
Grace: My answer was gonna be so identical to Roxy’s that it’s scary. I feel bad that I’ve got to a point where I don’t seek out as much new music as I once did, but that’s more about age, complacency and laziness than it is about the industry or the internet.
Is Bristol a good place for a band to cut their teeth as it were? I’m guessing the fact that the album launch show sold out pdq, as did the hastily arranged the second one, suggests that it is?
Roxy: Yeh it’s good – although there is a lack of good venues of different sizes – lots of unwelcoming venues that are expensive for everyone and not accessible. But there are loads of enthusiastic awesome people around.
If you could support / be supported by one band dead or alive at any time in the history of music who would it be and when? And where too if you have a favourite venue.
Grace: Beyoncé in 2015, Kate Bush in 1978, Fun Boy Three in 1982 or Movietone in 2003.
Roxy: WEEZERWEEZERWEEZERWEEZER (also I am excited for when Ellis and Paul McCartney do a duet.)
Rosie: Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci circa 1997 or literally any time.
Final question – I can’t think of a final question. Ooh, I know, is there anything you’d like to add?
Stefano: Friends House in London recently sacked 3 workers on zero-hours contracts when they tried to organise for better working conditions. So I guess if anyone is thinking about hosting any events there on the basis of their ethical reputation then it might be worth reconsidering that decision and making that known to them.
Grace: Shy bairns get nee sweets.
And on that sad note we finish, but to cheer everyone up here’s a stream of whole flippin’ new album, however it’ll probably start on the same track in the video above so now I recommend you leave this page and hit up Bandcamp (by clicking the words “”No one’s coming for us” in the widget below) to check out excerpts from all the tracks or to just buy it (the preferred option.)
All the people above are involved in other splendid bands who you should all check out. To make doing so a bit easier for you here’s a few links (with added ones to features on Louder Than War here for EXPENSIVE and here for Grubs.)
- Rosie — Totem Terrors (totemterrors.com), Oh Peas! (ohpeas.bandcamp.com)
- Grace — The Middle Ones themiddleones.com/), EXPENSIVE (expensivetheband.co.uk)
- Roxy — Two White Cranes (twowhitecranes.bandcamp.com), Grubs (grubs.bandcamp.com/)
- Dan — Squeakeasy (timeofasking.bandcamp.com/album/squeakeasy)
- Stefano — Pigthe (https://music.pigthe.com)
Trust Fund’s new album can be downloaded from their Bandcamp for a mere £5 which has got to be the bargain of the year. If you’re a physical kind of person, though, and / want to spend a bit more visit Turnstile (for CD and beautiful vinyl) and / or Reeks of Effort for the tapeywape / cassette version.
All words (that aren’t answers to questions) by Guy Manchester. More writing by Guy on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Twitter: @Guid0man.