Interview With Trust Fund: “I am not a good friend”

Trust Fund interview

Trust Fund’s debut album No One’s Coming For Us is out now via Turnstile.

We’re not even a quarter of the way through 2015 yet and already there’s been a bewildering amount of great records released. One of these is Trust Fund‘s debut album No One’s Coming For Us which was released in February through Turnstile. It was extremely well received gaining critical acclaim in pretty much every review you can find for it (read Overblown’s here). It’s a charming lo-fi indie rock/pop record that just reeks of honesty, the kind of lyrics that lead us reviewers to believe we know exactly what’s what (we don’t, of course) and, to my ears anyway, paint Trust Fund’s main man Ellis Jones as the kind of guy you’d like to have on your side, a good old ever-reliable buddy. Not so apparently! Overblown caught up with Ellis for a quick word just after Trust Fund’s first glut of tour dates in support of the album to find out how it was, how it is and how it’s gonna be.

Overblown: So how’s the tour been? Fun? Chaos? Rock n’ Roll? Exhausting?
Ellis: A very small amount of all of those things. mostly it was just nice to see friends around the country, and to play with bands that we really like.

O: The album was very well received from a critical point of view. Is that important to you? Do you care about the reviews?
E: I think it would probably bother me if they were bad, but it doesn’t make me happy if they are good. I do read them though, and i’m self-absorbed enough to enjoy reading someone making an attempt to understand the songs, and just taking the time to listen to them.

O: Many reviews (including Overblown’s) make comment about the meaning of songs and lyrics. I’d imagine many of these are miles wide of the mark. How do you feel about people’s interpretations of your songs?
E: I think they are all about personal stuff but stitched together in a way that makes it pretty impossible to unpick them and work out what things have specifically happened. I think songs bring about feelings that you can’t pin down specifically, so if a reviewer tries to take a song and find its source, in terms of an emotional event or experience, its pretty unlikely to be successful. But it’s fun to read.

O: Empathy – in my album review I reckoned you display a lot of it. You disagreed. How so?
E: I just think it’s a way of songwriting, and that displaying empathy in songs is basically just another way of showing off. It’s just because i feel guilty talking about myself all the time. I’m not particularly empathetic, and i’m not a good friend particularly.

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O: The album seems very personal. Is there a sense of bravery putting it all out there? Or is it a little terrifying?
E: I don’t think anyone listening to the record would know anything more about me as a person, really. Whether people like it or hate the album, it is just some songs. I like them and i am proud of them but they don’t represent me as a human or whatever.

O: You do most of the writing and recording yourself. Does the dynamic change when you get together with the rest of the band to play live?

E: The songs usually make a lot more sense once we play them all together. In the future i think we’re gonna do a bit more recording as a band, which should mean things feel a bit more developed and hopefully maybe a bit more fun as well.

O: Is it possible that being surrounded by the band could lead to a more collaborative songwriting process in the future?
E: People in the band already write their own parts, and sometimes that ends up on the record. Like, Stefano wrote the lead guitar part for ‘cut me out’, Rosie wrote the lead guitar on ‘sadness’, and lots of the harmonies and stuff are nothing to do with me. I like it when that happens a lot but if it happened too much i guess i’d feel guilty about how much Trust Fund is written about as being just me. It definitely is more and more about the whole band.

Trust FundO: How did it feel to finally get the album released?
E: Nice i guess? I dunno, it doesn’t feel different to it just being finished and only my friends having heard it.

O: Thinking back to when you first got your hands on your own records, how did it feel to think I’ve made this?
E: It felt quite separate from making the songs. It felt like the records as physical things were actually made by turnstile (the record label) rather than me, and so it was nice to see them as a kind of sign of their trust or belief or support. Getting the records in the post was like getting a very nice birthday card.

O: Would you say you’re ambitious? What are your hopes (or fears) for Trust Fund?
E: I think i try and get better at writing songs, so i would just like that to carry on. It would be nice to be able to travel, and play shows in other places.

O: What’s the plan for the next few months now that the record is out and the first lot of tour dates are done?
E: Not sure to be honest, i think just more recording, and a few more shows.

O: What records / bands are you recommending Overblown readers should be checking out at the moment?
E: I play guitar and do singing in Mat Riviere’s live band, and practicing with him recently has meant i’ve listened to his last album a lot. It’s really good and i think i have stolen a lot of things from him.

Trust Fund’s debut album is out now and you should own it. Buy it on VINYL or DOWNLOAD

Trust Fund have various gigs lined up. Here are all the details you need:

20th March – Corporation Club, Scarborough – PAY AT DOOR
21st March – Firebug Club, Leicester – TICKETS
22nd March – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham – TICKETS
3rd April – The Gate, Cardiff (Wales Goes Pop) – TICKETS
13th April – Sebright Arms, London – TICKETS
20th August – Green Man Festival, Powys – TICKETS

If you like this Trust Fund interview, you might enjoy our interview with T-Shirt Weather

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